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Student COVID-19 Policies

Updated information on COVID-19 policies applying to students and other relevant community updates.

Each of us is responsible for mitigating the impact and risk of COVID-19 and promoting a safe and healthy living, learning and working environment, consistent with the UCSD Principles of Community. In support of this mission, UC San Diego will address student COVID-19 violations through a multi-tiered approach involving personal accountability, education and student conduct. While our process emphasizes education on applicable policies and procedures, decision making, and the impact of personal actions on others, incidents may be addressed through the Student Conduct Procedures and subject to progressive disciplinary sanctions. Egregious or repeat violations may result in suspension or dismissal.

Campus guidance will continue to evolve as Federal, State and County guidance is modified in response to the current public health environment. To help clarify the current expectations of students in place, information about the COVID-19 policies currently applicable to students is summarized below. We will regularly review this information for accuracy and make updates accordingly. However this information is subject to change and does not supersede campus policy, or local, state, or federal law that may go into effect.

Policies currently applicable to students:


Housing Safety Rules

The following rules apply to all students who live in UC San Diego owned, operated and leased housing. This information may also be reviewed directly at Return to Learn Student Housing Safety Rules:

  • No Guests/Visitors
    • Visitors, including students and residents from other units, are not allowed in the residential units. The only exception is childcare providers in graduate and family housing.
  • Testing
    • Upon Initial Move-In: All student residents, regardless of vaccine status, must complete COVID-19 testing with UC San Diego within 24-hours of arrival to campus, as well as on days 5 and 10 after arrival.
    • Wastewater: Regardless of vaccination status, residents of a building in which a positive SARS-CoV-2 wastewater signal is detected, must take a SARS-CoV-2 test within 24 hours of receiving notification of the positive SARS-CoV-2 wastewater signal.
  • Sequestration
    • Undergraduate Students: Unvaccinated undergraduate students who leave campus for unmasked indoor activity shall undergo COVID-19 testing upon return, as well as day 5 and 10, and mask in the common areas of the residential unit until the day 10 SARS-CoV-2test is negative. Masking is not required in the bedroom or shower.
    • Graduate Students: Unvaccinated graduate students living with other students who are not members of the graduate student’s family who leave campus for unmasked indoor activity shall undergo COVID-19 testing upon return, as well as day 5 and 10, and mask in the common areas of the residential unit until the day 10 SARS-CoV-2 test is negative. Masking is not required in the bedroom or shower.
  • COVID-19 Exposure and Positive Test Results
    • Isolation: All students who reside in UC San Diego-provided student housing who receive a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result or a diagnosis of COVID-19 are required to move to and remain in isolation housing until released by Student Health Services. Students who live alone or only with family members may be permitted to isolate in their residence at the discretion of Student Health Services with the concurrence of the Director of Housing, Dining, and Hospitality.
  • Quarantine:
    • Unvaccinated students who are notified by San Diego public health officials or their designees, including the UC San Diego contact tracing teams, that they were exposed to an individual who has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 are required to move to quarantine housing until released by Student Health Services.
    • Students quarantined because of exposure may only leave quarantine housing during the quarantine period with the permission of Student Health Services or to obtain their post-exposure COVID-19 test or other medical care and must continuously wear a face mask while doing so.
    • Vaccinated students who are notified by San Diego County public health officials or their designees, including the UC San Diego contact tracing teams, that they were exposed to an individual with COVID-19 are required to mask in their residential unit, except for their personal bedroom or while showering, for the period of time defined by the public health official.
  • Masking
    • Undergraduate Students
      • Phase 1. Phase 1 begins at the start of each quarter. During Phase 1, all students must wear face masks within their residential unit except for personal bedrooms or in the shower. In Phase 1, masks are required when inside residential buildings and outside of the student’s personal residential unit, for example halls, elevators, lobbies etc. Phase 1 will continue until Phase 2 is announced by the Housing Director.
      • Phase 2. Phase 2 begins when the Housing Director announces the end of Phase 1 and the beginning of Phase 2. In Phase 2, students are not required to wear face masks when they are in their residential unit. In Phase 2, masks are still required when inside residential buildings and outside of the student’s personal residential unit, for example halls, elevators, lobbies etc.
    • Graduate Students:
      • Graduate Students living with other students who are not members of the graduate student’s family are required to wear face masks in common areas from the date of initial arrival in University housing until the SARS-CoV-2 test taken on day 10 after their arrival comes back negative.

Masking/ Facial Coverings

Except as required below, masking is encouraged but optional:

  • Students must wear a face mask or covering in all indoor classroom/instructional locations,
  • Clinical areas (including labs),
  • Triton/University transportation (including the trolley and bus), and
  • In campus-operated residential areas until April 4, and upon completing day 1 and day 5 testing.

For more information on the Face Covering Policy, please see:

Student Conduct Amnesty Program

UC San Diego will generally not initiate the student conduct process, or will apply amnesty, for COVID-19 related student conduct incidents so long as:

  • Information about the incident was communicated in good faith during the contact tracing process,
  • When it is clear the student was not aware they were contagious with COVID-19 when gathering with other members of the campus community,
  • The student was not aware of their positive COVID-19 status prior to the incident, and/or did not knowingly or intentionally infect another member of the campus community, and
  • No other major Standards of Conduct were violated by the student during the same incident (e.g., distribution of controlled substances, hazing, assault/battery, vandalism, etc.).

Additionally, students participating as a complainant or witness in an investigation or alternative resolution process under the SVSH Policy will not be subject to the student conduct process for COVID-19 related violations at or near the time of the incident.

For more information on the Student Conduct Amnesty Program, please see:

Symptom and Exposure Screening

Regardless of vaccine status, all students must complete the daily symptom and exposure screening before arrival to any campus property or University-supported activity, including student residents of University owned, operated or leased housing.

For more information on the COVID-19 Symptom and Exposure Screening, please see:

Testing Requirement

All individuals regardless of vaccination status who develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should test.
  • Unvaccinated students: twice-weekly asymptomatic testing at least three to five days apart is required. For unvaccinated individuals who are on-site less than once a week, please see the Testing Policy for more information.
  • Fully vaccinated students: prompt testing is required if symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are developed.
  • Student Residents regardless of vaccination status: required to test if there is a positive wastewater signal in their building. It is recommended that all students who have used the restroom facilities, regardless of vaccination status, in a facility with a positive wastewater signal should test.

For more information on the COVID-19 Testing Program, please see:

Vaccine Mandate

Students accessing any campus property or University-supported activity must be "fully vaccinated" or request an exemption to the Vaccine Mandate. To remain “fully vaccinated,” students must complete all recommended booster doses as soon as possible, but within 30 days of becoming eligible. If you are eligible for a booster but recently were positive for COVID-19, you will have up to 90 days after being infected to receive your booster.

For more information on the vaccine mandate requirements, please see:

Exceptions/Deferrals to the Vaccine Mandate

To request an exception or deferral to the mandate for disability, medical, religious, or other reasons, please visit the UC San Diego Services and Support portal and sign in using your Student SSO. Select the request type that best fits your circumstances, and input your personal information. Verify your information is correct, then select submit. The form will be sent to you via email. You (and a medical provider when applicable) must sign and complete the form, then return it to studentcovidmandate@health.ucsd.edu.

Students with an approved permanent medical exemption or religious objection do not need to submit an additional exemption request for boosters.

International Students: International students unable to obtain an approved COVID-19 vaccine in their country should visit the UC San Diego Services and Support Portal and submit a request for International Students Unable to Access Vaccine. You will  be emailed a form and should complete the section for International Students Unable to Access Vaccine.

Fully Remote Status: If you are not planning on coming to campus for any reason during the entire academic quarter, you may request to be exempted from the vaccine mandate until you physically return. Please fill out a Remote Exemption Form for each quarter that you will be fully remote.

Students with an approved exception or deferral, or awaiting a decision, may return to any campus property or in-person University-supported activities with the requirement that they follow campus guidelines for reducing the transmission of COVID-19, including masking, testing, and daily symptom and exposure screening.

More information on the process can be found under Exceptions and Deferrals.

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Prior Student COVID-19 Policies

Prior to March 21, 2022:

Masking/ Facial Coverings

Regardless of vaccine status, all students must have a face mask with them while physically present at any campus property or University-supported activity.

  • Students must wear a mask or face covering at indoor locations while physically present at any campus property or University-supported activity, except while eating, drinking, or alone in an office with a closed door.
  • All students are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks at outdoor locations while physically present at any campus property or University-supported activity. Attendees of outdoor campus events must wear a face mask if required to by the event organizer.

As defined by the Face Covering Policy,

"A face covering or face mask is a surgical mask, a respirator (N-95 or KN-95), or a tightly woven (cloth) fabric face mask of at least two layers. A face covering/face mask has no visible holes or openings and must cover the nose and mouth. A face covering/face mask DOES NOT include a scarf, ski mask, balaclava, bandana, gaiter, turtleneck, collar, plastic face shield, or single layer of fabric."

For more information on the Face Covering Policy, please see:

 

Prior to March 1, 2022

Vaccine Mandate

Students accessing any campus property or University-supported activity must be "fully vaccinated" or request an exemption to the Vaccine Mandate at least two weeks before the first day of instruction for Fall 2021.

As defined by the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program (PDF):

"A person is considered "fully" vaccinated when two weeks have passed since they completed a COVID-19 Vaccine series (for example, 1 dose of the Janssen/J&J vaccine, or 2 doses within no more than 12 weeks of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine); as well as any boosters consistent with manufacturer instructions and applicable agency approval, authorization, or listing."


Prior to October 21, 2021:

Masking/ Facial Coverings

Regardless of vaccine status, all students must have a face mask with them while physically present at any campus property or University-supported activity.

  • Students must wear a mask or face covering at indoor locations while physically present at any campus property or University-supported activity, except while eating, drinking, or alone in an office with a closed door.
  • All students are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks at outdoor locations while physically present at any campus property or University-supported activity. Attendees of outdoor campus events must wear a face mask if required to by the event organizer.

As defined by the Face Covering Policy,

"A face covering or face mask is a surgical mask, a respirator (N-95 or KN-95), or a tightly woven (cloth) fabric face mask of at least two layers. A face covering/face mask has no visible holes or openings and must cover the nose and mouth. A face covering/face mask DOES NOT include a scarf, ski mask, balaclava, bandana, gaiter, turtleneck, collar, plastic face shield, or single layer of fabric."

For more information on masking and operations, please see:

 

Prior to October 14, 2021:

Testing Requirement

  • Unvaccinated students: twice-weekly asymptomatic testing at least three to five days apart is required.
  • Fully vaccinated students: weekly testing during the first four weeks, or as otherwise needed or directed, is required.

Regardless of vaccine status, students who live in University owned, operated, or leased housing, or whom come to campus for any reason, must complete the daily symptom screener. They must also complete certain COVID-19 testing requirements as determined by UCSD Student Health Services. For more information on the COVID-19 Testing Program, please see:

Additional Resources

COVID-19 and Student Conduct

Students that violate the University Standards of Conduct, including COVID-related policies, are subject to the student conduct process and may receive progressive disciplinary sanctions. For more information about the student conduct process, potential sanctions, and related information, please see:

Return to Learn Program

The Return to Learn program was initiated in Spring Quarter 2020, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. It aims to return students, staff and faculty to in-person teaching, learning, research, work and service, while protecting the health and safety of its community. The program is evidence-based, and guided by three, primary strategies, including risk mitigation, viral detection and intervention. As a result, UC San Diego has been able to safety increase the number of individuals on campus each quarter and maintained consistently low positive case rates compared to regional and national case rates. for more information on the Return to Learn Program, please see:

The Vice Chancellor-Student Affairs Office

The Vice Chancellor - Student Affairs office is working closely with Associated Students and Graduate Student Association leaders to provide regular and ongoing communication in order to keep students informed and focused on their health. As local, national and global public health recommendations shift to include mitigation of transmission, they are proactively taking steps to help protect the community. For more information on issues such as internet resources, telehealth, basic needs and more, see:

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