COVID-19 fall update

October 5, 2022
Gerry Bomotti and Sheila Hedayati
October 5, 2022

Dear Highlander Community,

As we settle into the fall quarter, we find ourselves in a considerably better position for managing COVID-19 than in the first two years of the pandemic. We will continue with our mission of education and research with fewer restrictions this fall than we have had since the onset of the pandemic. Our campus community has a very high vaccination rate, and more COVID-19 treatment options are available. As we offer these latest health guidelines, we ask you to remain flexible as our policies may need to change. Below is what you can expect as you return to campus for the fall quarter.

The Highlights
  • Testing Requirements
  • Mask Requirements
  • COVID Screening Check
  • Potential Workplace Exposure Notifications 
  • Vaccination Requirements
  • Campus Isolation Update
  • Other Public Health Updates
  • Seasonal Flu
  • Monkeypox (MPXV) 
Testing Requirements

Ongoing Testing
Free asymptomatic testing is still available on campus at the following locations. Testing will help to protect your health and your fellow Highlanders. Asymptomatic testing is always recommended before and after travel and when participating in group settings or large crowds.

Pentland Bear Cave: Monday-Thursday: 6:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. and Fridays: 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Student Success Center: Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

When to test:
•    You have an approved policy exemption (medical or religious): Required Weekly
•    You are a student living in a campus residence hall or Glenmor: Biweekly
•    You have COVID-19 symptoms or were exposed to the COVID-19 virus
•    Your residence hall or worksite was identified as part of an outbreak

Free antigen test kits are also available for pick up by submitting a request

Mask Requirements

Masks will still be required for those with an approved medical or religious exemption. Masks are also required for anyone accessing a clinical setting, such as Student Health Services. Wearing masks in other indoor spaces, such as classrooms, is recommended but currently not required. The university continues to provide free masks to the campus community through Environmental Health and Safety and The Well

COVID Screening Check

Faculty, staff, and students who test positive for COVID-19 must complete and submit the COVID Screening Check.

The survey is also used to report an exposure or that you completed your required COVID tests, if applicable.

Potential Workplace Exposure Notifications

To view buildings were COVID-19 cases were reported, go to the COVID dashboards page. The dashboard is updated daily.

Vaccination Requirements

The UC Vaccination Policy for COVID-19 remains in effect. The UC policy requires that anyone who physically accesses a university facility or program in connection with their employment, appointment, or education/training must abide by the policy.

If you are new to campus, you must provide evidence of vaccination to the COVID-19 Management Team by contacting the call center OR by visiting the Bear Cave or Student Success Center testing sites. 

The campus will be implementing a new electronic vaccination record system in the coming weeks. More information on the new system will be made available shortly. 

Isolation Update

Most of our campus community is up-to-date on their vaccinations, and there are more therapeutics available now to reduce the severity of COVID. Students living in university housing who test positive for COVID-19 will receive instruction about isolation in appropriate temporary accommodations on campus, if available. On-campus isolation space is extremely limited. In the absence of temporary campus accommodations, students will need to isolate in place. For any roommate(s) with underlying medical conditions, we may be able to arrange temporary accommodations for the period their roommate is in isolation.

Students who live in university housing who test positive for COVID-19 may also choose to return to their permanent homes temporarily.

Monkeypox (MPXV)
Students who test positive for monkeypox (MPXV) may not isolate themselves in their on-campus residence. The isolation team will further instruct you about isolation at appropriate temporary accommodations, or may request that you return home.

Other Public Health Updates

Seasonal Flu
Flu vaccines will be made available on campus again this year.

For all faculty and staff, a FREE flu clinic will be held:
October 18 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Bell Tower
October 20 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the HUB Plaza/East upper patio  

For more information on availability and to register for your appointment visit: 

Students may contact Student Health Services to obtain a flu vaccine. Flu clinics will be held from October 4 through November 17:
Tuesdays: 9-11:30 a.m.
Thursday from 9-11:30 a.m., 1-3:30 pm

Participating in the seasonal flu program is required. You can satisfy the requirement by either attesting that you have received the seasonal flu vaccine or decline the vaccine. More details on how to comply with the policy and deadlines to submit your information are forthcoming.

Monkeypox (MPXV)
If you haven’t yet done so, please review the message from Provost Watkins with the latest information and resources for the campus community about MPXV, commonly referred to as Monkeypox.

Thank you for working with us to keep our campus community healthy this fall.