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UC Merced's Transition Plan for COVID Policies

Body: 
Re: UC Merced's Transition Plan for COVID Policies
To: All campus
March 18, 2022
 

Dear Campus Community,

In light of the fact that the CDC COVID-19 Community Level is considered “Low” in Merced County, and in recognition that the California Department of Public Health has adjusted its minimum requirements in response to the pandemic, we are writing today to share UC Merced’s transition plan which details how we intend to relax our local mitigation measures. While we are thankful that reduced case rates are allowing us to relax the requirements associated with these measures, it’s critically important to note that we view these as tools in our public health toolkit and may need to reinstate requirements should the situation regress.

The highlights of the transition plan are as follows; modifications to the Executive Directive will follow next week:

Health Check

Currently, individuals are only required to report their health status if they are presenting symptoms to the CRC using this form ; daily health attestations through the Service Now app or emails will no longer be required.

Vaccination Policy

All faculty, staff and students on campus must still comply with the University of California’s full-vaccination requirement, including booster shot and submit proof of completion .

Asymptomatic Testing

Any individual not up to date with the systemwide COVID-19 Vaccine Policy is required to continue testing weekly. Individuals who are up to date are asked to participate in our Lot Quality Program with only one remaining test required.

The location of the Asymptomatic Testing site will move to El Portal 125 starting Monday, March 28 with updated hours . The testing site will be closed for Spring Break to accommodate the move, but Antigen Test kits will be available for any individual required to test at the distribution kiosks at COB1 or at Glacier Point.

Events

At this time there are no formal restrictions on events or gatherings; please continue to be guided by the safety and comfort level of attendees when planning such gatherings.

Face Coverings

Beginning March 23, face coverings will be strongly encouraged for all individuals when indoors, but not required except for the following situations:

  • All classroom and instructional activities
  • Cat Tracks and Public Transportation
  • Early Childhood and Education Center (ECEC)
  • Student Health Services and Counseling Services will continue to follow face covering guidance for healthcare settings.

Beginning April 8, if circumstances continue to improve, face coverings will be strongly encouraged but no longer required for classroom and instructional activities.

Face coverings will continue to be distributed across campus at the existing locations.

Return from Spring Break

Upon return from spring break, campus residents will be required to test via antigen tests provided upon their return. All others are strongly encouraged to test for COVID-19 either through the asymptomatic saliva program or through antigen kits that are available at our distribution kiosks. Please contact the CRC if there are any concerns with taking the required test due to recent positivity or other considerations.

Telework Agreements for Staff

Employees with up-to-date telework agreements on file with Human Resources may continue to work remotely if they have been approved to do so by their supervisor. Telecommute agreements are required for hybrid (partial remote) and full-time remote work. Managers and supervisors are expected to monitor the effectiveness of work modalities and make any necessary adjustments. The Working Forward Thought Guide is a good resource for determining work modalities and expectations.

While our overall public health is greatly improving, please continue to be thoughtful and respectful of our community members and their respective risk tolerance. The gratitude we all have for the actions and consideration of our Bobcat community can’t be overstated, please continue to be exemplars as we transition to this next phase of the pandemic.

Sincerely,

 
Andrew Boyd
Chief Resilience Officer