As part of Phase 2, masking is currently optional within residential areas and visitors are allowed. Students should continue to complete the daily symptom screening.See housing update
Two COVID “booster” vaccines are available. We strongly recommend getting vaccinated as soon as possible (if you have not been vaccinated) and remaining up to date with booster vaccines.Make a booster appointment
- Residential housing is currently in Phase 2. Students are no longer required to wear face coverings in their own residential unit (apartments or suites) and visitors are allowed. Learn more on the Student Housing Safety page.
- Exposed to COVID? See Student Yellow Thumb Instructions and Employee Yellow Thumb Instructions.
- Received a positive COVID test result? See Student Red Thumb Instructions and Employee Red Thumb Instructions.
- All Return to Learn test kit vending machines now offer rapid antigen tests. Please note that the FDA has extended expiration dates—see new expiration dates here.
- Masking is currently optional in classrooms, labs, residential areas and on Triton transportation. Masking remains required in clinical settings. Free masks are available here.
About Our Program
UC San Diego’s Return to Learn program began in May 2020 as a strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the ongoing initiative is to continue in-person teaching, research and service in the safest way possible. Positive case rates on campus have remained consistently low compared to regional and national case rates. As a result, UC San Diego was able to resume full on-campus operations in fall 2021 and has served as a best practice model for other institutions.
All students and employees have access to COVID self-administered test kits through over two dozen vending machines located across campus. Each vending machine is stocked with both PCR test kits as well as rapid antigen tests. Students and employees will need their campus ID card to retrieve a test. Currently PCR samples are processed daily, with an average time of 24 hours to receive results.
Symptom and Exposure Screening
All campus employees (including faculty and researchers) working on-site must complete a daily self-screening for COVID-19 and report any symptoms or confirmed exposures.
All undergraduate and graduate students coming to campus (including residential) must conduct a daily self-screening for COVID-19 and report any symptoms or confirmed exposures. Student employees should conduct the student screener.
Masking and Operations
Public health is a collective effort. The UC San Diego community is expected to follow campus safety requirements to help prevent infection. Masking is currently required in all clinical areas and is optional in classrooms, labs and on Triton transportation. No one method is invulnerable, but by applying multiple layers of defense –such as vaccination, testing and symptom screening consistently–you can help reduce your risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
UC San Diego Vaccination
All students and employees are required to be vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 (or have an approved exemption), per University of California policy. Campus members should seek the most immediate COVID-19 vaccination opportunities available to them, which can include scheduling a primary care appointment, visiting a local grocery store or pharmacy or locating a San Diego County vaccination site near you.
Exposure and Isolation
If you are a UC San Diego campus employee or student that has recently tested positive for COVID-19, the UC San Diego Public Health team has important COVID-19 health information for you to review. Visit the Exposure and Isolation page to learn about how to isolate, when isolation can end, and what to do after completing isolation as well as guidelines for those who are close contacts.
Now more than ever it is important to tend to your mental and emotional wellbeing. Students and employees have access to a multitude of no-cost resources at UC San Diego to maintain wellness, including confidential counseling, self-guided tools, support groups, workshops and more. Whether you feel most comfortable with self-paced skill building, working one-on-one or finding community through support groups, there is a resource for everyone.
In an effort to provide regular updates and answer your questions, UC San Diego hosts monthly town halls about the Return to Learn program and campus operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are not able to catch the live event, all of the webinars are archived on our Town Hall page.