Messages to the UCSF Community

A message sent by the Office of Communications

September 26, 2022

Dear UCSF Community,

We hope you are well with the arrival of the fall season. We are happy to report that new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and test positivity rates have fallen in recent weeks, a promising sign that conditions are improving across the country.

Since the start of the pandemic, UCSF has relied on science and data to better understand and control this disease. Given the positive trends, the University continues to modify its policies based on public health guidance. Please read about revised guidelines and procedures below.   

UCSF Ends Surveillance Testing for Unvaccinated Individuals – NEW

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has recently eliminated the requirement for weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing of persons who are not up to date with current COVID-19 vaccination requirements who work in health care settings and other high-risk environments.

CDPH rescinded this requirement for reasons including changes in the severity of COVID-19 infections due to widespread vaccination, access to new COVID-19 treatments, and changes in COVID-19 strains that have reduced the impact of vaccination on COVID-19 transmission and spread in the community.

As a result, UCSF, including Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and UCSF Fresno, will end surveillance testing for employees, learners, volunteers, contractors and inpatient visitors who are not up to date on vaccinations, meaning they have not completed the initial vaccination series and received at least one booster. Here’s what you should know:

  • Effective today, Sept. 26, 2022, the Daily Health Screener will reflect these changes.
  • Employees and learners who are not up to date with current COVID-19 vaccinations will have to complete an attestation every time they screen before entry to UCSF facilities.
  • The attestation for non-pharmaceutical interventions will be present in all digital screeners for employees and students, vendors, campus guests and patient visitors.
  • Please note that COVID-19 surveillance testing could be re-instated at any time in the future if there are significant changes in COVID-19 strains and transmission that require it.

UCSF Revises Return to On-Site Work Guidelines – NEW

With decreasing COVID-19 infection rates in the Bay Area and among UCSF employees and learners, the UCSF enterprise-wide COVID-19 impact level is now “Medium.” The following updates/changes are now in place in the Daily Health Screener and COVID Hotline:

1.     Test Clearance for COVID-19 Symptoms. In addition to Color and PCR tests, home-based antigen testing is now an option for returning to work with COVID-like symptoms. This option requires TWO negative antigen tests performed at least 24 hours apart. Further details, instructions and Occupational Health Services (OHS) clearance letters are posted in the Daily Health Screener.

2.     High-Risk COVID-19 Exposure Clearance. For persons with unprotected, close contact for more than 15 minutes with a COVID-confirmed individual in the previous 10 days, a negative COVID-19 test result is required before entering UCSF facilities. This can be achieved with a negative Color or PCR test, or with a negative home-based antigen test coupled with a Color test submitted on the first day onsite. Additional COVID tests will be required based on the number of days since first exposure. More details, instructions and OHS clearance letters are posted in the Daily Health Screener.

3.     International Travel Guidance. Post-international-travel testing is strongly recommended for individuals who are up to date on their vaccinations (initial vaccination and at least one booster) but is no longer required for entry to UCSF facilities. Individuals who are NOT up to date on their vaccinations are still required to take a PCR or Color test within 24 hours and again 3-5 days after entry to campus within 10 days of international travel.

Home Antigen testing documentation requirements: If home antigen testing is used to meet the testing requirements, the following steps are required:

  • Photos of both negative test result that include your name and date of birth must be emailed to [email protected] prior to entry.
  • You can send one photo or two separate photos.
  • To capture this information in a photo, consider writing your name/date of birth on a piece of paper and placing the test result(s) on the paper.
  • BCH Oakland employees must send negative test results to [email protected]

UCSF Revises Guidance for Hosting Meeting and Events – NEW

UCSF recently revised its guidance for hosting meetings and events. The following event guidance applies to all UCSF-sponsored events at locations both on-site and off-site:

Events with Fewer than 100 People

  • Masking indoors strongly recommended
  • Food and beverage outdoors strongly recommended
  • Food and beverage allowed indoors with social distancing recommended

Events with 100 People or More

  • Indoor masking strongly recommended
  • Food and beverage outdoors strongly recommended with social distancing
  • Food and beverage allowed indoors with 50% capacity and social distancing recommended

Please also note:

  • Non-sponsored UCSF events are expected to adhere to local jurisdictions' public health orders. 
  • Multi-day events are currently allowed.
  • Non-sponsored UCSF events are expected to adhere to local jurisdictions' public health orders.

UCSF Offers Updated Booster Shots – REMINDER

UCSF continues to offer the updated COVID-19 booster shots, as authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use. These new booster shots are specifically formulated to protect against infection from the two most prevalent Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5 and contains the components of the original booster shots. Here’s what you should know:

  • To be eligible for the new booster shots, you must have completed your primary vaccination series — and be at least two months out from your last dose of any COVID vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you’ve recently had COVID-19, you should be fully recovered before getting your updated booster shot.
  • Details about where to get the new booster shots at UCSF and eligibility criteria are on the UCSF Health website
  • Those eligible for a booster shot can schedule an appointment at UCSF by using MyChart or calling (415) 476-3307. You do not need to be a UCSF Health patient.
  • UCSF Fresno employees eligible for an updated COVID-19 booster shot can get one at UCSF Fresno's Mobile COVID-19 Equity Project at 550 E. Shaw Ave. More information is available at www.fresno.ucsf.edu/cep
  • Moderna and Pfizer bivalent booster shots are available at BCH Oakland on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at the OPC, 744 52nd Street. Schedule via MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307.
  • To schedule an appointment outside UCSF, please visit your pharmacy’s website, your county’s vaccine website, California’s My Turn, or the national vaccines.gov site.
  • If you get a booster shot outside UCSF, please upload proof of that record to the Occupational Health Services portal (UCSF MyAccess is required.) Those who cannot connect to VPN should send the document to [email protected]
  • BCH Oakland employees should send their booster documentation for shots received outside of UCSF to [email protected]

UCSF Offers Flu Vaccines – REMINDER

As part of our ongoing efforts to protect the health of faculty, staff, learners and volunteers, UCSF is once again offering free influenza vaccines at various UCSF locations to prevent the spread of the disease in our community. Here is what you need to know:

UCSF Offers Monkeypox (MPX) Vaccines – REMINDER

UCSF provides vaccination against MPX or all eligible individuals who do not need to be UCSF Health patients. In alignment with the CDPH and the SFDPH, UCSF is referring to monkeypox as MPX (pronounced “em-pox”). 

MPX is an infectious disease that's currently spreading in the United States. It's transmitted through close contact and causes a rash on various parts of the body. You can learn more about MPX and what to do if you may have been exposed from the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the CDC.

For details about vaccination eligibility and how to get MPX vaccines at UCSF, please visit the UCSF Health MPX webpage.

UCSF Updates Indoor Masking Policy – REMINDER

The University continues to update its masking policy for inside campus and UCSF Health buildings as noted on the coronavirus website here. Please note these details below:

  • Masks are strongly recommended but no longer be required in some indoor spaces on campus, except for high-risk settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and campus shuttles.  
  • Unvaccinated personnel with exceptions must always wear masks and comply with other non-pharmaceutical interventions.
  • Those with a recent high-risk exposure to COVID-19 must always wear masks and comply with other non-pharmaceutical interventions.

UCSF COVID-19 Update

A message sent from the Office of Communications

June 22, 2022

Dear UCSF Community,

In another milestone in the pandemic, coronavirus vaccines are now available to children ages 6 months to 4 years old after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared the way last week. To learn more about locations and scheduling vaccines for this age group read below and tune into the next town hall on Friday, July 1, 2022, when UCSF pediatrician Lee Atkinson-McEvoy will be available to answer your questions.

In other news, please save the date on Friday, July 8, 2022, for a special town hall to hear UCSF experts discuss what’s next as we prepare for the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to issue a decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade, ending 49 years of protections for abortion access. A this town hall, “After SCOTUS: The Future of Abortion Access,” speakers will cover how the ruling could impact UCSF’s mission areas, as well as how faculty, staff, and learners may be affected and can get involved.

The UCSF community is also invited to join their co-workers at upcoming community-building events, including the SF Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26, 2022, and AIDS Walk San Francisco on Sunday, July 17, 2022. Happy summer!

Please see other important updates below.

UCSF Begins Vaccinating Infants and Toddlers – NEW

UCSF Health will begin vaccinating children ages 6 months and older beginning June 23, 2022. Please note that all children through age 17 must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. We encourage you to schedule an appointment for vaccines and booster shots by using using MyChart or by calling the centralized scheduling number (415) 476-6407. For more information about vaccines for children, please visit the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital website.

Here are the locations for vaccines for infants and toddlers:

Mission Bay (not a drive-through site)

601 16th Street (inside a tent at the corner of 16th and Owens streets)

Monday through Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Closed noon to 1. p.m.

Laurel Heights (drive-through and walk-ins) 

3333 California St.

Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed noon to 1 p.m.

Benioff Children’s Hospital (BCH) Oakland

The BCH Oakland vaccine clinic is now offering Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children aged 6 months and older, as well as continuing to offer vaccines and boosters for older children and parents/caregivers. Boosters and vaccines are available for BCH patients and their families, as well as employees of BCH and UCSF and their families.

BCH Oakland Outpatient Center

744 52nd Street, Oakland

Clinic hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Please note that the weekly vaccine schedule is age and vaccine specific:

  • Ages 6 months – 4 years: Mondays and Wednesdays a.m. for Pfizer
  • After 6 months – 5 years: Mondays and Wednesdays p.m. for Moderna
  • Ages 5 – 11 years Tuesdays and Fridays all day for Pfizer
  • Ages 12 years – adult: Thursdays all day for Pfizer
  • Employees: Thursdays all day for Moderna

UCSF Fresno: UCSF Fresno COVID-19 Equity Project (CEP) began administering the Moderna coronavirus vaccine to children 6 months through 5 years today (June 22, 2022) at the drive-through clinic at 550 E. Shaw Ave. in Fresno. UCSF Fresno CEP will begin offering the Pfizer vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years old tomorrow (June 23). For hours and more information go to: fresno.ucsf.edu/cep   

UCSF Revises Guidance for Hosting Meeting and Events NEW

UCSF continues to monitor and revised its guidelines for meetings and events based on the state’s current transmission risk level defined by the CDC along with UCSF’s transmission risk levels. As of June 13, 2022, the following event guidance applies to all UCSF-sponsored events at locations both on-site and off-site:

Events with Fewer Than 100 People

  • Requires approval by respective department head
  • Masking indoors strongly recommended
  • Food and beverage outdoors strongly recommended with social distancing
  • Food and beverage allowed indoors with 50% capacity and social distancing

Events with 100 People or More

  • Requires Recovery Operations Center (ROC) approval
  • Indoor masking required
  • Food and beverage outdoors strongly recommended with social distancing
  • Food and beverage allowed indoors with:
    • 50% capacity of the venue AND
    • Pre-event testing clearance by all attendees (Pre-event testing clearance can be met with a negative Color/PCR test within 48 hours, or a negative rapid antigen test the day of the event)

Non-sponsored UCSF events are expected to adhere to local jurisdictions' public health orders. For more information, see Guidance for Hosting Meetings and Events.

July 1 Town Hall to Cover Vaccines for Infants/Toddlers – NEW

Please join pediatrician Lee Atkinson-McEvoy to learn more about vaccines for young children at the next COVID-19 Response Town Hall on Friday, July 1, 2022, at 4 p.m. via Zoom. Also hear global and local updates on the pandemic. Previous UCSF COVID-19 Response Town Halls are posted here.

UCSF Features LGBTQIA+ Leaders at Last Town Hall – NEW

In case you missed it, UCSF convened a panel of leaders to discuss LGBTQI issues and Pride at the town hall on June 17. To catch that portion of the program, start at 25:42 in this video replay of the COVID-19 Response Town Hall.

UCSF Launches Super Screener Recognition Program – NEW

UCSF employees and learners, including Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland employees, who complete the Daily Health Screener on a regular basis may be recognized for complying with this mandatory COVID-19 policy. Here’s what you should know:

  • Launched by Occupational Health Services (OHS), this program will recognize the top 200 individuals with the highest number of completed Daily Health Screeners at UCSF Health, Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and UCSF Fresno. 
  • Employees will be notified monthly through UCSF’s online recognition platform, Recognize.
  • In addition, 40 individuals will be randomly selected to receive a $25 gift card. Those randomly selected to receive gift cards will receive a separate message with instructions on how to claim their prize. 
  • The Recognize platform will send an email message to all selected employees with copies automatically sent to their supervisor.
  • For questions or more information about this program, please contact  Muinat (Abi) Ishowo or Mauricio Roman. 

UCSF Revises Indoor Masking Policy REMINDER

UCSF revised its indoor masking policy for non-clinical areas. Details about masking inside campus and UCSF Health buildings is posted on the coronavirus website here. Please note these details below:

  • Masks are strongly recommended but no longer required in some indoor spaces on campus, except for high-risk settings, such as hospitals, clinics, childcare facilities and campus shuttles.  
  • Unvaccinated personnel with exceptions must always wear masks and comply with other non-pharmaceutical interventions.
  • Those with a recent high-risk exposure to COVID-19 must always wear masks and comply with other non-pharmaceutical interventions.
  • Wearing masks outdoors is optional, but strongly recommended for those who are not fully vaccinated in situations where they will be in sustained close contact with others.
  • Please respect and support everyone’s individual decisions, including those who choose to continue wearing a mask.
  • Wearing a mask helps protect others in our community who may be immunocompromised or at greater risk for serious illness.
  • Masks differ in the degree of protection they provide. N95 respirators provide the highest level of protection, followed by K-95, surgical masks, and Cal OSHA-accepted cloth masks.
  • For campus employees, orders of N95 masks can be placed through the BearBuy store at no cost to your department and may be obtained at campus security desk locations for voluntary use.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (ESPL) Extended REMINDER

The UC Office of the President (UCOP) announced additional Emergency Paid Sick Leave hours for 2022 (2022 EPSL) on Feb. 23, 2022. Here are the highlights:

  • Full-time employees are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid leave (and two-week equivalent for part-time employees) for use when they cannot work due to COVID-19 related qualifying reasons through Sept. 30, 2022.
  • The 2022 EPSL program allows eligible employees with remaining 2021 EPSL hours to use their remaining hours in addition to the 2022 hours.
  • Employees who qualify for EPSL will receive their regular rate of pay when using EPSL during the 2022 EPSL period.
  • More information on the program can be found here.

Parking at UCSF REMINDER

As more faculty, staff, students and trainees return to on-site activities, here are a few key points to remember about parking at UCSF locations:

  • The University no longer administers payroll deductions for parking.
  • Monthly and daily UCSF employee parking passes can be purchased using the mobile app: paybyphone (or paybyphone.com). 
  • When paying with paybyphone, use code 401608 to receive the discounted UCSF rate.
  • Once paid, parking is valid at any UCSF parking facility, drivers receive in-and-out privileges, and can park at more than one campus in a day, if needed.
  • Please be prepared to show payment confirmation and UCSF ID to the attendant when exiting parking garages.
  • More information about parking is posted here.

 

UCSF Launches Super Screener Recognition Program 

Beginning June 15, 2022, UCSF employees and learners, including Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland employees, who complete the Daily Health Screener on a regular basis will be recognized for complying with this mandatory COVID-19 policy. 

Launched by Occupational Health Services (OHS), this program recognizes those UCSF individuals who are diligent about completing the Daily Health Screener before coming to work or study on campus.

Learn more about the Super Screener Recognition Program. 

 


Second COVID-19 boosters available

A message sent from Josh Adler, Chief Clinical Officer


UCSF COVID-19 Update

A message sent from the Office of Communications

March 23, 2022

Dear UCSF Community,

The arrival of springtime brings a new season symbolizing rebirth, rejuvenation and renewal.

Here at UCSF, we are cautiously optimistic as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to decrease in the United States and in California. As such, we are easing some of our COVID-19 policies and protocols, described below.

We will continue to monitor campus and community conditions and be ready to revert to more restrictive measures if public health recommendations change in the future. Please review these important updates below.

UCSF Revises Indoor Masking Policy – NEW

With the rapid reduction in COVID-19 cases across the nation as well as locally, the risk of transmission in campus indoor locations has dramatically declined. Because conditions are improving, UCSF will transition to a new indoor masking policy for non-clinical areas effective April 1, 2022. Details about masking inside campus and UCSF Health buildings is posted on the coronavirus website here.

Please note these details below:

  • Beginning April 1, 2022, masks will be strongly recommended but no longer be required in some indoor spaces on campus, except for high-risk settings, such as hospitals, clinics, childcare facilities and campus shuttles.  
  • Unvaccinated personnel with exceptions must always wear masks and comply with other non-pharmaceutical interventions.
  • Those with a recent high-risk exposure to COVID-19 must always wear masks and comply with other non-pharmaceutical interventions.
  • Wearing masks outdoors is optional, but strongly recommended for those who are not fully vaccinated in situations where they will be in sustained close contact with others.
  • Please respect and support everyone’s individual decisions, including those who choose to continue wearing a mask.
  • Wearing a mask helps protect others in our community who may be immunocompromised or at greater risk for serious illness.
  • Masks differ in the degree of protection they provide. N95 respirators provide the highest level of protection, followed by K-95, surgical masks, and Cal OSHA-accepted cloth masks.
  • For campus employees, orders of N95 masks can be placed through the BearBuy store at no cost to your department and may be obtained at campus security desk locations for voluntary use.

UCSF Guidance for Hosting Meeting and Events NEW

Event approvals are based on the state’s current transmission risk level defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here are the highlights that apply to all UCSF-sponsored events at both on-site and offsite locations:

  • Meetings and events with more than 100 people require approval.
  • Meeting attendees must follow posted masking requirement.
  • Capacity restrictions have been lifted.
  • Indoor food and drinks are allowed at campus locations. Indoor food and drinks. at UCSF Health locations are limited to designated dining or break areas. 
  • Outdoor food and drinks are allowed at any site and location.
  • Non-sponsored UCSF events are expected to adhere to local jurisdictions' public health orders.
  • All attendees must adhere to vaccination policy and other guidance listed on the meetings and events page here.
  • Event applications and inquiries should be directed to the events group via email at [email protected]

UCSF Revises Policy for Eating Indoors NEW

UCSF has lifted its requirement that all those wishing to eat indoors at campus eateries show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, including a booster shot.

Next Town Hall to Feature New UCSF Health CEO – NEW

Please join Chancellor Sam Hawgood as he welcomes Suresh Ganasekaran, chief executive officer and president of UCSF Health, to the COVID-19 Response Town Hall on Friday, April 1, 2022, at 4 p.m. via Zoom.  Other topics for this town hall include global and local updates on the pandemic and a review of UCSF’s revised policies. Previous UCSF COVID-19 Response Town Halls are posted here.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (ESPL) Extended – REMINDER

The UC Office of the President (UCOP) recently announced additional Emergency Paid Sick Leave hours for 2022 (2022 EPSL). Here are the highlights:

  • Full-time employees are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid leave (and two-week equivalent for part-time employees) for use when they cannot work due to COVID-19 related qualifying reasons through Sept. 30, 2022.
  • The 2022 EPSL program allows eligible employees with remaining 2021 EPSL hours to use their remaining hours in addition to the 2022 hours.
  • Employees who qualify for EPSL will receive their regular rate of pay when using EPSL during the 2022 EPSL period.
  • More information on the program can be found here.

Parking at UCSF REMINDER

As more faculty, staff, students and trainees return to on-site activities, here are a few key points to remember about parking at UCSF locations:

  • The University no longer administers payroll deductions for parking.
  • Monthly and daily UCSF employee parking passes can be purchased using the mobile app: paybyphone (or paybyphone.com). 
  • When using paybyphone, use code 401608 to receive the discounted UCSF rate.
  • Once paid, parking is valid at any UCSF parking facility, drivers receive in-and-out privileges, and can park at more than one campus in a day, if needed.
  • Please be prepared to show payment confirmation and UCSF ID to the attendant when exiting parking garages.
  • More information about parking is posted here.

UCSF COVID-19 Update

A message sent from the Office of Communications

February 3, 2022

Dear UCSF Community,
Today, we mark two years since we admitted our first patients to UCSF. This was the just the beginning of a global pandemic of epic proportions that has had life-changing impact. We honor everyone who has answered the call of duty, especially our frontline health care workers.

At tomorrow’s town hall, we will reflect on living and working during this pandemic and take the time to share our feelings. We also will cover the many resources UCSF offers to our community to help us cope with stress and loss.

It’s important to remember just how far we’ve come since February 2020. We’ve learned a lot about how to manage this unpredictable pandemic and every day we gain more knowledge and get more tools to fight the virus, including new therapies and upcoming vaccines for children aged 6 months and older.

And we are preparing to welcome back more members of our community who have been working remotely since stay-at-home orders went into effect. In his message to the UCSF community, Chancellor Hawgood confirmed that March 1 is the date those who have been working remotely may return to on-site work. Please see more details about telework and other important updates below.

Please continue to take the steps necessary to protect yourself, your loved ones and colleagues. By working together, we have the power to turn the tide.

UCSF to Increase On-site Work Beginning March 1 – NEW

Based on public health indicators, including declining infection rates and the high percentage of those in our community who are fully vaccinated with a booster shot, we are confident that by March 1, 2022, we will be prepared to increase on-site work in San Francisco and Oakland. In Fresno, however, conditions are quite different as the region is still experiencing high rates of transmission. UCSF Fresno has set a target date of April 1 for employees working remotely to return to on-site work.

Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • March 1 is the date by which those who have been teleworking may return to on-site work.
  • This date does not mean that all employees must return to on-site work.
  • The decision about when employees should return to on-site work will be made at the local level as leaders and managers determine work arrangements that are optimal for their respective areas.
  • Decisions will be based on the type of job function and the best way to meet business and employee needs.
  • More information about telework is posted on the HR website.

Friday Town Hall to Mark Two Years of Pandemic – NEW

Please join Chancellor Sam Hawgood and UCSF experts at the COVID-19 Response Town Hall on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, at 4 p.m. via Zoom.  The 2022 schedule for town halls has been posted on the events calendar here. Tomorrow’s town hall will cover increased on-site work, the extension of the booster deadline to March 1 and other updates described in this digest.

UCSF Extends Booster Compliance Deadline to March 1 – NEW

In alignment with the California Department of Public Health and the UC Office of the President, UCSF is extending the deadline for those who have not yet demonstrated COVID-19 vaccine and booster compliance to March 1, 2022. This is the date by which all those eligible should have received their shot and sent proof of that vaccination to Occupational Health Services or submitted and been approved for an exception. Please note the following:

If you are not fully vaccinated with a booster shot by March 1, 2022:

  • You must comply with COVID testing requirements if you work or study on-site
  • If you develop COVID infection, you are not eligible for a reduced isolation period
  • If you have a high-risk COVID exposure, then you face a mandatory quarantine period of 10 days and you don’t have the option for immediate return to on-site work with testing
  • If you are returning from international travel, then you face a mandatory quarantine period of 7 days.
  • Those who get a booster at a location outside UCSF, should upload a copy of that record to the Occupational Health Services portal  (UCSF MyAccess is required.) Those who cannot connect to VPN should send the document to [email protected]
  • Benioff Children’s Hospitals Oakland employees should upload booster documentation to [email protected]

UCSF Revises Hours of Vaccination Sites – REMINDER

UCSF continues to offer free vaccinations at its various campus locations. COVID-19 vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from the virus, slow transmission and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. Appointments are strongly recommended via MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307. If you get a busy signal or can’t connect, call (866) 580-2664. A limited number of drop-in slots available. Here are the locations and hours of operation for these vaccination sites:

  • Laurel Heights campus (serving people aged five and older)
    3333 California St., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well as select Saturdays. Closed noon to 1 p.m.
  • Parnassus Heights campus (serving people aged 16 and older who are UCSF patients, employees and learners only) Millberry Union, 500 Parnassus Ave., Ocean View Room, Mondays andh Fridays, Feb. 4, 7, 11, 14, 18 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. This site will be closed on Feb. 21 and resuming Monday and Friday with the last day on March 11, 2022.
  • Mission Bay campus (serving people aged 16 and older) 601 16th Street (corner of 16 and Owens streets), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed noon to 1 p.m.
  • UCSF Fresno campus: Vaccines are available for everyone aged five and up. Booster shots are available at the UCSF Fresno COVID-19 Equity Project at 550 E. Shaw Ave. in Fresno. Details: www.fresno.ucsf.edu/cep Faculty and trainees who work at Community Health System may schedule appointments through MyChart for boosters at their Fresno and Clovis vaccine clinics.
  • BCH Oakland campus: Please schedule booster shots through MyChart or call (510) 428-3885, extension 5793#. 
  • Californians can visit the My Turn website or call (833) 422-4255 to make an appointment or find a nearby vaccine location.

UCSF Revises Guidelines to Return to On-site Work After Recovery from COVID-19 Positive Test – REMINDER

The UCSF Daily Health Screener now provides an option for employees recovered from COVID-19 to shorten their isolation time from 10 days to five days under certain conditions without needing to contact the COVID Hotline if required steps are completed.

  • The process begins when a person tests positive for COVID-19. Go to the Daily Health screener, answer the questions and complete the Occupational Health Services (OHS) contact survey.
  • Requirements for return include the employee is fully vaccinated (includes booster or not yet booster eligible), has isolated for at least five days and has a negative antigen test at UCSF before returning to work. They must also attest to complying with certain conditions upon their return.
  • More information about the return-to-campus/worksite is posted on the Guidance for Employees webpage here. An infographic that depicts the process is available here, which also includes guidance on returning from high-risk exposures. 
  • Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland employees will be notified through the BCH Oakland Employee Health department.

Steps to Return to On-site Work Following COVID-19 Symptoms – REMINDER

Please see the steps below to ensure that you don’t experience delays in returning to work onsite after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

  1. Complete Daily Health Screener to report symptoms (including allergies), provide “preferred phone number,” complete the OHS contact survey as indicated on the screener and receive a “Not Cleared to Work” screen. This will expedite the process with OHS and the return to campus/worksite.
  2. Get tested for COVID-19. Instructions in the Daily Health screener gives options (use link at bottom of “Not Cleared” screen.)
    • For mild or moderate symptoms, get a Color test for a 24- to 48-hour turnaround
    • Get UCSF clinical lab test for the fastest, less than a 24-hour turnaround
    • Get a local test outside UCSF, and send results to [email protected]
    • Regardless of where a COVID test is completed, the COVID Response Team clearance is required before returning to onsite work.
  3. Repeat the Daily Health Screener after receiving a clearance letter from OHS. The timeline will be different depending on whether a person qualifies for a shortened isolation period or must isolate for the entire 10 days.
    • The Daily Health Screener will provide the return-to-work clearance once an person has completed the OHS contact survey and met the criteria for returning to work.
    • Benioff Children’s Hospital (BCH) Oakland employees will be notified through BCH Oakland Employee Health department.

Automated Clearance for Return to On-site Work After High-Risk Exposures – REMINDER

UCSF is implementing guidance from the California Department of Public Health for employees and learners returning to on-site work following high-risk exposure to COVID-19. Here’s what you should know:

  • The UCSF Daily Health Screener will allow vaccinated employees and learners who have had a high-risk exposure to attest to eligibility criteria and a daily COVID-19 testing protocol to continue on-site work through an automated self-clearance process from the COVID Response Team.
  • Detailed instructions on further testing and other requirements are being sent to those who will return to on-site work or study.

UCSF Requires Proof of Booster Shots to Eat Indoors – REMINDER

In alignment with San Francisco Department of Public Health order, UCSF is requiring all those wishing to eat indoors at campus eateries to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, including a booster shot. Please note that hospital cafeterias are not subject to this requirement. Acceptable forms of proof for customers who want to dine indoors at UCSF include:

  • UCSF ID with COVID booster sticker (a green square)
  • Original copy or picture of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card
  • Personal digital copy of COVID vaccination record issued by the State of California or by an approved private company. Visit California’s Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record portal and enter some details to access a digital copy
  • Documentation from a health care provider

Customers also need to show government issued photo identification (driver’s license or passport) or their UCSF ID.


A message sent from the Office of Communications

January 19, 2022

Dear UCSF Community,

We have some good news to share with you.

First, we are grateful for the more than 70 employees and learners who have signed up in the labor pool to volunteer to help fill critical staffing positions.

Second, 88 percent of eligible employees and learners have received a booster shot, giving them more protection against the Omicron variant and enabling them to meet UCSF’s deadline of Jan. 31, 2022, for full vaccination against COVID-19. We hope more employees get boosted when they become eligible.

Third, the number of new COVID-19-positive cases in the UCSF community in San Francisco is steadily decreasing from the 200 cases per day we saw during the Omicron surge that began late last year.

And finally, while COVID-19 tests have been difficult to get, today every household can sign up to get free home test kits through a new website launched by the Biden administration.  

We are making progress in this pandemic and appreciate your ongoing commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our UCSF community and the patients we serve. Please read other important updates below.

UCSF Revises Hours, Locations of Vaccination Sites – NEW

UCSF has extended hours of operations and added Mission Bay as a vaccination site to help all those eligible to get their booster shots. COVID-19 vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from the virus, slow transmission and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. Appointments are strongly recommended via MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307. If you get a busy signal or can’t connect, call (866) 580-2664. A limited number of drop-in slots available. Here are the locations and hours of operation for these vaccination sites:

  • Laurel Heights campus (serving people aged five and older)
    3333 California St., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well as select Saturdays. Closed noon to 1 p.m.
  • Parnassus Heights campus (serving people aged 16 and older who are UCSF patients, employees and learners only) Millberry Union, 500 Parnassus Ave., Ocean View Room, Monday through Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, from 6:10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Mission Bay campus (serving people aged 16 and older) 601 16th Street (corner of 16 and Owens streets), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed noon to 1 p.m.
  • Mount Zion campus (serving employees only) 1600 Divisadero Street, second floor, Herbst Hall, Room B248 (Behind the elevator bank in the B building), Mondays and Wednesdays, 7:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Wednesday, Jan. 19, Monday, Jan. 24 and Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022
  • UCSF Fresno campus: Vaccines are available for everyone aged five and up. Booster shots are available at the UCSF Fresno COVID-19 Equity Project at 550 E. Shaw Ave. in Fresno. Details: www.fresno.ucsf.edu/cep Faculty and trainees who work at Community Health System may schedule appointments through MyChart for boosters at their Fresno and Clovis vaccine clinics.
  • BCH Oakland campus: Booster shots are available 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, Monday, Jan. 24, Wednesday, Jan. 26 and Thursday, Jan 27. Schedule through MyChart or call (510) 428-3885, extension 5793#. 

Please also note the following:

  • Those who get a booster at a location outside UCSF, should upload a copy of that record to the Occupational Health Services portal  (UCSF MyAccess is required.) Those who cannot connect to VPN should send the document to [email protected]
  • Benioff Children’s Hospitals Oakland employees should upload booster documentation to [email protected]
  • Californians can visit the My Turn website or call (833) 422-4255 to make an appointment or find a nearby vaccine location.

UCSF Revises Return-to-Campus/Worksite Guidelines After Recovery from COVID-19 Positive Test – NEW

The UCSF Daily Health Screener now provides an option for employees recovered from COVID-19 to shorten their isolation time from 10 days to five days under certain conditions without needing to contact the COVID Hotline if required steps are completed.

  • The process begins when a person tests positive for COVID-19. Go to the Daily Health screener, answer the questions and complete the Occupational Health Services (OHS) contact survey.
  • Requirements for return include the employee is fully vaccinated (includes booster or not yet booster eligible), has isolated for at least five days and has a negative antigen test at UCSF before returning to work. They must also attest to complying with certain conditions upon their return.
  • More information about the return-to-campus/worksite is posted on the Guidance for Employees webpage here. An infographic that depicts the process is available here, which also includes guidance on returning from high-risk exposures. 
  • Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland employees will be notified through the BCH Oakland Employee Health department.

UCSF Addresses Workforce Shortages with Labor Pool – NEW

UCSF continues to monitor the impact of the current Omicron surge on staffing in critical areas, including patient care and Occupational Health Services. A labor pool team is working to prioritize needs with available resources by redeploying employees where they are needed most. Here’s way you should know:

  • To request staffing to meet critical staffing positions, please escalate the request to a manager or director who will then reach out to UCSF Health and campus leaders.
  • To volunteer to be redeployed, submit your name through tiny.ucsf.edu/laborpoolrecruit

UCSF Revises Domestic Travel Policy – NEW

Vaccinated travelers returning from domestic travel (interstate) no longer need to complete a two-part testing requirement before coming back to campus. UCSF is maintaining the two-part test for international travel, however. Below are the highlights:

  • Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals returning to onsite work or study within 10 days following international travel are required to take and submit an approved COVID-19 test within 24 hours of entering a UCSF facility (before or during first day onsite). 
  • A second COVID-19 test is required three to five days following the first UCSF test.    

Friday Town Hall to Cover Omicron Surge and New UCSF Policies – NEW

Please join Chancellor Sam Hawgood and UCSF experts at the COVID-19 Response Town Hall on Friday, Jan, 21, 2022, at 4 p.m. via Zoom.  The 2022 schedule for town halls has been posted on the events calendar here. Friday’s town hall will cover important UCSF policy updates described here and an update on the Omicron surge.

UCSF Requires Proof of Booster Shots to Eat Indoors – NEW

In alignment with San Francisco Department of Public Health order, UCSF is requiring all those wishing to eat indoors at campus eateries to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, including a booster shot. Please note that hospital cafeterias are not subject to this requirement. Acceptable forms of proof for customers who want to dine indoors at UCSF include:

  • UCSF ID with COVID booster sticker (a green square)
  • Original copy or picture of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card
  • Personal digital copy of COVID vaccination record issued by the State of California or by an approved private company. Visit California’s Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record portal and enter some details to access a digital copy
  • Documentation from a health care provider

Customers also need to show government issued photo identification (driver’s license or passport) or their UCSF ID.

Driver Shortage Impacts UCSF Shuttle Services – NEW

UCSF Transportation is experiencing a shortage of shuttle drivers due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases. Unfortunately, UCSF expects the driver shortage and the corresponding shuttle service impacts to continue for the next few weeks. The most current information about service disruptions will be posted on the Transportation website and UCSF mobile app. 

Automated Return-to-Campus/Worksite Clearance After High-Risk Exposures – REMINDER

UCSF is implementing guidance from the California Department of Public Health for employees and learners returning to on-site work following high-risk exposure to COVID-19. Here’s what you should know:

  • The UCSF Daily Health Screener will allow vaccinated employees and learners who have had a high-risk exposure to attest to eligibility criteria and a daily COVID-19 testing protocol to continue on-site work through an automated self-clearance process from the COVID Response Team.
  • Detailed instructions on further testing and other requirements are being sent to those who will return to on-site work or study.

Jan. 31 Deadline for Booster Shots Approaches – REMINDER

UCSF has set a deadline of Jan. 31, 2022, for all eligible members of the UCSF community to get booster shots whether they work on site or remotely. Here’s what you should know:

  • If you have recently tested positive for COVID, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance recommends getting a booster dose after symptoms resolve and the period of isolation ends. UCSF has allowed for 31 days after the date of testing positive to obtain a booster.
  • Eligible employees who do not meet the Jan. 31, 2022, deadline will be subject to progressive corrective action up to and including dismissal from employment, pursuant to policy and collective bargaining agreements.
  • Those eligible for booster shots are:
    • five months post their second shot of Moderna and Pfizer
    • two months post their single shot of Johnson & Johnson
  • Following a positive COVID-19 test, individuals should get a booster shot after they have completed their required isolation period and their symptoms have resolved.

Mandatory COVID-19 Testing for Non-Boosted Personnel – REMINDER

UCSF continues to offer free COVID-19 testing for employees and learners as noted on the coronavirus website. Recently, UCSF has instituted a new testing mandate based on guidance from the California Department of Public Health. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Effective immediately, the CDPH requires all on-site workers not vaccinated with a booster to be tested on-site for COVID-19 twice a week.
  • In any given week, tests should be taken no more than four days apart.

Steps to Return to On-site Work Following COVID-19 Symptoms – REMINDER

Please see the steps below to ensure that you don’t experience delays in returning to work onsite after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

  1. Complete Daily Health Screener to report symptoms (including allergies), provide “preferred phone number,” complete the OHS contact survey as indicated on the screener and receive a “Not Cleared to Work” screen. This will expedite the process with OHS and the return to campus/worksite.
  2. Get tested for COVID-19. Instructions in the Daily Health screener gives options (use link at bottom of “Not Cleared” screen.)
    • For mild or moderate symptoms, get a Color test for a 24- to 48-hour turnaround
    • Get UCSF clinical lab test for the fastest, less than a 24-hour turnaround
    • Get a local test outside UCSF, and send results to [email protected]
    • Regardless of where a COVID test is completed, the COVID Response Team clearance is required before returning to onsite work.
  3. Repeat the Daily Health Screener after receiving a clearance letter from OHS. The timeline will be different depending on whether a person qualifies for a shortened isolation period or must isolate for the entire 10 days.
    • The Daily Health Screener will provide the return-to-work clearance once an person has completed the OHS contact survey and met the criteria for returning to work.
    • Benioff Children’s Hospital (BCH) Oakland employees will be notified through BCH Oakland Employee Health department.

Personal Protective Equipment for Health Care Workers – REMINDER

UCSF Health recently has updated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines in the inpatient and outpatient settings for health care personnel. An N95 mask enhances protection when in close contact with a patient, caretaker, or employee who has COVID-19 that is not yet diagnosed. Here’s what health care workers should know:

  • N95s are strongly recommended
  • Eye protection is required
  • PPE re-use and extended use will be reinstated as noted in this document
  • For care of patients on Novel Respiratory (in addition to eye protection, gloves, and gown) and Airborne Isolation, a fit-tested N95 (or PAPR) is required
  • For other patients or indications, a fit-tested N95 is not required.
  • Under all other circumstances, employees and learners on campus and at the health system can use an N95 if preferred. 

UCSF Locations of N95 Masks

Clinical Buildings: N95s can be found in clinical areas for patient-facing staff. For those in the health system without access to these spaces, please contact Materials Management via phone or the online Medical Center Support Services at your respective location or ask your manager. 

  • Moffitt-Long: (415) 353-1837 
  • Mission Bay: (415) 476-1116 
  • Mount Zion: (415) 885-7255 
  • BCH Oakland: (510) 428 3885 x2126   

Campus Buildings: For those on campus, you can find N95s at security stations and through your unit control point (your manager will know who that is). 

UCSF Revises Events and Meetings Guidelines – REMINDER

UCSF updated its guidance for meetings and events. Planners for events in February will be contacted to encourage them to postpone, move to virtual or adhere to red-tier event matrix guidelines. The following points apply to all UCSF-sponsored events both onsite and offsite:

  • Indoor meetings are now limited to 100 people until further notice.
  • A 50 percent capacity restriction applies to indoor meetings.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed.
  • All attendees must wear face coverings.
  • Non-sponsored UCSF events are expected to adhere to local jurisdictions' public health orders.

A message sent from the Office of Communications

January 6, 2022

Dear UCSF Community,

As we enter a third year of the pandemic, we are facing a rapid rise of new COVID-19 cases due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Now is not the time to let down our guard.

Please continue to take all the public health precautions necessary to protect against COVID-19: get booster shots, wear masks, get tested as needed, and isolate for 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. Note that new public health guidance for returning to on-site work after a COVID-19 diagnosis will be implemented next week to meet critical staffing needs.

In response to this surge, UCSF has issued new policies and procedures that require immediate action. Please take a few minutes to read this important update.

We wish you a happy and healthy new year.

Automated Return-to-Campus Clearance After High-Risk Exposures – NEW

UCSF is implementing guidance from the California Department of Public Health for employees and learners returning to on-site work following high-risk exposure to COVID-19. Here’s what you should know:

  • The UCSF Daily Health Screener will allow vaccinated employees and learners who have had a high-risk exposure to attest to eligibility criteria and a daily COVID-19 testing protocol to continue on-site work through an automated self-clearance process from the COVID Response Team.
  • Detailed instructions on further testing and other requirements are being sent to those who will return to on-site work or study.

UCSF Sets Jan. 31 Deadline for Booster Shots – NEW

UCSF has set a deadline of Jan. 31, 2022, for all eligible members of the UCSF community to get booster shots whether they work on site or remotely. Here’s what you should know:

  • Eligible employees who do not meet the Jan. 31, 2022, deadline will be subject to progressive corrective action up to and including dismissal from employment, pursuant to policy and collective bargaining agreements.
  • Those eligible for booster shots are:
    • 6 months post their second shot of Moderna
    • 5 months post their second shot of Pfizer
    • 2 months post their single shot of Johnson & Johnson
  • Following a positive COVID-19 test, individuals should get a booster shot after they have completed their required isolation period and their symptoms have resolved.
  • Being fully vaccinated means receiving the primary series of vaccinations (Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson) and a third dose or booster shot to ensure maximum protection against infection.
  • UCSF continues to offer all employees and learners appointments and the ability to walk in to get their initial series of vaccinations and booster shots at various campus sites. To find out how to get a booster shot at UCSF, please visit the coronavirus vaccine information page.
  • Booster shots are widely available through vaccination clinics, health care providers, Safeway stores and neighborhood pharmacies.
  • Schedule an appointment through MyChart or call (415) 476-3307 in San Francisco or (510) 428-3885 ext. 5793# in Oakland. Booster shots also are available at the UCSF Fresno COVID-19 Equity Project.
  • Californians can visit the My Turn website or call (833) 422-4255 to make an appointment or find a nearby vaccine location.
  • Those who get a booster at a location outside UCSF, should upload a copy of that record to the Occupational Health Services portal  (UCSF MyAccess is required.) Those who cannot connect to VPN should send the document to [email protected]
  • BCH Oakland employees should upload booster documentation to [email protected]

Mandatory COVID-19 Testing – NEW

UCSF continues to offer free COVID-19 testing for employees and learners as noted on the coronavirus website. Recently, UCSF has instituted new testing policies. Here are the highlights:

  • The California Department of Public Health issued a testing mandate for non-boosted employees and learners working on-site.
    • Effective immediately, the CDPH requires all on-site workers not vaccinated with a booster to be tested on-site for COVID-19 twice a week.
    • In any given week, tests should be taken no more than 4 days apart.
  • Post-holiday testing for on-site employees and learners and out-of-state travelers:
    • On-site workers/learners: UCSF strongly recommends that employees and learners and out-of-state travelers working on campus take two COVID-19 tests a few days apart upon returning to work after Jan. 1, 2022. This policy will be in place until Jan. 15, 2022. The UCSF Daily Health Screener will provide instructions on when and how to get tested when reporting to work.
    • Out-of-state travelers: Must take two COVID-19 tests, the first of which should be within 24 hours of entering UCSF facilities for on-site work. This policy will remain in effect until further notice. The UCSF Daily Health Screener will provide instructions on when and how to get tested when reporting to work.

Friday Town Hall to Cover Omicron Surge and New UCSF Policies – NEW

Please join Chancellor Sam Hawgood and UCSF experts at the COVID-19 Response Town Hall on Friday, Jan, 7, 2022, at 4 p.m. via Zoom.  The 2022 schedule for town halls has been posted on the events calendar here. Friday’s town hall will cover important UCSF policy updates as well as:

  • George Rutherford, Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Acting Director, Institute for Global Health Sciences, who will give an update on the global pandemic; and
  • Peter Chin-Hong, Professor, Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Associate Dean, Regional Campuses, who will talk about the surge of Omicron cases.

Steps to Return to On-site Work Following COVID-19 Symptoms – NEW

Please see the steps below to ensure that you don’t experience delays in returning to work onsite after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

  1. Complete Daily Health Screener to report symptoms (including allergies), provide “preferred phone number,” and receive a “Not Cleared to Work” screen
    • This will send a message to the COVID Response Team, which will call you to complete an interview in 1 to 2 days.
  2. Get Tested for COVID-19. Instructions in the Daily Health screener gives options (use link at bottom of “Not Cleared” screen.)
    • For mild or moderate symptoms, get a Color test for a 24- to 48-hour turnaround
    • Get UCSF clinical lab test for the fastest, less than a 24-hour turnaround
    • Get a local test, and send results to [email protected]
    • Regardless of your where test is completed, the COVID Response Team clearance is required before returning to onsite work.
  3. Repeat the Daily Health Screener when you have received a negative COVID test result, and your symptoms/illness have improved and you are ready to return to work
    • The Daily Health Screener will provide the return-to-work clearance.
    • Benioff Children’s Hospital (BCH) Oakland employees will be notified through BCH Oakland Employee Health department.

Personal Protective Equipment for Health Care Workers – NEW

Effective today, Jan. 6, 2022, UCSF Health has updated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines in the inpatient and outpatient settings for health care personnel. Here’s what health care workers should know:

  • Health care personnel are required to wear eye protection for direct patient care
  • Health care personnel are strongly recommended to wear an N95 mask for all direct patient care
  • PPE re-use and extended use will be reinstated as noted in this document
  • Health care personnel are required to wear an N95 mask that they have been fit-tested to wear (or PAPR) for Novel Respiratory (in addition to eye protection, gloves, and gown) and Airborne Isolation
  • Employees and learners can use an N95 if preferred

About N95 masks

  • N95 masks will be distributed on the units, clinics, and other care areas. They will not be distributed at the entrances.
  • With a tighter fit around the face, N95s may offer better source control, reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Source control refers to the use of a mouth/nose covering to contain respiratory secretions.
  • An N95 mask enhances protection when in close contact with a patient, caretaker, or employee who has COVID-19 that is not yet diagnosed. 

Traveling Internationally or Domestically Requires Two-Step Testing – NEW

UCSF updated its policy regarding internal and domestic travel as posted on the coronavirus website. Here are the highlights:

  • Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals returning to onsite work or study within 10 days following international or domestic (interstate) travel are required to take and submit an approved COVID-19 test within 24 hours of entering a UCSF facility (before or during first day onsite). 
  • A second COVID-19 test is required 3 to 5 days following the first UCSF test.    
  • As the pandemic continues to evolve, UCSF will update its travel guidance in accordance with the latest public health orders. This guidance is effective until further notice.

UCSF Revises Events and Meetings Guidelines – NEW

UCSF updated its guidance for meetings. Here are the highlights that apply to all UCSF-sponsored events both onsite and offsite:

  • Indoor meetings are now limited to 100 people until further notice.
  • A 50 percent capacity restriction applies to indoor meetings.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed.
  • All attendees must wear face coverings.
  • Non-sponsored UCSF events are expected to adhere to local jurisdictions' public health orders.

ACTION Required: New COVID-19 policies for January 2022

A message from Joshua Adler, Chief Clinical Officer

December 22, 2021

Dear UCSF Community,

Just last week, I wrote to you about the rapid spread of Omicron, which is becoming the dominant COVID-19 virus in the U.S.  I write today to update you on new policy changes as we work as health care leaders to protect our patients, families, and each other. 

Effective immediately, UCSF staff, faculty, and learners must follow these updated policies: 

Booster vaccinations are now required by January 31 (deadline extended)

All eligible UCSF staff, faculty, and learners are required to receive a booster vaccination by January 31, 2022.

  • To learn about scheduling a booster shot appointment, providing proof of vaccination from a non-UCSF provider, and other information, visit the Vaccine Information Hub.
  • The UCSF deadline has been extended to align with a recent update to UC policy.

COVID-19 testing in January for on-site workers and learners

To respond to the potential impact of the holiday season, we strongly encourage testing for everyone returning to on-site work in January and for travelers.  The enhanced testing protocol below will be in place for the first half of January.

  • When on-site workers and learners report to work in January, they will be asked to take two COVID-19 tests a few days apart.
  • The first test should be taken on-site on the first day of work in the new year on/after January 1.  A second test should be taken 3-5 days after the first test.
  • The UCSF Daily Health Screener will provide on-site workers instructions on easy access to testing when they report to work as usual.
  • Those who travel out of state are required to get tested within 24 hours of entering UCSF facilities for on-site work.  A second test should be taken 3-5 days after the first test, consistent with the overall testing policy.

In-person events limited to 100 people

The in-person events policy is now limited to 100 people until further notice.

  • Food and drinks are not allowed, and all attendees must wear masks.

Omicron has proven to be, by far, the most transmissible COVID-19 variant and is causing a record number of infections. The above policies will help us reduce the spread of infection in our community and safeguard our ability to serve those who depend on us.  We recognize that the rapidly changing situation and our response to it, is challenging for everyone.   Thank you for supporting these policies and continuing to serve as leaders in health and health care. 

All the very best to you and yours during this holiday season.

Sincerely,

Chief Clinical Officer

UCSF Health


UCSF COVID-19 Update

A message from the Office of Communications

December 15, 2021

It’s been less than a month since the new, heavily mutated and highly transmissible Omicron strain was detected and designated a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization. It’s now rapidly spreading across the world.

Although we are still learning about the Omicron variant, preliminary studies show that people who get a booster shot, or third dose of vaccine, may be better protected from serious illness. This research suggests that getting a booster will help protect people already vaccinated from breakthrough or possible severe infections with Omicron during the winter months.

As Josh Adler, Chief Clinical Officer for UCSF Health, said in his message to the UCSF community, UCSF is launching a campaign to encourage every eligible employee and learner to get a booster shot by Jan. 15, 2022. Our goal at UCSF is to achieve booster compliance that mirrors UCSF’s overall COVID-19 vaccination compliance – 98 percent – of our total population.

“As we face this new COVID-19 variant, I urge you to lead by example once again and help us reach our booster vaccination goal,” Adler noted. “In so doing, you will not only reflect the best of our PRIDE Values but also help to protect yourselves, your family and friends, and our shared communities.”

We echo UC President Michael Drake’s message about boosters to the UC community, “All of us have an important role to play in ending this pandemic. Please join me in this effort, and please stay safe this holiday season.”

UCSF Sets Deadline for Booster Shots – NEW

Due to the spread of the Omicron variant, UCSF has set a deadline for all eligible members of the UCSF community to get booster shots by Jan. 15, 2022. Here’s what you should know:

  • To be eligible for a booster, you must have received your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or your Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago. You can mix and match whichever vaccine brand you prefer for the booster shot.
  • UCSF is reserving appointments for employees to get booter shots this weekend. To find out how and where to get a booster shot at UCSF, please visit the coronavirus vaccine information page. To see the holiday schedule for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, please see this page.
  • Booster shots are widely available through vaccination clinics, health care providers, Safeway stores and neighborhood pharmacies.
  • Californians can visit the My Turn website or call (833) 422-4255 to make an appointment or find a nearby vaccine location.
  • If you get a booster at a location outside UCSF, please upload a copy of that record to the Occupational Health Services portal  (UCSF MyAccess is required.)

Friday Town Hall to Cover What’s Next in Pandemic – NEW

Please join Chancellor Sam Hawgood, Mark Laret, president and CEO of UCSF Health, and UCSF experts at the COVID-19 Response Town Hall on Friday, Dec. 15, 2021, at 4 p.m. via Zoom.  Friday’s program will feature a panel discussion focusing on “What’s Next in the Pandemic in 2022?” This panel includes UCSF’s leading experts in response to COVID-19, including

  • Bob Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine, who will moderate serve moderator
  • Charles Chiu, Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Director, UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center
  • Peter Chin-Hong, Professor, Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Associate Dean, Regional Campuses
  • Monica Gandhi, Professor, Medicine, and Associate Division Chief, Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Health at UCSF Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital
  • Kim Rhoads, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Associate Director, Community Engagement, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • George Rutherford, Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Acting Director, Institute for Global Health Sciences

Steps to Return to Work Following COVID-19 Symptoms – NEW

Please see the steps below to ensure that you don’t experience delays in returning to work after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. One call at the beginning of your symptoms is all that’s required for most people. Please don’t wait until you’re ready to return to work to complete your clearance interview.

  1. Complete Daily Screener to report symptoms (including allergies), provide “preferred phone number,” and receive a “Not Cleared to Work” screen
    • This will send a message to the COVID Response Team, who will call you to complete an interview in 1 to 2 days.
  2. Get Tested for COVID-19. You have options (use link at bottom of “Not Cleared” screen.
    • For moderate symptoms, get a Color Test for a 24- to 48-hour turnaround
    • Get UCSF clinical lab test, fastest, less than a 24-hour turnaround
    • Get local test, and send results to [email protected]
    • Regardless of your where test is completed, the COVID Response Team clearance is REQUIRED before returning to work.
  3. Answer Phone Call from the COVID Response Team (an unidentified 415 or 650 number)
    • For most employees with typical illness, this is the only interview needed to return to work, and you will get a clearance email at that time.
    • Employees can return to work when feeling ready (providing no fever over 24 hours, or diarrhea over 48 hours)
    • Exposure return-to-work does require a second evaluation if quarantine was required with required testing

Traveling Internationally Requires Two-Step Testing – NEW

Employees may be planning international travel over the holidays. UCSF now requires two-step COVID-19 testing following international travel.

If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine but should monitor symptoms for 14 days after return. Individuals returning to onsite work within 10 days following international travel should obtain a COVID-19 test through Color within 24 hours of entering a UCSF facility. 

A second COVID-19 test is required three to five days following the first test.  Unvaccinated employees will keep the current workflow of a requiring an interview with the COVID Response Team.

UCSF Stress and Resiliency Study – NEW

Are you feeling down or blue? Are you a woman between ages 30-60 and in good health? 

If so, you can help UCSF researchers study healthy ways to cope. 

Join the UCSF Stress and Resilience study to help researchers better understand stress. If you join, you will learn a new breathing technique you will practice over 3 weeks at home, and see how it affects your mood, health, and stress. Contributing to science helps us move toward a healthier future for yourself and others like you! 

You also will receive up to $470 for doing all parts of the study and get a chance to win a $200 Amazon gift card. Find out if you’re eligible to participate today at  https://www.stressresilience.net 

Complete Daily Health Screener – REMINDER

Everyone must complete the COVID-19 health screening tool before coming to any UCSF location. The screener can be found on the UCSF Mobile App, or online at www.ucsfhealth.org/daily-health-screening. Among the highlights:

  • Employees without a smartphone can go through the aforementioned website or, for now, continue to go to the manual screeners located at main entrances.
  • Once cleared for work, employees and learners can simply tap their UCSF Identification (ID) badge at any electronic badge reader before entering a building.
  • Employees at UCSF BCH Oakland will continue to show the Employee Pass screen to ambassadors or the security desk.
  • Employees at UCSF Fresno will continue to use the current badge reader for entry and show the Employee Pass screen at the security desk.

Wear and Swipe UCSF ID Badge Daily – REMINDER

Please remember to wear your UCSF ID badge prominently above the waist and to swipe your badge at least once a day. Please note the following:

  • You can read more about this Key/Badge Policy that extends this requirement from UCSF Health facilities to those working in campus facilities.
  • Employees and learners who tap their badge into a UCSF building as required, but don’t complete the mandatory daily health screener, will be sent an email notification for non-compliance with the screener policy. Managers of employees will be copied on the email notification. Read more about the policy here.

A message from the Office of Communications

Editor's note: This version is updated to correct the return date of the individual who traveled to South Africa. 

December 1, 2021

Dear UCSF Community,

Today, the California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health confirmed that the first case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant in the United States has been identified in the Bay Area, though it is likely that other cases in the country exist but have not yet been detected.

The individual, a San Francisco resident who recently returned from South Africa on Nov. 22, 2021, was fully vaccinated but had not received a booster shot, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). After getting tested, self-isolating and experiencing mild symptoms, the person is now recovering, said SFDPH Director Grant Colfax, MD, during a news conference at San Francisco City Hall.

UCSF’s Charles Chiu, MD, PhD, a professor of laboratory medicine and medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, confirmed that this case was caused by the Omicron variant after conducting genomic sequencing, which was subsequently confirmed by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As with previous emerging COVID-19 variants, scientists and public health officials here are working with international partners to determine its severity, transmissibility and resistance to current vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics and to address any potential impacts.

The recent emergence and spread of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of being vaccinated, getting booster shots and following general prevention strategies, such as wearing face masks, needed to protect against serious illness from COVID-19. Public health officials now recommend that everyone aged 18 and over get a booster shot as soon as possible. As a reminder, booster shots are widely available at pharmacies, Safeway stores, UCSF and other local vaccination sites.

Peter Chin-Hong, MD, a professor of medicine in the UCSF Health Division of Infectious Diseases, will discuss what we know and don’t know about the Omicron variant at this Friday’s town hall. See details about the town hall and other important updates below.

Friday Town Hall to Cover Omicron Variant – NEW

Please join Chancellor Sam Hawgood and UCSF experts at the COVID-19 Response Town Hall on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, at 4 p.m. via Zoom for an overview of the Omicron coronavirus, the state of the COVID-19 pandemic both globally and locally, the availability of booster shots, ongoing COVID-19 testing and other topics. 

UCSF Urges Booster Shots for Everyone Over 18 – NEW

Due to the emergence of the Omicron variant in San Francisco, UCSF strongly urges those over age 18 to get booster shots, which are widely available through vaccination clinics, health care providers, Safeway stores and neighborhood pharmacies. Californians can visit the My Turn website or call (833) 422-4255 to make an appointment or find a nearby vaccine clinic. For information about how to get a booster shot at UCSF, please visit the UCSF Health website.

  • UCSF Fresno: Booster shots are available at the UCSF Fresno COVID-19 Equity Project at 550 E. Shaw Ave. in Fresno. For hours and more details, see www.fresno.ucsf.edu/cep. For faculty and trainees who work at Community Medical Centers (CMC), you may make any appointment through MyChart for boosters through CMC. You MUST schedule an appointment to get your booster shot at one of two clinics – downtown or in Clovis. Individuals should bring their COVID-19 vaccination card to record the booster. 

UCSF Offers Daily Health Screener Tips – NEW

In response to comments from members of the UCSF community, we are offering these tips on completing the mandatory daily health screener:

1. “I don’t have a device or mechanism for taking the screener before building entry. 

  • Interim Solution: Use manual screener iPads at visitor entrances of main hospitals if possible
  • Long-term Solution: We are programming a one-hour grace period to allow people to take their screener at their workstation computer immediately after building entry. Expected date for this solution is December 16.

2. “When I come to work and click on my screener link, it shows my current, unexpired Pass. But, then during my shift, I got a reminder email.”

  • Current Solution: To avoid getting expired pass/email reminders during your work shift, click “Retake Screener” and complete the screener before every work shift regardless of whether it is expired or not. You can find the “Retake Screener” link at the bottom of the Employee Pass clearance screen. 

3. “I work shifts that are longer than 21 hours, so my Pass expires and I get an email reminder of non-compliance during my shift”.

  • Interim Solution: During your shift, retake the screener before it expires (see below) by clicking on the “Retake Screener” link on the Pass screen.
  • Long-term Solution: We are creating a setting to allow long-shift employees/trainees to extend their Pass expiration time to 36 hours.

As a reminder, everyone must complete the COVID-19 health screening tool before coming to campus. The screener can be found on the UCSF Mobile App, or online at www.ucsfhealth.org/daily-health-screening. Among the highlights:

  • Employees without a smartphone can go through the aforementioned website or, for now, continue to go to the manual screeners located at main entrances.
  • Once cleared for work, employees and learners can simply tap their UCSF Identification (ID) badge at any electronic badge reader before entering a building.
  • More badge readers will be added at UCSF locations in the coming months.
  • Employees at UCSF BCH Oakland will continue to show the Employee Pass screen to ambassadors or the security desk.
  • Employees at UCSF Fresno will continue to use the current badge reader for entry and show the Employee Pass screen at the security desk.

Wear and Swipe UCSF ID Badge Daily – NEW

Whether you are returning to work or study on campus or have been working onsite throughout the pandemic, it’s important to wear your UCSF ID badge prominently above the waist and to swipe your badge at least once a day.

Prominently displaying your UCSF ID badge has always been a policy for employees and learners working in UCSF Health facilities. A newly released Key/Badge Policy extends this requirement to those in campus facilities.

Employees and learners who tap their badge into a UCSF building as required, but don’t complete the mandatory daily health screener, will be sent an email notification for non-compliance with the screener policy. Managers of employees will be copied on the email notification. Read more about the policy here.

U.S. Issues Travel Restrictions Due to Omicron Variant – NEW

At the advice of the President’s Chief Medical Advisor and the CDC, the Biden Administration announced that it will restrict travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe starting on Nov. 29, 2021, due to concerns over the new Omicron variant. These travel restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and certain other categories of travelers. The full text of the travel proclamation is available on the White House website.

Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants. For the latest on international travel, please see the CDC website. The CDC reminds everyone to not travel if:

  • You have been exposed to COVID-19 unless you are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
  • You are sick.
  • You tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t ended isolation (even if you are fully vaccinated).
  • You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. If your test comes back positive while you are at your destination, you will need to isolate and postpone your return until it’s safe for you to end isolation. Your travel companions may need to self-quarantine.

UCSF Awards Projects to Promote Wellness – NEW

In recognition of the unprecedented stresses caused by the pandemic and social issues of our time, UCSF is boosting its efforts to promote wellness among faculty, staff and learners. As part of this effort, nine projects were chosen to receive Community Wellbeing Grants funded by Wellness and Community, part of Campus Life Services (CLS). Read more about these projects on the CLS website.

UCSF Hosts Staff Appreciation Breakfast Events – NEW

UCSF is hosting a series of staff appreciation events that bring our UCSF community together and recognizes the great work of those working onsite and those working remotely. These events provide UCSF leaders with an opportunity to convey their gratitude in person. Here is the schedule for staff appreciation breakfasts:

  • Mission Bay: William and Susan Oberndorf Auditorium, Dec. 3, 2021, 6:30 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Mount Zion: Mount Zion Café, Dec. 9, 2021, 7 – 9 a.m.
  • Parnassus Heights: Moffitt Café, Dec. 10, 2021, 6:30 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Mission Center Building: Conference Room 126, Dec. 13, 2021, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
  • BCH Oakland: Friendly Café, Dec. 15, 2021, 6:30 – 9:30 a.m.
  • UCSF Fresno: Staff appreciation events will be held in 2022.
  • UCSF Health: For events held at UCSF Health locations, view this flyer.

Commonwealth Club Recognizes Leaders for COVID-19 Response – NEW

San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Grant Colfax, MD, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, were among those to commend and congratulate eight leaders for their extraordinary efforts to counter the devastating effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic at the 2021 Commonwealth Club Distinguished Citizens Award Gala on Nov. 19, 2021.

During a daytime luncheon celebration, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Dan Lowenstein joined city officials and more than 100 other guests to toast the health and science leaders at the Commonwealth Club headquarters in San Francisco. Later that evening, Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the President of the United States, and UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood hailed them at a virtual fundraising gala to benefit the public the Commonwealth Club of California, the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum. The 2021 honorees are:

UCSF Requires All Guests Provide Proof of Vaccination – REMINDER

UCSF requires that all public guests visiting our fitness centers and eateries or attending in-person special events, whether held at a UCSF campus facility or hosted by UCSF at a non-UCSF facility, to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination when entering the campus or event site.