Campus Messages

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

June 11, 2021

Dear UCSF Community,

The University of California Office of the President (UCOP) will soon be issuing a policy to require all UC faculty, staff, students and trainees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – except for rare exemptions – as a way to protect the health of everyone on campus.

This decision follows UCOP’s announcement of the proposed vaccination policy in April and the conclusion of a public comment period. UCOP has informed us that the final vaccination policy with guidance on its implementation will be issued by July 15.

If you have already been vaccinated at UCSF or have submitted proof of your vaccination at a site outside UCSF, you have met this obligation. If you previously declined a vaccination, you will need to be vaccinated or get approval for an exemption under the new UCOP policy. More information on the approved exemptions will be forthcoming.

While we do not yet have all the details, below are key highlights of the new policy:

  • Beginning July 15, faculty, staff, students and trainees already working on campus must be vaccinated and those not yet working must be vaccinated at least two weeks before coming to a UCSF...
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April 23, 2021
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Colleagues,

We are asking all employees, including those at Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, to receive or decline the COVID-19 vaccination by June 30, 2021, in accordance with an interim policy issued by the University of California Office of the President.

The goal of the interim UC policy is to protect the health and safety of the entire University community.  It requires all employees and certain trainees working on-site to be informed about the COVID-19 vaccines and then either be vaccinated or decline the vaccination.  To learn more about the interim UC policy, visit this link.

All UCSF employees and trainees (but not students) working on-site are required to take one of the following two actions:

  1. Get the COVID-19 vaccination.
    • If you received your vaccination at UCSF Parnassus Heights or UCSF Mission Bay, no further action is needed.
    • If you received your vaccination outside of a UCSF campus location—including City College of San Francisco, UCSF Fresno partner locations, or Zuckerberg San Francisco General—you must submit proof of your vaccination on the new Occupational Health Services (OHS) portal, which can be accessed via the UCSF network or VPN at:
  2. Or you must complete a form declining the COVID-19 vaccination on the new OHS portal linked above.

BCH Oakland employees should submit proof of a vaccination...

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February 24, 2021
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we continue to roll out our vaccination efforts, I want to acknowledge the grim milestone that we have just passed as a nation. On Monday, the United States surpassed 500,000 deaths from COVID-19, including the nearly 1,500 people who lost their lives that day alone. We mourn the lives lost and send our heartfelt condolences to their families and friends.

The effort to vaccinate all of our communities remains one of the highest priorities across the country. To date, UCSF Health has provided more than 75,000 vaccine doses to our employees, learners, patients and community members. Now we are entering a new phase of the vaccine rollout, in alignment with the City of San Francisco, based on the state eligibility guidelines for educational institutions.

As of today, we will begin vaccinating our remaining employees and learners, as well as our patients in the new categories, following the updated California Department of Public Health guidelines. This also includes UCSF employees who are working remotely. Vaccinations for faculty, trainees and staff at UCSF Fresno are being administered locally in Fresno.

The new directive is broad and aims to enable daycare, schools, colleges and other educational institutions – including our own – to reopen safely. The new categories also include our patients who work in childcare, teaching, as first responders, or in food and agriculture.

While this is good news, it is important to understand how limited vaccine supplies remain. As vaccine production, distribution capacity...

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February 5, 2021
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

We have reached a new milestone in our COVID-19 vaccination efforts, having provided more than 50,000 doses of vaccine to our employees, city health care workers, and patients. This is a phenomenal effort and I am proud of the many teams across UCSF that continue to drive this critical public health goal.

As a result of additional Pfizer vaccine supply made available this week, we have been able to move more quickly than I described in my February 1 message.

As of Monday, February 8, we will begin vaccinating all employees and learners whose work has required them to be on site at least once per week for the past three months. You will be required to attest to your eligibility when you schedule your appointment.

While this is good news, it is important to understand how limited vaccine supplies remain. As demand continues to outpace supply, we and other health care providers face the real possibility of running out of vaccines each week. I am grateful that our vaccine leadership team is working continuously to avoid this possibility. In addition, we are continuing to expand our capacity to provide vaccinations, so that we are prepared to vaccinate greater numbers of people as the vaccine supply and distribution increase.

Given the vaccine shortage, the University of California Office of the President has asked us to prioritize patients to employees at a 2:1 ratio for our remaining rollout. We will be able to vaccinate about 200 employees and learners per day for first doses in the coming weeks. UCSF ID badge swipe data indicate that approximately...

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February 1, 2021
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we make steady progress in vaccinating our highest-risk employees, learners and patients, I would like to make you aware of three new policies that will affect when and how some members of our community receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. Note that these will depend on our vaccine supply, which we expect to remain limited for the next few weeks.

UCOP Establishes Vaccine Timeline for All UC Campuses

The UC Office of the President has developed a simplified framework that is aligned with state guidelines and will be used at all UC campuses during the next phase of the rollout, to help determine when patients and employees become eligible to receive the vaccine.

During the first three weeks of February, a new group will be able to start scheduling their vaccination appointments each week through MyChart.

  • Week 1 (Feb. 1): Patients and employees (on-site and remote) age 65 or older.
  • Week 2 (Feb. 8): On-site food service, childcare, veterinary/animal care, and emergency services workers who have not yet been vaccinated.
  • Week 3 (Feb. 15): All other workers who are required to be on-site at least once a week.
Self-Scheduling Your Vaccination

Last week, we launched a new MyChart system to enable our patients to self-schedule their vaccines as soon as they become eligible, based on vaccine availability. Starting next week, UCSF employees who have not been vaccinated will be able to self-schedule their vaccine through MyChart. When scheduling your appointment, you will be asked to attest that you meet the eligibility criteria. Over the next three weeks, the priority groups will be...

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January 21, 2021
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

I am writing to provide you with an update on our COVID-19 vaccine rollout and address some questions on the unpredictability of vaccine availability.

Vaccine Rollout Status Update

Our vaccinations have continued at a rapid pace. In the past month, we have provided more than 23,600 vaccines, and more than 80 percent of our frontline employees and learners have scheduled or received their inoculations. As we continue to schedule vaccinations for the remainder of our patient-facing workforce, we have begun inviting additional employees and our patients, by age groups, in alignment with state guidance.

Vaccine Doses Remain in Short Supply

Federal guidance states that those aged 65 and above are eligible to receive the vaccine, but unpredictable vaccine availability nationwide has hampered the distribution of vaccine doses to such a large group.

Like other health care institutions, UCSF is receiving limited vaccine shipments. The timeline below is based on current assumptions about vaccine availability and may shift as supplies change.

Vaccinating now:

  • Health care workers at highest risk of exposure through their work
  • Patients and employees aged 75 and older

Within the next few weeks:

  • Patients and employees aged 65 and over
  • Employees and learners whose work has required them to be on site at least once a week over the past three months

Expected later next month:

  • Patients, employees and learners in lower age tiers.

We expect to roll out a new scheduling platform for employees and patients in the coming weeks, to make this process...

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January 8, 2021
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

I am pleased to share with you that UCSF is making steady progress in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

As quickly as vaccine availability allows, our goal is to restore all of the critical parts of the UCSF mission by offering vaccinations to all members of our UCSF community—including research, education, and operational/administrative areas—and to begin the important task of offering vaccinations to our patients. We know all of you share this goal and we ask for your continued patience as we systematically roll out our vaccination program.

Once we finish vaccinating employees and learners whose on-site responsibilities involve high-risk exposure to COVID-19, we expect to continue vaccinating the UCSF community in the following order later this month based on our current assumptions about vaccine availability:

  1. UCSF employees and learners whose responsibilities have required them to work on site regularly, including those in research, education, and operational/administrative areas.
  2. UCSF employees who are currently working remotely, beginning with those aged 75 years and older. We are developing our approach for all remote workers and will be sharing more information.

Importantly, as we take the steps above to strengthen UCSF’s full capabilities in service of our public mission, we will begin offering vaccinations to our patients, prioritizing by age, as guided by public health agencies. Patients will be contacted directly when vaccines become available, and they do not need to contact their care provider’s office.

You will soon receive more information on the logistics for the expanded vaccination roll out at UCSF,...

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December 30, 2020
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As we bring 2020 to a close and look forward to a brighter 2021, I’d like to provide an update on our COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The vaccine rollout is going very well overall. Since we received our first shipment of vaccines on December 16, we have vaccinated more than 6,300 of our colleagues and scheduled vaccinations for thousands more. The cross-functional vaccine steering committee has done an excellent job in creating new processes and systems for an unprecedented task. More importantly, I am grateful for how UCSF has consistently applied an equitable, values-driven approach to ensure that we prioritize employees and learners whose on-site responsibilities involve high-risk exposure to environments and patients with COVID-19.

We have reached a number of milestones in a very short time, while also developing new platforms to provide our community with up-to-date information about our vaccine rollout, including:

  • An online dashboard that provides our community with the latest UCSF vaccination numbers.
  • A tool through HR Umbrella for employees and managers to find out which phase of the vaccine rollout they’ve been assigned to, and webinars to help managers change those phases when needed.
  • Fully operational vaccine sites at Parnassus and Oakland, with our second San Francisco site opening next week at our Mission Bay campus...
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December 18, 2020
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

As COVID-19 continues to surge across the state, the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) has imposed a mandatory 10-day quarantine for anyone traveling, moving or returning to San Francisco from anywhere outside the nine-county Bay Area. The order is in effect until 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, and may be extended as needed.

UCSF urges all employees and students to comply with the order and strongly recommends against all travel.

To support the quarantine, UCSF has updated travel and testing guidance. The following applies to all UCSF, UCSF Health and Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland employees and students entering San Francisco after travel outside the nine-county Bay Area:

  • Commute to UCSF: You may commute to any UCSF location to perform essential on-site work, regardless of where you commute from. If asked to prove that your commute is essential, please show your UCSF ID and this exemption letter from UCSF Police Chief Denson.
  • Quarantine Outside of Work: When you are not performing an essential activity on-site at UCSF, you are expected to abide by the new CCSF order and quarantine at home for 10 days.
  • Mandatory Testing: You are required to complete two COVID-19 tests. The first must be completed on or before the day you return to on-site work at UCSF. The second must be completed on day 5 through 7 after your...
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November 25, 2020
UCSF Health

Dear UCSF Community,

I wrote to you last week with an important message about new UCSF travel policies and return-to-work guidance that were put in place to help keep us safe during the holidays as COVID-19 surges nationwide. Today, I’m following up with information about where and how to get tested for COVID-19 before you return to on-site activities if you traveled over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Starting Monday, Nov. 30, UCSF will offer COVID-19 testing to employees and students who are resuming on-site activities after travel. Testing plays a central role in keeping our community safe during this pandemic, so please review this update carefully.

Asymptomatic after Travel

After reviewing the UCSF travel guidance, if you determine a COVID-19 test is advised in your situation and you are asymptomatic, please visit the UCSF COVID-19 testing page—available starting Nov. 30—to access a tool that will guide you through the process of obtaining a COVID-19 test.

Symptomatic after Travel (or return before Nov. 30)

If you return from travel before Nov. 30 or have symptoms, please contact UCSF Occupational Health Services for further guidance.

Though UCSF continues to strongly recommend against all non-essential personal travel, we recognize that some travel may be impossible to avoid. If you must travel,...

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