October 15, 2020


Dear UC Santa Barbara Undergraduate Students,

As the new academic year gets underway, I want to take a moment to extend a warm welcome to our students. We greet the year ahead with excitement and anticipation, even though our fall quarter doesn’t look quite the way we hoped it would, and our campus is not the same without you.

We appreciate your sacrifices, perseverance, and commitment to your education. We value your contributions to our academic community, and we are here to support you in achieving your goals. We are grateful for the collaborative efforts of our administrative leaders at all levels, our Academic Senate leadership, students, Student Affairs leadership, faculty, and staff who have been working tirelessly throughout the summer on our student programs and support services, resources for remote teaching, research ramp-up, 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 students who are approved to be on campus during fall quarter, in compliance with state, local, and University of California public health policies, so that together we can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Our students 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.

At this time, the campus plans to offer up to 5,000 testing appointments each week to accommodate eligible students, faculty, and staff members 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, all undergraduate students living in university housing, working on campus, or attending any in-person instruction on campus will be required to be tested weekly for COVID-19. (ICA student-athletes must also meet separate NCAA requirements.) In the future, testing frequency may be increased or decreased as determined by public health guidance and campus medical experts.

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 students to address any concerns and make accommodations where possible.

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 Undergraduate Students

What kind of COVID-19 test is this?

  • The University is currently using sensitive RT-PCR tests to provide our community with tests and results at no charge to the individual.
    Tests are self-administered using a nasal swab, with a healthcare personnel 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. Students 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 undergraduate students in the following categories should have already completed their first test and are required by University of California and campus policy to be tested once a week (testing frequency is subject to change depending on COVID-19 transmission rates and public health recommendations):

  • All undergraduate students living in university housing.
  • All undergraduate students attending any in-person instruction or working (even intermittently) on campus.

Failure to follow the required testing guidelines without receiving an accommodation could affect on-campus employment or housing eligibility and may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

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

  • COVID-19 testing for students with symptoms or recent exposure to a positive case is available at Student Health at no charge. Call (805) 893-7129 for testing appointments. PLEASE DO NOT GO TO CALAVERAS OR LOMA PELONA TESTING FACILITIES IF YOU ARE SYMPTOMATIC.
  • UC Santa Barbara students who are not eligible for asymptomatic campus testing at this time can receive free testing through Santa Barbara County at the Goleta Community Center. Schedule online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or phone (888) 634-1123.
  • UCSB has worked with Santa Barbara County, to offer additional free testing at the IV Theater from 12-4 p.m. on October 23 and 24 and November 6 and 7 by appointment or walk-in. https://publichealthsbc.org/testing/

How do I make an appointment?

  • 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 on-site is generally less than 15 minutes.
  • Before making an appointment for COVID testing, it is necessary to make sure your local address is included in Gold.

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

  • Calaveras Lounge in the San Joaquin Villages apartments.
  • Loma Pelona.
  • Additional campus testing sites will be added in the coming weeks.

Campus community members not eligible for asymptomatic testing on campus should use the County testing facility.

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

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

Testing is an extremely important step in reducing the spread in our community; protecting our friends, family, and neighbors; and helping our campus prepare for the possibility of increased campus activities for the winter and spring quarters. Again, we plan to continue to work with you to try to address any concerns or problems that may arise so that we can all do our part.