February 19, 2021

To: UCSB Faculty and Staff

RE: Recommendations for Office Use

Dear Colleagues,

We recently provided recommendations along with detailed supporting information to our campus building committees (LBC) to facilitate the increased use of on-campus offices for faculty and staff. Here, we reiterate those recommendations to assist you in your efforts to work on campus. For those desiring additional information video links to relevant domain experts are included at the end.


  1. Faculty offices in academic buildings are approved for single occupancy only, regardless of the size of the office. They are not to be shared simultaneously or sequentially.
  2. Other rooms with at least 300 sq. ft. that have forced air that is greater than 6 air changes per hour (ACH) and MERV 13 or higher filtration can house more than one person with 150 sq ft of space per person provided that high quality masks are worn, such as N95, KN95 or double masks made up of a blue surgical mask with straps behind the head covered by a well-fitting cloth mask.
  3. If windows are present, they should be opened during occupancy, weather permitting. If there are no windows or air circulation consult with your building committee, who can pursue repairs or other solutions.
  4. For rooms other than offices that are used by sequential occupants, schedule an unoccupied period of at least 2 hours before each new occupant arrives.
  5. Avoid scheduling occupants in adjacent offices or on opposite sides of a hallway.
  6. If possible, schedule occupants in shifts so that the same individuals are always in the same regions of the building at the same time. This will facilitate contact tracing.
  7. Wear masks while working in single-occupancy offices (except for on-line meetings, instruction, etc.).
  8. Whenever possible, maintain a 9’ physical separation. Otherwise, follow SBCPHD recommendations of minimal 6’ distancing.
  9. As a general strategy to reduce transmission in our Community, review current CDC masking recommendations and consider upgrading your mask’s filtering effectiveness.
  10. Bathroom: One occupant at a time. Avoid using electric-fan hand dryers. Wait 15’ between users. In a very small number of bathrooms, the ventilation is controlled by a switch and we recommend that it be left on at all times, with a sign posted to that effect.
  11. Wash hands frequently.

Informative Videos
Ventilation and non-pharmacologic interventions: An Interview with Joe Allen Ph.D. T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0ADKcZ4Eb8&feature=emb_logo

The latest in mask recommendations: Rochelle Walensky MD, PhD. Director, CDC

The variants and vaccines: An interview with UC Davis Doctors

On-campus bathrooms
As we increase density within buildings there will be greater numbers of people coming to campus and a concern was flagged regarding bathrooms. We verified that bathrooms have good ventilation, typically 10 ACH of non-recirculated air but we would like to reiterate the need for building committees to make sure that they are used as single-occupancy spaces and left empty for 15’ between occupants as noted on a door signup or a posted timer. In a very small number of bathrooms, the ventilation is controlled by a switch and we recommend that it be left on at all times, with a sign posted to that effect.

We hope that with careful planning by the LBCs and your diligence, we can continue to restore the use of offices across campus in a safe manner. Please contact Scott Grafton (stgrafton@ucsb.edu) if you have questions.


Scott Grafton
Campus COVID-mitigation Program Manager

Joe Incandela
Vice Chancellor for Research

Garry Mac Pherson
Vice Chancellor, Administrative Services

David Marshall
Executive Vice Chancellor