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Latest Updates

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.

Learn About the Program

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Image of the PCR self-administered test kits in the vending machine

COVID Testing

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.

Find a vending machine

Symptom and Exposure Screening

Campus Employees

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.

Campus Employee Screener


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.

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.

Read more about campus safety

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Person holding I GOT MY COVID-19 VACCINE sticker

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.

More vaccination information

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.

Guidance on Exposure

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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.

See Wellness Resources

Town Halls

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.

Tune in to a Town Hall

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Questions and Answers

We have conferred with our campus experts to bring you the latest information in response to your most urgent questions.

Find answers about Return to Learn