Interim Policy on Large Events and Gatherings

Updated July 20, 2020

To limit the spread of COVID-19 in our workplace and Bay Area community – and to help hospitals and clinics manage the increase in demand for care – we are taking the following actions:

  • All non-essential events and gatherings – those involving 10 or more people – shall be cancelled or postponed, in accordance with public health orders by the City and County of San Francisco.
  • Event organizers must prioritize alternatives – such as teleconferencing – rather than hold in-person gatherings.
  • Events and gatherings that are essential to the operation of UCSF, a healthcare institution, may be exempted. Please complete this form for guidance.

Guidance on Increasing Use of Video/Audio-Conferencing Alternatives

Consider alternatives to in-person meetings, including audio/video conferencing tools. These tools can support social-distancing practices, which are an effective strategy for limiting and preventing community transmission of COVID-19. 

UCSF IT has increased capacity and licenses to accommodate expanded technology use.

  • Alternatives to in-person meetings include Zoom. UCSF IT also has increased VPN, DUO and internet bandwidth capacity in anticipation of significantly increased traffic from remote meetings and remote access.
  • Questions or issues should be directed to the IT Service Desk at (415) 514-4100.

Guidance on Essential In-Person Events

Those who believe that an in-person event is essential must complete this form to request an exception to the interim policy and assess the public health risks of the event/meeting you are planning.

  • Any exception will need to be pre-approved in writing by the Chancellor.
  • All university sanctioned events or meetings, whether they are on-site or off-site, will also need to be pre-approved by the Emergency Operations Center/Recovery Operations Center.
  • In-person gatherings deemed essential should be held in a venue with enough space to keep participants at least 6 feet apart, and participants must follow UCSF’s physical distancing protocol, face covering guidelines and protocols for onsite work.

If an in-person gathering merits an exception, please consider the following:

  • The size of the space should allow for appropriate social distancing of attendees, as well as personal hygiene protocols and enhanced cleaning of the facilities.
  • Event organizers should coordinate enhanced cleaning in advance of the event with campus or health facilities.
  • Travel restrictions may create difficulties for international visitors on either leg of their trip to a UCSF event. You may need to provide guidance on our interim visitors policy to any international participants you expect to attend your event.
  • Organizers should provide attendees reminders of personal hygiene practices to help them stay healthy and limit the potential for community transmission. Also, ensure easy access to handwashing facilities and, where possible, make available alcohol-based sanitizers.

Guidance on the Potential Financial Implications of Canceling/Postponing Events

We understand this policy and guidance may have financial implications.

  • Departments should use their reserves to address new or additional costs to UCSF that arise (including costs related to travel or event cancellation). 
  • Budget & Resource Management has compiled guidance for handling the financial implications of COVID19.
  • Contact your control point financial leadership if your unit is facing significant costs. Questions can also be addressed to [email protected].
  • For questions regarding meeting cancellation fees and legal guidance relating to the cancellation of contracts, please consult with Deputy Campus Counsel Darnele Wright.

UCSF will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated guidance and information as circumstances warrant. 

This interim policy is effective through June 30, 2021, and will be updated as conditions change.