All Employees and Students On Campus Are Now Subject to COVID-19 Testing

Testing stations in ARC gym, panoramic
The testing kiosk in the ARC’s Four-Court Gym. (Andrew Larsen/UC Davis)

Weekly COVID-19 tests for all staff, faculty and students coming to campus will begin Wednesday (Nov. 18). And, as of Dec. 1, all these UC Davis affiliates will be required to have undergone a test before entering any campus facility. A testing question will be added to the Daily Symptom Survey that day to monitor compliance.


Employees are invited to a webinar at 9 a.m. Monday (Nov. 23) to learn more about the testing program. You can submit questions during registration. The webinar will be recorded and posted after for those unable to attend.

Students moving into campus housing were the first to be tested in the campus program, starting in mid-September. The campus subsequently added other student and employee groups to the testing pool, with one of those expansions occurring just last week, bringing the number of weekly tests to about 10,000.

Now comes another expansion, this time making the asymptomatic testing program available to all employees and students on campus and pushing the weekly test count past 20,000. The campus is using a saliva test, developed by UC Davis; results are communicated to you, usually in 24 to 48 hours.

“By participating in this program, you are helping UC Davis identify and trace COVID-19 cases with mild or no symptoms in our community, so we can all be better equipped to slow the spread of the virus,” Vice Chancellor Kelly Ratliff of Finance, Operations and Administration, and Cindy Schorzman, medical director, Student Health and Counseling Services, will tell employees in a Wednesday email.

Another expansion is coming, to the city of Davis, as part of the UC Davis-city of Davis partnership called Healthy Davis Together.

When and where

Employees and students who visit campus once a week are required to get tested every seven days. If you visit campus less frequently, then please plan ahead to secure a testing appointment up to seven days before your visit or on the day of your visit. You do not need the result before your visit, but you must have been tested.

All tests are by appointment that you arrange yourself in the Health-e-Messaging Portal. Please note that testing availability will vary each week and same-day testing appointments are not guaranteed.

Employees and students: If you are just being added to the testing program, you must wait until Nov. 18 to start making test appointments in Health-e-Messaging. 

Students: As announced by email last week, the campus expects you to get tested prior to any travel for Thanksgiving and winter break, and within a week upon your return. Please make your appointments as soon as you confirm your travel plans.

The testing kiosk moved last week to the Four-Court Gym (officially Room 125) in the Activities and Recreation Center, or ARC. Access is via an exterior door along Orchard Road, the driveway leading into Parking Lot 25. Campus Ready signage will point the way.

  • Hours — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, with extended hours, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays. The kiosk is closed from 12 to 12:45 p.m. daily for sanitization and restocking. Check the COVID-19 Testing webpage for holiday closures and changes in hours of operation. Employees will be afforded paid release time for weekly testing, and are advised to consult with their supervisors on scheduling.
  • Parking — Free 30-minute parking for testing participants in Lot 25.

The testing process

First, remember this testing is only for employees and students who do not have symptoms. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact your doctor or Occupational Health Services if you are a campus employee or Student Health and Counseling Services if you are a student.

If you are asymptomatic, here’s what to do:

  • Make an appointment before you go.
  • What to bring — Your appointment QR code and Daily Symptom Survey approval (save a screenshot to show at the kiosk, or show your “approval” email or present a copy you have printed out).
  • One hour before — Drink plenty of fluids to stay well-hydrated.
  • Thirty minutes before — Do not eat, drink, chew gum or smoke.
  • Be prepared to wait in line outside — Wear your face covering and maintain physical distance while you wait.
  • When it’s your turn — Follow the seven-step process previewed in this video. The process includes gently swirling water in your mouth, then pushing saliva through a straw, into a vial.

Learn more about UC Davis’ COVID-19 testing program.

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