COVID-19 Testing

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COVID-19 Testing for Students, Staff and Faculty

  • View the COVID-19 protocols for fall quarter.

  • On-campus 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.

  • The options below are for asymptomatic testing. If you are a student with COVID-19 symptoms, don't go to the testing sites! Call SHS Nurse Advice line at (831) 459-2591 for instructions about where to get your test. Staff and Faculty with symptoms should consult their medical provider.

Step One: Set up Health e-Messenger

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. 

Important: let us know of your new address immediately after arriving on campus or in Santa Cruz County. Make sure you use your Santa Cruz address, not your permanent address back home.  

Step Two: Take a COVID-19 Test

Testing site hours will vary during holidays and quarter breaks. Please refer to the COVID Testing Hours and Locations Calendar for current supervised testing site hours. Saliva-based PCR tests are available for all asymptomatic students, staff, and faculty.

Saliva PCR Test 

Tests are available for use by all students, staff and faculty at UC Santa Cruz. Follow the steps below in order to facilitate your COVID-19 PCR Test.

1) Check the COVID Testing Hours and Locations Calendar to make sure testing is available when you want to go.

2) Before You Test: Do not eat, drink (other than water), or smoke within 30 minutes of your test. 

3) When you arrive for your test, follow instructions from testing site staff to complete your test. 

Results for the COVID-19 PCR self-test will be uploaded to your Health e-Messenger in 2-3 business days. 

Rapid Antigen Testing

Rapid Antigen Tests are available during open hours at the Amah Mutsun COVID testing site, Bay Tree Campus Store, college housing offices, as well as in the Affiliated Residential Community Housing (ARCH) offices. We encourage you to pick up a test before you leave for both the fall and winter breaks so you are prepared to test before your return to campus.


PCR Testing is at the Amah Mutsun Conference Room. Testing the week of 12/4-12/9 will be available from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The conference center is located in the Bay Tree Building

PCR Testing at the Student Health Center is designated for students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. If you do not have symptoms you should receive testing at a testing site.

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

Note: 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.

Instructor Notification 

If your PCR results from an on-campus tests are positive, your instructors will receive a message that you're unable to attend class. We encourage you to communicate directly with your instructor in order to discuss continuation of learning, if you are able, during the time you are not able to attend class in-person.

Department Request for Multiple Rapid Antigen Tests
Departments can request multiple rapid antigen test kits for their office. Please complete the Department Rapid Antigen Test Pick Up Form on the Risk Services Website. 

Page updated 11/29/22