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December 1, 2020
The purpose of this weekly newsletter is to provide the campus community with important updates and recent news related to the Return to Learn program. If you have specific questions or would like to submit feedback about the program, please email

In Case You Missed It

Wasting No Time: Early Viral Detection

Over the past week, UC San Diego’s early detection system identified active virus in campus wastewater. The campus recently expanded wastewater sampling sites to 52, increasing the ability to detect positive individuals as early as possible. The program will soon grow to over 100 samplers with a goal of monitoring single buildings.

Students: Pick Up a Testing Kit

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to pick up a self-administered asymptomatic COVID-19 test. There is no appointment needed and no wait time involved—just return your test within 72 hours. Students living on campus and those attending in-person classes are required to be tested every 12-16 days; weekly testing is now available and recommended.

Employees: Weekly Testing Available

In light of the recent rise in cases around San Diego County and across the nation, employee testing for COVID-19 is now offered on a weekly basis.

Upcoming Town Halls

Student Town Hall

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 5:00 p.m.
Join us as campus leaders share updates on the Return to Learn program and address your questions related to campus operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faculty Town Hall | Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 3:00 p.m.
Staff Town Hall | Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 4:00 p.m.

Student Testing Kit Instructions

Your Top Questions Answered

Question: What safety precautions should I take if I traveled or gathered over Fall Break?
Answer:Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. This risk will carry over for at least 14 days after you return.
Student guidelines: Any student who resides in campus-operated housing and who engages in any off-campus unmasked activity (sharing a meal, recreational activities, gatherings, etc.) is required to sequester for 14 days within their residential unit upon returning to campus. Sequestration requires the individual not only to be masked and distanced within the residential unit (with the exception of their personal bedroom and the shower) and to complete the daily screener, but also undergo additional COVID-19 testing on days 1, 5 and 10 after returning to campus. Learn more on the student screening and testing page.
Recommendations for all from the CDC: Pay attention to any COVID-19 symptoms that arise upon return and get tested if symptoms develop. At least 50% of cases are without symptoms and, even in those who do develop symptoms, infectivity is greatest just prior to the onset of symptoms. It is extremely important to assiduously adhere to masking and distancing following your return. Pay particular attention to avoiding exposure of those who are at significantly increased risk should they become infected. Discover more CDC advice about holiday celebrations and small gatherings.
Question: What changes have occurred at UC San Diego since the county moved into the purple tier?
Answer: Although the County of San Diego has moved into the purple tier with a 3-9% daily positivity rate, the UC San Diego campus has maintained a very low student positivity rate of 0.5%. In following county health orders, UC San Diego has transitioned all in-person classes into outdoor teaching spaces or remote-only formats. In addition, students who live on campus are required to wear a mask at all times within their apartments and suites, except in their own private bedrooms and in the shower, as well as whenever they leave their residence.
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