COVID-19 Known Exposure

COVID-19 Treatment Options

COVID-19 Testing FAQs

COVID-19 Positive Test Results FAQs

COVID-19 Travel FAQs

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

COVID-19 Badge System FAQs

COVID-19 and Student Life FAQs

COVID-19 Symptom Checks 

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.

Additional Questions

 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 asymptomatic persons who are known close contacts to someone with COVID-19:

  • Students do not need to quarantine
  • If you are EMPLOYED by UCSC and have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact Cindy Delgado of Risk Services for further guidance. Cindy Delgado email:; phone: 831-888-7253
  • Are required to wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings and when near those at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease. 
  • Should test within 3-5 days after last exposure.
For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was less than 6 feet away from you for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

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:
Most of our campus community is up-to-date on their vaccinations, and there are more therapeutics available now to reduce the severity of COVID. As we move from a pandemic to an endemic framework, 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.  
    • Continue wearing your mask until 10 days after the person positive for COVID has ended their isolation period.
    • Please see the California Department of Public Health’s Guidelines , Table 2 for more details.
  • 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.
For any roommates with underlying medical conditions, we may have temporary accommodations available for the period their roommate is in isolation. To discuss these options, please contact Student Health Services via Health e-Messenger: Messages/New Messages/COVID-19 questions.

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 COVID-19 Messaging provider to find out if you qualify. Visit Health e-Messenger and select Messages > New Message > COVID-19 Questions.

For more information please visit the California Department of Public Health: Get the Facts on COVID-19 Treatments

COVID-19 Testing

Who is required to get a COVID-19 test regularly?
Please view the current Testing Protocols to find out if you fall into one of the groups for which regular testing is mandatory. 
How can I schedule a test?

Instructions for Students and Employees

Accessibility: If you will be unable to collect your own specimen due to a disability, please make an appointment with the Student Health Center by calling (831) 459-2500. We will assist you with the process. 
Where and when do the tests take place?
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, don't go to the testing kiosks! Call for instructions about where to get your test.
  • Students:  call the Nurse Advice Line at 831-459-2591
  • Employees: call your healthcare provider
If you need an on-campus test and don't have symptoms, you are eligible for asymptomatic testing. Testing site hours will vary during holidays and quarter breaks. Please refer to the COVID Testing Webpage for current hours on the day you plan to test.

Testing Locations

COVID-19 Testing Information

How much do the tests cost?
  • On-campus tests: Free for active staff and faculty and enrolled students, including students without UC SHIP.

What’s the difference between symptomatic and asymptomatic tests? 
  • Symptomatic tests mean that you feel ill and have symptoms. Symptomatic tests for students must take place at the Student Health Center by appointment. Staff should see their primary care provider.

  • Asymptomatic tests mean that you feel fine and do not have any symptoms. If you have had a recent exposure and do NOT have any symptoms you can do an asymptomatic test. You would get an asymptomatic test to meet the mandatory testing requirements, or you have had recent exposure and do not have symptoms and need testing, or because you need proof of a negative COVID-19 test for some other reason.  
Can I be exempt from the COVID-19 testing requirement?

There is no religious exemption for testing. Individuals with religious and medical exemptions must participate in COVID-19 testing as per UCSC testing protocols

Students who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 should not participate in routine asymptomatic testing for 90 days. If you have a positive test through campus testing you are automatically given a 90 day exemption and do not need to contact SHS. If your positive test is from a home test or an outside lab, you must contact SHS via Health e-Messenger to obtain your 90 day exemption. 

To contact SHS for a 90 day exemption, message us on Health e-Messenger using your Gold password. Go to Messages/New Messages/COVID-19 Questions. A Covid Team Member will apply a 3-month temporary exemption. Please be sure to include the date of your positive test and upload a copy, if possible.

I’ve had COVID-19 recently, should I test until I get a negative result?

As of 8/3/20, per the CDC, people can continue to test positive for up to 3 months after diagnosis and not be infectious to others. For this reason you will be given a temporary exemption from mandatory testing that exempts you from COVID testing for 3 months after your positive test. However, if you develop new symptoms of COVID-19 during this 3 month period, please contact your healthcare provider.

What does UCSC do to ensure safety at the testing sites?

Safety is our primary concern and we take every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 (and influenza) at the testing sites. Our techniques include:

  • enforcing masking and distancing
  • using disinfectant sprays and wipes in the swabbing areas frequently
  • ensuring good air circulation
  • limiting the testing sites to asymptomatic people.

Our testing site program was reviewed by the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency and they found our practices to be aligned with best public health practices. If you are concerned about proximity to others at the testing sites, please call us and we can discuss alternate arrangements for you.

Is on-campus testing or vaccination available to the general public or alumni?

No, UCSC COVID-19 tests and vaccines are only for active, enrolled students, as well as current staff and faculty. If you are not a current student, staff, or faculty member, you can visit the following resources: 

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

Effective April 10, masks will not be required for most indoor settings at UC Santa Cruz facilities, but their use will still be strongly recommended for indoor spaces but required in clinical settings, such as the Student Health Center and at indoor COVID-19 testing sites. 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. As well, asymptomatic exposed individuals must mask for 10 days following an identified close contact to someone with COVID-19.

Will I need to get tested regularly, even if I’m vaccinated?

Please refer to the UC Santa Cruz Testing Protocol for the most current information. 

Vaccinated students who are experiencing possible COVID-related symptoms must consult with Student Health Services and will be asked to test through SHS. If you are vaccinated and an employee, we ask that you go see your primary care doctor.

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. Please login to Health e-Messenger , and enter your COVID-19 vaccine type and dates under medical clearances left navigation menu, and then you will be in compliance with the policy.

Do I need to take a COVID test before I leave campus?

If you are planning to travel away from Santa Cruz and its surrounding communities, please review the CDC’s latest recommendations for domestic or international travel. There is a comprehensive list on the CDC website of countries with travel restrictions. If you are traveling, please check with your airline and the country you are going to for testing requirements.

How often should I test?
Pre and Post arrival testing is required for students for Fall 2022. After this time, ongoing (surveillance) testing is not currently required for students, faculty, or staff (unless you are a university healthcare worker). However, free asymptomatic testing is still available for the campus. Testing will help to protect your health and your fellow Slugs. Please view the COVID-19 Protocol for more information.

I am unable to come to the main campus, how can I get a test?

Students and employees who are unable to travel to the main campus can request a mail-in test kit through Fulgent Genetics. Please request a test kit code through the following link.

Will you be providing COVID-19 booster shots on campus? Please view our current booster availability on campus. If there are no spots available, all appointments all curently full. Visit Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you to find a booster in your community. 

Do I need to test through campus?

Only PCR COVID-19 tests done through UCSC will fulfill campus post-arrival testing requirements. See the protocol page for testing requirements. 

How do I upload proof of my booster?

Log into Health e-Messenger and navigate to the 'Medical Clearances' tab. Next to 'COVID-19' there should be a green 'Update' button, click it. On the pop-up that will open, upload a photo of your vaccination card and select 'Add Immunization' with the date and type of vaccine you received. Click 'Done' and the information will be saved. View this document for a detailed step-by-step.

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, and those who are close contacts to cases will follow the Covid-19 Positive Test Result 

Notifying campus of your results:
If you reside in university sponsored housing and test positive through a campus test, home test, or outside clinic, begin isolation protocol immediately. Then, please inform Campus Housing of your results by completing this form. You will be contacted by a staff member with additional information and directions about isolating. Due to high volume you may not be contacted right away.

If you reside off campus, you will not be contacted by staff and should isolate in your current location. Do not wait to be contacted by Campus to begin isolation. Please follow the Covid-19 Positive Test Result Instructions

If you are EMPLOYED by UCSC notify Cindy Delgado of Risk Services and your supervisor
immediately for next steps and available resources. Stay home and do NOT go to in-person
work. Cindy Delgado email:; phone: 831-888-7253

Who is notified of my positive test result?

We encourage you to notify your close contacts so their risks and needs can be assessed.

Instructor Notification 
The campus notification system remains in operation. When students test positive using a campus testing facility, notifications will be sent to the student’s instructors. All students who test positive (either on campus or off) have been asked to notify all of their close contacts, including their instructors. 

How long will I have to stay home?

Please visit the isolation and quarantine
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?

Yes. UCSC has many resources to help you. If you live on campus contact your isolation coordinator. If you live off campus, please contact Slug Support.  

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. 

If I've tested positive for COVID-19 and have fully recovered, should I keep doing asymptomatic testing?
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.

COVID-19 Travel

What should I do if I'm currently traveling abroad or will soon return to UCSC?
Any staff or students traveling domestically or internationally should follow the CDC guidelines for travel. 

If you're diagnosed with COVID-19 while away from campus, please call Student Health Services at 831-459-2591 so that we can be aware and coordinate care if needed. 

How can I get proof of a negative COVID-19 test before traveling on an airplane?

Results from on-campus testing usually take 24 to 48 hours to result. However, these times cannot be guaranteed. There is often a tight turnaround for pre-travel testing requirements. Many airports offer testing on site, here's a link to one option. 


COVID-19: Badge System FAQs

The campus COVID-19 student badging system is no longer in use. The campus notification system remains in operation. When students test positive using a campus testing facility, notifications will be sent to the student’s instructors. All students who test positive (either on campus or off) have been asked to notify all of their close contacts, including their instructors.

What will happen to me if I’m done with isolation? How do I know if I have been cleared?

Please refer to the Covid-19 Positive Test Result Instructions for more information. 

COVID-19 and Student Life

What should I do if I'm attending a private gathering?
The CDC has published some helpful guidance on how to protect yourself and others

What about sex during COVID-19?
SHOP's guide helps you think about the ways you can lower your risk for COVID-19 during sex: COVID-19+Sex

Does vaping increase my risk of COVID-19?
New research shows that vaping and smoking increases risk of COVID-19. Now is a great time to quit. Contact SHOP for free personal support to quit vaping or smoking.
What low-risk, fun activities can I do with my friends or family?

There are relatively safe ways for us to be active, social, and entertained. Take a look at how Understanding Your Risk Helps You Make Decisions from the CDC. Individual risk for interacting with others depends on many factors, all of which may not be captured in scenarios listed. 

Can I get or give COVID-19 through a pet? 

While possible, it is very unlikely. See the CDC's guidance on what to do if you have pets.


COVID-19 Symptom Checks

What are the symptom check questionnaire requirements?
  • Effective Aug. 1, the daily symptom check questionnaire will no longer be required for employees working on-site at UCSC-owned or leased facilities. Instead, only employees who have possible COVID symptoms should complete the daily symptom check questionnaire.
  • Students are encouraged to continue to self-assess their health status and possible COVID symptoms each day. Completion of the online symptom checker is not required at this time.

  • For more information please visit checking for symptoms


  • Emergencies: call 911
  • Health-related COVID-19 student questions: Log into Health e-Messenger and select Messages > New Message >COVID-19 Questions
  • Employee questions: Contact your primary care provider
  • Other resources: The Santa Cruz County Call Center is available at (831) 454-4242 from 8 am – 6 pm everyday. Outside of these hours, call 2-1-1 (United Way of Santa Cruz County), text: "covid19" to 211211, or visit the 211 website
  • Student Housing FAQs

Back to the SHC COVID-19 Home

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