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Testing and Screening

UC San Diego offers an ongoing testing program for all University community members. Tests can be completed at no cost to employees and students through UC San Diego Health and Student Health Services.

Latest Updates

Information for:

STUDENTS

All students who are living on UC property or are coming to campus are required to conduct a daily self-screening. Routine asymptomatic testing regardless of vaccination status is not required, but is available.

Student screening and testing

EMPLOYEES

All employees (staff, faculty, research, clinical) who report to work on campus are required to conduct a daily symptom screening. Routine asymptomatic testing regardless of vaccination status is not required, but is available.

Employee screening and testing

First-Time Test at UC San Diego

New students should get their campus ID prior to arriving on campus so that they can begin to access COVID-19 PCR tests and rapid antigen tests from the two dozen vending machines across campus. Those who cannot get their ID in time can pick up a rapid antigen test at one of these locations in the interim.

COVID-19 Test Kit Vending Machines

Students and campus employees can pick up a self-administered PCR COVID-19 test kit or a rapid antigen test at one of numerous vending machines across campus. PCR samples should be returned within 72 hoursfrom the time the kit is picked upat a drop box next to a vending machine (download full test kit instructions here). More information can also be found on the Student Screening and Testing page and Employee Testing and Screening page

Reminder: please submit your sample by 2 p.m. for the most timely return of results.

Vending machine locations

Samples are picked up daily at 2 p.m.

  • Muir College | Roots Restaurant (map)
  • Seventh College | Next to the Parcel Center (map
  • Nuevo East (Porton) | Outdoor Gym Area (map)
  • Price Center | First Floor Across from Burger King (map)*
  • Thurgood Marshall College Res Halls | TMC Residence Life Lobby (map)
  • Warren College | Across from the Residence Life Office (map)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt College | Next to the Laundry Room at Student Activity Center (map)
  • Village at Pepper Canyon | Lodge (map)
  • South Mesa | 9126 Laundry Room (map)
  • One Miramar | Next to the Parcel Center (map)
  • School of Medicine | Biomedical Research Facility II (map)
  • Revelle College | Argo Hall Parcel Center (map)
  • Campus Services Complex | Electric Shop (map)
  • South Parking Structure | Level 3 West Entrance (map)
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography | Eckart Building Loading Dock (map)
  • Jacobs School of Engineering | Near Bear Statue (map)
  • Gilman Parking | Corridor of Pepper Canyon Hall (map)
  • Coast Apartments | Laundry Room (map)
  • North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood (map)
  • Rita Atkinson Residences (map)
  • Torrey Pines Center South | Second floor breezeway near shuttle (map)

Campus Community Member COVID-19 Testing

Self-administered testing kits are for current UC San Diego campus staff, faculty, and students only. For those who do not qualify for self-administered testing and are living or working on campus, you may be eligible for free testing through a provider-administered testing site. Contact RTL@ucsd.edu to determine if you are eligible.

Testing Dashboard

For more information about COVID-19 testing and prevalence in the UC San Diego community, please see the COVID-19 Daily Dashboard, which is updated weekdays with numbers based on tests conducted by UC San Diego Health and UC San Diego Student Health Services. View the dashboard.

Which Test Do I Use?

PCR

This is a very sensitive molecular test that looks for genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is the primary way to discover and verify the presence of a COVID-19 infection. These can be done on campus at the test kit vending machines, at the Rec Gym Clinic or drive thru sites.

Rapid Antigen Test

Rapid antigen tests are less sensitive in early stages of infection and are meant to serve as a pre-diagnosis only by finding viral proteins of SARS-CoV-2 in a person’s nose or throat. There are two ways that UC San Diego is recommending their use: (1) for students who live outside the San Diego region and are moving into campus housing or students returning back to the San Diego area from outside the county or (2) to assess for ongoing need of isolation for students or employees with COVID-19; if a rapid antigen test is negative on day 5 after the onset of symptoms or a positive test, isolation is no longer needed, but masking for a 10 day period is required. 

Order Rapid Antigen Tests for Campus Employees

Campus departments can order free rapid antigen tests through Oracle Procurement for anyone working at a campus location at least one day a week. If rapid antigen tests are required for events or meetings, we ask that you order only what your location will need in two-week increments. Include a description of the event and how the rapid antigen test will be distributed. Please return unused tests within 7 days. See instructions on how to place an order.

Please note that the expiration dates of rapid antigen tests have been extended by the FDA. You can reference the lot number that is printed on the box and the new expiration date here.

If you test positive for COVID-19 from an at-home rapid antigen test, please report it by uploading a photo of your test results directly to your MyUCSDChart or MyStudentChart. You will then receive a call. You should also report your positive test on your aily symptom screener and follow the guidance provided.

drive-thru testing at UC San Diego

Privacy

UC San Diego Health is committed to protecting medical and personal information about you. To ensure a high level of privacy and security protections, UC San Diego stores information related to COVID-19 testing in UC San Diego Health’s electronic health record system known as Epic. Learn more about privacy practices.