The ARC Isn’t the Only Place to Get Your COVID-19 Test

Line outside the ARC for COVID-19 testing
The ARC saw a record 4,645 employees and students give saliva samples last Wednesday (Sept. 29). There are alternative testing sites available. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Frustrated with long lines for COVID-19 testing at the Activities and Recreation Center? You’re not alone.


New data has been added to the UC Davis COVID-19 Dashboard, showing the percentage of employees and students who are compliant with the UC vaccination policy. See where we stand.

In one hour after lunch last Wednesday (Sept. 29), more than 600 people underwent testing there, among a record 4,645 employees and students who gave saliva samples at the ARC that day.

It was a busy day all around, with the UC Davis Genome Center analyzing a total of more than 8,400 saliva samples — a new record for the lab team, which serves campus as well as Healthy Davis Together and other community groups.

At the ARC in particular, all those tests can mean long lines for employees and students. And while the wait is short, here are some alternative testing sites and tips on how to avoid the lines — and still meet your testing requirement:

HDT alternative

Drop in (without an appointment) to one of the following Healthy Davis Together locations and tell them you’re with UC Davis:

You must go as a walk-in and declare yourself a UC Davis employee or student in order for your test to automatically meet campus requirements and be tracked in Health-e-Messaging. (If you forget, follow the directions below to report manually.)

Sacramento alternative

Get tested at the Administrative Support Building, 2450 48th St., on the Sacramento campus:

  • Open 6 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Appointments are available in Health-e-Messaging, and walk-ins are also welcome.
  • Testing is available for employees, students and family members. If you’re bringing family with you, please register your family members in advance.

Parking: Free in a limited number of spaces between the ASB and the Education Building.

ARC advice

  • Get tested at the ARC on the weekends — Saturday and Sunday (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) are the slowest days of the week.
  • Show up prepared — Have your Daily Symptom Survey status, QR code and photo identification ready to make check-in faster, and remember not to eat or drink 30 minutes before you go.
  • Keep making those appointments — The testing kiosk team is considering separate lines for walk-ins and appointments, with preference given to those who have same-day appointments. Showing up on the correct day and time for your appointment should space tests out enough that lines stay short.
  • Do you need to get tested? — If you are fully vaccinated and do not access campus on a weekly basis, then you do not necessarily need to get tested every 14 days, though it is recommended. Instead, when you are coming to campus, you must be tested no more than 14 days in advance. (If you are fully vaccinated and access campus on a weekly basis, then you must get tested at least every 14 days. If you are unvaccinated, then you need to get tested every four days regardless of your access to campus facilities.)

See the Campus Ready Testing page.

If you are still stuck waiting, please take a deep breath. Being kind and patient with those around you will help the time pass for all of us a little more easily.

Other alternatives

Get tested elsewhere and report your testing info:

  • Find a test site.
  • The test must be a PCR test (saliva, nasal swab or nasopharyngeal swab) performed by a CLIA-certified laboratory. This rules out most at-home tests, as they are most commonly antigen tests.
  • Log in to Health-e-Messaging and select “Medical Clearances” and then “COVID-19 Vaccine and Test.” You must type in your test date, select your result and upload an image that shows proof of your appointment or result. Do not wait until you have your results to report that you got tested. Enter your result as negative initially, and if you receive a positive result, you must report it separately.


Newly added compliance data on the UC Davis COVID-19 Dashboard shows that, as of Monday afternoon (Oct. 4), 99% of Davis campus employees and students were in compliance with the UC vaccine policy. The dashboard notes 99% is as high as will be reported, “as we expect new employees and students will continue to go through the process of becoming compliant in the future.” The dashboard also displays percentages of students and employees who have been vaccinated or who have received exceptions, as well as exception requests still in progress. You can also see weekly testing data (including number of tests administered, number of positive cases and the positivity rate).


Media Resources

Brenda Dawson is a writer on the Finance, Operations and Administration communications team. Reach her at 530-752-7992 or

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