Revised date for UC ANR telecommute and limited on-site operations status
Governor Newsom's statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect with no defined end date; however, many California counties have extended their stay-at-home orders through May 3, 2020. Accordingly, UCOP communicated late last week that they will remain on telecommute status with limited on-site operations through at least May 3.
After discussing the implications of this with the REC and County Directors last Friday, I am now asking that all UC ANR locations continue the telecommute and limited on-site operations protocols that are currently in place until further notice. However, for planning purposes, please assume that this will continue at least through May 3and may be extended again.
I am also asking that all meetings/events/gatherings statewide be cancelled, postponed or conducted online at least through this same date. I know that this is a difficult situation and I want to express our great appreciation for your continued patience, flexibility and ingenuity. We are deeply committed to getting you solid information and guidance as it becomes available.
Cloth face coverings required for all UC ANR on-site personnel
CDC, CDPH, and some county public health officials have recently issued new guidance regarding use of cloth face coverings by the general public and essential workers. CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures may be difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Based on this guidance, ANR employees who continue to come to the workplace or field work sites for essential activities (including approved research, extension, maintenance and construction work) must wear face coverings when they are working in situations where they may come in contact with other people. If you are close enough to see or hear other people (within about 20 feet) while you are away from home for work, you need to cover your nose and mouth.
Face coverings are not a substitute for maintaining social distancing and frequent handwashing. The best community and individual defense against COVID-19 is to wash our hands frequently, avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoid being around sick people, and maintaining physical distancing, especially by staying at home. However, covering your nose and mouth with a snug-fitting washable cloth can provide an additional measure of safety by forming a barrier and reinforcing physical distancing, as long as you maintain the use of other defense measures.
There are numerous do-it-yourself options for cloth face covering, including this Fact Sheet from CDC that describes three methods. Employees should be encouraged to bring their own face coverings to work and launder them at home as necessary. If supervisors need help with arranging for face coverings for their employees, please contact the ANR Environmental Health & Safety team via the Ask EH&S survey.
It is also important to note that the cloth face coverings recommended are not medical masks or N95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
April 16 Town Hall
Join UC ANR on Thursday, April 16, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for a Town Hall meeting. I will share general updates and host a question/answer session. Vice Provost Mark Bell will discuss innovation in UC ANR in the midst of COVID-19. Three UC ANR colleagues will share their innovations for working through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Zoom information: https://ucanr.zoom.us/j/530365395
(669) 900-6833 or (646) 558-8656
Webinar ID: 530 365 395
A new webpage ucanr.edu/covid19communityresources provides links to relevant, credible, practical UC ANR information to help our communities weather the pandemic. Information categories include agriculture; food, water and nutrition; youth development; gardening; exploring your environment; and health and wellness. Send suggestions/links to Mark Bell.
Matteo Garbelotto, UCCE forest pathology specialist and adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, redesigned the annual citizen science project to map sudden oak death disease in order to ensure the safety of participants. The first in a series of SOD blitzes of 2020 will be April 11 in Napa. More information is available on the Green Blog.
A searchable library of production-quality UC ANR images has been developed on WebDam. Instructions for accessing the library are in the Communications Toolkit. Send additional image suggestions to Evett Kilmartin.