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Quick Guide for Employees

This guide provides campus faculty and staff employees with the key information that they need to conduct their work as safely and successfully as possible.

Faculty members can find additional information on the Academic Affairs FAQ page.
Campus staff can find additional information on the Human Resources FAQ page.
Health Sciences and Health System employees can contact Health Human Resources for guidance.

UC San Diego is a residential campus committed to in-person education, research and patient care. We strive to be intentional about fostering a workplace where employees thrive professionally and personally. We focus on first and foremost supporting the mission of the university: to transform California and a diverse global society by educating, generating and disseminating knowledge and creative works, and by engaging in public service. We recognize the critical role played by all employees in achieving this mission, and we will thoughtfully consider workplace flexibility options that are consistent with operational needs. We appreciate that such needs are local, which means that we will empower and support supervisors in making such decisions. Finally, we are a learning organization so we will continuously review and adapt such arrangements.

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Employee Return to Campus Support Desk

If you have questions about returning to campus and you’re not sure where to direct them, contact the Return to Campus Support Desk from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 858-246-3570 or Staff from the RTC Support Desk can offer guidance and put you into contact with the Return to Campus lead for your department.

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All employees must be vaccinated for COVID-19 (or have an approved exemption) per UC policy. During the Winter Quarter 2022, individuals who are not vaccinated and individuals who are vaccinated but have not received a vaccine booster will be required to test for SARS-CoV-2 two times per week, between three and five days apart.

Details on the vaccine mandate.
Employee FAQ page on vaccine mandate.

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Mask Guidelines

  • Indoor Settings: Regardless of vaccination status, everyone must mask indoors. Exceptions for indoor masking include while eating or drinking and while working alone in a closed room or office. Masks must be worn at all times during indoor meetings, which should not include food or drink. 
  • Outdoor Settings: For those who are fully vaccinated, masks are not required except if you are a confirmed exposure. A face covering is required for unvaccinated individuals during most outdoor activities.

Learn more about mask guidelines.

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Daily Symptom and Exposure Screening

Required each day for employees who are reporting to work at a UC San Diego location. Recommended for those working remotely to monitor for symptoms. Student employees, including teaching assistants, should only use the student daily screener.

Register for the screener »

Complete the screener »

Testing Requirements

  • Employees who are fully vaccinated and boosted: weekly testing encouraged.
  • Employees who are vaccinated but not boosted: twice-weekly testing required (every 3-5 days)
  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated: ongoing twice weekly testing required (every 3-5 days).
  • Remote employees who are not fully vaccinated: ongoing asymptomatic testing as needed. If coming to campus for any reason, required to test within 72 hours of arrival and on the day of arrival.

Employees who develop symptoms of COVID-19 should indicate so in the daily symptom screener and conduct a test. Employees should also test if they have used the restroom facilities in a building with a positive wastewater signal.

Employees who have not been fully vaccinated and boosted may fulfill required COVID-19 testing through:

  • No-cost, self-administered test kits retrieved from campus vending machines (no appointment needed);
  • Provider-observed, self-administered testing at Price Center (appointment needed);
  • Or provider-administered testing via drive thru (appointment needed).

For employees who are completing their first-ever UC San Diego COVID-19 test, you must make an appointment at the Price Center clinic or the drive thru testing sites. Vending machines can be used for subsequent testing. Learn more on the Testing and Screening webpage.

See all testing options »

Return to Work

Campus staff who are looking for information about returning to on-site work can visit Blink for guidelines and resources, including frequently asked questions and details about flexible work arrangements.

See resources

Required Training

Campus staff who return to campus, even on an intermittent basis, must complete COVID-19 prevention training. If previously completed, you must fulfill a short supplemental training before returning.

Training details

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Returning to On-Site Work

Campus staff who are looking for information about returning to on-site work can visit Blink for guidelines and resources, including frequently asked questions and details about flexible work arrangements.

See return to work resources

Parent Resources

Working and studying remotely can alter family schedules. Resources are available to support families at home, including financial assistance, child care services, opportunities to connect with other UC San Diego parents and more.

See more parent resources

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Leave Options

UC San Diego employees are eligible for paid leave. This can be used as recovery time for those who have tested positive, those who are fulfilling isolation requirements and those who cannot work remotely. Note: this leave option is not available to Health System employees.

More on Leave Options

Exposure Notification

Add the CA Notify app to your phone to receive an alert if you’ve potentially been exposed to COVID-19. This program has the potential to help stop the spread of the infection and its use is highly encouraged, but it is completely voluntary.

Add CA Notify

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The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program offers campus faculty and staff confidential, one-on-one counseling sessions conducted via phone or Zoom. In addition, educational workshops and support groups are available on a variety of topics. To learn more, contact

Make an appointment