New countywide ‘red tier’ status allows for additional campus activities
COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force
Dear Bruin Community:
With new cases of COVID-19 continuing to decline on campus and throughout Los Angeles County, and with vaccines being distributed at UCLA and at community sites, we have made some important strides toward slowing the spread of the virus. These collective efforts have resulted in Los Angeles County being moved to the state’s red tier and the announcement of new public health guidance for colleges and universities (PDF).
This news provides a great sense of hope and optimism as we cautiously continue to plan for fall in a thoughtful manner, guided by our commitment to the health and safety of our campus community. If we continue to move in this positive direction, the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force expects that UCLA will be in a position to offer significant in-person instruction this fall. In addition, we are hopeful that we will be able to provide a majority of our normal on-campus student housing occupancy and all of our off-campus graduate and undergraduate apartments this fall.
We are continuing to monitor cases in our region as well as state and local public health guidelines, and more definitive details regarding fall planning will be announced once additional information is available.
In the meantime, we are pleased to announce further expansion of on-campus services for spring quarter, which begins this Wednesday, March 24. These are in addition to the expanded activities announced in our message to the campus community on March 9.
Spring quarter instruction
Spring quarter classes will continue to be held primarily remotely, but a small number of courses will be allowed to transition to in-person instruction. A limited number of new in-person courses will be approved as well. Academic departments will notify students of any possible changes and identify alternatives to in-person attendance for those unable to travel to campus. Students may once again receive academic credit for their participation in research labs or research groups, which should allow more graduate students to participate in research, especially on north campus. In addition, experiential learning (labs, art studios, vocational skill building, etc.) may occur as long as physical distancing is achieved. Relevant departments will be reaching out directly to students in their programs who are eligible for these new in-person opportunities.
UCLA’s extensive research enterprise has moved from Phase 2 to Phase 3. Details and how to submit new research operational plans were announced last week via a BruinPost from Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities Roger Wakimoto.
Resuming on-campus work and activities
Although the gradual expansion of services and activities on campus will require some employees to return to on-site work, the vast majority of employees currently working remotely should expect to continue doing so at least through June 30. Planning is underway to develop more permanent flexible work options and standards for staff who are able to continue to effectively work remotely.
All campus departments that wish to request limited expansion of permitted in-person work and activities must submit a COVID-19 resumption plan to UCLA Environment, Health & Safety, per the UCLA COVID-19 Resumption of On-Site Activities Plan Review Process (PDF).
Bruin Café and De Neve will resume limited-capacity indoor dining starting March 31. Physical distancing protocols will be in place for guests from different households and guests will still be encouraged to dine outside. Meals at De Neve will continue to be offered as carry-out (not all-you-care-to-eat).
Plateia at the Luskin Conference Center has resumed indoor dining at 25% capacity for parties of up to six people from a single household, in addition to offering limited outdoor dining and take-out meals.
The A-level of Ackerman Union and the Court of Sciences Student Center has resumed indoor seating at 25% capacity. ASUCLA Catering also offers Catering Express menus for meal pick up or delivery to those who are working on campus and Starship delivery robots are available to deliver meals to those on campus (map) from several ASUCLA restaurants, including Bruin Buzz, Southern Lights, Blaze Pizza and LuValle Commons. For Ackerman hours and available services, visit ASUCLA.
The Hammer Museum will reopen to the public on a limited basis on Saturday, April 17. The museum will open with its acclaimed biennial, Made in L.A. 2020: a version. The exhibition will be presented at both the Hammer and The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens from April 17 to Aug. 1, 2021. In accordance with L.A. County guidelines, the Hammer Museum will be operating at 25% capacity. Free, advance reservations will be required.
The Fowler Museum at UCLA is planning to reopen in June with the exhibitions The Map and the Territory: 100 Years of Collecting at UCLA and Photo Cameroon: Studio Portraiture, 1970s–1990s. The Map and the Territory was previously postponed, as part of UCLA’s Centennial celebration.
The Sunset Canyon amphitheater lawn and tennis courts are open at reduced capacity for UCLA students, staff, faculty and emeriti faculty with a reservation. Users must complete the Return to Rec membership process prior to making a reservation. In the weeks to come, the Park Pool, Drake Stadium, the outdoor courtyard at the Kinross Recreation Center and the Marina Aquatic Center in Marina Del Rey Harbor will open for use by UCLA students, staff, faculty and emeriti faculty. Updates will be added to the UCLA Recreation website.
Recreation is working with campus leadership to determine how the recent move from the purple tier to the less-restrictive red tier will expand services further during spring quarter.
PreK-12 schools and programs
UCLA’s Early Care and Education centers continue to expand enrollment in alignment with county guidance. Students attending the UCLA Lab School returned for in-person learning the week of March 8, and students attending the Geffen Academy are set to begin a phased return to in-person instruction the week of April 8.
Outdoor study/support sessions
No additional changes to our previous guidance on expanded in-person offerings have been made at this time. As previously shared, students are allowed to meet with faculty and TAs for small group discussions outdoors on campus with prior approval. These cannot exceed 10 people, including the instructor, and require participants to wear proper face coverings and practice physical distancing. Departments offering these opportunities will communicate directly with students in their programs.
Non-academic gatherings are not permitted on campus at this time and campus is still closed to the general public. Exceptions are permitted for those engaged in essential campus operations, attending approved in-person courses, or receiving care at UCLA hospitals and clinics.
There are no plans to expand on-campus housing occupancy at this time. However, there are vacancies in off-campus university-owned apartments that are currently available for graduate and undergraduate students who want to relocate back to Westwood for the spring quarter. Please visit UCLA Housing for further information.
As previously announced, the Charles E. Young Research Library and Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library are currently open at reduced capacity. Additional libraries will open in phases, first at 25% occupancy and eventually ramping up to 50% as demand necessitates. Reservations are required at both locations and all entrants to the buildings are required to wear a proper face covering and show their Bruincard, COVID-19 symptom monitoring clearance certificate and seat reservation confirmation. Page and pick up services at both libraries are available.
We are encouraged by this further expansion of campus operations and look forward to announcing others, in line with county directives. It is important to remember that as we work to resume campus and community operations back to pre-COVID-19 levels, we must continue to follow public health protocols.
During spring break, it is critical that we do not participate in activities that will put our communities at risk of returning us to a higher, more restrictive tier. We urge you to refrain from traveling and gathering with individuals outside your household. If you travel outside the state, the 10-day quarantine remains in effect once you return to California.
We also remind all UCLA staff and faculty to schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, if they are able to do so. UCLA Health is reaching out to specific prioritized groups as new vaccine doses become available. If you are able to book an earlier appointment through an alternate process, such as California’s My Turn, we encourage you to do so. If we stay the course and continue to do what we need to do to protect ourselves and one another, it is expected that the county will move into the orange tier in April.
You can find general information about the vaccines on UCLA Health’s COVID-19 vaccine information hub and visit UCLA’s COVID-19 resources website and Bruins Safe Online for updates about our campus response to the pandemic. Recordings of recent town halls, including the Mar. 18 faculty and staff town hall, can also be viewed online. If you have additional questions, concerns or thoughts about UCLA’s COVID-19 response, please write to COVID19@ucla.edu.
Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force
Immediate Past Chair, UCLA Academic Senate
Professor of History
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force