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December 15, 2022

In Case You Missed It

Vending Machines Now Offer Rapid Antigen Tests

All Return to Learn campus vending machines now stock rapid antigen tests along with COVID-19 PCR test kits. These can be retrieved in the same way–simply swipe your campus ID card and make your selection. A maximum of two test kits can be picked up per day, either a combination of tests or two of one type. 
Note: The expiration dates of rapid antigen tests have been extended by the FDA. You can reference the latest updates here.

Winter Quarter Move-In Guidelines

All residential students should conduct a rapid antigen test 24-48 hours before returning to campus. Rapid antigen tests are available in campus vending machines as well as available for pick up at these locations. Free tests can also be ordered at If you receive a positive result, please complete your isolation period at home and notify Student Health Services through MyStudentChart>Messages>COVID request.
Residents will enter Phase 1 when they return for winter quarter. Arrival instructions:
  • Do a PCR vending machine test on the day you move in (new students are encouraged to get their campus ID prior to arriving on campus; a campus ID is needed to access vending machine tests)
  • Do a PCR vending machine test on Day 3
  • Wear a mask in your residential suite until Phase 2 is announced
Once Day 3 testing is complete across all residential neighborhoods, the university will review the COVID-19 rates to determine the masking policy in Phase 2. Please note that residents are not allowed to host guests in their rooms while in Phase 1. For assistance or questions, contact

Other Important Updates

  • Beginning Dec. 16, masking will be optional in classrooms, labs and on Triton transportation. Masking will remain required in all clinical areas.
  • The EXCITE Lab, which processes vending machine PCR test samples, will be closed from Dec. 24, 2022 through Jan. 2, 2023. Rapid antigen tests will be available at campus vending machines during this time; free tests can also be ordered from PCR test processing will resume on a daily basis on Jan. 4, 2023.
  • There will be no updated reporting on the campus wastewater dashboard from Dec. 23, 2022 through Jan. 3, 2022.

Upcoming Town Hall

Faculty and Research
Town Hall

Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 2 p.m.

Staff Town Hall

Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 10 a.m.
Graphic of a person sitting on a chair, wrapped in a blanket holding a cup of soup.

Opinion: Here’s what you need to know about the flu, COVID-19 and RSV ‘tripledemic’

Different viruses cause the flu, COVID-19 and RSV, but they share similarities. They are contagious. They are transmitted primarily by airborne particles. They have common symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue and headache. And for older adults, they are more likely to cause severe illness, hospitalization and death. However, according to Khai Nguyen, Clinical Services Chief of Geriatric Medicine at UC San Diego Health, there are actions one can and should take to reduce the risk of severe consequences from the flu, COVID-19 and RSV. Read the story.

Your Questions Answered

Question: What are some best practices as I prepare for winter holiday travel?
Answer: To help you stay healthy and safe during the holiday travel season, be sure to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines and seasonal flu vaccine.
You should also stay home when you’re sick, which slows the spread of flu, RSV and COVID-19. To learn more tips to prevent winter viruses, check out the California Department of Health’s helpful fact sheet.
Question: I am looking for remote mental health support. What are some of my options? 
Answer: There are several mental health resources available for campus members:
Students: UC San Diego’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers an array of programs and resources to help manage your mental health and wellness. For instance, several online-based programs for mental health—part of the Tritons Flourish Initiative—provide evidence-based intervention and interactive help at all times. All tools are free, anonymous, and only available to UC San Diego students. Learn more on the iFlourish website. CAPS also provides 24/7 urgent or crisis counseling; call 858-534-3755 (choose option 2 outside business hours) to speak with a counselor.
Employees: The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is a confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which helps campus faculty and staff, postdoctoral and visiting scholars, UC San Diego emeriti and retirees to resolve concerns affecting personal well-being and/or job performance (make a remote appointment here). UC San Diego Health Sciences/System employees can contact their Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider aligned with their medical coverage for support as well. If you have a mental health emergency, dial the San Diego County Access and Crisis Line at 1-888-724-7240. 
If you have specific questions or would like to submit feedback about the Return to Learn program, please email
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