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Wastewater Detection of SARS CoV-2

CAMPUS NOTICE: OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR

September 5, 2020
ALL ACADEMICS, STUDENTS, AND STAFF AT UC SAN DIEGO (Including UC San Diego Health)

As you are aware, UC San Diego has developed a multi-faceted, proactive strategy to detect SARS CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19) in our community so that we can reduce transmission of virus on the campus to the greatest extent possible.

The virus is shed from the gastrointestinal tract and is present in feces early in the infection. UC San Diego has the ability to identify the virus in wastewater, even before someone tests positive.

Our early detection system identified active virus in the wastewater outflow in the Revelle College area Friday afternoon. Thousands of people are on the UC San Diego campus every day, including members of the public. This test is an early indication that one of them is shedding the virus, viral shedding starts before symptoms develop.

TAKE ACTION

TESTING

If you have used the restroom in these buildings or were exposed to other people without appropriate physical distancing and masking, out of an abundance of caution, you should get tested.

We have made arrangements for SARS CoV-2 testing on Saturday and Sunday, so that we will be able to tell you whether you might be shedding virus at this time. In addition to the various UC San Diego Heath testing sites distributed throughout San Diego, we have expanded our testing site at the Price Center to enable you to be tested this weekend by having a swab placed in the front part of your nose. In order to make this as convenient as possible, we are asking that you schedule your test through these links, which will allow you to self-schedule a test at a specific time and location.

If you are planning travel, if at all possible, get tested before you leave campus.

SYMPTOM MONITORING

You will need to monitor yourself for symptoms for the next 14 days. In addition to monitoring yourself for symptoms, you should also be particularly meticulous about observing all current guidelines about prevention of COVID-19 transmission when you are around others. This includes avoiding direct physical contact with others, wearing a mask in the presence of others (especially indoors), staying at least 6 feet from others and washing your hands frequently.

You should be particularly careful about these prevention recommendations if you are in the presence of people with risk factors for more serious COVID-19 disease. This includes people over the age of 55 as well as people with underlying medical conditions including heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes or obesity.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE

In closing, we want to emphasize that we are notifying you of these recommendations because we wish to be exceedingly cautious while we work to better understand the implications of identifying a trace of virus in the wastewater testing. As we noted, we are not certain that anyone on campus is infected, but we do want to offer testing and this information as part of our ongoing efforts to stay ahead of this virus in our community.

Further information is available at the Return to Learn website and on Blink.

Pradeep K. Khosla
Chancellor