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January 20, 2021
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

COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization

A committee led by UC San Diego Health CEO Patty Maysent is implementing the COVID-19 vaccination plan on campus, guided by CDC, State and County recommendations. Currently frontline health care workers in Phase 1A are eligible. A plan is underway to vaccinate essential campus workers (who are not yet eligible for vaccination per State guidelines) in Phase 1B.

New Wastewater Monitoring Dashboard

UC San Diego collects and processes wastewater samples across campus each day. A new table on the COVID-19 Daily Dashboard can be referenced to determine if your building is currently being monitored, and if there is a positive signal. The program will be expanded to 200 samplers during winter quarter, so if your building is not currently monitored it may be in the future. See wastewater monitoring FAQs.

Community COVID Testing Available

UC San Diego Health offers drive-up asymptomatic COVID tests by appointment for the public. Test fees are $65, and results are delivered typically within 48 hours. For those who are living or working on campus and do not qualify for self-administered testing, you may be eligible for free testing through a provider-administered testing site. Contact to determine if you are eligible.

Privacy Practices Updated

UC San Diego’s COVID-19 Campus Health Management Program Privacy Practices have been updated. UC San Diego is committed to treating all information generated as a result of the Program with a high level of privacy and security protections.  

Price Center Clinic: New Hours

Please note that testing at the Price Center West Ballroom B COVID test clinic is by appointment only.
Monday: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
Tuesday and Wednesday: 7 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. 
Thursday: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Upcoming Town Halls

Staff Town Hall

Thursday, Jan. 21, 3:00 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.
Video about the first COVID-19 vaccination super station that opened in San Diego in January 2021
UC San Diego partnered with the City of San Diego and the Padres to launch the County’s first COVID-19 Vaccination Super Station at Petco Park, which opened on Jan. 11. Read more about UC San Diego’s partnership.

Your Questions Answered

Question: If I stop by the UC San Diego campus—to visit my office, pick up a textbook, etc.—do I still need to test on a weekly basis?
Answer: We strongly recommend those who can work and study at home to do so remotely, and refrain from coming to campus so that we may keep the population density low. For remote employees who have an essential need to visit the campus, it is recommended that they participate in a self-administered test while they are on campus. For students who are studying remotely and visit the campus on occasion for essential activities, it is also advised that they complete a self-administered test when they arrive. Both students and employees may pick up a COVID test at one of numerous vending machines on campus
Question: If my building is associated with a positive wastewater signal, does it mean that there is definitely someone infected inside?
Answer: If your building is associated with a positive wastewater signal, it may mean that there are one or more infected individuals in the building. However, because multiple buildings can feed wastewater into a single sampler, a positive signal in a building does not necessarily mean there is someone infected inside your building. Further, in some cases individuals who have recovered from their SARS-CoV-2 infection can continue to shed virus into the wastewater for several weeks after they have recovered. These individuals who are no longer infectious can, in some circumstances, contribute to a positive wastewater signal.

If you used the restroom in a building associated with a positive wastewater signal on that day, out of an abundance of caution, you should get tested promptly. For more information on testing, visit the Testing and Screening page. Additionally, we encourage you to remain vigilant about masking and social distancing. You do not need to quarantine or isolate until you receive your results.
Question: Why do the campus COVID-19 test vending machines have dedicated hours of operation?
Answer: The Return to Learn Program currently has 10 vending machines in operation across the UC San Diego community, the majority open Monday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (see all vending machine locations and hours). The machines are restocked between 8-9 a.m. by the UC San Diego Logistics Team as well as during pick-ups. Samples are picked up in the morning, early afternoon and 2 p.m.
Triton Health Ambassadors arrive for their first shift at 8:30 a.m. and they check the site, ensure hand sanitizers are functioning and sanitize tables and keypads in preparation for the 9 a.m. opening. Triton Health Ambassadors are on site to answer questions and provide support throughout the day as students, faculty and staff visit the vending machines.
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