COVID-19: Students

SHS COVID-19 Updates

SHS has many new phone and video services. No matter where you are, we're here for you.

Current SHS Services

Protect yourself and your community from COVID-19 and flu! Flu vaccines are now required by 11/1.

Flu Vaccine Information

Starting in Fall Quarter 2020, UC requires all on-campus students and students taking in-person classes to complete a daily COVID-19 symptom screening survey and get regular COVID-19 tests. See the official policy here.

Just need to schedule a test? Skip to Scheduling Information.

How It Works

You will receive a daily email and text reminder to track your symptoms using our online patient portal, Health e-Messenger. With Health e-Messenger, you'll do daily symptom surveys, schedule COVID-19 tests (view current testing locations), and see your Clearance Badge. The badge shows your status: clear, isolate, or quarantine. See Get Started below.

Tests are free to UCSC students, including those without UC SHIP.

If you're a student employee at UCSC, here's some specific information for UCSC student employees.

Onsite Students (refer to the COVID-19 Testing Matrix)

You'll need to do four important things:

  • Sequester: Students are required to sequester, or stay in their primary residence for fourteen days.  Minimize in-person interactions between students, faculty and staff, whether in residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, or other campus locations where students congregate. Going to work or traveling to meet your essential needs (groceries, medicine, etc.) is allowed.
  • Mask and socially distance: Continue to wear masks/face coverings when on-site at any UCSC property and stay six feet away from others.
  • Screen: Complete your daily symptom screening survey and view your clearance badge.
  • Test:  Schedule your asymptomatic test according to the cadence outlined in the matrix.  

Off-Campus Students

If you live off-campus AND you never go to the UCSC campus, then currently there are no requirements for you. We urge you to:

  • maintain social distancing
  • wear a mask/face covering in public
  • practice good hygiene and cleaning routines
  • contact the Student Health Center or your healthcare provider about testing if you feel sick or are concerned about exposure.

On-Site Students: Get Started

Here's how to get started with the screening survey and testing process.

Step One: Register for Text Messages

You will receive a daily email reminder, and 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 email and text reminders to track your symptoms.

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: Complete the Daily Symptom Screening Survey

Your daily reminders will prompt you to complete the 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.

Fill Out the Survey

  • Log into Health e-Messenger with your CruzID and gold password.
  • Select “Complete Survey" button.

Review Symptom Screening Survey Results and Quarantine Status

If you successfully completed your survey, you will see this box:

Success upon submission of Survey screenshot

Step Three: Check Your Clearance Status

Students: After you complete your daily symptom screening survey, Health e-Messenger creates your Clearance Badge. The badge shows your status: clear, isolate, or quarantine.

  1. Cleared: Yes, you can come to campus/on-site.
  2. Isolation: No, don't come to campus/on-site. Stay home until your healthcare provider says it's ok to leave. Isolation is used to separate sick people from others. Isolation usually lasts 10 days from the first day of symptoms, providing all symptoms are improving and you have no fever for 24 hours (without using a fever reducing medication like Tylenol).
  3. Quarantine: No, don't come to campus. Stay home until your healthcare provider says it's ok to leave. Quarantine is used for well people who were exposed to COVID-19. Usually quarantine lasts 14 days from the day of exposure.

To see the badge, go to your Health e-Messenger home screen and select Show Badge. You may need to show this badge when you participate in UCSC activities like eating at dining halls, attending in-person classes, etc.

Example of badge showing Quarantine Status, Student Profile info, and a QR code with date and time.
Example of Clearance Badge

Step Four: Schedule a COVID-19 Test

Students(both Undergraduate and Graduate if applicable; see the COVID-19 Testing Matrix).

To schedule a test, log into Health e-Messenger with your CruzID and gold password, then:

  • Go to Appointments > Schedule an Appointment > COVID-19 Student Testing.
  • Choose the date you want for your test. See current testing locations.
  • 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 for your COVID-19 test appointment.

Sammy the Slug checks in at a campus COVID-19 Kiosk and shows his Clearance Badge on his mobile phoneStep Five: Get Your COVID-19 Test

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 the free Nurse Advice line at (831) 459-2591.

Otherwise, here's what to do at your appointment:

  • Prepare: Bring your smartphone to show your QR code and Clearance Badge. If you don't have a smartphone, bring your photo ID. For a fast check in, make sure your address and phone number are updated on your Health e-Messenger profile.
  • 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.


How Swabbing Works


Need Help?

  • Read General COVID-19 FAQs
  • Emergencies: call 911
  • Health-related COVID-19 student questions: Log into Health e-Messenger and select Messages > New Message >COVID-19 Questions

 Back to the SHC COVID-19 Home