Transitioning back to onsite operations, what to know
Latest updates on onsite ramp-up plans at the DGSOM
Beginning in March, our research, academic and clinical operations underwent significant ramp-downs and transformations to ensure the safety and health of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. While a portion of our workforce has continued to work onsite to fulfill essential functions, most underwent a rapid transition to remote teaching, learning and working.
While many team members will continue to operate remotely until June 30, 2021, others (primarily in research and the clinical learning environment) have already begun to resume onsite activities, or are preparing to ramp up in coming months, such as Educational Affairs. As each area ramps up (or down) onsite operations, ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff, faculty, trainees and community remains our number-one priority.
For this reason, compliance with our COVID-19 safety and operational policies and protocols remains critical to mitigating a resurgence, protecting our hospitals from exceeding capacity and progressing in our phased onsite re-entry plan. Thank you for your flexibility and collaboration, and for your continued commitment to our mission and each other.
The UCLA Office of the Chancellor announced on August 14 that UCLA will have no pandemic-related indefinite or temporary layoffs for career employees through at least January 15, 2021. Read the full message →
REMOTE WORK GUIDANCE
Per campus guidance, those of you who are currently successfully working from home should plan to continue to do so until June 30, 2021.
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In response to the challenges posed by COVID-19, our Curricular Affairs team has worked tirelessly to design and execute a hybrid educational model that prioritizes safety while enabling essential in-person learning experiences.
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Clinical ramp-up plans pertaining to residents and fellows are ongoing. We have developed surge plans, established PPE supply chains, confirmed PPE availability, defined personal and patient safety standards, worked to align practices with our affiliates, and transformed ambulatory care through the implementation of telehealth. We are now defining “the new normal” as clinical care ramps up and continuing to achieve educational goals while physical distancing.
The DGSOM is currently implementing Phase 2 of UCLA Vice Chancellor for Research Roger Wakimoto’s campus-wide guidelines for a phased approach to ramping up research operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. See our ramp-up FAQs page and the Research page for more information and resources. Review the complete guidelines document →
- Phase 2 (“Ultra-low density” at ~10-25% of normal density) has begun with extreme caution to allow the restart of the research enterprise at a measured pace. Work that can be performed remotely should remain remote to minimize personnel densities in research buildings and prioritize activities that depend on university facilities.
- Ultra-low density is defined as one worker per 250 sq. ft., with the ability to maintain at least a six-foot separation from all other personnel at all times, including in shared/public/common spaces.
- Face coverings and daily symptom monitoring are required for all onsite personnel (details below).
- Shifts can be scheduled to allow multiple people to work on a staggered schedule.
- All meetings that include more than two or three properly distanced researchers should continue to be held remotely. Conference rooms and other group meeting spaces should not be used by more than one or two individuals at a time; in these cases, individuals should maintain a physical distance of six feet and wear face masks.
- Compliance will be monitored and enforced. More information is available here →
- In the event of any applicable local, state, or federal orders to resume safer-at-home sheltering, or circumstances such as a lab- or building-specific outbreak dictate an immediate campus response, research activities may need to ramp down rapidly again.
- Successful compliance in Phase 2, together with the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance from the state and county, will determine when we are able to move from Phase 2 (ultra-low density) to Phase 3 (low-density laboratory research) and ultimately to Phase 4 (near-normal research).
Important information for those visiting or working on campus
If you are working on campus to perform essential functions or for any other reason.
You are required to monitor yourself for symptoms of the coronavirus and receive a clearance certificate before beginning work each day.
- Per UCLA policy, all personnel working on campus who are not engaged in clinical care are required to submit a daily UCLA Symptom Monitoring Survey (FAQs here) before commencing work. For complete instructions and details, click here.
- This requirement applies to all DGSOM personnel, including researchers in labs.
- This requirement DOES NOT APPLY to those who are working remotely.
- This requirement DOES NOT APPLY to health care workers at UCLA Health who are performing essential health care duties. They will continue to follow a similar but separate set of protocols established by UCLA Health. All personnel involved in clinical care are required to complete a daily UCLA Health’s symptom tracker.
If you are at UCLA, fabric face coverings must be worn on campus (indoor and outdoor) whenever you are not in prolonged isolation.
- UCLA Health has mandated universal masking in all of its facilities (please review this poster for masking tips).
- The cloth face coverings do not need to be medical grade.
- This requirement applies to all DGSOM personnel, including those who need to come to campus to work on approved Essential Experiments or assist with lab maintenance duties.
- Exceptions to this requirement include individuals performing roles that require more prescriptive personal protective equipment. These individuals are exempt from face cloth coverings because they are wearing more specialized protective gear as required by their roles.
- Employees who need cloth facing coverings should speak with their department CAO. Department administrators are asked to fill out this Cloth Face Covering Request Form for their team members who meet the criteria above.
All personnel are required to maintain at least six feet of distance from each other.
- Employees may momentarily come closer when necessary to accept payment, deliver goods or services, or as otherwise necessary.
- In labs, all personnel must operate under the following guidelines: one person per 250 square feet of lab or research space, one person per bay, and a minimum of six feet of distance between researchers at any given time, including in public/shared/common spaces.
Decision-making: DGSOM’s COVID-19 policies and plans
As part of the larger UCLA campus, which sits within an even larger UC and state-managed ecosystem, decisions regarding COVID-19 planning, policies and guidelines are made at differing (and often multiple) levels. This means that our medical school’s planning efforts are often contingent upon campus and UC guidelines, which the Dean’s Office interprets and communicates with you as soon as they are available.
For example, ramp-up plans pertaining to research activities are governed by the Office of UCLA Vice Chancellor for Research Roger Wakimoto and the IRB. Plans for ramping up educational affairs are under the oversight of the UCLA Future Planning Task Force, which Dean Kelsey Martin is a member of. Operational activities in the clinical arena are determined by leadership at the UCLA health system and at affiliate institutions. Resident and fellow involvement in the clinical learning environment is coordinated by the DGSOM Office of Graduate Medical Education.
To help clarify some of these decision-making processes, and where they reside, please see our COVID-19 policies page.