I first want to thank all of you for your efforts as we respond to the challenges related to the many impacts of the quickly evolving COVID-19 situation. There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 within the UC Riverside Community.
It is important for all of us to remember that as a school of medicine, we serve not only students, but our patients and community. We must continue to uphold our responsibility to all of these components of our mission, and the health and safety of our SOM and broader community is our number 1 priority. The steps we are taking outlined below are aligned with those of our UC medical school colleagues and we will continue to review and update as this situation continues to evolve.
We will are also creating a web site to supplement the UCR site on COVID-19, and will provide an update once this is available.
The campus and School of Medicine remain open. While the undergraduate campus has elected to move to full remote education through the end of the quarter (April 3), there are aspects of medical and graduate biomedical education that require a different approach.
For medical students: Dr. Brig Willis announced on Monday, March 9 a plan for continuing education for medical students. These guidelines will be in place immediately and will be regularly updated:
In general, all non-clinical group activities for students will be replaced by online or distance learning options.
All required in-person activities (gross anatomy lab functions, in-person proctored assessments such as OSCEs and NBME Shelf exams, etc.) will be postponed until the curtailment is finished.
All student clinical rotational duties will continue as scheduled, and students will follow the policies and procedures of their clinical sites. The only exception to this is the guidance that students should not participate in the care of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 until further notice.
No travel to international sites or sites with known outbreaks will be approved for student rotations.
We will post the full action plan for Medical Education and Subunits on the website as soon as we can. You can also reach out to Dr. Willis for questions. He is also scheduling town halls today and tomorrow to address questions.
For graduate students: Dr. Willis and Dr. Byron Ford announced a joint plan for graduate education as noted below.
The changes to classroom delivery do not affect lab attendance or small group lab meetings.
Research activities will not be suspended during this time.
BMSC 252 seminars have been postponed until further notice.
Block 4 will begin as scheduled on March 16, but could be replaced by online or distance learning options, if indicated.
Review/grant writing courses (BMSC 260A-C) may be replaced by online or distance learning options if indicated by the course instructors or when the quarter begins.
BMSC 254/Pizza Friday will continue as scheduled at this time but may be replaced by online or distance learning options if indicated by the course instructors.
Working from home or remotely: In line with other UC schools of medicine, at this time, the option to work remotely should be reserved for those who are ill, may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, or who are caring for family members. However, all staff members should check with their respective supervisor directly regarding concerns and/or required accommodations, in order to obtain the official approval to work remotely. In addition, please keep in mind that we are the medical school and have many units which need to continue operations. To the best or our ability, we will need to ensure necessary support. Please see below for UCOP and UCR guidelines on remote work and instructions for those who have roles where remote work is not operationally feasible:
Staff and faculty unable to work due to their own or family members’ COVID-19 illness should use their available leave balances (e.g. sick leave, vacation, paid time off or other accrued leave). Employees without sufficient leave time will be granted up to 14 days of paid administrative leave.
Staff and faculty unable to work due to a COVID-19 day care or school closure that requires them to be home with their child may work remotely if operationally feasible; if remote work is not operationally feasible, employees should use their available leave balances (e.g. sick leave, vacation, paid time off or other accrued leave).
Staff and faculty unable to come to work due to public health or University-required quarantine or self-isolation measures may work remotely if operationally feasible. If remote work is not operationally feasible, employees should use their available leave balances (e.g. sick leave, vacation, paid time off or other accrued leave). Employees without sufficient leave time will be granted up to 14 days of paid administrative leave.
Academic appointees who do not accrue sick and/or vacation leave and who are not otherwise eligible for paid medical leave under applicable provisions of the Academic Personnel Manual will receive up to 14 days paid administrative leave to cover absences as described above.
Employees and supervisors who have questions may contact SOM Human Resources at 951-827-7954 or at email@example.com.
Operations planning: All units are asked to create a continuity plan should it become necessary for more employees to work remotely to insure ongoing business operations. This may include plans for staggered hours, partial telecommuting and other social distancing strategies and applies to both our clinical and non-clinical operations.
UCR Health clinics remain open and are serving our Inland Empire community.
In addition, UCR Health has established a hotline for UCR faculty and staff who have questions about COVID-19: 844-827-6827.
If you have traveled internationally or been in contact with someone in the past 30 days who has COVID-19, plus are experiencing a fever with cough or trouble breathing contact the 24/7 Hotline.
If you are experiencing cold and flu symptoms, but have not traveled internationally or been in contact with someone with COVID-19 contact your primary care physician or healthcare insurance for more information.
CHANGES TO UPCOMING EVENTS
In line with campus guidance, the SOM has made the following changes to upcoming large events that bring visitors to campus:
Match Day – March 20: This event will still take place, but only the Class of 2020 and the select core faculty will be allowed in-person attendance at this celebration. Students are asked not to bring anyone with them to the event as they will not be allowed to enter, but will be encouraged to FaceTime/share virtually their news with family and supporters. Students may also opt out of attending Match Day celebrations and receive their residency placement privately. Student Affairs will be sending out updated RSVPs in the near future.
Mol Med Conference – March 24: This event has been postponed and information about rescheduling will be forthcoming. For information contact: Pica Preston, firstname.lastname@example.org or at 951-827-6087.
Open House – April 4: This event has been cancelled. For information, contact Kate Dorff, email@example.com or at 951-827-7794.
At this time, all other regular meetings of SOM employees are not restricted by the campus directives on large gatherings and may occur in person or using video conferencing at the discretion of the unit director or manager.
Thank you again for your support and commitment to our mission.