COVID-19 Known Exposure

COVID-19 Treatment Options

COVID-19 Testing 

COVID-19 Positive Test Results

COVID-19 Vaccine

Staff and Faculty FAQs

Questions about coming to work or other issues related specifically to UCSC employees? See the Keep Teaching site for faculty, or Support for Employees for staff.

COVID-19 Known Exposure

I've been exposed to COVID-19, and I don't have symptoms. What should I do? 

Per California Department of Public Health

  • If you have new COVID-19 symptoms, you should test and mask right away.
  • If you do not have symptoms, and are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection and would benefit from treatment, you should test within 5 days. 
  • If you do not have symptoms and have contact with people who are at higher risk for severe infection, you should mask indoors when around such people for 10 days. Consider testing within 5 days after the last exposure date (Day 0) and before contact with higher-risk people. For further details, see CDPH COVID-1​9 tes​​ting guidance​.​

My roommate/housemate is isolating in place after testing positive for COVID - what do I need to do?

Guidelines for Close Contacts Sharing a Living/Sleeping Space with a Positive COVID-19 Case:
Students living in university housing who test positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate in place.

When sharing a living/sleeping area with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, during their isolation period, follow these recommendations:
  • If you are a known close contact to and living with someone with COVID-19 but do not have symptoms:
    • You do not need to quarantine.
    • Immediately begin wearing a well-fitting mask around others especially in indoor settings, including while sleeping.  
    • Make sure the room has good airflow and follow CDC Guidance for Improving Ventilation in Your Home.
    • Maintain at least 6 feet between beds if possible.
    • Consider testing as soon as possible to determine your current infection status; then test again on days 3-5 after your last exposure. If you test negative for COVID, complete another rapid antigen test 24-48 hours after the first negative test, for a total of at least two tests.
    • Please see the California Department of Public Health’s Guidelines.
  • If you have symptoms and test positive, immediately mask, isolate, and contact a medical provider if you need medical assistance. Follow the Positive Test Result Instructions. 
  • If you have symptoms and test negative contact a medical provider to evaluate for other causes.

COVID-19 Treatment Options

What treatment options are available for COVID-19?

Students with certain medical conditions who test positive for COVID-19 may be eligible for COVID-19 antiviral treatments. Contact the SHS Nurse Advice Line to find out more information at: 831-459-2591. 

Visit the California Department of Public Health: Get the Facts on COVID-19 Treatments

COVID-19 Testing & Vaccination

I have COVID-19 symptoms but tested negative, what should I do?

If you test negative for COVID and you still have COVID-19 symptoms, complete another rapid antigen test 24-48 hours after the first negative test, for a total of at least two tests. The CDC advises that multiple negative tests increases the confidence that you are not infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
If you get a negative result on the second test and you are concerned that you could have COVID-19, you may test again 24-48 hours after the second test, consider getting a laboratory molecular-based test, or call your healthcare provider.
Where can I get a COVID test?
Visit our COVID Information page for availability. If you have symptomsisolate, wear a mask and have a friend or roommate pick up a Rapid Antigen Test for you, or contact your healthcare provider to order a lab test. 
I’ve had COVID-19 recently, should I test until I get a negative result?

Per the California Department of Public Health, people can continue to test positive for COVID-19 on a PCR test for up to 3 months after diagnosis and not be infectious to others once they have met the isolation clearance criteria. For this reason, we recommend that you do not test for COVID with a PCR test for 3 months after your positive test. However, if you develop new symptoms of COVID-19 during this 3 month period, please mask, isolate, test with a rapid antigen test, and contact your healthcare provider.

I've been vaccinated. Do I need to keep wearing masks?

Effective April 10, 2022, masks will not be required for most indoor settings at UC Santa Cruz facilities. 
Anyone with respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, runny nose, and/or sore throat), must still wear a mask when visiting UCSC Student Health. Because masks help protect the mask wearer and others from communicable disease exposure, SHS continues to strongly recommend their use in all healthcare facilities. 

California Department of Public Health and Cal/OSHA guidelines both state that individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must mask for 10 days following a positive test. Depending on community levels, mask requirements may change. 

Regardless of the COVID-19 community levels, CDPH recommends
  • Wear a mask around others if you have respiratory symptoms 
  • Consider wearing a mask in indoor areas of public transportation  
  • When choosing to wear a mask, ensure your mask provides the best fit and filtration 
  • If you’ve had a significant exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, wear a mask for 10 days.

What if I lost my vaccine card?

You can download a digital copy of your vaccine record on the California Department of Public Health website.

Will you be providing COVID-19 booster shots on campus? Visit COVID-19 Information for updates.

COVID-19 Positive Test Results 

What happens if I get a positive COVID-19 test?

UCSC students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 with a laboratory test or home
test will follow the the Covid-19 Positive Test Instructions for Students, or Positive Test Instructions for Staff/Faculty. The campus will not notify your close contacts. All students who test positive (either on campus or off) are strongly encouraged to notify all of their close contacts, including their instructors and roommates, so that they can take the appropriate actions.

How long will I have to stay home?

Please visit the COVID positive test instructions for guidelines. Your provider may have additional guidelines for you.

How long will my test remain positive? Do I need another test?

After your isolation period is over you are no longer infectious to other people, but a PCR test before 3 months could show a false positive. Because of this we recommend you do not take a PCR test again for 3 months. However, if you develop new symptoms during this time frame you should seek medical evaluation.

Is there help for me on campus if I need groceries or meals while in isolation?

Please visit the COVID positive test instructions for information. 

What should I do if tested positive and my symptoms are getting worse?

Call 911 if it's an emergency. During business hours call the SHC Advice Nurse at 831-459-2591. If it's after hours, please see how to get healthcare when the Student Health Center is closed.

Do I have to get a letter to return to work/campus?

In general a letter is not needed. Staff should check with their supervisors regarding return to work. A student's return will depend on the criteria for ending isolation. Students, if you work off-campus and your employer needs a letter from us, log into Health e-Messenger to request a letter. Go to Messages, New Messages, and COVID-19 Questions and make your request. In general, we will respond with your letter within 48 hours. 


  • Emergencies: call 911
  • Non-urgent COVID-19 health related questions for students, call the Nurse Advice Line at (831) 459-2591.
  • Employee questions: COVID-19 employee support or contact your primary care provider
  • Other resources: The Santa Cruz County Call Center is available at (831) 454-4242 from M-F / 8 am – 5 pm everyday. 211 website

Back to the SHC COVID-19 Home

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