COVID-19 Testing

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COVID-19 Symptoms

For urgent COVID-19 symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, please seek immediate medical attention. If you have symptoms, wear a mask and test with a rapid antigen test. If the test is positive, view the Positive Test Instructions ». If the test is negative, continue to mask and test again in 48 hours. For questions or concerns, call the Nurse Advice Line at (831) 459-2591.

What are COVID-19 symptoms I should look out for?

COVID-19 can feel like a cold, allergies, or the flu and includes the following symptoms: • Fever or chills • Cough • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Fatigue • Muscle or body aches • Headache • New loss of taste or smell • Sore throat • Congestion or runny nose • Nausea or vomiting • Diarrhea

When should I test for COVID-19?
  1. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19: Test immediately, regardless of your COVID-19 vaccination status. If your test is negative but you continue to have symptoms, test again 48 hours later. Low amounts of virus early in infection can be missed by a test, and the test can be positive a few days later.
  2. If you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19: Test when notified of exposure and 35 days after exposure, even if you have no symptoms. Test immediately if symptoms develop.
  3. Consider testing before and 3–5 days after a gathering, a large event or travel, especially if you are going to be around people who are higher risk (older adults, immunocompromised, unvaccinated people).

Rapid Antigen Testing

On-campus rapid antigen tests are free to UCSC students, staff and faculty including those without UC SHIP. Off-campus tests may have a cost depending on your insurance.

Free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will continue to be available for all students at the College Housing Offices, Bay Tree Campus Store, the McHenry and Science and Engineering Libraries, and Affiliated Residential Community Housing (ARCH) offices.

Staff and Faculty can pick up free Rapid Antigen Tests at Bay Tree Campus Store and the McHenry and Science and Engineering Libraries. PCR Testing is available at a variety of locations in Santa Cruz County.

(Note: Testing is no longer available at the Amah Mutsun Conference Room.)

Accessibility: For accessibility-related assistance, please make an appointment with the Student Health Center by calling (831) 459-2500. We will assist you with the process. Please contact Student Health Services with any questions about COVID-19 testing. Go to Health e-Messenger: Messages → New Messages → COVID-19 Questions.

Department Request for Multiple Rapid Antigen Tests
Departments can request free Rapid Antigen Tests for campus events and other situations through Risk Services.

Page updated 3/23/23