Updates to COVID-19 guidelines

March 11, 2022
Elizabeth Watkins and Gerry Bomotti
March 11, 2022

Dear Campus Community,

As we approach the end of winter quarter, we write today to provide you with updates on COVID-19 health and safety guidelines on the UC Riverside campus. 

Face Covering Requirements
Effective Monday, April 11, UCR will adjust our guidelines for the use of face coverings to align with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health authorities. On that date the use of face coverings indoors will be strongly recommended for those who are up to date on vaccinations, which includes receiving all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose when eligible. Face coverings indoors will remain required for anyone who is not up to date on vaccinations. The April 11 date aligns with the recommendations of UCR’s Public Health Advisory Group.

Per state guidelines, face coverings are still required on public transportation. Face coverings may also be required for a limited duration for those who are COVID-19 positive and returning from isolation, and for those recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. Face coverings will continue to be available on campus for students and employees.

Student Health Services and UCR Health properties will continue to adhere to face covering guidance for healthcare settings.

Wellness Check
On Monday, March 28, the Daily Wellness Check will change to the COVID Screening Check. Employees and students will be required to complete the new COVID Screening Check if:
•    They are reporting the result of a positive COVID-19 test 
•    They have COVID-like symptoms
•    They were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19
•    They are reporting the completion of their required weekly COVID test (if unvaccinated)

Anyone else coming to campus will not need to complete the COVID Screening Check, unless they meet the above criteria. All employees and students should continue to self-monitor for symptoms prior to coming to campus each day.

COVID-19 Testing
Expectations for COVID-19 testing in spring quarter are unchanged from winter quarter. Testing protocols are as follows:
•    Vaccinated, asymptomatic students living in campus housing are expected to take a PCR test at least once every two weeks.
•    All other vaccinated, asymptomatic employees and students who are working or learning on campus are expected to take a PCR test at least once every month.
•    Anyone who is unvaccinated with an approved exemption is required to test once a week and report the results through the COVID Screening Check.

All students living in on-campus housing must be tested either before returning from spring break or immediately upon their return. 

The on-campus testing sites remain open and information about hours and appointments is available on the Campus Return website

Compassionate Clause
The Academic Senate previously endorsed an instructional plan that allows for exceptions to normal course delivery modes through an approval process starting in the home department that is offering the course. These course modality changes (from in-person to remote) applies to instructors who either: 
a.    Live with children under the age of 5 who do not attend in-person school or daycare. 
b.    Are immunocompromised themselves or live with one or more immunocompromised individuals.

As was the case for fall and winter quarters, similar consideration will be provided to any staff member in an equivalent situation and for whom remote work is feasible for spring quarter.

Thank you to UCR’s Public Health Advisory Group for providing critical guidance as we navigate changing health and safety guidance.