COVID-19 Testing for the UCSF Community

Updated March 28, 2022

UCSF COVID-19 Testing Policy

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 workers/learners on-site

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

Testing for on-site employees/learners and out-of-state travelers

  • International Travelers:  Must take two COVID-19 tests, the first of which should be within 24 hours of entering UCSF facilities for on-site work. (This policy will remain in effect until further notice.) The UCSF Daily Health Screener will provide instructions on when and how to get tested when reporting to work.

 Domestic travel mandatory testing is now expired. 

  • The UCSF Daily Health Screener continues to be the most up-to-date source for instructions on when and how to get tested when reporting to work.

 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 you most efficiently, even when you know you will fail, due to symptoms, exposures, or travel.

  • All employees and students are required to take the Daily Health 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 daily health screener if you have symptoms, exposure, or travel risk.

A failed screen will send a message to the COVID Hotline staff to call you about your symptoms or exposure. You will have options in the Daily Screener for proceeding with testing, or you should plan to test as described below if you have symptoms, exposure, or travel risk.

Employees with questions should contact:

What to do for symptoms, exposures, or after travel

For guidance on returning to work after exposure, see full guidance on the: UCSF CONTINUE TO WORK - RETURN TO WORK GUIDELINES FOR STAFF

The Daily Health Screener is your guide to Automated Return-to-Worksite for symptoms, exposure, and travel. You can self-assess and clear yourself back to work via the Daily Health Screener.  If you fall into the three categories: COVID Negative with Symptoms, High-risk Exposure, and if you are a COVID positive person qualified for reduced isolation. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CALL THE COVID HOTLINE FOR CLEARANCE

1. COVID Negative with Symptoms can now self-clear and return to work via the Daily Health Screener by attesting to the following criteria listed below:

  • Symptoms are completely gone or improving enough to resume work activities with a negative COVID test
  • Completed one test at any time (Color or PCR). Only UCSF-approved tests are accepted. More information is included in the Daily Health Screener
  • Self-clear option: YES.  Will need to complete attestation for clearance email.
  • Masking – N95 mask recommended

2. High-Risk Exposures –To avoid quarantine, individuals must have an up-to-date vaccination status and not have immunocompromised condition. The Daily Health Screener will guide the individual on testing protocols depending on the nature of the exposure, and issue a Clearance email letter.  All persons with high-risk exposures require a negative COVID-19 test before their first day back to onsite work or learning. Employees and students with high-risk exposures must attest to the following criteria listed below:

  • Must be asymptomatic
  • Complete required COVID-19 testing protocol
  • Masking – UCSF-approved mask is required; N95 is strongly recommended.
  • Self-clear option: YES 

3. COVID Positive persons - For reduced 7-day isolation, individuals must have up-to-date vaccination status, and must not have immunocompromised conditions

  • Symptoms are gone or improving (Fever-free for more than 24 hours without fever-reducing medications; diarrhea-free for more than 48 hours if not related to pre-existing conditions; feeling ready to RTW; if high-risk unit, no sneezing/coughing

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.

After Travel

  • If you have traveled outside California: There are requirements post travel that must be followed.  All 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 completing the Daily Health Screener, or 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.