UCI Forward

UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

Student Testing

Section 1

A key aspect for maintaining a healthy Anteater community is the need to test all students currently on campus, as well as those arriving on campus. Further, as a condition to remain on campus, all students will be tested on an on-going basis. This is a necessary precaution to help control the spread of the coronavirus and maintain the health of the campus community.

View Executive Directive on Student Testing
Take the call, contact tracing

Testing FAQs

Why are we testing students?

As you know, while the majority of COVID-19 cases are associated with symptoms including very mild cold/flu like symptoms, research has shown that a significant proportion of the populations could be asymptomatic.  Our testing helps to identify asymptomatic cases and protect the UCI community at large.  

Additionally, there is a UCI executive directive mandating student testing. A conduct process will apply for students who do not participate in COVID-19 testing.

Is there a cost for mandatory testing?

No. There is no cost to you for this mandatory testing or for repeat testing that may be required if your initial test results are inconclusive and/or need to be repeated for any reason. Also, since this testing is not considered “medically necessary,” the fees are not billable to UC SHIP as they would not be covered by UC SHIP or by any other insurance plan.

Do I perform the test myself?

The test currently being utilized is a self-administered nasal swab test. There will be trained staff there to educate students on how to administer the test correctly.

In the future, UCI may transition fully or partially to other types of testing.

How long does the entire process take?

The entire process, from check-in to completion of the testing, takes about 7-10 minutes.

What if I don’t want to be tested? Or cannot be tested due to religious reasons?

We recognize there may be some who don’t agree with COVID testing all the students. As an academic research university with a regional medical center, health is a top priority at UCI, and testing provides data to help us control the spread.

If a student cannot be tested due to religious reasons, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity for additional information and guidance. Phone: (949) 824-5594, Email: oeod@uci.edu, web: https://www.oeod.uci.edu

What if I need a special accommodations?

Students can contact the Disability Services Center for an accommodation request. Phone: 949-824-7494, Email: dsc@uci.edu, web: https://dsc.uci.edu. If a student needs assistance at the testing site with administering the test or other assistance, staff will be available. If testing cannot be completed at the site, testing at SHC can be arranged for students who need a special accommodation.

How long does it take to get the results?

Test results should be available on your Student Health Portal between 48 and 72 hours after you’ve completed your test. You will receive an auto-generated email notifying you that lab results are available on the portal.

Students testing positive for coronavirus will be contacted by the Student Health Center with instructions for isolation and treatment. Students whose test is “inconclusive” will be contacted by SHC to obtain a nasopharyngeal test at the SHC as soon as possible. Please be sure to check phone calls during this window.

What happens if I test negative?

If your test is NEGATIVE (not detected):

1. You are cleared to proceed with normal social distancing and health safety practices, this includes frequent handwashing, physical distancing, and wearing a facial covering.

2. Testing negative does not mean that you’re not susceptible to the virus.

3. Continue to attend regular testing (Log in to the Student Health Patient Portal to schedule your recurring appointments.)

For information on the campus executive directives, visit: https://uci.edu/coronavirus/executive-directives/index.php

What happens if I test positive?

Important Note for students with previous COVID-positive tests: If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 3 months, you must obtain a Testing Clearance Letter from UCI Student Health that exempts you from COVID-19 testing for a period of time determined by Student Health. You will need to present that letter at your housing community check-in. If you are unable to get your clearance letter by move-in day, proceed to Move In Day testing at the Bren Center, and Student Health will follow up with you if your test result is positive.

Follow these steps to obtain the testing clearance letter:

1. Obtain an electronic copy of your previous COVID test result from your healthcare provider.

2. Log in to the Student Health Portal using your UCInetID.

3. Select 'Medical Clearances' on the main menu.

4. Click on the ‘Update’ button next to 'COVID-19 Test Results'.

5. Click on the ‘Upload’ button. Select the document/image (i.e., the document from your healthcare provider) you want to upload.

6. Click on ‘Looks Good’ button if you are satisfied with the document you have selected.

7. If you have additional documents, follow steps 4 and 5 above.

8. Once you have finished selecting the documents to upload, click on the ‘Save’ button to transmit your document to your medical record.

9. Student Health will upload your clearance letter to the ‘Letters’ section of the patient portal.

I was tested elsewhere, do I need to test again?

Yes. Our goal is to ensure your health and safety and that of the entire campus community. Therefore, we would like you to participate in our testing. It will take no more than 15 minutes to complete the self-administered test.

If you have tested COVID POSITIVE elsewhere, please upload a copy of your POSITIVE test results through the Student Health Portal, for review and further direction. Upload instructions are here. You may be exempt from weekly testing for a period of three (3) months from the date of your positive test.

I don't live on campus, do I need to be tested?

No. Testing is for campus residents only, including ACC properties.

Scheduling and Testing Sites

How to Schedule Your Recurring Appointment

  • Log in to the Student Health Patient Portal with your UCINetID and password.
  • Select “Appointments” on the left navigation sidebar.
  • Click on “Schedule an Appointment”.
  • Select “COVID-19 Testing” – click “Continue”.
  • Note the testing locations that are available.
  • Select the testing location – click “Continue”.
  • Select “COVID-19 Mass Testing Scheduling” – click “Continue”
  • Confirm your contact information (email address, local telephone, local address) – click “Continue”.
  • Enter your callback number (required in case Student Health Center staff needs to contact you regarding the appointment you are scheduling) – click “Continue”.
  • Schedule your first and recurring appointments (click to view more)
  • To schedule your recurring appointments:
    1. Select a testing location from the drop-down.
    2. Click on “Search for Appointments”.
    3. Please select one of the days of the week and a time that is most compatible with your schedule and to which you can commit on a weekly, recurring basis.
    4. Student Health Center schedulers will then convert this appointment to a “recurring” appointment for your weekly testing.
    5. If your weekly recurring appointment falls on a holiday or if you need to reschedule, please call SHC’s appointment line at 949-824-5304 to reschedule that week’s appointment.
    6. Your original weekly recurring appointment will resume the following week.
    7. Please add your weekly recurring appointment day, time and location to your calendar and set a reminder! – click “Continue”.
    8. Confirm your appointment date and time and then click “Schedule”.
    9. You MUST click on “Schedule” in order for your appointment to be confirmed.
    10. You will receive an email reminder 24 hours prior to your appointment. In addition, a text reminder will be sent one hour prior to the appointment IF you have opted in to receive text messages on the patient portal.

Testing Hours, Locations

Testing locations according to residence:

Map of Testing Locations

What should I expect on the day of my test? What should I bring?

On the day of your testing appointment, 
  1. Complete your Daily Symptom Check.
    1. If you are not showing symptoms, keep your appointment and proceed to your testing location.
    2. If you are showing symptoms, do not go to the test collection site. Please contact the Student Health Center at 949-824-5301 for instructions. If you have health insurance other than UC SHIP and have your own primary care provider, then you should also contact your PCP’s office to advise them of your symptoms.
  2. Know where you are going and give yourself enough time to get there.
    1. Confirm the location of your appointment and locate it on the map.
    2. Plan to arrive at least 5 minutes before your appointment time.
  3. Don’t leave home without these items:
    1. Face covering (and a spare face covering)
    2. Your student ID card or student ID number and another form of picture ID if you do not have your student ID card.

Please do NOT bring anyone with you unless absolutely necessary.

Contact Tracing

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is reaching out to individual positive COVID-19 cases and close-contacts of cases to understand where exposures may have occurred, identify close contacts, and determine who needs to take particular action. This effort helps to track and contain the spread of COVID-19.

UCI’s trained contact tracing staff will be calling all UCI students, faculty and staff who are COVID-19 positive as well as their close contacts to interview them and provide isolation and quarantine instructions. The information gathered in the interviews helps identify and respond to clusters of cases.

What happens if I test COVID-19 positive?

If you test positive for COVID-19, you should continue to seek healthcare with your healthcare provider. The contact tracer will call you to ask where you have been, where you think you may have been exposed and who you have been in close contact with. You will also receive instructions on self-isolation during recovery and assure you have the resources you need. 

What happens if I am a close contact?

If you are called, it is because you were potentially exposed to COVID-19. The contact tracer will notify you the date of the exposure, provide you with instructions on what you need to do, and assure that you have the resources you need to be able to quarantine.

Is my information confidential?

Information shared is confidential.

We recognize that you may have reasons for not wanting to share where you’ve been and who you have been with. However, it is imperative to control the spread that you do your best to answer all the questions asked by the contact tracer. All information that is shared is kept confidential and is not used for any other purpose than to control the spread of COVID-19. 

Take the call

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus, it will be crucial for students, staff, and faculty to “take the call” from the contact tracing program and be honest and complete in responding to the interview questions.

The approximate time between somebody becoming infected and somebody showing symptoms is about five days, and the amount of time that one can be infectious before symptoms, is about two days.  

If you are called by a contact tracer, the number that will appear on your phone is (949) 824-2300. Please take the call.


UCI Forward

How Coronavirus Can Spread - UCI Forward

Anteater Insider Live: Episode 3 | UCI's COVID-19 Case Reporting Process and Contact Tracing Plan

Supervised Self-Swab COVID-19 Testing Collection - UCI Forward

See more UCI Forward Videos


ZotTube - Where to Vote on Campus this Year

ZotTube - Vice Chancellor Willie Banks on Slowing the Coronavirus

ZotTube - Virtual Campus Tour

See more ZotTube