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Latest Updates and Archives

Listing of current and past updated related to research at UC San Diego during the pandemic.

2022

(01/06/22)

Winter Quarter Update

In response to the evolving situation with the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of COVID-19, UC San Diego is extending the mandatory remote instruction period until the end of January. In-person instruction is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 31. This is according to a campus-wide memo issued by Chancellor Khosla today. More from the memo:

  • Supervisors should encourage remote work until the end of January where operational needs permit.
  • In-person meetings are strongly discouraged and in-person events must be moved to remote modalities or rescheduled once in-person instruction resumes.
  • Public health orders across the nation are encouraging people to STAY HOME as much as possible. If you need to go out, wear a N-95 or KN-95 mask at all times. 
  • Current vaccines combined with a booster dose help protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death due to infection with the omicron variant. GET A BOOSTER SHOT as soon as possible and before Jan. 31 to remain compliant with the UC COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate.
  • For those living in the region, vaccination and booster shot appointments remain available at the Price Center and at the Hillcrest and La Jolla drive-up testing and vaccination sites. To review eligibility requirements and to schedule COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster appointments, students and campus employees should refer to the Return to Learn vaccine booster page.
  • UC San Diego will continue to monitor, evaluate and make operations decisions with the most up-to-date data and predictive modeling available.  
(01/05/22)

Winter Instruction

The first two weeks of winter quarter at UC San Diego are being held remotely, with a target date of January 18 as the start of in-person instruction. Any extension of the remote period would be determined in partnership with the Academic Senate. From January 3 to 17, faculty and TAs may teach remotely from home or from campus. Instructors, please see pandemic resilient teaching methods from the Teaching + Learning Commons.

Required for All: Test on the Day You Return to Campus

All students and employees, regardless of vaccination status, are required to complete a PCR test on the day of their return to campus (unless they have been COVID-19 positive within the last 90 days). It is also strongly recommend to be tested no more than 48 hours before your arrival to campus. Tests are available on campus via self-administered test kit vending machines or by appointment at the Price Center clinic. Employees conducting their first-ever COVID-19 test must make an appointment at the Price Center clinic or a drive-thru testing site. You do not need to wait for a result before arriving on campus. See all COVID-19 testing options.

COVID-19 Boosters Required by Jan. 31 (or Two Weeks After Becoming Eligible)

All students, faculty, staff and academic appointees accessing facilities at any UC campus are required to receive a COVID-19 booster by January 31, per the updated UC vaccination policy. Those who are not yet eligible for a booster will need to receive a booster no later than two weeks after they become eligible. Booster shot appointments remain available at the Price Center as well as through drive-up appointments at Hillcrest and La Jolla vaccination sites. Review eligibility and schedule a booster appointment.

For those who have received a COVID-19 booster shot outside of UC San Diego Health, please see these instructions on how to submit your documentation to be compliant.

2021

(12/22/21)

UC Mandates COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots at all UC Campuses

  • The University of California Office of the President has notified UC campus leaders that COVID-19 vaccination boosters are now mandated for all faculty, staff, academic appointees and students accessing facilities at any UC campus, according to a campus memo sent by Chancellor Khosla today. 
  • Specifically, all faculty, staff and students who are now eligible for them are mandated to receive their booster shot no later than January 31, 2022. Those who are not eligible for a booster by January 17 will need to be boosted no later than two weeks after their booster eligibility.
  • Appointments for vaccine boosters are available for all eligible students and employees at the Price Center on campus and at drive-up locations at the La Jolla and Hillcrest Medical Centers.
  • To review eligibility requirements and schedule COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster appointments, students and campus employees should refer to the Return to Learn Vaccination page
  • Click here for the full campus memo from Chancellor Khosla.   
(12/21/21)

Omicron Variant and Campus Operations Update for Winter Quarter 2022

  • UC San Diego is exercising caution and moving winter quarter 2022 instruction to a remote-only mode from Jan. 3 to Jan. 17. 
  • Research activity will continue. However, from Jan. 3 to Jan. 17, undergraduate and graduate students conducting research will not be required to report to campus research sites.
  • All students and campus employees, regardless of vaccination status, must complete a SARS-CoV-2 test on the day they return to campus for Winter Quarter 2022.
  • Those who are not vaccinated, or who have been vaccinated but have not received a booster, will be required to test twice a week (3-5 days apart).
  • On-campus housing communities will open as previously planned; campus residents are encouraged to stagger their arrival.
  • From Jan. 3 to 17, faculty and teaching assistants may teach remotely from home or from campus.
  • From Jan. 3 to 17, in-person gatherings must be moved to remote modalities or rescheduled; spectators will not be allowed at home games until Jan. 18.
  • Memo from the Chancellor issued on 12/21/21 about the Omicron Variant and Campus Operations Update for Winter Quarter 2022.
  • More information at the Return to Learn Web site.

 

(12/14/21)

New Statewide Indoor Masking Mandate Begins 12/15/21

On 12/13/21, state health officials announced that all Californians will be required to wear masks when indoors at public places starting Dec. 15, 2021 and ending Jan. 15, 2022, citing an increase in COVID-19 case rates throughout the state following the Thanksgiving 2021 holiday. In addition to masking, the state will now require those without proof of vaccination who are attending events with more than 1,000 people to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within one day. The state also recommends those who travel into or out of California to get tested for COVID-19 within three to five days.

UC San Diego has required masking indoors, regardless of vaccination status and with limited exceptions, throughout the past 20 months. The campus policy for face coverings will remain in effect, unchanged, until further notice.

Based upon an abundance of caution as well as the state’s new mandate and growing case rates in San Diego County, in-person indoor gatherings on UC San Diego premises should not serve food or drink until the statewide mandate expires. Events with more than 1,000 participants will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours. Students and employees who travel during the holiday break will be required to complete a COVID-19 test before returning to in-person activities on UC San Diego premises.

COVID-19 Vaccines and Booster Shots

Getting vaccinated and boosted reduces the risks of getting infected, of transmitting disease, and of having severe disease complications if you do become infected.

  • Appointments for Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine boosters are now available for all eligible students and campus and health employees at the Price Center on campus and at drive-up locations at our La Jolla and Hillcrest Medical Centers.
  • To qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine booster, it must be six months or more since you completed your two-dose regimen of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months or more since you completed your one-dose regimen of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • To schedule COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster appointments, students and campus employees should refer to the Return to Learn vaccine booster page and health employees should refer to the Pulse Intranet vaccine booster page.

Stay Vigilant

While vaccination is critical and strategies such as maintaining a safe distance from others in large crowds is helpful in preventing the spread of the virus, wearing a mask in public settings — especially those indoors — adds substantial additional protection from infection.

The rise in case rates throughout the country and developing information about the highly transmissible Omicron variant reminds us that we need to stay vigilant in our day-to-day activities. Complete the daily symptom self-screening and follow all safety requirements. Unvaccinated individuals should test twice weekly. Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals should test whenever they have symptoms compatible with SARS CoV-2 infection and when there are positive wastewater signals in buildings where they have used the restroom. Check the Potential Exposure Locations chart on the COVID-19 Daily Dashboard for the most up-to-date information

 

(12/10/21)

On-site activity is at full capacity.

All those working on-site (or at off-site UC San Diego facilities) must comply with all campus policies regarding:

 

 

(11/6/2020)

OSHA training requirement

If you are returning to on-site work, you must complete a one-time, state-mandated online training. You can access this training via UC Learning Center (sign-in required).

 

(9/28/21)

Human Subjects Research safety protocols

The latest guidance for researchers, staff and participants regarding COVID-19 safety protocols including masking, vaccinations and testing can be found on the Research Ramp-up homepage.

 

(4/19/21) (updated 7/1/21)

In-person meetings now permissible

In-person business and research meetings are now allowed on-site for faculty, staff and students. All attendees must adhere to CDC and UC San Diego health and safety protocols. In-person attendees are limited to 10 persons. Read the full announcement and health reminders.

(3/25/21) (updated 4/21/21)

Increasing access to labs, offices and studios for academic and research work

As part of UC San Diego’s plan to incrementally repopulate the campus, we are increasing access for faculty and PIs to their individual labs, offices and studios for academic and research work. Beginning April 1, 2021, those with approved Research Ramp-up plans can increase on-site personnel to 50 percent.

All personnel working on-site must continue to follow CDC and campus guidelines including social distancing, use of face coverings, daily screenings and regular hand washing and sanitization. Fully vaccinated individuals (two weeks after second dose), no longer need to test weekly.

Density limitations based on square feet or people per bay/aisle will no longer be required. Instead, 50% of total personnel (including those members of your group who may have been/still are working remotely) may work on-site at any one time, regardless of which phase they have been assigned to in your Research Ramp-up plan.

Faculty and PIs should:

Read full details of this update.

 

(3/16/21)

Increasing access to labs, offices and studios for academic and research work

As part of UC San Diego’s plan to incrementally repopulate the campus, we are increasing access for faculty and PIs to their individual labs, offices and studios for academic and research work within the county’s current 25% percent occupancy limit. 

All personnel working on-site must continue to follow CDC and campus guidelines, regardless of vaccination status, regarding social distancing, use of face coverings, daily screenings, weekly testing, and regular hand washing and sanitization. Density limitations based on square feet or people per bay/aisle will no longer be required. Instead, 25% of total personnel (including those members of your group who may have been/still are working remotely) may work on-site at any one time.

Faculty and PIs should:

  • Update your existing Research Ramp-up plan if you need to add personnel. Instructions can be found here. Please note that staff successfully working remotely should continue to do so until at least May 31.
  • Submit a new Research Ramp-up plan if you haven’t submitted one already AND you have other team members (grad students, postdocs, research staff) who need approval for on-site access with you. Instructions can be found here
  • Submit a Work Health Management Form if you are returning to individual on-site work in your private office (link here)

Read full details of this update here (PDF).

UC San Diego is moving to a weekly testing requirement for all academics and staff who work on-site at any physical UC San Diego location. Required testing is offered through UC San Diego Health at no cost to employees. Read more about employee requirements here.

Students who are on campus are also required to test weekly. Read more about student requirements here.

 

(1/28/2021)

San Diego County in “purple” tier

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently lifted the statewide “stay at home” order; however, San Diego County remains in the most restrictive “purple” tier. We will operate on a “hold in place” model, where research operations will continue as they currently are for the time being. Anyone conducting on-site research in any capacity must remember: 

  • Research is essential to the university’s mission
    • Those who can work at home should continue do so
    • Sensitivity should be shown to those concerned about on-site activity
  • No new on-site research ramp-up plans will be approved while we “hold in place.” 
  • New researchers can be added to plans only as “trade” for existing personnel, so that total on-site numbers do not change and does not affect campus density.
  • Students who wish to continue in approved on-site research activity that advances their education (i.e., master’s theses, dissertations, 199, training rotations) may do so.  No student should be pressured.

Safety requirements continue: comply with daily screening, testing, health safety and quarantine requirements, and utilize the CA NOTIFY appYou can find more information in the Chancellor’s announcement issued on 1/27/20.

 

(1/21/2021)

Vaccine Prioritization

On January 15, the Chancellor issued a memo regarding the prioritization of COVID-19 vaccines. Per California Department of Public Health guidelines, we are currently in Phase 1A (priority: frontline healthcare workers). For further information, please read the Chancellor’s memo, visit the state COVID-19 website and read our FAQs.

2020

(12/18/20)

Due to the Winter Holiday and campus closure, the Research Ramp Up staff will be off-line from December 23rd through January 4th. Changes to Research Ramp Up plans will not be possible during this time. Only approved personnel on existing plans are permitted access to UC San Diego research facilities during this period. We thank you for all you have done to keep everyone safe, and wish everyone a restful and rejuvenating Winter Holiday!

 

(12/8/2020)

New state guidelines regarding "regional stay at home" orders

Due to new state guidelines regarding “regional stay-at-home” orders and consistent with other UC campuses, we will operate on a “hold in place” model, where research operations will continue as they currently are for the time being. Anyone conducting on-site research in any capacity must remember: 

  • Research is essential to the university’s mission
    • Those who can work at home should continue do so
    • Sensitivity should be shown to those concerned about on-site activity
  • No new on-site research ramp-up plans will be approved while we “hold in place.” 
  • New researchers can be added to plans only as “trade” for existing personnel, so that total on-site numbers do not change and does not affect campus density.
  • Students who wish to continue in approved on-site research activity that advances their education (i.e., master’s theses, dissertations, 199, training rotations) may do so.  No student should be pressured.

Safety requirements continue: comply with daily screening, testing, health safety and quarantine requirements, and utilize the CA NOTIFY app.

 

(11/24/2020)

Reminders Regarding Pandemic Safety In Research Facilities

As you are aware, San Diego County is now in the “purple” tier because transmission is widespread. Read our recent announcement about how this may affect research activity here.

 

(11/6/2020)

Guidance for rotational training and on-site research coursework

Rotational Training and On-Site Research Coursework: As Fall Quarter begins, students will be joining research labs and facilities for training and coursework. Students training in the same lab for more than 4 weeks need to be identified and added to that lab’s Ramp Up Plan. Departments and Programs must confirm that all research facilities where students are training – even for shorter, micro-rotations – have a Research Ramp Up plan which includes either a Training Risk Mitigation Plan or an Alternative Risk Mitigation Plan that addresses training. More information is available in the Rotational Training and On-Site Research Coursework PDF.

 

(11/06/2020)

Personnel flexibilities

We are very pleased by UC San Diego’s very successful Orange Phase research ramp up, and appreciate the hard work that has made this possible. In order to reduce the opportunity for community spread of COVID-19, the Research Continuity Task Force identified a personnel density of 25% of normal operations as appropriate. PIs working on initial ramp up plans may include personnel with Red or Orange phase approval; others may add personnel to Red or Orange phase approval lists only in limited circumstances. Visit our Procedures page to learn more about how this may impact your research.

We are able to allow additional flexibility within that 25% cap, and have adjusted Orange Phase guidance so that:

  • Minimum physical distance between personnel remains 6 feet
  • Face coverings and plan-approved PPE required at all times, except when working alone in an office with the door closed
  • In wet labs, up to 2 persons can work simultaneously per bay, aisle, or bench (with a minimum 6 foot distance between personnel)
  • In dry labs, offices and other research settings, 1 person per 150 square feet (with a minimum 6 foot distance between personnel).
    Read VC of Research Sandy Brown's email about new orange phase guidance here.

In order to prepare for a possible future expansion of on-site activity beyond the current level of approximately 25% (Orange Phase), we encourage PIs to begin planning now for activity at approximately 50% and approximately 75% capacity.

Some PIs may be able to change scheduling of personnel approved for Orange Phase activity to achieve 50% or 75% activity; others may need to add personnel for Yellow Phase (50%) or Green Phase (75%) approval. PIs should not create new Research Ramp Up plans, but should amend existing plans by adding personnel with Yellow or Green phase approval if needed. These additions willrequire approval from department chairs and deans (or equivalent). 

It is still not possible to add personnel to Orange or Red Phase approval lists except in limited circumstances as described at https://blink.ucsd.edu/research/covid-19/covid-procedures.html.

To add personnel with Yellow or Green Phase approval to existing plans, please email researchrampup@ucsd.edu to request that your plan be returned to you or edits.