A1. What should leaders, managers and supervisors communicate to UC individuals concerning COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone should be informed of the precautionary measures they can take to stay healthy, as follows:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the tissue after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you blow your nose, cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand cleaners with at least 60% alcohol are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with anybody who has a fever and symptoms of an upper-respiratory tract infection. COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing by infected people.
  • If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school, and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Employees may experience stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19. Employees are encouraged to contact Employee Assistance (student employees are encouraged to contact their student counseling centers).
  • Leaders should take the opportunity to remind employees that we must not stigmatize anyone in our community based on national origin. Someone who has a cough or a fever does not necessarily have coronavirus.

For additional information concerning COVID-19, visit the CDC website.

Current UC information and resources are available on the UCnet website.

A2. What should leaders, managers and supervisors communicate to UC individuals regarding travel to countries with COVID-19 risk? **Updated 3/6 at 11 a.m.

As of March 5, 2020, the president has directed that all non-essential, UC-related travel to CDC Level 2 and Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries should be avoided.

For the list of countries subject to CDC Travel Health Notices, go to the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 - Information for Travel.

Each UC location has developed a review and approval process to determine exceptions to the travel restrictions. 

All faculty, staff and students traveling abroad for UC-related purposes must register with the UC International Travel Registry before their expected departure and ensure that they update this information if changes occur before and during travel.

On Personal Travel

UC strongly recommends against personal travel to CDC Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries. If you return from traveling to a Level 3 Travel Health Notice country, you may be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon return and face other government-mandated restrictions.

A2.5. How does UC define essential travel? **Updated 3/6 at 11 a.m.

Faculty

Essential faculty travel is defined as travel that is required — and cannot be postponed — in order to preserve the:

  • Safety of a patient or research subject or
  • Results of research activity

Essential faculty travel does not include travel to attend educational conferences. Many other activities would also be considered non-essential travel.

Staff

All staff travel is categorically defined as non-essential unless a UC location grants an exception.

Students and trainees (clinical and non-clinical)

Essential student and trainee travel is defined as that which cannot be postponed and is necessary to meet a graduation requirement.

Exceptions may be considered through each UC location, through their established review and approval process.

A3. What should UC individuals know when traveling to countries at low or no-risk from COVID-19? **Updated 3/6 at 11 a.m.

UC individuals should exercise prudence when traveling internationally and consider delaying travel. UC individuals who are sick, have underlying health conditions or who would be significantly burdened by being restricted from returning to the U.S. should be especially cautious about traveling internationally at this time.

UC individuals who have plans to travel abroad should check the CDC’s travel advisory website and the Department of State’s travel advisory website for guidance. These agencies advise and issue notices on the status of travel to foreign locations and, as appropriate, within the United States.   

A3.3. What do UC Individuals know about traveling to meetings, holding large gatherings and visitor access?

UC will follow all local, state, and national guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other official public health organizations with regard to travel guidelines, hosting large meetings and gatherings, and visitor access to UC locations.

Presently, there are no official restrictions on travel beyond those for CDC Level 3 (widespread community transmission) and Level 2 (sustained community transmission) countries

Decisions about essential travel to meetings, hosting large meetings or gatherings, and general access such as visitor access are left to each location. We encourage limiting non-essential domestic and international travel and leveraging the use of technology in lieu of in-person large meetings or gatherings.

The CDC site also provides guidance on mass gatherings and large events: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html.

Some of this guidance provides for the following:

Consider postponing, canceling, or rescheduling event. Factors to consider:

  • Duration of event
  • Venue type (open air vs. closed space)
  • Demographics of participants
  • Complexity of event operations
  • Types of onsite service and activities available

If event organizers choose not to postpone, cancel, or reschedule, they should be prepared to implement the following prevention strategies:

  • Distribute health messages about COVID-19 to event staff and participants ahead of event and on event materials distributed during the event
  • Develop flexible refund policies for participants
  • Be prepared to separate those who become sick at your event from those who are well
  • Identify actions to take if you need to postpone or cancel event

Please see the CDC web site for the most current information about precautions and prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html.

A3.5. Who pays when UC individuals are required to return to the U.S. from international travel? **Updated 3/6 at 11 a.m.

UC individuals traveling on UC-related business may be covered by travel insurance, while away from their UC location or primary workplace. Contact the local Risk Management Office for questions about UC’s Travel Insurance Program.

A4. What instructions should be provided to a UC individual who is traveling in a country with COVID-19 risks? **Updated 3/6 at 11 a.m.

 

CDC Travel Health Notice Level

For UC individuals who are currently traveling on UC-related business

For UC individuals who are on personal travel

Level 3 or

Level 2

Travelers must immediately leave the country unless a travel exception is granted by their UC location.

Travelers should be advised to depart the country immediately.

Level 1

Travelers may continue travel plans.

N/A

All Other Countries

Travelers may continue travel plans.

N/A

A5. What restrictions and instructions should be provided to a UC individual who is asymptomatic and returning from a country with COVID-19 risks? **Updated 3/6 at 11 a.m.

 

CDC Travel Health Notice Level

Returning Healthy Traveler Instructions

Level 3

Travelers must be excluded from in-person campus activities, including attending work or classes, and must practice social distancing by staying home for 14 days from the time they left the Level 3 country.

The traveler should be advised to monitor for symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If they experience symptoms, they should contact their health care provider or local health department before seeking care, and inform them of their travel history.

Level 2

Level 1

The traveler should be advised to monitor for symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. If they experience symptoms, they should contact their health care provider or local health department before seeking care, and inform them of their travel history.

All Other Countries

No instructions


For reference, the list of countries subject to CDC Travel Health Notices is available at the CDC’s website: Travelers from Countries with Widespread Sustained (Ongoing) Transmission Arriving in the United States. Countries in which there is a risk of community transmission of COVID-19 are listed at Level 1 or higher.

A6. What restrictions and instructions should be provided to a UC individual who is symptomatic and returning from travel in a country with COVID-19 risks? **Updated 3/6 at 11 a.m.

CDC Travel Health Notice Level

Returning Sick Traveler Instructions

Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

Travelers must be excluded from in-person campus activities, including attending work or classes, and must practice social distancing by staying home for 14 days from the time they left the Level 3 country.

The traveler should contact their health care provider or local health department before seeking care and inform them of their travel history.

All Other Countries

Sick individuals should stay home until symptoms resolve and should seek medical assistance, as appropriate.

A7. Should restrictions for travelers to Level 3 countries be applied retroactively? **Updated 3/6 at 11 a.m.

Yes. If a traveler returns from a Level 3 - Travel Health Notice country and participated in UC location activities, they must immediately withdraw from these activities and be excluded from in-person campus activities, including attending work or classes, and must practice social distancing by staying home for 14 days from the time they left the Level 3 country.

A8. Should UC locations implement restrictions on individuals returning from locations outside of mainland China where there is an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 respiratory illness? **Updated 3/6 at 11 a.m.

Yes. See A5, A6 and A7.

A9. If a child is sick, may a UC-affiliated child care center refuse services to the child?

Yes. Some UC locations operate centers to care for faculty and/or students’ children. California Child Care Center general licensing requirements require that these centers inspect all arriving children for signs of sickness,[1] and that centers must not accept into their care any children exhibiting obvious symptoms of illness, including, but not limited to, fever or vomiting.”[2]

The CDC and CDPH recommend that students, teachers and staff who appear to have an illness at arrival, or who become ill during the school day, be promptly isolated from other students and teachers until they can be picked up. Parents and guardians should be reminded to monitor their school-aged children for signs of illness and advised that children who are sick should stay home. Likewise, teachers and staff should be reminded to stay home when sick. Ill students should not attend alternative child care or congregate in any setting. Child care facilities that close their operations should also cancel child care-related gatherings and encourage parents to avoid congregating with their children in social environments (or settings).


[1] 22 C.C.R. §§ 101226.1(a), 10156.1(b) (“Daily Inspection for Illness”)
[2] Id.

A10. Are there steps that leaders, managers and supervisors can take to prepare for an outbreak of COVID-19?

Leaders and supervisors should familiarize themselves with their individual department’s business continuity and contingency plans. Consider telecommuting options for employees who voluntarily agree to quarantine. As part of any planning effort, managers and supervisors should make information available to employees concerning the steps employees can take to protect themselves and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. This information can be found on the CDC’s website.

Leaders, managers and supervisors should also keep themselves informed of the latest public health information released by the CDC, CDPH and local health officials, and plan in advance for the possibility of increased employee absences. It would also be prudent to determine in advance whether it would be feasible for employees to work at home when they are not sick themselves but need to stay away from the workplace to care for sick family members.

A11. Should UC Health locations, emergency services or environment, health and safety departments distribute masks (N95 respirators) to any member of the UC community upon request?

No, N95 respirators should not generally be distributed upon request. The nation is experiencing a shortage in the availability of these respirators and this shortage may continue or even worsen for several months as authorities work to control the spread of COVID-19 and to develop new supply lines. UC locations must conserve their supplies of N95s for health care personnel.

With respect to the use of standard versus surgical respirators in health care settings, per the CDC, surgical N95s are recommended only for use by health care personnel who need protection from both airborne and fluid hazards. These respirators are not used or needed outside of health care settings. In times of shortage, such as we are now beginning to experience, only health care personnel who are working in a sterile field or who may be exposed to high-velocity splashes, sprays or splatters of blood or body fluids should wear these respirators, such as in operative or procedural settings. Most health care personnel caring for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients should not need to use surgical N95 respirators and can use standard N95 respirators.

UC’s approach to the distribution of N95s during this outbreak of COVID-19 differs from UC’s response to wildfire smoke events that affected many UC locations and created poor air quality conditions in the past several years. In response to those events, Cal/OSHA promulgated regulations to protect employees from wildfire smoke, including guidance and air-quality index triggers for the distribution of N95 respirators. During some of these events, UC locations had adequate supplies of N95s to provide these respirators to other (non-employee) UC community members, including students, for voluntary use and additional protection from wildfire smoke. With the current stresses that COVID-19 is placing on UC and the entire nation, N95 inventories face significant challenges unlikely to resolve in the short term, as noted above. For this reason, the prioritization of N95 distribution at this time differs from previous approaches to N95 distribution during wildfire smoke events. This approach is necessary to support responsible planning for COVID-19 and to protect front-line health care staff.