Ramping up operations in spring and summer

April 15, 2021

To: UC Santa Cruz faculty and staff

From: Sarah Latham, Vice Chancellor Business and Administrative Services

Subject: Ramping up operations in spring and summer


Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that the state’s tiered, color-coded restrictions program instituted as part of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy will end June 15 should the COVID-19 vaccine supply prove sufficient and hospitalization rates remain low. California would then move into a new phase of operational resumption. We are unsure what guidance will remain in place at that point, but we do anticipate face coverings and distancing will be with us for the foreseeable future.


The update below provides guidance on the continued ramp-up of campus operations through summer as we head to fall quarter. The health and well-being of students, employees, visitors, and members of the broader community will continue to be at the forefront of all planning and decisions. Campus has been operating in Phase 4 of our operational resumption map since September. It is estimated that campus will enter Phase 5 by July 1. The campus resumption plan frames this work and outlines the guiding principles for resumption. As state and other guidelines change, the plans outlined below will also adapt.

Worksite plans

Units across campus have been diligently completing worksite plans and readying buildings over the past year as operations have resumed on site. This process has been critical as it ensures that facilities have the needed COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place. A map showing the buildings with approved worksite plans is available online to review. The principal officers of any operation that plans to return in spring quarter but that does not yet have a completed worksite plan should complete the process outlined at the Process for Resumption of On-Site Operations page. As new guidance is released from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Cal OSHA, the requirements outlined in the worksite plan will be adapted. All facilities that have not completed worksite plans should do so (including all related mitigations) by June 1. Please submit any questions to worksite@ucsc.edu.

Offices

The campus has delegated authority to principal officers to determine what functions are deemed essential to be on site to support instruction, research and student support.


Beginning June 15, and over the months leading up to the start of fall quarter, units should begin to phase the return of employees who have not already returned to on-site work and formalize agreements with employees who have entered into or will enter into a routine telecommuting agreement as outlined in the telecommuting and remote work model released in October. If physical distancing guidelines remain in place, limitations on employee return will need to be factored into planning. Currently, the physical distancing guidelines remain at 6 feet (per CDC and CDPH); however, we anticipate updated guidance may be issued in the coming weeks, possibly reducing that to 3 feet or less. A framework will be provided to managers to assist in prioritizing and staging the return of these employees. This framework will include guidance on returning to spaces that have not been occupied for several months or, in some cases, over a year.


By Sept. 10, every unit should have determined which employees in their units will continue to operate remotely as a regular part of their job. Should you have questions as you develop your telecommuting agreements, contact your Staff Human Resources team contact or divisional academic personnel coordinators.


Campus guidelines until June 15

Employees are able to utilize their offices if their principal officer has deemed it essential for them to be on campus or on site to support in-person instruction, research, student support, or other on-site operations. Where duties can be performed remotely, and employees have not already been granted access to support instruction, research, student support or other on-site operations, employees should plan to work remotely through June.

Campus guidelines starting June 15

Units will begin to phase the return of employees whose work had not been deemed as required to be on site previously as part of instructional, research, student support, or other operations. This will occur in a staged and coordinated fashion. The exception to this return will be employees who are entering into a routine telecommuting agreement with their department to telecommute regularly after COVID-19.

Travel

Campus is only permitting essential travel at this time. Principal officers can determine what is deemed essential travel for their unit and operations. All permitted travel must conform with CDPH and CDC requirements and guidelines. As these requirements and guidelines change, campus guidance will adjust accordingly.

Meetings

To the extent possible, meetings should continue to be conducted via Zoom. If all meeting participants are already working on site, they may meet indoors if they are utilizing space in buildings with approved worksite plans. They must abide by the distancing guidance and cleaning protocols for each room. In addition, they must follow all other safety mitigations currently in place, including wearing a face covering and physical distancing, as well as other guidance outlined in that building's worksite plan.


This Applies to Meetings Taking Place Prior to June 15. Additional
Guidance for Meetings Taking Place after June 15 will be Forthcoming.

Status of Onsite Work

Guidelines

All or a portion of attendees are telecommuting

  • Meeting should take place using Zoom

All attendees are already working on site and are campus affiliates

  • Meeting can take place using Zoom or in person.
  • If in person and indoors, physical distancing, face coverings and other requirements outlined in the facility approved COVID-19 worksite plan must be adhered to. In addition, all attendees must be compliant with other campus COVID-19 requirements, such as symptom checking.
  • If in-person and outdoors, physical distancing, face covering and other requirements outlined in the facility approved COVID-19 worksite plan must be adhered to. In addition, all attendees must be compliant with other campus COVID-19 requirements, such as symptom checking. Note that there are lease restrictions regarding outdoor meetings for employees at the Scotts Valley Center. Guidance will be issued for that location.

Meeting involves non-affiliates

  • Meetings can take place using Zoom or in person.
  • If in-person and indoors, physical distancing, masking and other requirements outlined in the facility approved COVID-19 worksite plan must be adhered to. In addition, all attendees must be compliant with other campus COVID-19 requirements, such as symptom checking. Instructions for non-affiliate symptom checking can be found here.
  • If in person and outdoors, physical distancing, face coverings and other requirements outlined in the facility approved COVID-19 worksite plan must be adhered to. In addition, all attendees must be compliant with other campus COVID-19 requirements, such as symptom checking. Instructions for non-affiliate symptom checking can be found here. Note that there are lease restrictions regarding outdoor meetings for employees at the Scotts Valley Center. Guidance will be issued for that location.


Gatherings and Live Events

The following pertains to gatherings and live events. This is aimed at non-student gatherings, as the state Higher Education Guidelines provide separate direction for student functions.


The campus is limiting events taking place prior to June 15 and will ramp up the number of events supported as we move through summer. If a unit would like to host an in-person event (indoors or outdoors) prior to fall, they will need to be centrally reviewed and approved by submitting a request using the event review form. Any event must comply with the relevant state guidance for outdoor live events and performances that went into effect April 1. In addition, effective April 15, additional guidance will govern indoor events as well as other kinds of gatherings. As state guidance changes, the requirements for campus events will also adjust.

Camps and conferences

Only UC Santa Cruz-affiliated camps and conferences will be considered for summer 2021. Each camp or conference must abide by COVID-19 requirements and sponsors will be required to attest that there is a plan in place to align with requirements. Any day camps that involve individuals under 18 will be required to follow state guidance for Day Camps as well as other guidance related to youth in supervised settings. Fall camps and conferences guidance will be released in June. If a unit would like to host a camp or conference during the summer, they will need to submit a request using the camps and conference review form.

Staying Slug Strong

As we continue the ramp-up of on-site operations, it is critical that everyone remain Slug Strong and follow testing, face covering, physical distancing, and other campus guidelines. Our ability to keep case rates low on campus are a direct result of your continued vigilance, and our ability to move toward more in-person activities as outlined above depends on each of us continuing to play our part in the health and wellness of our campus and each other.

Supporting employees as they transition to on-site work

We recognize that while some faculty and staff will be enthusiastic about resuming on-site work, others will be concerned about their return or the adjustments entailed in returning to on-site work spaces. Multiple workgroups are currently developing resources, training and other support services to assist in this transition. An update of this work will be shared in May.


While we want to celebrate the continued return of employees to on-site operations, we also want to celebrate our employees who have never stopped working on site in campus facilities and those who have already returned, as well as those will now routinely telecommute as part of their jobs past the COVID-19 pandemic. The monumental efforts of faculty and staff over the past year have demonstrated that, regardless of the location of the work, our employees continue to advance the mission of UC Santa Cruz.