COVID-19: Staff and Faculty

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Schedule On-Campus Test    Off-Campus Testing    bu-news-help.png

How It Works

Symptom Checks: All employees who work on-site at a UCSC property (owned or leased) must complete a daily COVID-19 symptom check questionnaire before reporting for work. You will receive a symptom screening reminder email/text that will take you to a Qualtrics site. After completing the Qualtrics survey, you will receive your clearance status in a daily email.

Testing: Refer to COVID-19 Cohort Testing Strategy Matrix for an overview. Testing for all employees and faculty is currently on a voluntary basis, subject to change. Employees and Faculty will use UCSC's online patient portal, Health e-Messenger, to sign up for text reminders, schedule tests, and check in for COVID-19 test appointments. See current testing locations.

On-Campus Testing Eligibility: On-campus COVID-19 tests are only available to currently employed staff and faculty. Family members can get testing information at the SAVE Lives Santa Cruz County Testing Locator or at other off-campus locations.

Costs: On-campus tests are free to UCSC students, staff, and faculty. Off-campus tests may have a cost depending on your insurance.

Vaccine Policy: Get the latest information on COVID-19 vaccine policies for employees. (Having trouble getting your digital vaccine card? Here's what to do.)

Questions? See these staff-focused FAQs on the UCSC Recovery site. We also have a General COVID-19 FAQ with helpful information.

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Get Started

Here's how to get started with the on-campus testing process.

Step One: Register on Health e-Messenger and Sign Up for Texts

Here are instructions on how to register for Health e-Messenger (instrucciones en español) so you can schedule tests, receive results, and get reminder texts.

Once you're set up, we strongly recommend you sign up for texts. Log into Health e-Messenger with your CruzID and gold password.


Once logged in:

  • Go to Medical Clearances. Complete the Notice of Privacy Practices, General Consent, and Assignment of Benefits.
  • Go to Profile in the left menu. Enter your Santa Cruz address and mobile phone number and carrier. You will now receive daily text reminders to track your symptoms.

Step Two: Complete the Qualtrics Daily Symptom Screening Survey

Here's where you can enroll in the program. Once enrolled, you'll receive daily email reminders to complete a daily symptom check questionnaire.

Your daily reminders will prompt you to complete a symptom screening survey every day. These screening surveys support the health and wellbeing of campus by maintaining awareness of your health on a day to day basis. If you have risk factors for COVID-19 transmission, the screener will alert you to avoid contact with others.

You will use the link to the Qualtrics site in your daily reminder emails/text.

After you complete the survey, you will receive an email showing your quarantine status. Your supervisor is copied. 

Step Three: Check Your Clearance Status

Your confirmation email will show your clearance status:

  1. Cleared: Yes, you can come to campus.
  2. Not Cleared: No, don't come to campus. Contact your supervisor and your primary care provider right away. 

Step Four: Schedule a COVID-19 Test on Campus

You'll be notified when it's time to schedule your first COVID-19 test. To schedule a test, log into Health e-Messenger with your CruzID and gold password, then:

  • Go to Appointments > Schedule an Appointment > COVID Staff Testing.
  • Choose a date. You can schedule seven days in advance. See current testing locations here.
  • Sign up for the test. There's no fee.
  • You'll get a reminder message two days in advance and a text two hours in advance. On the day of the test, you'll see a QR code on your Health e-Messenger homepage. You'll need this as for your COVID-19 test appointment.

Accessibility: If you will be unable to swab yourself 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. 

Sammy the Slug checking in at a campus COVID-19 testing kioskStep Five: Get Your COVID-19 Test on Campus

Important note: If you feel sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, DO NOT come to the kiosk on the day of your appointment! Instead, stay home and call your primary care provider for information about how to care for yourself. Otherwise, here's what to do at your appointment:

  • Prepare: Bring your smartphone to show your QR code located in the Show Appointment section of Health e-Messenger homepage. If you don't have a smartphone, bring your photo ID.
  • Check in: Arrive on time to your appointment. Find the testing kiosk (a table with a plexiglass shield around it). A UCSC staff member will check you in.
  • Swab: Staff will give you a swab to collect a nasal sample. You will swab yourself at the kiosk. It is easy to do, doesn't hurt, and the swab doesn't go far into your nose.
  • Wait for results: We will email your email address with instructions on how to get your test results, typically within 24-72 hours after your test. On Health e-Messenger, you'll go to the Labs tab of "Visits/Allergies/Meds/Labs" on left navigation.


How Swabbing Works


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