Blog

Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

May 17, 2022
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

We continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and on campus. While we have not seen an increase in on-site transmission at UCSF, we are seeing a steep rise in community transmission in several Bay Area counties, including San Francisco.

As a reminder, we strongly recommend wearing medical-grade (surgical, N95 or KN95) masks in all indoor locations across campus. Masks remain mandatory in all clinical or health care areas where patients are present, on campus shuttles and in elevators.

Because of the increased community transmission of COVID-19 infection, we also strongly encourage everyone to wear masks when in public indoor settings like grocery stores, restaurants, and other crowded places.

We will continue to track the latest developments and are prepared to return to mandatory masking in all indoors settings at UCSF when necessary, in alignment with guidance and recommendations from public health officials.

In the meantime, please be vigilant about taking all precautions to reduce transmission of the virus: wash your hands frequently, avoid crowded indoor places, and get a booster shot if you are eligible. In addition, you are required to take the following steps to help minimize the spread of COVID-19:

  • Complete the Daily Health Screener before coming to any UCSF location
  • Report positive cases through the screener
  • In case of a positive test result, complete the separate contact tracing survey as soon as possible, so that we can take steps to stop further transmission quickly...
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March 31, 2022
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

Beginning today, March 31, UCSF will begin administering second COVID-19 booster shots for people 50 years and older and those who are immunocompromised to protect them against waning immunity following authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday.

UCSF continues to offer the primary COVID-19 vaccination series and first booster shots. Vaccines remain the most effective way to prevent severe disease and death due to coronavirus.  The recent Omicron variant further underscores the importance of vaccinations, boosters and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19.

UCSF and Benioff Children’s Hospital employees, learners and patients may drop-in at their convenience to a UCSF COVID-19 vaccine clinic location or schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine (primary series, first and second booster shots) by calling (415) 476-3307. Scheduling is also available through the online patient portal MyChart.

Locations and extended hours of operation at UCSF’s COVID-19 clinics are posted on the vaccination page on the coronavirus website. More information about this new round of booster shots will be provided during the UCSF COVID-19 Response Town Hall this Friday, April 1.

Specifically, here’s what you should know:

    ...
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December 22, 2021
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

Just last week, I wrote to you about the rapid spread of Omicron, which is becoming the dominant COVID-19 virus in the U.S.  I write today to update you on new policy changes as we work as health care leaders to protect our patients, families, and each other. 

Effective immediately, UCSF staff, faculty, and learners must follow these updated policies:

Booster vaccinations are now required by January 31 (deadline extended)

All eligible UCSF staff, faculty, and learners are required to receive a booster vaccination by January 31, 2022.

  • To learn about scheduling a booster shot appointment, providing proof of vaccination from a non-UCSF provider, and other information, visit the Vaccine Information Hub.
  • The UCSF deadline has been extended to align with a recent update to UC policy.

COVID-19 testing in January for on-site workers and learners

To respond to the potential impact of the holiday season, we strongly encourage testing for everyone returning to on-site work in January and for travelers.  The enhanced testing protocol below will be in place for the first half of...

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December 15, 2021
Community
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As the Omicron variant rapidly spreads across the globe, UCSF is kicking off a campaign to get every UCSF care provider, staff, faculty, and learner inoculated with a booster shot by January 15, 2022. Our goal is to get at least 98 percent of the UCSF community vaccinated with a booster, the same impressive level we achieved with the COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Omicron variant has more than 50 mutations that make it more transmissible than previous variants, dramatically reducing the effectiveness of the initial round of vaccines. However, recent research indicates that a booster shot significantly raises the level of protection in those who have been fully vaccinated.

Throughout the pandemic, UCSF has served as a beacon of leadership and hope for our families and communities, and I hope you have felt as proud of our public mission as I have. As we face this new COVID-19 variant, I urge you to lead by example once again and help us reach our booster vaccination goal. In so doing, you will not only reflect the best of our PRIDE Values but also help to protect yourselves, your family and friends, and our shared communities.

UCSF offers COVID-19 booster shots at various locations, including a few upcoming appointments reserved for UCSF employees. To learn more about booster shots at UCSF or elsewhere, please visit the coronavirus website. If you get a booster shot at a location outside UCSF,...

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November 18, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear Colleagues,

I write to convey two important updates. First, all UCSF employees and learners are eligible and strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 booster shot. Second, beginning today, the UCSF daily health screener is being updated to better enforce the use of this important tool.

Booster Shots

As the winter holidays approach and we gather with family and friends indoors, I highly recommend you get a COVID-19 booster shot. This is in line with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), which this week broadened eligibility for boosters to all adults over 18 years.

At UCSF, we are currently seeing higher rates of COVID-19 infection among employees and learners with more than six months since their second vaccine dose. Boosters can reduce the effects of waning immunity by up to 90 percent. Due to the urgency for delivering boosters in time to reduce a possible second winter COVID-19 surge, please get your booster as soon as possible.

To get a booster, you must have received your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago. If you received the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine, you should get a booster at least two months after your shot. You can mix and match whatever brand of vaccine you prefer for your booster shot.

Pfizer and Moderna booster shots are widely available through vaccination clinics, health care providers, and neighborhood pharmacies. Californians can visit the My Turn website or call (833) 422-4255 to make an appointment or find a nearby vaccine clinic. If you get a booster shot at a location outside UCSF, please upload a copy of that...

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November 4, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

Beginning tomorrow, Nov. 5, 2021, UCSF, including Benioff Children’s Hospitals, will begin offering Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 to 11, after receiving approval and guidance from federal and state public health authorities. You can find information about how to get vaccines for children here. https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/covid-19-vaccine

The expansion of vaccination against COVID-19 to children is a major step forward in the fight against this pandemic. I know that parents and caregivers have been waiting for this moment and understandably have questions about the vaccines.

The data about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 years were presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the past week and look promising.

Similar to study findings in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5 to 11 years, even during a period of Delta variant circulation. The vaccine was well tolerated and there were no safety signals identified among the more than 3,000 children who received the vaccine. The FDA decided that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine met safety and efficacy standards for emergency use authorization.

The CDC now recommends everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. Although children are at a lower risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19 compared...

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October 20, 2021
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

I write to remind you that UCSF strongly encourages and expects everyone to get vaccinated against influenza to protect the health of our patients and communities.

Both the San Francisco and Alameda Departments of Public Health require all health care workers to receive the annual influenza vaccine by Oct. 31, 2021.

In addition, the University of California’s 2021-2022 flu vaccination executive order issued on October 8, 2021, requires all covered students, faculty, other academic appointees and staff to get a flu shot or opt out by completing a form after getting information about flu vaccine no later than Nov. 19, 2021.

Now is the time to get your flu vaccine at UCSF, at a local pharmacy or by your health care provider. Beginning Oct. 25, 2021, UCSF Occupational Health Services (OHS) is extending its drop-in flu shot clinics at Parnassus Heights and Mission Bay campuses. At UCSF Fresno, free flu shots are available at the COVID-19 Equity Project at 550 E. Shaw Ave. in Fresno. Faculty and trainees at UCSF Fresno who work at Community Medical Centers (CMC) may also get flu shots at CMC’s vaccine clinics. More options for getting a flu shot through...

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September 30, 2021
Community
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

Next week, UCSF will begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots based on guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with support from the California Department of Public Health.

These booster shots provide extended protection against COVID-19, especially among those at increased risk for hospitalization and severe disease, including those over age 65, those with compromised immune systems, and those who work in health care settings.

We continue to urge everyone 12 years of age and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19, since unvaccinated persons remain at much higher risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated.

Currently, the federal authorization for a booster dose is limited to use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends that a single Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster dose be given at least 6 months after a person received their second Pfizer dose. The CDC does not recommend giving Pfizer vaccine booster shots to those who have received Janssen or Moderna vaccines.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, we will provide Pfizer booster doses to persons who received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in March 2021 or earlier who are:

  • Age 65 years and older or residing in a long-term care facility, or;
  • Age 50 through 64 years with underlying medical conditions or at increased risk of social inequities;
  • Age 18 through 64 years with underlying medical conditions, such as cancer, or at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, including those who work in health care settings...
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September 21, 2021
Administrative
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we head into influenza season, I am writing to emphasize that it is critically important to get a flu vaccine to avoid the risk of contracting the influenza virus.

We encourage everyone to be vaccinated to protect not only yourself and your family, but also our colleagues, our patients, and our neighboring communities. Please also remember to wear masks while indoors and when in crowded places outdoors, as well as to clean your hands regularly.

A normal flu season combined with a surge of COVID-19 could have an overwhelming impact on our health system, especially as we are experiencing a staffing shortage. We ask for your support by getting a flu vaccine to help keep our frontline care providers and all other faculty, staff, learners, and patients healthy this fall.

As a reminder, the San Francisco and Alameda Departments of Public Health require all health care workers to receive the annual influenza vaccine or to sign a form if they choose to decline vaccination.

You have a variety of options and locations available to get your vaccine, including on-site flu clinics, Occupational Health clinics, your primary care provider, and most pharmacies. Please visit the Occupational Health Services website for a full list of on-site clinic locations and dates, as well as additional free options for members of UC health plans. Please note that at this time, we...

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August 3, 2021
Administrative
UC System
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

I am writing to provide you an update that the deadline for complying with the new UC-wide COVID-19 vaccination policy is Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. As required by the new policy issued by the UC office of the President, anyone coming onsite to any UCSF campus must be vaccinated or submit a request and get approval for an exception or deferral.

As you are aware, we are experiencing a surge of new COVID-19 cases in our community and at UCSF as the highly contagious Delta variant rapidly spreads in the Bay Area. We strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated, including those who work remotely. Vaccination against the virus that causes COVID-19 is very effective in preventing serious illness and death.

Please take the time to carefully read this message. It provides instructions on actions you must take, including:

  1. Who must comply with the policy
  2. What you are required to do
  3. How to request a vaccination exception or deferral
  4. What you need to do if your request is approved
  5. What happens if you don’t comply with the policy
  6. Where to get more information
  1. Who must comply with the policy
  • All faculty, staff, students, trainees, contractors, vendors and volunteers, as well as newly hired employees, who come to work or study on a UCSF campus, must comply with this vaccination policy.
  • Non-UCSF employees will be required to work with their employers to submit proof of vaccination or an approved exception to UCSF.
  • All new UCSF...
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