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January 20, 2022

In Case You Missed It

Have You Received a Positive Result?

Updated guidance is now available for students and campus employees who have received a positive COVID-19 test result or were informed that they have a confirmed exposure. Regardless of vaccination status, campus members must isolate for five days after symptom onset (or positive test result/confirmed exposure). Isolation may end after conducting a rapid antigen test and receiving a negative result, otherwise isolation will continue for 10 days. Whether isolation ends on Day 5 or not, everyone must mask indoors and outdoors for 10 days. See the full set of instructions on the Exposure and Contact Tracing page.

Winter Quarter Instructional Updates

All instructors have the flexibility to choose the modality for the various elements of their courses that will best support student learning for the remainder of the Winter 2022 quarter. The Educational Policy Committee of the Academic Senate has granted an emergency limited-term exception to allow any course to be taught remotely for this quarter, without requiring instructors to request any additional approvals from the Administration or Senate. Instructors should communicate their plans related to teaching modality to students as soon as possible, and have until January 21 to communicate changes to the Registrar for updating the schedule of classes. 

Which Test Do I Use?

PCR Test
All students and campus employees must conduct a PCR test at UC San Diego on the day they return to campus, unless they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days. 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 Price Center Clinic or drive thru sites.
Rapid Antigen Test
These home 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:
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
NOTE: Rapid antigen tests do not satisfy the requirement that all students and campus employees conduct a test on the first day they return to campus. The only exception to testing is a COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days.  

Upcoming Town Halls

Staff Town Hall

Wednesday, Jan. 26  
9:00 a.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.
Image of a waterfall at sunset

Find a Mindful Moment

Students: Let's RISE Together

Do you have trouble falling asleep? Are you looking to beat procrastination and boost your performance? Or maybe you want to connect more deeply with yourself through mindfulness. All students are invited to learn about these topics and more through the Tritons RISE Together program, a series of free workshops held each week by CAPS. Most do not require pre-registration, simply join one that interests you! Learn more and find a workshop.

Free Access to Headspace Mindfulness App

Headspace is a mindfulness app that offers full meditation courses as well as single programs. Topics range from boosting confidence and sparking creativity to coping with grief and improving focus. There are also guided “Sleepcasts” as well as workouts designed to increase mind-body connection. 

Your Questions Answered

Question: Do I need to receive a booster to be considered fully vaccinated?
Answer: Yes, to remain “fully vaccinated,” students and campus employees are required to receive all recommended booster doses within 30 days (15 days for health care employees) of becoming eligible. Currently approved religious and permanent medical exemptions extend to boosters; there is no need to submit an additional exemption request.
If you are eligible for a booster but recently were positive for COVID-19, you will have up to 90 days after being infected to receive your booster. Your date for boosting has been extended by up to 90 days to remain compliant with the UC mandate.  
Question: I am an employee and want to get my family members tested for COVID-19. What do I do?
Answer: 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, such as family members of employees or students, please see below for testing resources.
  • Individuals who are not UC San Diego staff, faculty or employees and do not live in UC San Diego housing and do not work on campus: Please visit the San Diego County testing website for no-cost testing locations and scheduling an appointment.
  • Individuals who are not UC San Diego staff, faculty or employees but live in UC San Diego housing or work on campus: you may be eligible for no-cost testing through a provider-administered testing site, such as at the Price Center clinic or a drive thru location. Contact to determine if you are eligible. 
Question: What resources are available to support employees with caregiving responsibilities?
Answer: Please visit Parent and Family Resources to connect to information about programs and services within the UC community and beyond designed to support parents and families during COVID-19.
To review more information on support for those with caregiving responsibilities, please visit the “Other Support” section on the Return to Learn FAQ page.
If you have specific questions or would like to submit feedback about the Return to Learn program, please email
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