COVID-19 Testing for the UCSF Community

    • The Digital Screener guides you most efficiently in obtaining testing guidance, even when you know you will fail, due to symptoms, exposures, or travel.

      • All employees and students are required to take the digital screener before you come to any UCSF campus (including Fresno and Oakland).
      • If you are working off-campus, you are strongly recommended to take the digital screener if you have symptoms, exposure, or travel risk.

      A failed screen will provide instruction on required testing if you have symptoms, exposure, or travel risk.

      Students with questions should contact UCSF Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) at (415) 476-8736 or send a secure message to the student health nurse.

      • UCSF offers several options and locations for testing for both those with symptoms and without symptoms. The locations link above includes the most up to date information about testing options, including options for Color testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, PCR testing and Rapid Point of Care Testing.
      • Members of the UCSF community can obtain a color test kit from a vending machine or OHS office using their UCSF identification badge. Find more information about pick-up and/or drop-off locations and hours.
      • You may also contact your health care provider to request a test. Many Bay Area cities and counties also offer free community testing.  If you have a positive test outside of UCSF, you must still report this on the screener.
    • If you have experienced symptoms within the last 14 days, including mild ones, don't come to campus or work – even if you are fully vaccinated including a booster dose.

      • Complete the Digital Screener. You will have options in the Digital Screener for proceeding with testing and you will be given the most detailed, up-to-date guidance about next steps and to learn if you need COVID Hotline clearance to return to campus.  You are permitted to come to campus for testing only. 
      • Do not use the vending machines to access Color tests if you have symptoms. 
      • If you have symptoms use this link to find an acceptable testing location.
      • If your test is positive, continue to isolate and do not come to work or campus. Complete the digital screener to report your positive test. You must also complete the contact tracing survey sent upon reporting your positive test.  
      • If your test is negative, please send a secure message the Student Health nurse to request resetting of your screener and to provide you clearance to be on campus.
      • If you are seeking medical care advice, you may schedule a telehealth appointment with a nurse or with a primary care provider for additional medical advice while you quarantine if you have mild or moderate symptoms.
      • For severe symptoms including severe difficulty breathing and inability to speak in full sentences without becoming short of breath, call 911 NOW or go to the nearest Emergency Room immediately.
    • If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19,

      • Complete the Digital Screener. You will have options in the Digital Screener for proceeding with testing and you will be given the most detailed, up-to-date guidance about next steps and to learn if you need COVID Hotline clearance to return to campus.  For many asymptomatic and fully vaccinated persons, return to work/campus is permitted with scheduled testing.
      • If you have been exposed to a person with whom you live in your household with confirmed COVID-19, you are required to undergo a 10-day quarantine until cleared for work or study. Transmission rates are highest in households due to the intensity and duration of exposure to the virus.
      • If you have been exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection in an unprotected, prolonged exposure (unmasked and within six feet for 15 minutes or longer), you are required to be assessed, regardless of vaccination status. 

      If you might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19

      • Employees and students with concerns about possible COVID-19 exposure during the past 10 days and who do not have symptoms should seek asymptomatic testing through the Color testing program. This includes exposure due to participation in crowds/large gatherings, such as funerals or weddings, or co-mingling with persons outside your social bubble at large events, during holidays or when guests are visiting.  Use all safety precautions (masking, distancing, frequent hand washing) to minimize exposing others at home and at work while awaiting results. 
      • Complete the Digital Screener and answer the travel questions for up-to-date guidance about next steps and to learn if you need COVID Hotline clearance to return to campus.  Effective Dec. 17, 2021: Two-step COVID-19 testing required following international travel.
      • Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals returning to onsite work within 10 days following international travel are required to take and submit an approved COVID-19 test within 24 hours of entering a UCSF facility (before or during first day onsite). 
      • A second COVID-19 test is required 3 to 5 days following the first UCSF test.
      • Monitor symptoms for 14 days.
      • For up to date travel information visit the UCSF COVID-19 Travel page.


  • UCSF students, complete the Digital Screener to report your positive test, including any positive at-home rapid antigen test. The screener will send you a link to also complete a Contact Tracing Survey (less than 10 minute total time).
  • You will receive an automated Return to Work clearance letter that will include a return date based on your responses in the screener and contact tracing survey.
  • Begin to isolate immediately. Remove yourself from work/campus and complete a 10 day period of isolation.
  • A negative SARS-CoV-2 test (e.g., 1 Negative Color or PCR test taken OR 1 Negative Color or PCR test taken AND at least 2 home negative antigen tests taken 24 hours apart) is needed before you may return to campus.
  • Your Return to Work/Campus clearance email may be requested by your educational program directors upon return to your learning activities.


If recent COVID infection: If you are having new COVID symptoms after feeling better within 90 days of previous infection, (this includes early rebound symptoms after Paxlovid treatment) you should:
  • Take an at-home rapid antigen test
    • Isolate at least 5 days
    • *Repeat the COVID clearance requirements based on your immunocompromised status.
    • *Immunocompromised persons will be managed on individual basis. Complete the Digital Screener for new covid symptoms if antigen test is negative. Covid response team will assist in scheduling a UCSF PCR test.
      Paxlovid Rebound (symptoms return after 2+ days of resolution)

UCSF COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Students (including boosters)

The University of California COVID-19 vaccination policy requires all faculty, staff, trainees and students who access campus facilities at any UC location to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The UC wide COVID19 vaccination policy defines the term “Fully Vaccinated” as: A person is considered “fully” vaccinated when two weeks have passed since they completed a COVID-19 Vaccine series (for example, 1 dose of the Janssen/J&J vaccine, or 2 doses within no more than 12 weeks of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine); as well as any boosters consistent with manufacturer instructions and applicable agency approval, authorization, or listing. UCSF's goal is to get at least 98 percent of the UCSF community vaccinated with a booster, the same vaccination rate it achieved with the initial COVID-19 doses.

UCSF offers COVID-19 booster shots at a few vaccine locations.

  • We encourage you to schedule an appointment. When you schedule, you can chose your particular brand of vaccine. Please schedule using MyChart or by calling (415) 476-3307 for San Francisco. (If you can’t connect, call (866) 580-2664.)

Booster shots also are available through clinics, health care providers, and pharmacies. Californians can visit the My Turn website or call (833) 422-4255 to make an appointment or find a nearby vaccine clinic.

If you received a booster shot at a location outside of UCSF, you must upload a copy of that record to the Occupational Health Services portal (UCSF MyAccess is required).

All UCSF students must have their initial vaccination series and booster vaccination (when eligible) recorded through the OHS portal

Drop-in COVID-19 Vaccination Sites

UCSF is offering first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines and Pfizer booster shots* to employees, learners and patients at several locations. We strongly encourage people to schedule an appointment at Mission Bay, Mount Zion or Parnassus Heights campus locations by calling (415) 476-3307, but walk-ins are welcome. Please visit the UCSF COVID-19 Vaccine Information Hub and the SHCS COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for more information on vaccine locations, scheduling and more.
*Booster shots are available only for individuals who are six months past their second Pfizer COVID-19 shot.

Important Ways to Slow the Spread

For additional information about COVID-19 Care, Testing and Vaccination protocols visit the UCSF COVID-19 Vaccine Information Hub.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs


The questions below relate to the COVID-19 vaccine specifically within the scope of UCSF Student Health and Counseling Services.

    • No, SHCS is not involved in the scheduling or administration of the COVID-19 vaccines. You cannot get the vaccine through SHCS.

    • No. The Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine should be administered alone with at least 14 days of separation before or after any other vaccine is given. There is currently no information on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines when administered at the same time as other vaccines. However, if one of the COVID-19 vaccines is accidentally administered within 14 days of another vaccine, there is no need for either vaccine to be repeated.

    • o You may return to work if your symptoms after vaccination do not last more than 48 hours and you have not had a fever in 24 hours.
      o For symptoms that either last more than 48 hours or begin more than 48 hours after the vaccine: send a secure message to the COVID nurse through MyHealthRecord.
      o If your symptoms have occurred or are occurring outside of the 48 hour vaccine window, you may require a COVID test prior to returning to work.

    • An email address has been setup on the UCSF vaccine hub to respond to additional questions: [email protected]