Message from Associate Dean Penner on COVID Practices and UCI Requirements

Monday, January 17, 2022 
Dear Friends, 
As COVID case counts on the campus sky-rocket, now is an excellent time to renew our commitment to the many simple things we can do to keep each other safe. Here are some reminders and recent updates to Campus policies. 
  • Reminder: Get your COVID-19 vaccination booster by Jan. 31 if you are eligible
    UC policy requires that students, staff and faculty keep their COVID-19 vaccination status up-to-date. This includes boosters for those who are eligible. You are eligible for a booster if it is at least six months past your second dose of the Moderna vaccine, five months past your second dose of Pfizer or two months past your Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This means if your last dose of:
    • Moderna was on or before July 31, or ...
    • Pfizer was on or before Aug. 31, or ...
    • Johnson & Johnson was on or before Nov. 30 ... are currently eligible for a booster dose, and you are required to get boosted and need to upload proof of booster vaccination by no later than Jan. 31. Those who become eligible after Jan. 31 must be boosted and upload their documentation no more than 15 days after they are eligible. Visit UCI Forward for more information about boosters. If you have questions, contact UCI’s COVID-19 Response Center at 949-824-9918 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays or
  • The power of social distancing and face-coverings is undiminished.  As of last Friday, January 14, higher quality face-coverings are now required by the campus.   
  • Face-coverings are required indoors at all times, except when you are alone in an office with the door closed.
  • It is incumbent upon each faculty member to ensure the correct face-covering are in use within our research laboratories and (multi-person) offices.  These must be safe spaces for all of our students and postdocs who are engaged in research.
  • The distribution of face-coverings on the Campus is being coordinated by EH&S.
  • Surgical masks and voluntary use N95 masks are available at PS Stores, in the basement of Reines Hall, every day.
  • In order to receive N95 masks, training on the proper use of these masks is required.  This training is available from a 5 min video at the UCLC website, and is titled, "FILTERING FACEPIECE (N95) VOLUNTARY USE".  To find this video, simply search "N95" in the window at the top of the UCLC splash page.  You will be required to "register" for this course, which involves a few clicks.  At the conclusion of the course, you will be emailed a certificate that you must bring to PS Stores in order to receive N95 masks (not required for other masks).

Some resources related to COVID on the Campus are the following:

Bike Shop kiosk for Antigen tests until supplies are gone:  Drive-through.  This is a super fast and easy way to get two antigen tests per staff or faculty member.  Bring your faculty/staff ID.   You may pick up two additional tests this week, Tuesday, January 18 – Thursday, January 20, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. while supplies last. As a reminder, TODAY (Monday, January 17) is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and tests will not be distributed.
On campus COVID testing:  Staff and faculty, use the UClub location. Incredibly efficient. Walk in's are accommodated without appointments.  These are PCR tests, however, and can remain (+) for 3 months after COVID infection.  Use antigen tests after infection to gauge your infectivity  (see above).
UCI Dashboard of Coronavirus information:
Thanks to the Committee on COVID for many inputs to this email.  Our membership is:  Murat Aydin (ESS), Amanda Chung, Mike Cranston (Math), Angela Geissbuhler (EH&S and SoPS), Maria Graziano (Asst Dean), Kerry Kick (SoPS HR), Maj Krumberger, Pedro Ochoa-Ricoux (Physics & Astronomy), Gregory Weiss (Chemistry), Alessandra Mary Zito.

Cheers and stay safe,
Reginald M. Penner
Chancellor's Professor of Chemistry &
Associate Dean for Research and Innovation
The School of Physical Sciences
University of California, Irvine