COVID-19 Prevention Plan



To provide an informative resource for UC Riverside faculty, staff, and students who will be returning to work on campus following the California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This guidance includes the prevention measures the campus has put in place and what specific responsibilities are placed on faculty, staff, and students returning to campus, and essential personnel remaining on campus, in order to ensure the safety of the entire campus community. 

Download the COVID-19 Prevention Plan

Return to Campus Guide


small ray back to campus

Campus Re-Opening  

Current Status:

UCR is planning for a fall return to mostly in-person instruction and work, with the transition beginning in summer. Following Beyond California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy and the latest workplace requirements from California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), at UCR:  

  • Effective July 29, 2021, per Chancellor’s announcement and CDPH guidance, all individuals are required to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth at all times indoors, regardless of vaccination status. See face covering section below for more details.
  • Physical distancing and barriers between workers are no longer required, regardless of vaccination status. Increased transmission levels may require a return to masking and distancing, so increasing vaccination rates is critical.
  • There will be no occupancy limits beyond those required by fire code. This means that all worksites, including labs, can now operate at 100%.
  • Forms and exceptional approvals are no longer required for on-campus or UCR-sponsored events and gatherings. This means that plans can now be made for in-person events.
  • The UC President has rescinded travel directives. Exceptional approval for travel is no longer required. University travelers must follow CDC Guidance before, during, and upon return from travel.
Returning to Campus:

 For any questions or concerns, contact EH&S at 951-827-5528 or

Personal Protocols

Each employee shall follow established protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus.  

  • Training and Communication

    Each employee returning to work on campus must complete the COVID-19 Prevention online training course, which will discuss UCR's policies and procedures to protect individuals from COVID-19 hazards. To access the training, visit R'Space, and click on the UC Learning Center (LMS).

    All UCR employees, whether working on campus or remotely, will receive an email notification providing instructions on how to access the course through the UC Learning Center. Training completion is required prior to returning to work on campus. Employees who have returned to campus must complete the course as soon as reasonably possible. Supervisors will receive an email notification when employees complete the course. New employees must complete the training.

  • COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing

    If you have been exposed to COVID-19, it is important to note that you may not become sick nor show symptoms. Symptoms vary, with some people experiencing no or very mild symptoms while others experience very severe symptoms. These symptoms usually appear in 2-14 days after exposure and include:

    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever greater than 100.4F, or feeling feverish
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of taste and/or smell

    If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, stay home unless otherwise directed. Contact the UCR Employee COVID Hotline (844) 827-6827 or your primary care provider to discuss the next steps. More information can be found on the CDC website.

    High-Risk Individuals:

    Per the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk of COVID-19 infection. Those conditions include:

    • Over 65 years of age
    • Severe asthma
    • Chronic lung disease
    • Diabetes
    • Serious heart conditions
    • Chronic kidney disease is treated with dialysis
    • Severe obesity
    • Liver disease
    • Immunocompromised – HIV, AIDS, chemotherapy patients, transplant recipients, on immune-suppressing medications, etc.
    • Pregnancy

    If you think you are considered high risk and need assistance, please contact the UCR Disability Management Office to discuss what reasonable accommodations can be addressed.

    COVID-19 Testing:

    UCR offers free on-campus COVID-19 testing to students, the COVID-19 Response Team (Student Health Services, UCR Health, MRB/CLIA Lab Group), and Athletics staff approved for competition, per NCAA and Big West protocols (MBB and WBB). Faculty/Staff can obtain COVID-19 testing at UCR Lot 26, administered by Curative seven (7) days a week and any other available sites throughout Riverside County. For more details, visit the testing page

    When a worksite has been identified as the location of a COVID-19 outbreak of 3 or more employee COVID-19 cases within an exposed group, visited the workplace during their high-risk exposure period at any time during 14 days, COVID-19 testing is available to all employees in the exposed group. Individuals will be notified by UCR Health or HRBP and will need to be tested immediately upon notification and again one week later. COVID-19 testing is available at no cost to employees within the exposed group during an employee's paid time, except (a) employees who were not present at the workplace during the relevant 14-day period(s); (b) employees who were fully vaccinated and who do not have COVID-19 symptoms; (c) For COVID-19 cases which do not develop COVID-19 symptoms after returning to work, no testing is required for 90 days after the initial onset of COVID-19 symptoms or, for COVID-19 cases who never developed symptoms, 90 days after the first positive test. Individuals should work with their supervisors to schedule testing times. The duration of any quarantine, isolation, or exclusion period will not be affected by a negative COVID-19 test result. After the first two COVID-19 tests, continuous COVID-19 testing will be required at least once per week at no cost, during paid time for all employees in the exposed group who remain at the workplace, or more frequently if recommended by UCR COVID-19 Wellness Hotline, HRBP/Leave Coordinator, Riverside County Department of Public Health.

    When a worksite has been identified as a location of a major COVID-19 outbreak of 20 or more employee COVID-19 cases in an exposed group, visited the workplace during their high-risk exposure period within 30 days, COVID-19 testing is available to all employees in the exposed group, regardless of vaccination status. Individuals will be notified by UCR COVID-19 Wellness Hotline or HRBP/Leave Coordinator. They will need to be tested twice a week or more frequently if UCR COVID-19 Wellness Hotline, HRBP/Leave Coordinator, or Riverside County Department of Public Health recommends it.

    COVID-Testing Sites

  • Health & Wellness Monitoring and Care

    The health and wellness protocols implemented are based on the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and California state guidance. Employees must not work on campus if they are sick unless otherwise directed. Employees are required to conduct a self-assessment and participate in temperature monitoring before beginning work each day using the Wellness Survey or approved alternative method. Employees will either be approved to work on campus or referred to the UCR COVID- 19 Wellness Hotline (844-827-6827) or email for additional review.

    Please remember that employee health issues are confidential. Employees and Supervisors should reach out to the UCR COVID-19 Wellness Hotline for guidance on responding to possible or confirmed COVID cases.

    Wellness Survey

  • Face Coverings
    Updates as of July 29, 2021

    Note: This update is effective July 29, 2021 and supersedes face covering guidance described below on page 9.
    Effective July 29, 2021, per Chancellor’s announcement and CDPH guidance, all individuals are required to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth at all times indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are required in the following indoor settings:

    • While on any UC campus with its research, teaching, or public services (including clinical care) missions or programs, including University Housing.
    • When using any university owned or operated vehicle if there is more than one person in the vehicle.
    • On public transit (examples: airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares) and in transportation hubs (examples: airport, bus terminal, marina, train station, seaport or other port, subway station, or any other area that provides transportation).
    • Indoors in childcare, K-12 schools
    • Healthcare settings (e.g. Student Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services)
    • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
    • Homeless shelters
    • Long term care settings and Adult and Senior Care Facilities

    The following are exceptions:

    • When working alone in a room.
    • While eating or drinking at the workplace, provided employees are at least six feet apart and outside air supply to the area; if indoors, has been maximized to the extent possible.
    • Participants of the UCR Respiratory Protection Program
    • Individuals who cannot wear face coverings due to a medical or mental health condition or disability or deaf and hard of hearing or communicating with a hearing-impaired person.
      • If accommodations are required, please contact the UCR Disability Management Office. 
      • Individuals exempted from wearing face coverings due to medical condition, mental health condition, or disability shall wear an effective non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom if their condition or disability permits it.
    • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
    • Any employee not wearing a face covering must remain six feet apart from all other persons unless tested at least twice per week for COVID-19. Testing is not an alternative to face coverings when face coverings are otherwise required.
  • Hygiene

    Employees are encouraged to wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use sanitizer when the sink or handwashing facility is not accessible, preferably every one to two hours, before and after eating, using shared equipment traversing common areas.
    The best way to prevent infection is to practice good hygiene. The main routes for a virus to enter your body are through the eyes, nose, and mouth.

    • Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds, often throughout the day - at least every hour or two at a minimum.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth whenever possible, especially with uncleaned hands. If you touch your face, wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
    • If handwashing facilities are not available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol content is a good substitute. Make sure to continue to rub your hands on all surfaces, just as you would if washing until the hand sanitizer has evaporated completely.
    • Avoid touching surfaces like doorknobs and elevator buttons, whenever possible, with bare hands. Use a clean tissue, shirt sleeve, or elbow.
    • If you cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Tissues must be thrown in the trash, followed by hand washing.
  • Physical Distancing

    Although physical distancing of at least six feet is no longer required, it is important to understand that particles containing the virus can travel more than six feet, especially indoors, so physical distancing, face coverings, increased ventilation indoors. Respiratory protection decreases the spread of COVID-19 but is most effective when used in combination.

    During multiple COVID-19 infections and COVID-19 outbreaks, physical distancing of at least six feet between persons or, where six feet of physical distancing is not feasible, may be implemented to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 base don the investigation and review. Methods of physical distancing include: telework or other remote work arrangements; reducing the number of persons in an area at one time, including visitors; visual cues such as signs and floor markings to indicate where employees and others should be located or their direction and path of travel; staggered arrival, departure, work, and break times; and adjusted work processes or procedures. When it is not feasible to maintain a distance of at least six feet, individuals should be as far apart as feasible.

  • Signs

    Signs are posted across campus as a reminder of best practices. COVID-19 related information, changes to the return plan, and campus status changes will be communicated via the UCR Coronavirus website and through campus notices from leadership.

  • Visitors

    We recognize that visitors, contractors, vendors, and other non-UCR personnel may need to come to campus. Non-UCR-affiliated individuals coming to campus for essential work must abide by these visitor guidelines.

    Non-UCR Affiliate Guide

Location-Based Protocols

  • Common Areas
    Common areas include public corridors, lobbies, indoor seating areas, etc.

    Hand sanitizer stations have been placed at the main entrance of major campus buildings.  Map of station locations.

    Employees are encouraged to wash hands with soap and water frequently after
    touching door handles and other shared surfaces with bare hands.

    It is important to be respectful of everyone's space during this time. Please adhere to the following guidance.

    • Wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds. You may use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol as an alternative if handwashing is not available. Hand sanitizers with methyl alcohol are prohibited.
  • Barriers

    CalOSHA has removed the requirement to install barriers (6/17/2021).

  • Occupancy Limits

    CalOSHA has removed occupancy limits as of 6/17/2021. There will be no occupancy limits beyond those required by the fire code. This means that all worksites, including labs, can now operate at 100%.

  • Ventilation

    In coordination with Facilities Services, Environmental Health and Safety will continue to monitor the recommendations and guidance from the WHO, CDC, and American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Based on the recommendations, Facilities Services has already taken the following actions:

    • Maximized outside air to increase air circulation +1 hour before and after regular operating hours, so more fresh air being brought into active buildings
    • Continue to update HVAC air filters to the maximum allowed rating for each building system in occupied buildings

    There are instances when outside air quantities in naturally or mechanically ventilated spaces cannot be maximized due to environmental conditions. These conditions include:

    • When the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality Index is greater than 100 for any pollutant.
    • When the outside air temperature is excessively hot or cold.

    When a worksite has been identified as the location of a COVID-19 outbreak of 3 or more employee COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period, an investigation into issues concerning insufficient outdoor air or insufficient air filtration will be accomplished. Specific indoor tasks may be moved outdoors or performed remotely if increases in outdoor air or air filtration improvement cannot be accomplished due to ventilation system limitations.

    When a worksite has been identified as the location of a COVID-19 outbreak of 20 or more employee COVID-19 cases within a 30-day period, indoor locations with mechanical ventilation will be evaluated to determine if filter efficiency can be increased to filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) 13 or higher. MERV 13 or higher efficiency filter MERV 13 or higher efficiency filter, then suppose the ventilation system is not compatible with a MERV 13 or higher efficiency filter. In that case, operations within that specific area will be moved to an outdoor location, or the operations will be performed remotely. Portable or mounted High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration units, or other air cleaning systems, will be considered a last resort method to reduce last resort method to reduce transmission risk, where feasible.

    • Do not use campus or grant funds to purchase HEPA or other air filtration units unless there is specific approval from the UCR Senior Industrial Hygienist. Employees may not bring personal HEPA or other filtration units to campus for use. Any personal units found will be unplugged and will be disposed of within 48 hours if not removed.
  • Cleaning & Disinfection

    Facilities Services will provide cleaning and disinfection services for the campus, focusing on public areas such as public restrooms. Departments are required to assist with additional cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas in spaces assigned to them.

    Disinfection supplies should be acquired from Facilities Services in order to ensure products meet EPA criteria for COVID-19 disinfection. Information on these items is available on the Facilities Services website.  The Facilities Services website also provides information on the Custodial Cleaning Schedule for different space types to help with departmental disinfection planning.

    If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 after working on campus, Facilities Services will work with the department to clean and disinfect areas likely contaminated as recommended by the CDC. Entire buildings will not be shut down unless warranted. 

  • Specific Spaces

    Information on using specific spaces such as offices, public areas, and common facilities (Library, HUB, etc.) can be found on this page.  This information is subject to change due to State or local regulations. 

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For more information or additional guidance, please contact:
Sharyl Murdock