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 falls under Gov. Newsom’s orange-tier, which is in Phase 2 and remains in place until further notice. Limited numbers of employees are continuing to work on campus, with a phased ramp-up of on-campus research activities taking place. UCR employees who are able to work remotely will continue to do so unless otherwise notified by their organizational leadership. At this time, we do not have a specific schedule to repopulate the campus, and this issue is one being discussed at the UC level, and will be dependent on the fall instructional delivery decision and meeting safety/health care requirements. We will keep you updated as more information is available.  If any employee has questions about their individual position they should work through their supervisor.

Returning to Campus:

The campus will begin to bring additional employees back to work in concert with California state orders and UC Office of the President guidance. Preparation for this will include a series of personal and location-based protocols outlined in the subsequent sections.  

This guide should be read in its entirety by all UCR employees to understand the recommended guidelines.  Documents to support departments and supervisors in managing their workspaces include a checklist for supervisors to review and prepare their work areas (Worksite Specific COVID-19 Prevention Plan), a checklist for research laboratories to safely ramp up research operations, an outline of what types of protocols should be used to manage each type of space, and posters that employees can reference and must follow. Supervisors are encouraged to conduct as much preparation for their workspaces as possible.

Supervisors/PIs should complete the Worksite Specific COVID-19 Prevention Plan.  These plans should be reviewed by department heads/chairs.  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 and acknowledge they have reviewed the required protocols to work on campus. 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. The training assignment should not be considered direction to discontinue telecommuting. However, 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.
    Signs will be posted across campus as a reminder of best practices. COVID-19 related information, changes to the return plan, and changes to campus status will be communicated via the UCR Coronavirus website and through campus notices from leadership. 

    Flu vaccine:

    To support the health and well-being of UC students, faculty and staff and our communities, the University of California, in consultation with UC Health leadership, has issued a systemwide executive order requiring all members of the UC community to receive an influenza immunization before Nov. 1, 2020 or before returning to campus during the 2020-21 flu season. 

    A process is in place for faculty and staff to request medical exemptions. Requests for disability or religious accommodations will be handled through the interactive process consistent with existing location policies and procedures. 

    More information about the implementation of UC’s requirement is available on the EHS corona virus website

  • COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing

    If you have been exposed to COVID-19 it is important to note 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. Contact the UCR Employee COVID Hotline (844) 827-6827 or your primary care provider to discuss next steps.  More information can be found at the CDC website.

    High Risk Individuals: 

    Per CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. Those conditions include: 
    •    Over 65 years of age 
    •    Severe asthma 
    •    Chronic lung disease 
    •    Diabetes 
    •    Serious heart conditions 
    •    Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis 
    •    Severe obesity 
    •    Liver disease 
    •    Immunocompromised – HIV, AIDS, chemo-therapy 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, which is administered by Curative seven (7) days a week and any other available sites throughout the Riverside County. For more details, visit  

    When a worksite has been identified as the location of a COVID-19 outbreak of 3 or more COVID-19 cases within 14 days, COVID-19 testing is available to all employees at the exposed worksite except for employees who were not present during the period of an outbreak. 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 during an employee's working hours. Individuals should work with their supervisors to schedule testing times. The duration of any quarantine 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, or more frequently if recommended by UCR COVID-19 Wellness Hotlines, 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 COVID-19 cases within 30 days, COVID-19 testing is available to all employees present at the exposed worksite during the relevant 30-day period(s) and who remain at the worksite. 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 recommended by UCR COVID-19 Wellness Hotline, HRBP/Leave Coordinator, or Riverside County Department of Public Health. 

    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. Employees are required to conduct a self-assessment and participate in temperature monitoring prior to beginning work each day they report to campus 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) for additional review.   

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

    Wellness Survey

    Symptom Monitoring and Reporting Procedures for Covered Employees and Supervisors

    Campus Response to Suspected COVID-19 Cases

  • Face Coverings

    Per UC guidance, you are required to wear face coverings at all times while at work, indoors and outdoors with the following exceptions:  

    1. All staff who are performing duties outdoors and are alone, may remove the face covering when others are not nearby or within a 6-foot radius. 
    2. Administrative staff may remove face covering if working in an administrative area on their own. 
    3. Face coverings must be readily available to cover your face when others are nearby.  
    4. 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.
    5. Participants of the UCR Respiratory Protection Program
    6. 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.
      1. If accommodations are required, please contact the UCR Disability Management Office. 
      2. 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.
    7. Specific tasks that cannot feasibly be performed with a face covering. 
    8. 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.
    • Face coverings should be made of cloth or, if preferred, disposable masks are acceptable. 
    • Face coverings can be made with or without sewing readily available materials by following the direction at the CDC Face Mask Guidance website here (CDC Face Mask Page)  
    • The purpose of face covering is to keep your respiratory droplets from spreading into other’s breathing zones. Face coverings are not considered personal protective equipment (PPE). 
    • You are responsible for making sure you have a clean face covering each work day. 
    • You can request a cloth face covering if you do not have one.  
    • Supervisors may request face coverings for employees from EH&S by completing this request form
    • If you forget your face covering, contact your supervisor. 
    • Additional Face Covering Information can be found here.
    • If accommodations are required, please contact the UCR Disability Management Office. 
  • Hygiene

    Employees are encouraged to wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and/or use sanitizer often while on campus, preferably every one to two hours, before and after eating, using shared equipment, and 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 eyes, nose, and mouth.  
    •    Wash your hands with soap often throughout the day - at least every hour or two at a minimum.  
    •    Avoid touching your face, 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 60% or higher 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 door knobs and elevator buttons, whenever possible, with bare hands. Use a clean tissue, shirt sleeve, or your 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

    While on campus, all employees are encouraged to avoid in-person interactions and gatherings. When it is not possible to avoid others, everyone shall maintain a minimum 6-foot separation. Workstations may be adjusted to ensure the minimum distancing, when feasible.  Employee work schedules may be altered to minimize the number of people in buildings or areas at the same time.  

    While on campus, all employees should avoid in-person interactions and gatherings. When it is not possible to avoid others, everyone shall maintain a minimum 6-foot separation. Workstations may be adjusted to ensure the minimum distancing, when feasible.  Employee work schedules may be altered to minimize the number of people in buildings or areas at the same time.   A general rule of thumb is to consider a maximum occupancy of 25% of the posted and normal occupancy of an area/space.

  • Signs

    Signs will be 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 expected to maintain distancing in common areas. Employees are encouraged to avoid touching door handles and other shared surfaces with bare hands, and to disinfect often. Employees are encouraged to stay to the right when walking and avoid entering crowded areas. Elevators are limited to one rider and 8 steps should be maintained between stair users. 

    It is important to be respectful of everyone’s space during this time. Please adhere to the following guidance.  
    •    Maintain 6-foot distancing from all persons
    •    Limit what surfaces you touch in common areas
    •    Wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds. You may use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol as an alternative if handwashing is not available. 
    •    Wash hands with soap before and after touching common area surfaces 
    •    Do not use common area phones or computers unless you disinfect before and after use 
    •    Do not enter a small room if someone else is in there 
    •    RIGHT OF WAY - In all cases, the person exiting has the right of way 
    •    STAY TO THE RIGHT - when walking in all areas, stay to the right. Do not attempt to pass people in corridors. 
    •    ELEVATORS - occupancy in elevators is limited to one rider at a time. Wait 6 feet from the door and to the right to allow riders to exit to their right. Click here to download poster 
    •    STAIRS - 6 foot spacing needs to be maintained on stairs. Stay 8 steps behind the person in front of you. Click here to download poster 
    •    Additional posters are available here
  • Barriers

    Barriers are not a substitute for physical distancing.  Barriers may be considered for customer service positions such as cashiers and receptionists.   Information about purchasing barriers can be found on the Facilities Services website.

  • Occupancy Limits

    Rooms and areas should be assessed to determine the number of people who can safely distance while using the space based on current guidelines.  UCR recommends that spaces not be occupied more than 25% of approved code occupancy and a 6-foot distance must be maintained for the initial phase of reoccupancy.  This recommendation is expected to change as the state moves into future phases of recovery and will be messaged to the campus.  

    • Signs indicating new occupancy limits should be posted at room entrances.   
    • Printable occupancy signage can be found on the EH&S website.
    • Limit the number of workers in areas to ensure at least six feet of separation and no more than 25% of approved code occupancy. For questions on approved occupancy, contact EH&S or Space Management.  
    • Some common areas may be closed, or access restricted, to prevent use and minimize areas that require frequent disinfection. 
    • Elevators are currently limited to one rider at a time.
  • Ventilation

    In coordination with Facilities Services, environmental health and safety will evaluate indoor locations for adequate ventilation on a case-by-case basis. Evaluations will occur based upon information obtained in Worksite Specific Plans. The quantity of outdoor air for indoor locations being evaluated will be maximized to the greatest extent feasible. Ventilation systems will also be evaluated to ensure that filtration efficiency is maximized to the highest level compatible with the existing system. 

    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 COVID-19 cases within 14 days, an investigation into issues concerning insufficient outdoor air or insufficient air filtration will be accomplished. Certain 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 COVID-19 cases within 30 days, 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 filter with a MERV 13 or higher efficiency. 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 the 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. 

  • Work Schedules

    All units and departments will need to maintain distancing practices while working onsite. Employees must work with their immediate supervisors to develop a work schedule that works for the campus, department, and fellow employees using shared work and break areas.  Supervisors may also have to coordinate with the Human Resources staff as represented employees may have different requirements.  Considerations to ensure safe distancing may include: 

    • Continue remote work, if feasible.  Supervisors should discuss with their employees. 
    • Stagger start times 
    • Stagger schedules for lunch and break times 
    • Establish alternating work schedules 
    • Add weekend or evening shifts, if appropriate - take into consideration personal safety and building access issue
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For more information or additional guidance, please contact:
Sharyl Murdock