October 15, 2020


Dear UC Santa Barbara Faculty, Staff, and Members of Our Research Community,

As the new academic year gets underway, I want to take a moment to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to our faculty and staff colleagues. You have been working with great dedication throughout the summer to help our campus meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to uphold our mission of teaching, research, and public service. We appreciate your sacrifices, resilience, creativity, and hard work.  

We are grateful for the collaborative efforts of our administrative leaders at all levels, our Academic Senate leadership, faculty, staff, and students who have been working tirelessly throughout the summer on our research ramp-up, resources for remote teaching, student support services, campus efforts regarding diversity, equity, and inclusivity, and so much more. We are also deeply grateful to our Student Health colleagues, campus medical experts, and COVID-19 response team who have helped us to develop a robust testing program for members of our UC Santa Barbara community who are on campus, in compliance with state, local, and University of California public health policies, so that together we can mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Our faculty, staff, and research community are an essential part of this collaborative effort, and we thank you for your participation and shared commitment to the health of our community. The value of our program was recently demonstrated when we identified several asymptomatic virus-positive cases in our community. The individuals concerned were quarantined and campus exposure tracing was conducted to mitigate the risk of spread. COVID-19 transmission in Isla Vista continues to be a concern for our community, especially given recent reports of social gatherings.

Our current testing program will provide up to 5,000 appointments each week during the fall quarter to accommodate eligible faculty, staff, and students who are coming to campus. In the coming weeks, we will increase our testing capacity to accommodate more testing for our campus community and to prepare for the winter and spring quarters.

In addition to completing the required daily symptom survey by smartphone or computer, faculty, staff, and members of our research community who have received authorization from their department chair/building committee or supervisor to come to campus for instructional, research, or work purposes that cannot be performed at home are strongly urged to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. (Undergraduate students living in campus housing, working on campus, or those attending in-person instruction on campus are required to be tested weekly. ICA student-athletes, coaches, and staff must also meet separate NCAA requirements.) This asymptomatic testing is critical to helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campus and in the broader community.

We have included a Q&A below with specific information on our testing program, links for making appointments, and information about other COVID-19 testing resources in the area. We are committed to working with our community to try to address any concerns that may arise.

For questions regarding our testing program, please contact our Campus COVID-19 Response Team at ucsb-covid19@ucsb.edu or (805) 893-3113.

In the days and weeks ahead, we will share more details about our plans for the winter quarter. While we look forward eagerly to the time when we can welcome everyone back to campus, we know that we are strong of spirit and have built a vibrant community where all of us can connect no matter where we are living. We are tremendously proud to be part of this special community, and we look forward to a wonderful year together.


Henry T. Yang


UC Santa Barbara Asymptomatic Testing Program Information for Faculty, Staff, and Research Community

Following is information about our testing program as well as links for making appointments.

What kind of COVID-19 test is this?

  • The University is currently using sensitive RT-PCR tests to provide our community with asymptomatic testing and results at no charge to the individual.
  • Tests are self-administered using a nasal swab, with a healthcare provider present to offer individualized instruction. (General nasal swab instructions can be viewed here.)
  • The confidential results will be available through the UCSB Testing Patient Portal, generally within 48 hours. Individuals who test positive for coronavirus will be contacted by the campus’s COVID-19 Response Team with instructions for isolation and treatment.
  • The campus is also exploring alternative testing options that we hope to make available to our community later in the quarter that could greatly increase the existing campus testing capacity.


Am I required to get a test? How often?

  • All faculty, academic personnel, researchers, post-docs, graduate students, and staff who are scheduled to be on campus for instructional, research, or work purposes are strongly urged to make appointments to be tested weekly. (Testing requirements are subject to change based on public health, UC, or campus guidance.)
  • Graduate students living in campus housing or coming to campus will participate in an asymptomatic random testing program and are also strongly urged to make appointments for weekly testing.

Other categories that are required to be tested according to UC and campus policies include:

  • All undergraduate students living in university housing or working on campus.
  • All undergraduate students attending in-person instruction sessions on campus.

How do I make an appointment for the campus asymptomatic testing program?

  • To make your appointment, log on to the UCSB Testing Patient Portal using your UCSB NetID and password. Select “Appointments” and then select “COVID-19 Services.” Select “I need to schedule my weekly COVID-19 testing” and answer the questions. Select an available date and time and click “Continue.” Confirm your appointment date and time and then click “Schedule.” Note: You must click “Schedule” or your appointment will not be confirmed. Also, be sure to add the appointment time and location to your calendar.
  • You will receive an email reminder 24 hours prior to your appointment. If you have opted-in to receive text messages, a text reminder will be sent to you an hour prior to your appointment.
  • Appointments are made in 5-minute intervals, and the time onsite is generally less than 15 minutes.

Where can I go to be tested for the campus program?
The following testing sites are open by appointment from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday:

  • Calaveras Lounge in the San Joaquin Villages apartments.
  • Loma Pelona.
  • Additional testing sites will be added in the coming weeks for the convenience of those faculty and staff on the east side of campus.

What if I have COVID-19 symptoms OR I am living in the area and want to be tested, but not coming to campus?

  • Individuals with symptoms should contact their regular health care provider or visit the nearest urgent care facility.
  • Individuals with symptoms should not visit the campus testing sites.

Campus community members not eligible for asymptomatic testing on campus should use the Santa Barbara County testing facilities.

Who should I contact if I have questions about on campus testing?

  • For questions regarding our testing program, please contact the Campus COVID-19 Response Team at ucsb-covid19@ucsb.edu or (805) 893-3113.