COVID-19 Testing for the UCSF Community

Updated January 18, 2022

UCSF Issues COVID-19 Testing Policy

COVID-19 Testing at UCSF

UCSF offers free COVID-19 testing to employees and learners. Please note that Color tests are for UCSF employees and learners only. 

  • Members of the UCSF community can drop in and show their UCSF identification badge to get a Color test kit. Check here for more information about pick-up and/or drop-off locations and hours.
  • Friends and family who are UCSF Health patients can take the symptom screener in MyChart and access a test through MyChart or through the UCSF COVID Hotline: (415) 514-7328.
  • For household members of employees, the employee needs to call the UCSF Health COVID Hotline(415) 514-7328.
  • If any household members are UCSF patients and have a MyChart account, they will be given clearance that they can schedule through the symptoms screen in MyChart. 
  • If they are not UCSF patients, or do not have an active MyChart account, they will be sent to our nursing team. The team will discuss with the employee, create the accounts of minors with the parents, or if roommates, they will call the adult back and schedule.
  • If you have any questions about getting a Color test kit, completing the self-swab or getting your test results, please send an email to [email protected], or inquire at any of the Asymptomatic Testing Center sites.
  • If you’re asymptomatic, you may also contact your health care provider to request a test. Many Bay Area cities and counties also offer free community testing, including:
  • Alameda County
  • City of Berkeley
  • Contra Costa County
  • Napa County
  • San Francisco
  • San Mateo County
  • Santa Clara County
  • Solano County
  • Sonoma County

For the latest information on COVID-19 tests and positive cases at UCSF, please see the UCSF COVID-19 Dashboard.

New Policies Effective in January 2022

CDPH Testing Mandate for Non-boosted Employees/Learners on-site

  • Effective immediately, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires all on-site workers not vaccinated with a booster to be tested on-site for COVID-19 twice a week.
  • In any given week, tests should be taken no more than 4 days apart.

 COVID-19 Testing at UCSF

UCSF offers free COVID-19 testing to employees and learners.

  • UCSF offers several options and locations for testing for both those with symptoms and without symptoms. The most up-to-date information about testing options and includes options for PCR, Rapid and Color Testing. 
  • Members of the UCSF community can drop in and show their UCSF identification badge to get a Color test kit. Find more information about pick-up and/or drop-off locations and hours.
  • If you have any questions about getting a Color test kit, completing the self-swab or getting your test results, please send an email to [email protected], or inquire at any of the Asymptomatic Testing Center sites.
  • If you’re asymptomatic, you may also contact your health care provider to request a test. Many Bay Area cities and counties also offer free community testing, including:

For the latest information on COVID-19 tests and positive cases at UCSF, please see the UCSF COVID-19 Dashboard.

Below are new policies effective immediately:

Take the Daily Health Screener

Taking the Daily Health Screener will allow UCSF to assist employees and learners most efficiently. Please see this information on how to return to campus/worksite following a positive COVID-19 test. 

Employees with questions should contact:

  • San Francisco and Fresno: Call the COVID Response Team hotline at (415) 514-7328.
  • Benioff Childern's Hospital Oakland: Call (510) 428-3620 and select Option #4

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.

What to do for symptoms, exposures, or after travel

  • If you have symptoms, including mild ones, don't come to work – even if you are vaccinated.
    • If you have symptoms, without a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 and want to get testing started while you wait to complete the interview with the COVID Hotline, for the short term you can take a Color test. Please do not use the vending machines to access Color tests if you have symptoms. The Laurel Heights drive-through testing site and the Respiratory Screening Clinics at Parnassus Heights and Mount Zion are the only acceptable locations to access Color tests when you have symptoms.
    • If your test is positive, don't come to work. You will get a call from the COVID Hotline
    • If your test is negative, don't come to work until you complete a COVID Hotline interview and receive a clearance email.
  • If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, complete the Daily Screener for 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 fully vaccinated persons, return 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), employees and students 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 7 days, 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.
  • Employees and students who have been referred by the OHS Contact Tracing team may also be directed to obtain a test.
  • If you have traveled outside California
  • There are requirements post travel that must be followed. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals must check travel guidance for testing and quarantine policies after international and interstate travel.

Self-Report a Positive COVID-19 Test

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, UCSF has enacted an organization-wide policy requiring all personnel working or learning at UCSF – including those at UCSF Fresno, Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and those working remotely – who test or have tested positive for COVID-19 at a facility other than UCSF OHS (e.g., UCSF Primary Care, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, a county testing center, etc.), to self-report the positive COVID-19 test result to the appropriate UCSF department:

  • Employees and volunteers working at UCSF are required to self-report the positive test result to UCSF Occupational Health Services (OHS) by calling the COVID-19 hotline at (415) 514-7328 or emailing [email protected]. This policy applies whether working on property owned or leased by UCSF or working remotely (e.g., telecommuting), paid or unpaid.
  • UCSF students are required to report the positive test result to UCSF Student Health and Counseling Services by calling (415) 476-8736 or sending a secure message to the student health nurse.
  • Non-UCSF people who provide services for UCSF on a contract basis (e.g., on-site vendors) are strongly encouraged, but not required, to disclose the results of a positive COVID-19 test to OHS by emailing [email protected]
  • Non-UCSF occupants of UCSF housing, such as partners and employees, are also strongly encouraged, but not required, to report a positive test result to UCSF Occupational Health Services (OHS) by emailing [email protected].

Self-reporting a positive COVID-19 diagnosis will allow UCSF to provide individualized counseling on how best to manage the condition and prevent exposures to others, and to describe criteria and procedures for returning to campus when appropriate. For past cases, self-reporting will allow UCSF to help respond to reinfections, should they occur in the future, and for contact tracing.

UCSF honors the privacy of our community and confidentiality obligations. Personal medical information will be safeguarded and used only for limited, health-related purposes, including to perform contact tracing or other activities to address employee, student and patient safety as directed by UCSF OHS and Infection Prevention Services. This information will be maintained only in the appropriate health records, separate from employee personnel files or student records. Self-reporting to supervisors or advisors is not required.

This self-reporting policy will remain in effect until further notice. Questions about this policy can be addressed to OHS at [email protected].

Request for Anonymity for AB 685 Notification Purposes

AB 685 requires the University of California to notify exclusive union representatives of the names of employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who worked onsite during the infectious period. Under 8 CCR 14300.29(b)(7), employees may request that their names not be included in such notifications so long as such a request is voluntary and independent.

Submit a request for anonymity under AB 685

 For questions about UCSF's COVID-19 response, please contact [email protected].

For updates to this website, UCSF units should contact [email protected]. Note that any policy or guidance changes first must be requested through the Emergency Operations Center.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
Main Lobby

OPC-1 Lobby: Staff Screeners
744 52nd Street
Monday to Sunday
Test Kit Distribution: 6am – 8pm
Lab courier picks up at 7pm