UWest Health Alert

UWest Fall 2021 Return to Campus

Update: August 24, 2021

  • Please read all the information below for instructions on how to submit proof of Covid-19 vaccination, Covid-19 test results, what to do if you are exposed to Covid-19 or test positive, etc.
  • For questions about Fall 2021 reopening, contact reopening@uwest.edu
  • For questions specific to Covid-19 requirements, please contact UWest’s COVID-19 Compliance Officer, Vanessa Karam vanessak@uwest.edu626-656-2130.
  • As always, please do not come to campus or go into public settings if you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or if you (may) have been exposed to someone who is Covid-19 positive; get tested to be sure and stay home as required (see below). Seek medical care as needed.

Campus Reopening in Fall 2021

UWest has safely reopened our campus this fall with the appropriate guidelines and measures in place to ensure the health and safety of the UWest community.

In-person Classes

Students and instructors are expected to meet in person and on campus for all classes with the exception of those who were pre-approved for remote instruction. Courses designated as fully online remain as such.

Vaccination Requirement

Data has proven that by far the most effective way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 is through vaccination. Therefore, the university is requiring all UWest faculty, staff, and students (including on-campus residents) to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to narrow medical/disability exemptions.

Full vaccination

Being fully vaccinated means that at least two weeks have passed since receiving the final Covid-19 vaccination dose. Read more about what it means to be fully vaccinated on the CDC website.

Proof of vaccination

A copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card or documentation of vaccination from your health provider is required in order to be able to attend class and access services in person.

Uploading proof of vaccination

Please upload a copy of your Covid-19 vaccination card by using this convenient and confidential HIPAA-compliant link:

Vaccination information will be securely stored by the Registrar’s Office and deleted/destroyed when no longer needed. If you are in the process of getting your vaccinations, please upload your verification after your first dose and then again after your second dose.

Requesting a Medical Exemption from the Vaccination Requirement

Requests for medical exemption undergo a confidential review process.

Exemption for medical reason/disability reasons:

Vaccinations Obtained Outside the U.S.

  • If you have completed a COVID-19 vaccination series with a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization, you will not need additional doses with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine in the US. You will be approved for campus presence.
  • If you have completed a COVID-19 vaccination series with a vaccine NOT authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization, you will need to complete an FDA-authorized vaccination series in the US.
  • If you are partially vaccinated when you arrive with a vaccine not available in the US, you will need to restart your series in the U.S. Given that we are a residential campus we want to ensure our students have the highest levels of health and safety.
  • If you are partially vaccinated when you arrive with a vaccine available in the US,you will be able to receive your second dose of the vaccine either on campus or at a local vaccination clinic, depending on vaccine availability.

COVID-19 Testing Requirement

Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated students who are attending class in person or occasionally coming to campus must submit results of negative Covid-19 test weekly. This must be submitted electronically. Professors and staff will not be receiving Covid-19 test results or proof of vaccination.

The university requires PCR-based testing for those who are not fully vaccinated. You can find free Covid-19 testing sites near you at https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/.You can also check with your health care provider. The university does not accept results from self-administered, over-the-counter kits.

  1. If you are attending class on campus
    1. You must take a PCR test no more than five days prior to the following week’s classes.
    2. Each week that you are scheduled for classes, you must submit an image of a negative Covid-19 test result to UWest online form.  The negative test result must be posted prior to your first class session each week.
    3. For example, if you plan to attend class each week, you must test no more than five days before the first class session and submit the negative result at least one day before you attend.  The test result is good for the remainder of that week.
  1. If you are not attending class on campus, but wish to visit the campus periodically

You must submit your negative PCR test result no more than five days prior to any visit at UWest online form.

If You Are Exposed to Someone with COVID-19

If you are exposed to someone confirmed or presumed to be Covid-19 positive:

Unvaccinated/partially vaccinated students: Inform reopening@uwest.edu and your instructors. In compliance with CDC guidelines, you will need to stay home for 14 days after your last exposure. Watch for fever (100.4F and above), cough, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially those who are vulnerable to getting very ill from Covid-19. Submit a proof of negative Covid-19 test to the university in order to resume in-person attendance after your 14-day quarantine. You can attend your classes remotely during this time.

Vaccinated students: In alignment with CDC guidelines, you do not need to quarantine unless you have symptoms. Instead, get tested 3-5 days after your last exposure and submit a negative test result to the university. Notify reopening@uwest.edu and your professors. Stay home until you have proof of negative COVID-19 test.

Note: The guidelines emphasize last exposure, meaning the last time you are in contact with a person who is Covid-19 positive. Therefore—whether you are fully vaccinated or not—if you are taking care of someone who is Covid-19 positive and/or have repeated, regular close contact, you cannot return to campus until that person has recovered and is cleared by a medical professional, and you submit proof of negative COVID-19 test to the university. The university will help you arrange to take your classes remotely during this time. Please do not take any risks with your health or the health of others.

If You Test Positive for Covid-19

If you test positive for Covid-19 or think that you may be: Inform your instructors and reopening@uwest.edu and remain at home in isolation per CDC guidelines until you have recovered and a medical professional clears you to return to regular activities. Do NOT come to campus, even if you are asymptomatic. You can attend your classes remotely during this time.

Remember: When in doubt, stay home. Contact your professors and reopening@uwest.edu, and we will help you stay on track with your classes.

Bottom line: Keeping the campus and one another safe is a group effort. Thank you for doing your part!

UWest Safety Protocols

Our campus safety guidelines and preparations have been designed with additional layers of protection (beyond minimal standards), including:

  • Covid-19 vaccination is required for students, faculty, and staff
  • Campus is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized
  • Air purifiers are placed in each classroom
  • Classrooms are assigned to accommodate physical distancing
  • Masks are required for everyone when indoors
  • Daily COVID-19 screenings are required for all unvaccinated individuals
  • Plexiglass barriers are in place in all administrative offices

Indoor Masking Requirement

In an abundance of caution and in compliance with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health requirements, UWest will continue to require masking for all students, faculty, and staff while indoors.

Where to Get Vaccinated

In the U.S., the Pfizer Biontech now has full FDA approval while the two other vaccines (Moderna  and Johnson & Johnson) are currently approved through FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Everyone in California aged 12 and above is eligible to receive a free vaccination. You can schedule appointments or find walk-in clinics at myturn.ca.gov or Vaccines.gov. Appointments can also be made by calling the California COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255.

Los Angeles County residents with disabilities or without computer access can call 833-540-0473 between 8:00 am and 8:30 pm 7 days a week for assistance with appointments.

COVID-19 Testing

Employee Testing on Campus

UWest is providing free COVID-19 testing for student- and public-facing staff and faculty. Employees can contact Eddie Bernal (eddieb@uwest.edu) if you have any questions or would like to schedule a test.

Health Screenings for Contact Tracing

Those who are unvaccinated are at by far the highest risk of contracting and becoming seriously ill with Covid-19. Therefore, the university continues to carry out daily health screenings for unvaccinated students and employees each day they come to campus as well as for all visitors. These screenings are conducted in compliance with CDC, state, and county requirements, and their purpose is to be able to contact trace should there be any instances of COVID-19 exposure or possible exposure on campus.

Please complete the health screening each day you come to campus at UWest online form (QR code below).

barcode to UWest online form.

Remote Services

Remote Services continue to be available during the summer and, beginning Fall 2021, for those who are not able to come to campus.

Academic Advising/Counseling

  • Rickey Jones is available by email – rickeyj@uwest.edu. If you need to speak directly to Dr. Jones, please email him with your cell phone number and when he can reach you. (During the summer break until August 1, please contact your department chair.)
  • If you are working with your department chair for academic advising, you may continue to contact them via email.

Admissions & Enrollment

  • Admissions Specialist Henna Hung is available during regular business hours (M-F, 9am-12pm and 1pm-6pm) by phone – (626) 571-8811, ext. 2120
  • Enrollment can be reached by calling (626) 571-8811, ext. 3375. If no one answers, please leave a message.
    • Enrollment can also be reached via text message at (626) 274-7351. Texts will be responded to during business hours (except in the event of an emergency).
  • Admissions/enrollment questions should go to admission@uwest.edu, except:
    • If you are working with a specific advisor – please contact them directly, or
    • If you are in need of Chinese translation – please email Henna at hennah@uwest.edu
  • Online Access to Admissions/enrollment

Campus Tours

  • Individuals and small groups are welcome to schedule a live campus tour by contacting enrollmentws@uwest.edu or calling (626) 571-8811, ext. 3375. Appointments and advance health screenings are required for the tour.

Disability Support Services & Accommodations

Financial Aid

  • Financial aid appointments can be conducted remotely by phone or Zoom. To schedule an appointment, email financialaid@uwest.edu with your full name, UWest student ID number, the reason you are emailing/what you need help with, and the best days/times to reach you.
  • General financial aid questions can also be emailed to financialaid@uwest.edu – please include your full name, UWest student ID number, the reason you are emailing/what you need help with, and the best days/times to reach you.
  • Financial Aid Director Lezli Fang is available by email – financialaid@uwest.edu – and by phone during regular business hours (M-F, 9am-6pm) – (626) 656-2138.
  • Financial Aid Office Yanela Morgan is available by email – financialaid@uwest.edu – and by phone during regular business hours (M-F, 9am-6pm) – (626) 656-2122.
  • Online access to Financial Aid Office
  • Financial Aid forms can be submitted electronically. Please fill out the appropriate form from UWest forms, print it out, scan it (or take a phone picture), and email it to financialaid@uwest.edu
  • The application deadline for the Lotus Scholarship, President’s Scholarship, Dean’s Scholarship, and UWest Scholarship has changed to June 15, 2020. The Golden Benefactor Award application deadline is Monday, June 1, 2020.

International Student Services

Please contact DSO Muge Meisenholder (mugem@uwest.edu). She will help you plan your entry/return to the United States.

  • UWest International Student Advisor Muge Meisenholder is available by email – mugem@uwest.edu and by phone – (626) 571-8811, ext. 3322.
    • Muge has set up LINE, WeChat, and Zoom accounts in order to connect with international students electronically. Please email Muge for account information.
  • Online acess to International Student Services
US Government Covid-19 guidelines for F-1 students

The federal government’s special Covid-19 guidelines have been extended to the Fall 2021 semester. UWest expects all students to return to campus if they are able to. For those who are unable to come to campus for reason of visa or travel restrictions, please note:

  1. Continuing Students-Program Start Date on or before March 9, 2020
    F-1 students who began their programs prior to March 9, 2020 and who chose to return to their home countries or another country outside the U.S. while continuing their full-time coursework remotely are also able to maintain active SEVIS status.
  2. Continuing and New Students-Program Start Date after March 9, 2020
    F-1 students who began their studies after March 9, 2020 and are arriving in the U.S. in initial SEVIS status this fall, are required to take in-person classes on campus. They are also allowed to take one or more fully online courses as offered. However, at least one class must be in person.
  3. Language Training Students
    F-1 students who are entering the U.S. in initial status and have an I-20 for “Language Training” must take all of their classes in person (can only take online class/es in excess of their minimum full-time hours).
  4. International Students Without F-1 Visa
    International students who are beginning their program from another country outside the U.S. and are not able to receive a visa or travel to the U.S. for Fall 2021 are not F-1 students. They may take all their courses remotely in Fall 2021 and apply for a visa to enter the U.S. in Spring 2022. Please note that UWest cannot guarantee or influence the outcome of a visa application and that the university will most likely not be offering the remote accommodation in Spring 2022 or future semesters.

See the Study in the States resource page for the latest updates on these and other provisions.

Housing

  • UWest’s live-in Residential Hall Coordinator, Eddie Bernal, is available by email at eddieb@uwest.edu and by phone – (626) 571-8811, ext. 3383.
  • Housing is available in Fall 2021 by application. Students interested in living on campus should contact RHC Eddie Bernal (eddieb@uwest.edu).
  • Proof of full vaccination is required for move-in. Please contact Eddie Bernal for more information.
  • Students arriving from outside the U.S. who could not obtain vaccination in their home countries must provide a negative Covid-19 test result taken in the previous 72 hours and will be able to move into a quarantine room and required to follow the quarantine guidelines and receive the Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible. Contact eddieb@uwest.edu for more information.
  • There is no meal service during Fall 2021.
  • Online access to Office of Residential Life 

IT

  • Please direct all IT requests to helpdesk@uwest.edu
  • IT is working during regular business hours (M-F, 9am-6pm)

Library

  • Beginning August 16, 2021 the library is open for studying and browsing! Library access will be restricted to current UWest students, faculty, and staff. Capacity is limited to 50 people.
  • Face masks are required of all visitors and staff.
  • If you are not feeling well, please stay home and refrain from visiting the Library until you feel better. Use remote services instead.

Ling-Ling Kuo and Judy Hsu continue to monitor and provide assistance through all these communication channels, M-F 9am-5pm:

Registrar

Student Accounts

Tutoring/Student Success Center

Wellness Center/Mental Health

  • Wellness Center Manager April Afoa is available by email – aprila@uwest.edu
  • Remote access to counseling services (via private, secure video/audio conferencing) will be available for students who are physically located in California only. (California law prohibits delivery of mental health services to students located outside of California. The Wellness Center may be able to help you find another mental health service provider in your area; please email April at aprila@uwest.edu)
  • Remote appointments are available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. To make an appointment, email April at aprila@uwest.edu with your name and the reason for your appointment, as well as good times on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and you will receive an email with instructions.
  • Anyone who is in crisis and needs to speak with someone immediately should call the Los Angeles Mental Health Access Line at 1-800-854-7771, the National Suicide Life Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text Hello to 741741. All of these numbers are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Currently Closed

  • Campus Café
  • Dining Hall
  • Fitness Center
  • Study Room in Recreation Center

For questions about reopening these facilities, contact vanessak@uwest.edu.

COVID-19 FAQS (according to the CDC)

What Is It?

A highly contagious respiratory disease spreading from person to person caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, named “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). The illness has caused a global pandemic and poses a serious public health risk. COVID-19 can cause mild to severe illness.

How Does It Spread?

  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus and to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • The virus spreads mainly from person to person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • The virus spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • The virus can also be aerosolized and linger in the air for longer periods of time than droplets, especially indoors.
  • People who become infected with the novel coronavirus often don’t develop symptoms for up to 14 days. And some never any develop symptoms at all. However, even asymptomatic individuals can spread the virus to others. That is why masking and distancing are so important.
  • There is some evidence that the virus can be transferred to surfaces and may remain active there for up to several days.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Symptoms a severe cold

This list is not exhaustive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. The CDC website has much more information, including when to seek emergency care and how to care for self or others who are ill with COVID-19.

How To Protect Yourself

By far the most effective way to protect yourself against Covid-19 is to get vaccinated. Other important precautions include:

Clean Your Hands Often!

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid Close Contact!

Wear a face covering

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. Many cities and counties require a face mask when entering shops and other essential businesses/offices.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

Double masking: Experts say you should consider wearing two masks, especially if you typically wear a single-layer cloth mask.

If you’re already wearing a triple-layer cloth mask, N95, KN95 or a KF94 mask, wearing two masks likely won’t offer additional protection.

Masking for travel: Effective February 2, 2021, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.​

How To Protect Others

Stay Home If You Are Sick!

Cover coughs and sneezes!

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Stay home if you are sick!

  • If you are sick: You should stay home and isolate as much as possible. If you must go out, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. Learn what to do if you are sick.

Clean and disinfect! 

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.