COVID-19 protocol updates for spring quarter

  • March 18, 2022

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

Dear Bruin Community:

As we approach the end of winter quarter and look ahead to spring break and the upcoming academic quarter, we do so with excitement and anticipation of the opportunity to relax some campus COVID-19 requirements, beginning Monday, April 11 as outlined below. This opportunity comes as a result of improving public health conditions at UCLA and within our region. Declining COVID-19 case rates led to an easing of mitigation protocols by L.A. County and the state of California in recent weeks, and UCLA is now preparing for the same.

We recognize the fatigue that comes from two years of navigating a global pandemic and the corresponding social sacrifices. We also recognize that many members of the Bruin community remain concerned about the easing of mitigation protocols while the virus remains active, although risk of spread is significantly reduced.

It is important that we all acknowledge and respect these different perspectives and work together as a community to help everyone feel as comfortable as possible. For those eligible for and those who take advantage of the eased campus mitigation measures described below, we ask you to be considerate and respectful of those who choose to continue to wear a mask and test regularly. Even if you are eligible to remove your mask indoors, we recommend that you continue to mask in classrooms and at other large gatherings out of respect and support of those who may be more vulnerable or concerned. Public health authorities are still strongly recommending masking to mitigate the risks of infection that still exist.

Please note that campus masking requirements are governed by campus leadership and individuals cannot mandate specific masking requirements on others in classrooms or other settings.

To help clarify the changes to our protocols and answer related questions we are planning two virtual town halls in the coming days:

Below are reminders about spring break travel and an outline of the new protocols for spring quarter:

  • Travel reminders for spring break
  • UCLA testing protocols upon return to campus from spring break travel
  • Updated COVID-19 protocols for spring quarter, beginning April 11

Travel reminders for spring break

If you are traveling internationally, please visit:

If you are traveling domestically, please visit:

Protect yourself during travel:

Travelers should continue to practice COVID-19 precautions during travel, including properly wearing a well-fitting mask when needed and frequent hand washing.

UCLA testing protocols upon return to campus from spring break travel

If you are away from campus and not participating in the required surveillance testing during spring break, it is important to be aware of the following testing measures that will be required upon your return to UCLA.

Residential students in on-campus UCLA Housing facilities; fraternity, sorority chapter houses and co-op housing; and athletes active in NCAA and club sports:

  • Test upon return to campus:
    Obtain a negative result from a rapid antigen test with FDA Emergency-Use Authorization on the day of your return to Westwood and before you engage in in-person work, sports, classes or any other activity. Approved rapid antigen tests will be available at on-campus UCLA Housing front desks; fraternity, sorority chapter houses and co-op housing; and through intercollegiate athletics and club sports. Use of a rapid antigen test with FDA Emergency-Use Authorization at home is acceptable as long as a negative test is obtained on the same day of return and prior to engaging in other activities.

All other individuals, including students, faculty and staff returning from spring break travel:

Faculty, staff and students who did not travel during spring break need only to continue their weekly UCLA standard surveillance PCR testing from a campus vending machine or distribution center.

Updated COVID-19 protocols for spring quarter, beginning April 11

UCLA will see some significant COVID-19 protocol changes for those who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines (including boosters), depending on the public health conditions remaining constant.

If current trends continue, the following changes are anticipated to go into effect on Monday, April 11:

Surveillance testing and masking

Students, faculty and staff who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines may opt out of weekly surveillance testing and indoor mask wearing, although these precautionary mitigations remain highly recommended.

Masking exception: Instructors who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and able to maintain at least six feet of distance from others may choose to remove their masks during lectures to enhance learning goals as early as March 28.

Students, faculty and staff who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and are learning, working, living or otherwise participating in activities on campus or other UCLA properties will continue to be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing and wear upgraded masks indoors until further notice.

Students, faculty and staff who must remove their masks during music and performing arts, playing wind instruments, singing, etc. indoors will still be required to continue testing three times per week, regardless of vaccination status, until LACDPH lifts this requirement for institutes of higher education (PDF). Once this LACDPH requirement is lifted or on April 11 (whichever comes later), only those who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines will be required to test once per week in accordance with UCLA policy.

Mask availability

Upgraded masks including medical grade surgical masks, KN95 masks and voluntary-use N95 respirators will continue to be made available free of charge to faculty, staff and students through at least the end of spring quarter. Departments can request these supplies via the Emergency PPE Supply Store at no cost.

A clinic to provide assistance and advice on proper wearing and use of voluntary-use N95 masks will be held during the week of March 28.

We encourage any faculty, staff or students who wish to take advantage of the personal protection that voluntary-use N95 masks provide to request one from their department and attend the clinic. More information about the clinic time and location will be provided soon.

Additional information on acquiring N-95 masks for voluntary use and instructions and required training (PDF), is available on the Emergency PPE Supply Store website.

COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring and Vaccination Verification System

Protocols related to the daily symptom monitoring and surveillance survey will not change. It is important that all faculty, staff, students and non-affiliates continue to complete the survey each day they are on campus or other UCLA property. Now that some employees will no longer be required to wear a mask or test weekly, it is even more important that managers and supervisors monitor the COVID-19 Clearance Portal to ensure employee compliance with COVID-19 mitigations for those who continue to be required to use these mitigations.

Organized events

When planning events, we ask that students, faculty, staff and affiliates review UCLA protocols (PDF) and be aware of the latest changes, specifically:

Outdoor mega-events
Participants are no longer required to verify their vaccine status or proof of negative test upon entry, or wear masks, although masks are still highly recommended.

Indoor mega-events
Participants will continue to be required to wear masks, even though Los Angeles County no longer requires this for fully vaccinated individuals. It is anticipated that starting April 11, participants who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines will have the option of being unmasked while attending indoor mega events, although masking would still be highly recommended.

Consistent with public health guidelines, participants will continue to be required to show their symptom survey clearance certificate, or proof of vaccination or negative test within 48 hours (if PCR) or 24 hours (if rapid antigen) to attend indoor mega events.

Organized events and meetings
It is anticipated that starting April 11, if current trends continue, the following will be implemented:

  • Food at indoor organized events and meetings will be allowed.
  • For indoor organized events, participants will still be required to show their symptom survey clearance certificate, or proof of vaccination or negative test within 48 hours.
  • Participants who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines will have the option of being unmasked while attending indoor organized events, although masking would still be strongly recommended.


We wish you a happy and safe Spring Break and look forward to the start of a wonderful spring quarter for our entire Bruin community. Thank you for your continued cooperation, understanding and patience as we transition to a new phase of the pandemic.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

Megan McEvoy
Professor, Institute for Society and Genetics,
     Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

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