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Securing Facilities During the COVID-19 Closure

Follow these recommendations to secure offices, laboratories and buildings to restrict access during the COVID-19 Stay at Home/Remote Work period when staffing is limited and buildings are largely unoccupied.

Resident Responsibilities

Students staying in campus housing should follow these recommendations. Also see HDH COVID-19 Updates for the current housing-related information.

  • Carry your UC San Diego ID card at all times.
  • Lock and secure your residence door. You should never leave your door propped open.
  • Keep your keys and access cards with you. Do not lend them to anyone or leave them in an easily accessible location for someone to take.
  • Secure your valuables. Do not leave your belongings in plain sight or unattended in public areas such as lobbies, public restrooms, hallways, laundry rooms and dining rooms.
  • Never prop open an exterior door or let someone in behind you; this is known as tailgating. Propping a door open allows unauthorized people access to common spaces and unsecured rooms.
  • If you park a vehicle on campus, lock your doors and conceal valuables.
  • Check to see who is at your door before you open it.
  • Let your suitemate(s), friends or family know where you are going and when you will be returning.
  • Avoid dark paths or shortcuts. Walk along lighted paths or sidewalks.
  • Immediately contact UC San Diego Police, (858) 534-4357, if;
    • You see anything suspicious or concerning
    • Property is lost or damaged

Employee Responsibilities

Managers are responsible for determining which positions and how many employees are needed to perform critical operations. Employees need an Emergency Access Card or prior approval from the Emergency Operations Center to work on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UC San Diego Police encourages essential staff who work in facilities to:

  • Practice a modified Two-Person rule—two people working together to ensure work is finished safely.
  • Maintain appropriate physical distance and follow proper disinfection procedures as mandated by the County of San Diego.
  • “Check In” and “Check Out” with a designated point of contact (coordinated before arriving on campus) for every visit, every day.
  • Maintain physical control of mechanical keys at all times. Do not leave keys unsecured.
  • Close doors securely at all times without exception. Remove any object that could limit or stop doors from closing securely.
  • Immediately report faulty or non-functioning doors to your manager or supervisor.

Business and Facility Manager Responsibilities

Pedestrian Traffic

  • Direct authorized space users to enter and exit buildings through an established main entrance. Using a central entry and exit point for employees helps to ensure that side doors, fire exits and stairwell doors remain securely closed.
  • Keep exterior stairwell entry doors into buildings locked at all times.
  • Ensure that all building occupants have valid, clearly visible UC San Diego identification. Staff, faculty and students should carry and display their ID card for proper identification when conducting university business or attending university functions/events.
  • Create and enforce official use of building/office and visitor procedures.
  • Post clear and visible signs that detail operating hours, delivery information and contact information for your office and/or building. Emergencies may require changes or modifications to posted schedules.

Key/Card Control

  • Limit physical keys to authorized personnel. We recommend securing main entry doors using a card reader.
  • Examine and adjust existing door hardware on all entrances to prevent access without an issued key, card or biometric credential.
  • Keep a list of key holders available that clearly defines how keys are used, expectations for physically securing keys and accountability protocols in case authorized users fail to comply with established policies and procedures.
  • Always keep all doors with electronic access control readers locked; this excludes main entrance doors with designated hours. Assign a designated facilitator to control and coordinate vendor/contractor access.
  • Consider rekeying main entrance doors (for areas without card access), if appropriate, to limit access to authorized personnel. Getting a new Master key allows the building supervisor/operator the ability to track key distribution and use to avoid unauthorized site access with an existing lost, stolen or misplaced Master key.
  • Ensure that occupants secure interior office doors when not in use and that they store all valuables in a secure drawer or cabinet.

Door Props and Maintenance

  • Every individual is responsible for ensuring that doors are closed security at all times. If you observe a door being propped by an object, immediately remove it and notify your supervisor. Unauthorized door props allow unauthorized individuals into the building and can result in recurring maintenance costs by altering the door function and access control mechanisms.
  • Evaluate existing door hardware to ensure it works properly. Report defective or non-functioning doors to Facilities Management.
  • Ensure that ground-level windows are closed securely when employees are not present.

Audit and Accountability

If an electronic access control system and associated readers are in place, administrators can configure the system to alert within a predetermined period when doors are not closed securely.

  • A daily review of “door prop” records can provide administrators with reports to identify problem areas and report them to the responsible building or office occupants.
  • Managers can inform their staff of ongoing issues and react to occupant patterns that may be allowing unauthorized individuals to enter the building.
  • Entrances using card readers can notify the building supervisor/operator when doors have been tampered with, held open or forced open.
  • The ability to actively monitor, report and notify the building supervisor/operator of events facilitates a timely response to unauthorized access.
  • Installing video surveillance cameras at main entry points will enhance your ability to review door alerts and notify appropriate authorities through “Video Verification” which integrates the access control system alerts with video/image recording and review capabilities.


If you have questions or want to request a security assessment of your building or site, contact Robert Meza, UC San Diego’s Physical Security Programs Manager, (858) -22-2667.