UCSB Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Information
and Direction for Employees
November 18, 2022
Dear Members of the Campus Community,
Due to the low rate of COVID-19 positivity, the decreasing number of weekly tests performed on campus, and the availability of at-home rapid antigen tests, the university will modify its COVID-19 mitigation efforts at the start of the 2023 winter quarter. Changes are consistent with evolving approaches at other UC campuses and current public health guidelines.
The following changes will take place in the new year:
- Testing efforts among asymptomatic members of the campus community will now focus on using at-home rapid antigen tests rather than PCR testing collected on campus. Therefore, the campus COVID-19 testing center located in Building 434 will be discontinued, and PCR testing on campus will end. Antigen tests provide quicker results and can be self-reported via the Student Health Patient Portal. The university will continue to distribute antigen tests at no cost to all members of the campus community at the Library, the Customer Service Desk at the UCEN Bookstore, and the Rec Cen, as well as most campus housing front desks and other campus locations.
- If COVID-19 PCR testing is desired rather than the rapid at-home antigen tests, students who are symptomatic should make an appointment at Student Health. Employees who are symptomatic should consult with their health care provider or a local pharmacy. PCR tests are also available using your health insurance at Aptitude's testing facilities located at Earl Warren Showgrounds and through the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department at Direct Relief offices in Goleta.
- Persons who have approved COVID-19 vaccine exemptions or who otherwise are not up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations will no longer be required to obtain weekly testing.
- Campus isolation housing will be discontinued. Members of the campus community who test positive can still receive isolation advice if needed and are encouraged to report their results through the Student Health Patient Portal on the form under “New Message.” COVID-19 notification requirements will continue as mandated by California Assembly Bill (AB) 2693.
Conditions for COVID-19 operational changes depend on COVID-19 positivity remaining low. We will continue to monitor the pandemic carefully, and if warranted, will re-establish procedures and operations as needed to ensure the welfare of the campus community.
A NOTE ABOUT FLU SHOTS: Please remember that the University of California - Policy on Vaccination Programs requires that all students, staff, and faculty receive or affirmatively decline the annual influenza vaccination by December 1, 2022. Please satisfy this requirement for self-attestation by logging into the Student Health Patient Portal, and providing the required information under the "Medical Clearances" section.
If you have any questions about this or other COVID-19 matters, please email the COVID-19 Response Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit UC Santa Barbara’s COVID-19 information pages.
Thank you for continuing to prioritize the health and welfare of our campus community.
Stuart Feinstein, Ph.D. COVID-19 Response Team Coordinator and Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Vejas Skripkus, M.D. Executive Director of Student Health and Campus Physician
Mary Ferris, M.D. Campus COVID-19 Clinical Advisor
September 9, 2021
September 9, 2021 - One new positive test case was reported today. All personnel who have been identified as having contact with the individual have been notified and requested to test.
September 1, 2021 - Delta Variant Q&A in The Current
August 24, 2021 - One new positive test case was reported today. All personnel who have been identified as having contact with the individual have been notified and requested to test.
August 16, 2021 - One new positive test case was reported today.
Current DCB COVID guidelines:
- Masks are required inside at all times for everyone, even when fully vaccinated.
- Masks should be of good quality, preferably N95 or equivalent but at least multiple layers; gaiters and bandanas are not effective. Masks should cover the nose with a close fit.
- Anyone not feeling well, with cold-like symptoms, or with COVID related symptoms should stay home and be tested.
- People who have been in contact with someone, who was diagnosed with COVID, should be tested 3-5 days after contact and stay home until receiving a negative test result.
***Contact is within 2 meters for 15 minutes when masked and for any time when unmasked.
- People testing positive are instructed by the campus COVID response team about quarantining for 10 days.
- Regular testing is strongly recommended.
August 13, 2021 - We have had two reported cases of COVID-19 in our department this week. All of those who were reported as having contact with the individual have been reached by the UCSB COVID Response Team. Please be mindful of social distancing and properly wearing masks.
August 10, 2021 - Revised Campus Guidelines for COVID-19 Response
August 4, 2021 - COVID Informational Townhall Meeting
July 2021 - The department experienced four unrelated positive COVID-19 cases. While transmission between research group members has not occured, we are making some adjustments out of an abundance of caution. We aim to prevent the spread of infection in our community as best we can, while making sure everyone is comfortable and safe. Therefore, in light of the recent cases of positive tests in DCB, the Building committee is instituting the following rules*:
We are all required to wear masks inside the building, even if fully vaccinated.
We are asking everyone to regularly test.
After possible contact with an infected person, one must at least test negative before returning.
*We are following the Cal/OSHA definition that three COVID-19 cases in a worksite within 14 days consititue an "outbreak." We will also invoke these rules whenever there are 50 or more daily new cases in the county. Contact is defined as more than 15 minutes of interaction within 6 feet of proximity.
Prior to August 2021 - processes and procedures for all DCB units:
- All administrative staff employees are working remotely off campus. Only critical and essential employees supporting the on-going operations of the department will be present on campus to perform their job duties.
- Effective September 14th, 2020, transition to a new version of the daily COVID-19 screening process. Authorized personnel should self enroll here: self-enroll in this new survey. Any new staff or research individual needs to be authorized to be on campus by his/her supervisor or faculty PI. ONLY personnel approved by the building committee who are working in space that has been approved to be open should be enrolling in the survey and reporting to campus.
- You will receive daily auto-generated email to complete a COVID-19 Symton Survey at home BEFORE coming to campus. The survey is a short set of YES or NO questions and will also provide you with guidance to available resources if you should respond affirmatively to any of the questions. One question will ask if you are scheduled to go to work that day or not, and if the answer is NO, you are still encouraged to monitor your health. Please complete this survey every day you plan to come to campus and do not come to campus if you’re feeling unwell.
- COVID-19 Return to Work Training MANDATORY for anyone authorized to work on campus
- Beginning November 1, 2020, flu vaccinations are mandatory for everyone living, working or learning at a UC campus during the 2020-21 flu season. This will be free if it is administered on campus. Go here for FAQs and here for upcoming information.
- UC paid leave provisions as of March 16th
- The Administrative office will remain LOCKED (Bldg 232 admin trailer).
- Staff who meet with students/faculty/visitors/new employees, etc. will utilize remote work technologies including telephone, email, Google Chat, and Zoom conferencing (https://ucsb.zoom.us/) to communicate with each other or hold meetings. DocuSign will be utilized for obtaining required signatures when needed. All University employees and students can utilize DocuSign with their UCSBnetID and password.
- Process for reporting COVID-19 cases: https://www.ucsb.edu/COVID-19-information/reporting
Mail Delivery and Pick Up:Mail Services is under-staffed and has discontinued daily mail delivery and pick-up on campus. DCB staff member Trevor Bellefeiulle is providing twice weekly mail delivery and pick-up on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons only. If you have a timely piece of mail placed in the outgoing bin, please email Trevor (email@example.com) to let him know.
Storeroom is OPEN by appointment for pick up. Please email Trevor, Adrian, AND Cabe (all 3 to make sure your message is seen) to coordinate a time to pick up; one of them will be in daily till noon.
- Receiving REVISED Hours: Open daily till noon and emails will be sent for package pick up
- Shipping REVISED Hours: Closed except in emergency need. Email Trevor Bellefeuille prior to bringing shipment to the Storeroom
- Purchasing questions and support will be available from Adrian Shelor (ext. 8771).
DCB Machine & Glass Blowing Shops:
- The Professional Machine Shop and Glass Blowing Shop will continue to provide service to the campus utilizing primarily email communication. Jobs will be LIMITED to essential research and facilities jobs only.
- If additional discussion on a job order is needed beyond email, a Zoom meeting must be scheduled in advance.
- Contact the shop regarding pick up and drop off location for parts, materials, and drawings
DCB Research Recharge Facilities (NMR, X-Ray, Mass Spec, and Optical Characterization)
- Officially closed. Please email the managers of these facilities IF critical and essential orders or pick up of orders are needed.