Campus Access & Protocols

 


COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Updated August 2, 2021

The University of California and UCSF are strongly encouraging everyone who can get a vaccine to do so to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic. The UC-wide vaccination policy that became effective on July 15, 2021, requires all UCSF faculty, staff, academic appointees, trainees, learners, vendors and contractors who physically access a UCSF site as part of their employment, appointment or education/training to submit proof of full vaccination or get approval of a request for an exception or deferral by September 1, 2021.

The entire UC policy is posted here. Required forms to request an exception or deferral from vaccination are available on the UCSF Occupational Health Services website. Answers to some common questions are below.

Why is UCSF enforcing this UC-wide vaccination policy?

UCSF’s goal is to ensure as many employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 as possible. Fully vaccinated people are well-protected from infections and serious illness due to known COVID-19 variants including Delta variants. Vaccinating as many people as possible, as soon as possible, continues to be our best defense against severe COVID-19 infection, and the harm it can do to our community. UCSF is offering several drop-in vaccination sties at these locations.

WHO IS COVERED

Does this final policy require vaccination for all employees or only those who work on-site?

Even if the employee’s job does not ordinarily require them to work onsite, they still need to provide proof of full vaccination (or submit a request for exception or deferral) before physically accessing UC facilities, such as to attend staff meetings or trainings in person.

Will this requirement apply to union-represented employees and non-UCSF employees?

Yes, this will apply to union-represented employees in accordance with their collective bargaining agreements and subject to collective bargaining obligations, if any. Non-UCSF employees will be required to work with their employers to submit proof of vaccination or an approved exception or deferral to UCSF.

Does this policy apply to employees in Fresno and in BCH Oakland?

The policy also applies to UCSF employees in Fresno. BCH Oakland is working on a policy that closely aligns with the UC policy.

Does this apply to new employees hired after Sept. 1?

All new UCSF employees hired after Sept. 1, must comply with this policy within eight weeks after starting employment.

Does this requirement apply to students, postdocs, residents, and fellows on the same basis?

Yes, the policy requires all learners and trainees who are accessing a UC facility or program in person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, subject to the allowable exemptions (on medical, disability, or religious grounds) or deferral (based on pregnancy) and in accordance with collective bargaining agreements and subject to collective bargaining obligations, if any.

Does this requirement apply to volunteers? Are all volunteers required to be vaccinated prior to coming on site at UCSF?

Yes, the policy requires all volunteers who are accessing a UC facility or program in person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, subject to the allowable exemptions (on medical, disability, or religious grounds) or deferral (based on pregnancy).

PROCESS

When is an individual fully vaccinated?

A person is considered “fully vaccinated” when two weeks have passed since they completed a COVID-19 vaccine series (for example, one dose of the Janssen/J&J vaccine, or two doses within no more than 12 weeks of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine) as well as any boosters consistent with manufacturer’s instructions and applicable agency approval, authorization, or listing.

Will UC accept internationally approved vaccines even if not authorized or approved in the United States?

The University will, consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance, accept proof of full vaccination with any international vaccine that has been authorized for emergency use by World Health Organization (WHO) through the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) process. People who have completed a COVID-19 vaccination series with one of these vaccines do not need additional doses with an FDA licensed or authorized COVID-19 vaccine, at least initially (but may be subject to subsequent booster requirements). A document summarizing the status of a wide range of international vaccines can be found online on the WHO’s website. (Click on link to status of COVID-19 vaccines in the Emergency Use Listing/PQ evaluation process).

What about UCSF's general vaccine declination?

General vaccine declinations are no longer accepted at UCSF. Those who submitted a declination will need to be vaccinated or submit a request for exception or deferral based on the specific reasons identified above.

If an employee already submitted proof of vaccination to Occupational Health Services (OHS), do they need to take any action?

No further action is needed. Managers can confirm their compliance by checking HR Umbrella at https://hrumbrella.ucsfmedicalcenter.org/Compliance/Index

Will UCSF provide paid time off for the time needed to get vaccinated? 

Yes.  Hourly paid employees and academic appointees may take up to four hours of paid time to obtain each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  They should provide advance notice to their supervisors.

If vaccination cannot be accommodated during an employee’s shift due to operational/patient care needs, a supervisor may authorize the use of paid Administrative Leave to get vaccinated during non-scheduled work time. If you have further questions, please contact Labor and Employee Relations at [email protected].

What if an employee has symptoms as a result of the vaccine and cannot work as scheduled? 

Prior to September 30, 2021, employees may request Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) or, an employee can use accrued sick leave, vacation or PTO.

EXCEPTIONS AND DEFERRALS

How do employees and learners request an exception or deferral?

Occupational Health Services will launch a portal where employees and learners can submit requests for an exception or deferral. Required forms are available on the Occupational Health Services website. Employees and learners will need to download and complete the form associated with the request they are making (some forms require medical provider completion). Once the form is completed, employees and learners can use the portal to make the request and submit the form(s). Exemptions: Medical Exemption, Disability Accommodation, Religious Objection and Deferral

Who reviews and approves exceptions and/or deferrals?

Exception requests will be reviewed by the appropriate UCSF unit depending upon the type of request.For medical requests: Occupational Health Services; for disability or deferral requests: Disability Management Services; and for religious objection requests: Labor and Employee Relations and Academic Affairs.

What qualifies as a medical exemption?

A medical exemption is based on contraindications or precautions to COVID-19 vaccination that are recognized by the (CDC) or by the vaccines’ manufacturers.

What if an employee or learner recently was diagnosed with COVID-19, and/or had an antibody test showing natural immunity. Does this support a medical exemption?

An individual may be eligible for a temporary medical exemption (and, therefore, a temporary exception), for up to 90 days after their diagnosis. Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had an antibody test are not permanently exempt from vaccination.

How does an employee or learner apply for a temporary medical exemption?

Required forms for a temporary medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination are available on the Occupational Health website.

Are employees and learners who are pregnant eligible for a medical exemption?

No, but they may be eligible for a deferral throughout the pregnancy and may also be eligible for a disability accommodation.

Does a health care provider need to sign the requested medical exemption?

Yes, the request for a medical exemption must be signed by a physician, nurse practitioner, or other licensed medical professional practicing under the license of a physician.The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) also has issued orders that certifications must be signed by one of these health care professionals. Required forms are available on the Occupational Health website.

What qualifies as a disability for an exception?

Disability is defined as a physical or mental disorder or condition that limits a major life activity and any other condition recognized as a disability under applicable law. “Disability” includes pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition where reasonable accommodation is medically advisable.

Does a health care provider need to sign the requested disability exception?

Yes, the request for a disability exception must be signed by a physician, nurse practitioner, or other licensed medical professional practicing under the license of a physician.The SFDPH also has issued orders that certifications must be signed by one of these health care professionals. Please see the attached form. Required forms are available on the Occupational Health website.

What qualifies as a religious objection exception and what does an employee or learner need to submit to be considered for this exception?

The religious objection exemption is based on a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that conflicts with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Required forms are available on the Occupational Health website.

Will managers know the reason an employee has requested and/or been approved for an exception?

No. In early August, HR Umbrella will be adjusted to show employee compliance, and only delineate whether an employee is fully vaccinated or has received an approved exception or deferral.

How long will it take for an employee or learner to hear back on whether their exception/deferral was approved?

Our goal is to provide employees with a notice of approval or denial via email within three business days of submission. If an exception or deferral is approved, employees and learners will need to acknowledge the approval and their obligations to follow the required non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). See definition below of NPIs.

What are non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs)?

Non-pharmaceutical interventions are actions that unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated employees are required to comply with the policy to help slow the    spread of the virus.These include but are not limited to the following: These include: Wear a surgical mask as directed by UCSF Health

  • Wear a face covering as directed by UCSF campus
  • Quarantine for 10 days if exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19 in your household
  • Get regular asymptomatic COVID-19 testing: Twice weekly for those who work in clinical areas and once weekly for those who work in non-clinical areas

Whom does an employee or learner contact if their requested exception or deferral is not approved and they have questions?

Employees and learners will be given contact information in the event their requested exception or deferral is not approved and they have follow-up questions.

What are employees’ responsibilities for working onsite if they have been approved for an exception?

Employees who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and working onsite will be required to participate in non-pharmaceutical interventions (“NPIs”). These include:

  • Wear a surgical mask as directed by UCSF Health
  • Wear a face covering as directed by UCSF campus
  • Quarantine for 10 days if exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19 in your household
  • Get regular asymptomatic COVID-19 testing: Twice weekly for those who work in clinical areas and once weekly for those who work in non-clinical areas

CONSEQUENCES OF NON-COMPLIANCE

What happens if an employee or learner is not compliant by the deadline of Sept. 1, 2021?

Employees and learners who choose not to be fully vaccinated and who do not have an approved or pending request for an exception or deferral will not meet UC’s health and safety condition for physical access to our facilities or in-person attendance at UC programs or events. 

What is the process for non-compliance?

Pursuant to UC policy and collective-bargaining agreements, and subject to applicable collective bargaining obligations, if any, UCSF will issue non-compliance notices that eventually will lead to progressive corrective action.  This can result in an employee being barred from coming onsite and may lead to discipline up to and including dismissal from employment.

More specifically, up to three notices of non-compliance will be issued to non-compliant employees throughout September 2021. If the employee or learner continues to be non-compliant, corrective action will begin after the timeframe elapses as specified in the third and final notice.

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Whom do I contact with questions about the online exception and deferral process?

Questions about the forms/process can be directed to [email protected]

Where can I get more information about vaccines?

Information about the vaccine and FAQs are available on the UCSF Covid-19 Vaccine Information Hub, which will be updated as additional information is available. They may also wish to speak with their personal physician or another trusted source before receiving their vaccine.

UCSF will host a virtual vaccine Q&A webinar on August 16 to address common questions and conceptions about the vaccine in a confidential manner. The recording will be made available after the webinar is completed. UCSF will also continue to provide educational opportunities for employees and learners to seek information or ask questions related to the vaccine at campus and UCSF Health town halls.

Daily Health Screener

Updated July 21, 2021

All UCSF employees and learners are required to complete the COVID-19 daily health screener before coming to campus.

The new digital health-screening tool is accessible in multiple languages via the UCSF Mobile App or online at the Daily Health Screening website.

 

The new health screener eliminates the need for UCSF Health employees to show a clearance pass on a mobile device. Once an employee or learner completes the health-screening tool, they only have to tap their UCSF identification badge on any electronic badge reader, located outside or inside most UCSF buildings, to confirm their on-site presence and screening process.

 

In buildings without badge readers, employees and learners should continue the same process of showing their clearance pass as they have been doing with the Conversa screener. More badge readers will be added to satellite buildings and offices in the coming months.

 

For more details on the daily health screener, please visit the Daily Health Screening website and see answers to frequently asked questions here.

Users won't be asked for passwords, Duo Authentication, or MyAccess to log in.

Health Screener Details to Know

  • Please complete the health screener two hours before coming to campus.
  • Users won't be asked for passwords, Duo Authentication, or MyAccess to log in.
  • Those who can't complete the health screener before leaving home for work, can complete it at the designated employee entrances if they have an Internet-enabled mobile device or computer or through one of the entrance screening staff.
  • After the health screener is completed, users will receive a screen with a green checkmark that says, "You are cleared to work."
  • Employees are not cleared to work will be contacted by a representative from UCSF Occupational Health Services for further guidance using a contact phone number entered in the screening tool.
  • After employees have been cleared to work, they can tap their badge on any electronic UCSF ID badge readers outside or in campus buildings to complete the screening process.
  • Those who have forgotten their ID badge or prefer an in person manual health screen, should see a Guest Services screener.

Masking/Face Covering on Campus and Health Facilities

Updated July 15, 2021

With cases of COVID-19 rising locally and increasing circulation of the highly transmissible Delta variant, UCSF has reinstated its indoor masking policy in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

  • Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask or face covering at all indoor locations at UCSF, while riding in campus shuttles or standing in line for shuttles. The only exceptin is while eating and drinking, as long as physical distancing can be maintained.
  • As a reminder, for masks/face coverings to work properly, they need to completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face and around your nose.
  • This revised policy is based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health guidance.

UCSF Campus Buildings – Face Covering Guidelines | Effective: July 15, 2021

CAMPUS LOCATION

UNVACCINATED OR

NOT-FULLY VACCINATED

FULLY

VACCINATED

OUTDOORS

Recommended**

Not Required

INDOORS*

Required

Required

ELEVATORS

Required

Required

SHUTTLES & SHUTTLE STOPS

Required

Required

BREAK SPACES W/

FOOD and BEVERAGES

Required**

Required***

DINING

Required***

Required***

CHILD CARE

Required

Required

UCSF HEALTH HOSPITALS &
CLINICAL PATIENT CARE SPACES

See Masking in UCSF Health Buildings

See Masking in UCSF Health Buildings

* Also applies to vehicles with one or more people

** Recommended if you cannot maintain 6 feet physical distancing

*** Masks can be removed while eating/drinking, making sure to maintain safe distancing

 

UCSF Health Buildings – Masking Guidelines | Effective: July 15, 2021

EMPLOYEES CAN EAT, DRINK, OR MEET USING THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES

Safe Distancing =  greater than six feet from others when feasible

LOCATION

ACTIVITY

UNVACCINATED OR

NON-FULLY VACCINATED

FULLY

VACCINATED*

INDOOR CLINICAL AREAS

Clinical and common areas where patients and visitors can be present (includes waiting rooms and during patient care)

ALL

Masking and safe distancing from others are required**.

DESIGNATED ROOMS in INDOOR CLINICAL AREAS where patients/visitors do not have access (e.g. shared charting rooms, radiology reading rooms, pathology multi-head scope rooms, shared offices, and workrooms)

Not eating or drinking

Masking required with safe distancing (6 ft) maintained as much as possible.

 

Masking required.

Eating or drinking

Masking is required but can be removed while eating/drinking If safe distancing is maintained.

INDOOR

NON-CLINICAL BUILDINGS

Not eating or drinking

Masking is required with safe distancing (6 ft) maintained as much as possible.

Masking required.

 Eating or drinking (and meeting)

Masking is required but can be removed while eating/drinking if safe distancing is maintained.

DINING / CAFETERIA

IN HEALTH CARE BUILDING

In addition to indoor dining areas, includes hospital balconies, terraces, porches where patients and visitors can be present.

Eating or drinking (and meeting)

Masking is required but can be removed while eating/drinking if safe distancing is maintained.

 

ELEVATORS

TRANSPORT

<15 minutes

Masking is required.

No requirement for safe distancing.

OUTDOORS - GENERAL

(Masking is required when within thirty feet of the entrance to a health care building)

ALL

Recommend masking when <6 feet from others

No masking required

No requirement for safe distancing

*Per CDC, CDPH and Cal OSHA, Fully vaccinated means the employer has documented that the person received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines must be FDA approved; have an emergency use authorization from the FDA; or, for persons fully vaccinated outside the United States, be listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).              

**In patient care areas where patients and visitors can be present, all employees (regardless of vaccination status) are expected to distance to distance greater than six (6) feet, or as much as possible, from other persons, as able in their usual workflow.               

Note: When the UC-wide policy is announced, unvaccinated or non-fully vaccinated onsite UCSF Health employees and students will be required to  be COVID tested weekly and wear N95 respirator when working in a high-risk setting.  For testing questions, contact the COVID hotlines:

Direct questions to: [email protected]

Frequently-Asked Questions

Do I still need to wear a mask?

Vaccinated (defined as anyone ≥14 days after receiving the 2nd dose of a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or ≥14 days after receiving a single-dose vaccine) employees must wear a UCSF Health-provided medical mask for all areas within health buildings.

Unvaccinated (defined as anyone who is not fully vaccinated) employees must wear a medical mask in all indoor locations on UCSF property, including UCSF-owned vehicles/shuttles/vanpools. Employees who are granted exemptions to the UC COVID-19 vaccine policy by Human Resources are considered unvaccinated.

  • For all areas within health buildings, a UCSF Health-issued medical mask must be worn.
  • A request can be made to the employee’s supervisor to be provided with an N95 respirator for voluntary use.
  • It is also recommended, but not required, that unvaccinated employees wear a mask outdoors anywhere on UCSF property when within 6-feet of another person.
Can I wear a mask in non-patient care areas if I am vaccinated?
 
Yes, UCSF Health is fully supportive of any vaccinated employee who chooses to voluntarily wear a mask in non-patient care areas, in addition to the mandatory requirement to wear a mask in patient care areas.
 
I was just vaccinated, when can I stop masking?
 
You can follow the ‘fully vaccinated’ guidance 14 days after the last dose of any FDA-authorized or approved vaccine. Until then, you should follow the guidance for un-vaccinated/non-fully vaccinated employees.
 
Do I still need to physically distance from others?
 

In patient care areas, all employees (regardless of vaccination status) are expected to maintain 6 feet distancing from other people, or as much as possible in their usual workflow. This includes workrooms, breakrooms, and conference rooms embedded in patient care areas,

In indoor or outdoor non-patient care areas, all wear masks within health buildings. Unvaccinated employees are encouraged to mask when <6 feet from others. If unmasked (e.g. while eating or drinking), unvaccinated employees must maintain ≥6 feet from others.  All employees must wear masks when within thirty feet of a health care building entrance.

Do I still need to screen upon entry to UCSF Health premises?

Yes. All employees must participate in symptom screening when entering UCSF Health premises. This can be done through the digital screener.

What other measures should I do to protect myself?

Hand hygiene is key to preventing transmission of infections and is an important part of preventing COVID-19 infection in healthcare settings and in the community.

Cleaning environmental surfaces that are touched by multiple people is also an important measure to prevent the spread of infection. Wear a mask if you are mildly ill and working within the Occupational Health Services working well policy.

Do patients and visitors still need to mask?

Yes. Patients and visitors, independent of vaccination status, are required to wear masks in patient care areas when on UCSF Health premises.

 

Building Access

Identification Badge Access Required

Updated July 2, 2021

Until further notice, all UCSF will continue to use single point of entry at campus buildings for all employees who should tap their UCSF identification (ID) badges at badge readers. 

All UCSF Health employees must enter medical center facilities through designated doors and wear their UCSF ID badges above their waist at all times.

Effective July 1, UCSF has instituted a new policy that requires all campus and UCSF Health employees to “badge in” at their primary work location at the start of each shift. This is not a timekeeping measure, but is an emergency management tool that will allow UCSF to know how many people are in a building in the event of an emergency and will enable UCSF to know how many people are coming on site to work. Note that this policy only applies to sites with a badge reader available; more badge readers will be installed at high density locations in the coming months.

As a reminder, please do not hold the door open for others; each person should tap their badge individually. Only pre-authorized guests may enter campus buildings, and guests must check in with security, where available.

Badges must be visible and worn above the waste at all times above the waist.

By tapping a UCSF ID badge, employees are attesting that they:

Physical Distancing Protocol

Updated July 30, 2020

UCSF is taking the following measures to ensure the health of our UCSF community:

  • All UCSF employees, learners and volunteers must complete the daily pre-shift health screen prior to the start of work (text “Screen” to 839-73).
  • Personnel are not to come to work if they are sick. Symptoms may include:
    • Fever (≥ 100° F / 37.8° C) or chills
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
    • Feeling unusually weak or fatigued
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Unexplained muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Runny or congested nose
    • Diarrhea or Nausea
  • Anyone, except patients, exhibiting any of the above symptoms should not enter UCSF facilities. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, call the COVID Employee Hotline.
  • UCSF requires all members of the UCSF community to wear a face covering indoors, except when in a private office or private vehicle.
  • UCSF Health has established a Universal Surgical Mask Policy that applies within their facilities
  • All employees, learners and visitors on UCSF property must remain six feet apart, whenever possible, abstain from physical contact, and observe floor markings to maintain distance while standing in lines.
  • UCSF encourages the use of contactless payment systems, where possible. High touch payment systems are disinfected between each use.
  • UCSF has posted maximum occupancy signage on common use rooms, such as restrooms and class rooms.

Flu Vaccination Policy

The University of California will be requiring all members of the UC community to receive an influenza vaccine to help protect our faculty, staff, students and learners during the combined COVID-19 epidemic and flu season. More details to come.

Returning to Work After Exposure to COVID-19

Updated July 12, 2021

After a high-risk exposure to COVID-19, unvaccinated individuals who work onsite at UCSF must complete a 10-day quarantine starting from the last day of exposure, with return to onsite work permitted after a negative COVID-19 test that's performed between days seven and nine after exposure.

Fully vaccinated employees* (note definition below) may return to onsite work without quarantine after a high-risk exposure to COVID-19 as long as they remain asymptomatic, get COVID-19 tested on days 3-5 and 7-9, and symptom monitor for 14 days. Important exceptions to this guidance:

  • If there is ongoing exposure in a household with more than 1 person, then duration of monitoring and testing is determined on a case-by-case basis with OHS advisor.  
  • If the individual with COVID-19 that represents the high-risk exposure lives in the same household, and represents a vaccine breakthrough case (ie, the individual is also fully vaccinated), then 10-day quarantine is required.

Please be aware that: 

  • Critical staffing exceptions to the mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated individuals require senior vice president approval. 
  • Fully vaccinated individuals who are granted an exemption must complete COVID-19 testing on day 3-5 and on day 7-9 after their last high-risk exposure.

Information about what constitutes a high-risk exposure and return-to-work guidelines can be found on the Occupational Health Services (OHS) website. If you are unsure whether your exposure is considered high risk, please contact OHS at 415-514-7328 or [email protected] for a risk assessment.  

*Note: An individual is defined as fully vaccinated if it has been more than 14 days and less than 90 days since they received a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine or both doses of a two-dose vaccine. 

COVID-19 Testing and Self-Reporting a Diagnosis

UCSF is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our employees, learners, patients and families. To achieve this, we offer symptomatic and random asymptomatic testing to members of the UCSF community.

In addition, all personnel working or learning at UCSF who test or have tested positive for COVID-19 at an outside facility (e.g., Kaiser, Sutter) must self-report the positive COVID-19 test result to the appropriate UCSF department: UCSF Occupational Health Services (OHS) for faculty, staff, trainees, and volunteers, and UCSF Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) for students. This policy applies to personnel with current and past positive diagnoses and will supplement the cases already reported within UCSF, including within OHS and SHCS, and enable UCSF to obtain complete data about positive COVID-19 diagnoses for exposure tracing and analysis.

More about UCSF's testing and self-reporting protocol »

Protocols for Employees Working On Campus

UCSF has developed protocols for all employees and learners working or studying on UCSF property (campus and UCSF Health). UCSF employees at other locations (Fresno, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs medical center) may be receiving guidance from their leadership that is specific to their location.

See onsite work protocols »

Protocols for Vendors Working On Campus

In an effort to ensure the health and safety of the UCSF community, UCSF is requiring vendors who come to work at its campus locations to follow health measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

See onsite vendor protocols »