UCLA FAQ: Information for Employees

The contents of these FAQs are subject to change and will be updated based on new University directives and public health advisories as well as other local, state, and federal advisories and orders.

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On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20. Additional orders were issued by Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles-among other nearby jurisdictions-instructing all residents to stay home effective March 19 at 11:59 p.m. through April 19, 2020 unless extended to a later date.  These actions are similar to those of other large metropolitan areas attempting to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Educational institutions, like UCLA, are subject to these orders but are considered essential businesses. This means that UCLA must suspend all on-campus operations with the exception of those that are essential and cannot be conducted remotely.  Please visit Campus Human Resources for more information on COVID-19 and UCLA employees.

UCLA is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) guidance.

If necessary, local response to an increase in COVID-19 cases or pandemic would be directed by federal, state, and local health agencies.

The University would be expected to act in accordance with all applicable public health directives. The University’s guidance, policies, and regulations cannot conflict with public health orders for the control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash 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 sick people as COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing by infected people.
  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them
  • For additional information concerning the COVID-19, visit the CDC website COVID-19 FAQs or the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health publication “Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)”*

 

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), healthy people do not need to wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.

People who are sick, have been exposed to the virus, or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 should wear a face mask to protect others from the risk of getting infected. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it.

The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you follow these steps if you are sick with COVID-19 or think that you might have it.

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home.
  • Call your healthcare provider and tell them that you are concerned about the possibility of COVID-19 infection before going to the doctor’s office for a medical appointment.
  • Wear a facemask when you are around other people.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening.
  • Anyone placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.
  • Consult with your healthcare provider before discontinuing home isolation.

You do not need to self-quarantine if you were in contact with someone who is sick but has not been confirmed to have COVID-19.

There may, however, be circumstances that may justify further consideration by UCLA Occupational Health.

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, close contacts will need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of contact. In a non-healthcare setting, close contacts are defined as individuals who were within 6 feet of the person for more than 10 minutes when the person was symptomatic. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health or UCLA Occupational Health will contact all individuals who are identified as close contact and provide instructions.

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, close contacts will need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of contact.

In a non-healthcare setting, close contacts are defined as individuals who were within 6 feet of the person for more than 10 minutes when the person was symptomatic.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health or UCLA Occupational Health will contact all individuals who are identified as close contact and provide instructions.

Please notify UCLA Preventive Medicine at (310) 267-3300 immediately. They will ask you for information to help them identify possible close contacts on campus who may have been exposed so they can respond appropriately. 

Also notify your supervisor.

No. Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must remain off campus unless they have been directed to seek medical treatment at a facility on campus or need emergency medical services at the hospital.

If you are unwilling or unable to physically visit a doctor when experiencing symptoms, many UCLA medical plans offer Virtual Telemedicine.

For staff and faculty who have medical coverage with UCLA Health, virtual telemedicine is provided through UCLA Connected Health. 

  • For more information about UCLA Connected Health and what they provide, please visit their website or call 1-800-UCLA-MD1.  
  • To schedule a virtual visit, please visit their website to activate your account.  
  • If you would like more information about UCLA Connected Health, please email [email protected].

For staff and faculty who have medical coverage through Anthem Blue Cross, virtual telemedicine is provided through LiveHealth Online. 

  • This is a convenient way to have a live video conversation with a doctor. 
  • Please visit LiveHealth Online or call 1-844-784-8409 for more information about their services.

For staff and faculty who have medical coverage through Kaiser Permanente, virtual telemedicine is provided through your doctor’s office.  

  • Please contact your Kaiser Permanente primary physician’s office for information on how to set up a virtual care visit.

Most employees are currently working remotely; only essential personnel are permitted to report to campus.

  • Do not come to work if you are sick
  • Do not come to work if you are on approved administrative or other approved leave
  • Do not come to work if you have been asked to work remotely
  • Do not come to work to engage in research, except to engage in ramp down, continuity or laboratory safety work.
  • Essential experiments and essential research personnel may continue, but only with the approval of designated leadership within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR), the David Geffen School of Medicine, the Samueli School of Engineering and the UCLA College. The OVCR is issuing more specific guidelines for on-campus research, off-campus research and clinical research activities, which will be distributed separately.
  • Do not come to work to take advantage of better internet connections or fewer distractions, except for classroom or laboratory instruction for remote teaching. We understand that it may be harder for some employees to conduct work from home. UCLA has procured IT equipment and portable internet hotspots to help faculty and staff work from home. Faculty and staff can address their needs with supervisors or department chairs.
  • Do not come to work to retrieve items from your office or visit colleagues required to be on campus after Friday, March 20 at 11:59 p.m. Only come to campus if you have permission from your supervisor.

Yes, if you have the newer CISCO phone set. 

From your desk phone: Press the button for FORWARD ALL.  After you hear 2 beeps, dial 8 then 1 + phone number and hang up. 

When you return to the office: Press the button for FORWARD OFF. 

If you would like your voicemails sent to you via email, please send an email your request to ITS.  

Managers and supervisors should familiarize themselves with these FAQs, consider telecommute options for employees required to self-quarantine, and review their business continuity plan.

As part of any planning effort, managers and supervisors should make information available to employees concerning the common-sense 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 About 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Managers and supervisors should also keep themselves informed of the latest public health information released by the CDC. It would also be prudent for managers and supervisors to determine in advance whether it would be feasible for employees to work from home when they are not sick themselves but need to stay away from the workplace because of the need to care for a sick family member.

 

If an employee declines to take leave, managers and supervisors should consult Occupational Health and Campus Human Resources or Healthcare Human Resources for assistance in determining what steps should be taken.

  • Managers and supervisors should seek assistance from their Human Resources office early, and before taking any action, to ensure that all appropriate options have been considered.
     
  • If there is objective evidence of illness and the employee still refuses to take leave, the manager or supervisor may be advised to require that the employee leave the workplace. In such circumstances, the absence should be recorded as “approved.”
     
  • Action should not be taken based solely on a manager’s or supervisor’s subjective assessment of an employee’s medical condition.

Employees who are ill with COVID-19-like illness should be advised to remain at home until cleared by the DPH in order to minimize the spread of the virus. If an employee was traveling on university business when they were instructed to self-isolate or contracted the virus, or contracted the virus from a patient they were treating, time off will generally be covered as administrative leave or workers’ compensation if the illness arises out of and in the course of their employment.

For employees who contracted the virus on vacation or were directed to self-isolate following a vacation or other personal travel, they should be encouraged to avail themselves of the University’s sick leave policy and other applicable leave policies and collective bargaining agreement provisions. An employee who is sick may be entitled to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) under certain circumstances. The FMLA and CFRA entitle eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a calendar year if they have a serious health condition.1 The COVID-19 illness may qualify as a “serious health condition” if complications arise. Refer to UC President Napolitano's Executive Order (effective March 16, 2020) for additional details. Please visit Campus Human Resources for more information on COVID-19 and UCLA employees.

 

UCLA will coordinate its actions with the LA County Department of Public Health to ensure the consistent implementation of Public Health orders, rules and regulations pertaining to the control of COVID-19.

Yes. If an employee exhibits COVID-19-like illness or has COVID-19, the University may prohibit the employee from being on campus. The University must take appropriate steps to protect the health and safety of its students and employees in the face of a known serious health crisis. The University’s Policy on Safeguards, Security, Faculty and Staff and Emergency Management, enacted in January 2006, contemplates the need for Chancellors to take extraordinary measures in the event of “a natural or man-made disaster, a civil disorder which poses a threat of serious injury to persons or damage to property,” or other “seriously disruptive events.”

The CDC recommends that persons who have contracted COVID-19 limit their contact with other people (self-isolate) and stay home until released by the LA County Department of Public Health.

CDC recommends twice-daily monitoring for the presence of fever or respiratory symptoms for 14 days from the last exposure. It is worth noting that low-risk exposure includes prolonged close contact, even if you are wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE). Therefore, ALL UCLA personnel who work closely with or have come in contact with COVID-19 patients will be enrolled in monitoring, even if wearing all recommended PPE.

Monitoring will be triggered by exposure to or close contact with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 patient. Individuals considered close contacts with a positive CovidCOVID-19 individual may be placed in self-quarantine and asked to monitor for fever or respiratory symptoms.  In cases where source patient results will be delayed, monitoring might be initiated while the source patient remains “under investigation.” Visit CDC Watch for Symptoms COVID-19 webpage for details.

If certain members of an employee’s family are sick, the employee may be entitled to leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The FMLA and CFRA entitle eligible employees to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a calendar year to care for certain family members with a serious health condition. At the University, this group includes the employee’s spouse or domestic partner, parents, and children. COVID-19 may qualify as a “serious health condition” if complications arise. University employees may be permitted and/or required to use paid leave in certain circumstances, depending on the applicable policy or collective bargaining agreement.

Per the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) 2.210 regarding absence from work, policy-covered employees may take up to thirty (30) sick days in a calendar year when required to attend to or care for ill family members who are not considered family members under FMLA.

The leave provisions contained in the collective bargaining agreements may vary. Therefore, please email Employee & Labor Relations if you have questions regarding exclusively-represented employees.

If an employee has no accrued time off, the employee may be granted unpaid time off to care for an ill family member. Applicable policies and collective bargaining agreement provisions should be followed in consultation with Campus Human Resources or Health Human Resources.

Refer to UC President Napolitano's Executive Order (effective March 16, 2020) for additional details.

Please visit Campus Human Resources for more information on COVID-19 for UCLA employees.

Yes. UCLA operates centers for the care of the children of faculty, staff and students. California Child Care Center General Licensing Requirements require that these centers inspect all arriving children for signs of sickness and that the center not accept into its care any child exhibiting obvious symptoms of illness including, but not limited to, fever, upper respiratory illness or vomiting.*

The CDC and the DPH recommend that students, teachers, and staff who appear to have COVID-19-like illness upon 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 symptoms of COVID-19-like 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 childcare or congregate in other settings. Childcare facilities that close their operations should also cancel childcare-related gatherings and encourage parents to avoid congregating with other families at home or in other places.

*Health & Safety Code §§ 120135, 120145, 120200; 120215 (“Administration of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control”) and 22 California Code of Regulations (C.C.R.) §§ 101226.1(a), 101226.1(b) (“Daily Inspection for Illness”)

 

Under UC President Napolitano's Executive Order (effective March 16, 2020), employees may take up to 128 hours (16 days) of paid administrative leave to care for healthy children whose schools or day care centers have been closed under such circumstances if it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely or in conjunction with the childcare commitment. Should employees exhaust the paid administrative leave, they may use vacation, sick leave, or other accrued time off, or take unpaid personal leave. Applicable policies and collective bargaining agreement provisions should be followed in consultation with Campus Human Resources or Health Human Resources.

No. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) entitle employees to job-protected leave when they have a serious health condition or when they need leave to care for covered family members who have a serious health condition. Leave for the purpose of avoiding exposure to COVID-19 would not be protected under the FMLA or CFRA.

For an employee who contracted COVID-19, departments should require a healthcare provider’s release before allowing the employee to return to work.

Employees who self-isolated due to possible exposure to COVID-19 should be permitted to return to work provided that they are asymptomatic.

Managers and supervisors should be consistent in these practices and treat employees uniformly.

Yes. The University is obligated to provide a safe workplace and may take necessary and reasonable steps to minimize health risks for its employees, such as requiring that employees not come to work if they have COVID-19.

If an employee has had very close contact (for example, lives in the same household) with a person with COVID-19, the employee should be told to watch carefully for symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Employees should stay home if COVID-19-like illness symptoms develop or go home immediately if COVID-19-like illness symptoms occur at work.

Visit CDC Watch for Symptoms COVID-19 webpage for details. Also please visit Campus Human Resources for more information on COVID-19 for UCLA employees.

UC President Napolitano's Executive Order (effective March 16, 2020) applies to both represented and non-represented employees.

Following the exhaustion of paid administrative leave specified by the Executive Order, leaves for represented employees are generally governed by the applicable collective bargaining agreements.

Following the exhaustion of paid administrative leave specified by the Executive Order, leaves for unrepresented employees are governed by University policy.

Managers and supervisors should consult with Campus Human Resources or Health Human Resources to ensure compliance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement provisions and/or University policies regarding leaves.

Counselors at the Staff & Faculty Counseling Center (SFCC) are available by phone to provide confidential counseling, assessment, and referral services to faculty and staff and their immediate family members. Contact SFCC at (310) 794-0245.

The basic principles set forth above regarding steps that the University may take to ensure a safe workplace apply to the University’s academic employees.

Managers and supervisors should consult with the Academic Personnel Office and refer to the Academic Personnel Manual to determine applicable leave policies for the various categories of academic employees.

See UC COVID-19 Related Leave for Academic Appointees for additional information.

Travelers who return from a Level 3 designated country, should self-isolate for 14 days after arrival. This is consistent with current federal policy and with CDC and CADPH guidance.

Anyone who has returned from a Level 3 designated country and develops fever and cough should seek medical attention immediately, either through their primary care physician, the emergency department, or as instructed by public health authorities. When possible, call ahead before seeking medical care.

US Department of State issued Global Level 4 Health Advisory (March 19, 2020) for US Citizens to avoid all international travel. 

Yes. The University enacted a Policy on Safeguards, Security and Emergency Management in January 2006 that contemplates the need for Chancellors to take extraordinary measures in the event of “a natural or man-made disaster, a civil disorder which poses a threat of serious injury to persons or damage to property,” or other “seriously disruptive events.”*  Pursuant to this policy, the University may take appropriate steps to protect the health and safety of its employees in the face of a known serious health crisis like an influenza pandemic.

*University of California Policy on Safeguards, Security and Emergency Management

On March 5, 2020, UC’s Office of the President updated their directive to the UC community (including students, faculty and staff) to temporarily avoid all non-essential travel to Level 2 or 3 countries while federal travel health warnings are in effect.

US Department of State issued Global Level 4 Health Advisory (March 19, 2020) for US Citizens to avoid all international travel.

Faculty

To request approval to engage in essential travel, faculty should contact their deans in writing for approval.

  •  Educational conferences are not considered essential travel, even if you are a presenter.
  •  Essential travel is defined as that which is required to:
    • Preserve the safety of a research subject and which is not possible to be postponed; or
    • Preserve the results of a research activity and which is not possible to be postponed.

Staff

  • All university-related staff travel to countries with a CDC travel warning of Level 2 or 3 countries is presumed postponable and therefore non-essential.
  • To request an exception, staff should ask their department to contact the pertinent dean or vice chancellor in writing. Such an exemption may only be approved by a vice chancellor.

Travelers who returned from international travel from a Level 3 designated countries or higher on or after February 3, 2020, should remain off campus for 14 days after arrival. This is consistent with current federal policy requiring 14-day quarantine or self-isolation for all such travelers, and with CDC guidance that states specifically that this policy is not retroactive to travel prior to February 3.

Anyone who has been in a country with a CDC warning level of 2 or higher within the past 14 days and who develops fever and cough should seek medical attention immediately, either through their primary care physician, the emergency department, or as instructed by public health authorities. They should call ahead before seeking medical care.

US Department of State issued Global Level 4 Health Advisory (March 19, 2020) for US Citizens to avoid all international travel.

Please advise employees to exercise prudence and delay international travel – especially if they are ill.

The Office of Risk Services within UCOP’s Financial Management Department has arranged for employees traveling on official University business to be covered for a wide variety of accidents and incidents, including illness, while away from the campus or primary workplace.

  • This coverage is provided at no cost to the traveler.
  • Coverage is accessed through automatic ticket/travel agency booking (UCLA Travel or Connexxus) or registration through UCLA Travel Insurance. Once registered, the traveler receives a welcome email providing them with the following:
    • A trip brief with useful information about their destination
    • Current alerts for that particular destination (including COVID-19 alerts)
    • Email alerts before and during the trip and health alerts up to 30 days after a trip (including COVID-19 status of travel destination)

Those traveling on official University business should be encouraged to access this information.

 

Generally, healthcare providers (includes doctors, nurses, physician assistants, among others) at the University health centers, healthcare clinics, and medical centers who know of or are in attendance on a case or suspected case of COVID-19 are required to report it to the local health department immediately by telephone in accordance with internal administrative procedures. Where no healthcare provider is in attendance, any individual who knows of or suspects that someone has COVID-19 is permitted to report it to the local health department.*  Local health departments in turn notify the DPH. Additionally, situations involving overnight hospitalization due to a work-related COVID-19 exposure are subject to Cal/OSHA reporting by the UCLA Office of Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S).

*17 C.C.R. §§ 2500(b), 2500(c) (“Reporting to Local Health Authority”)

Health officers are legally required to take whatever steps are deemed necessary for the investigation and control of the disease reported. These steps include the power to isolate and quarantine persons, inspect and disinfect property, require the examination of a person to verify the diagnosis, investigate to determine the source of the infection, determine the contacts subject to quarantine, issue appropriate instructions, and take appropriate steps to prevent or control the spread of the disease.*  Health officers may, for purposes of their investigation, disclose information contained in an individual case report, including personal information, as may be necessary to prevent the spread of the disease or occurrence of additional cases.**  If the disease requires isolation, the health officer must insure that instructions are given to the patient and members of the household that define the area within which the patient is to be isolated and state what measures should be taken to prevent the spread of the disease, including the isolation technique to be followed.***

The University will work closely with LA County Department of Public Health officers who may be authorized to take appropriate action on behalf of the University or able to provide the University with the approval and/or authority to take appropriate remedial action. Any such authority given or action taken by the local health officer should be documented.

 

*Health & Safety Code §§ 120130(c), 120145, 120175 (“Administration of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control”); and 17 C.C.R. §§ 2501, 2520 (“Investigation of a Reported Case, Unusual Disease, or Outbreak of Disease”)

**17 C.C.R. § 2502 (f)(2) (“Reports by Local Health Officer to State Department of Public Health”)

***17 C.C.R. §§ 2516 (“Strict Isolation”) and 2518 (“Modified Isolation”)

Yes, under the appropriate circumstances the Chancellors may transition instruction to other modalities or suspend campus operations, if appropriate.

UCLA has suspended all nonessential events of any size through the end of spring quarter.  

Every member of the campus community is strongly urged to carefully consider whether it is necessary to convene in person or hold group meetings or any other type of gathering.

Public health officials tell us that reducing population density is the best way to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Yes, UCLA Library locations are closed to the public until further notice. 

Materials on loan to patrons will automatically be renewed through June 30, 2020.

Please visit the UCLA Library website for additional information on library hours, remote services and other resources.

All ASUCLA restaurants and retail stores are closed.

Bruin Café will be operating for residents servicing Lunch and Dinner through spring break accepting credit card and Easy Pay. 

For Spring Quarter, Bruin Café will transition to three meals a day.  Please refer to the dining website for detailed information of current service hours.