COVID-19 Information

Campus Updates

Last updated: Feb 2, 2021

In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our community and to assist our students, faculty and staff in managing the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has taken a number of actions and adopted a range of practices and protocols. They are outlined in the following announcements.

Recent Announcements

Spring Quarter 2023 - Return to Campus Updates

  • Students, staff, and faculty are reminded to pick up a rapid COVID-19 test on campus before Spring Break commences and use it to test for the virus before returning to campus (especially if traveling over the break). In addition, community members are advised to not come to campus if feeling ill, to isolate if possible, and to self-report positive test results via the MyHealth Portal. Additional information, including information about booster shot compliance and planned summer programs, can be found in the March 7 communication.

COVID-19 Protocol Changes Beginning Winter Quarter 2023

  • Due to the low rate of COVID-19 positivity, the decreasing number of weekly tests performed on campus, and the availability of at-home rapid antigen tests, the university will modify its COVID-19 mitigation efforts at the start of the 2023 winter quarter. Changes are consistent with evolving approaches at other UC campuses and current public health guidelines. The changes include discontinuing the campus COVID-19 testing center located in Building 434; ending PCR testing on campus except at Student Health; no longer requiring persons with approved COVID-19 vaccine exemptions or who otherwise are not up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations to obtain weekly testing; and discontinuing campus isolation housing except for unusual medical circumstances. Conditions for these COVID-19 operational changes depend on COVID-19 positivity remaining low. The pandemic will continue to be monitored carefully, and if warranted, procedures and operations will be re-established as needed to ensure the welfare of the campus community. Read the November 18, 2022 communication and January 5, 2023 communication to learn more. 

COVID-19 Prevention Plan

  • The Office of Environmental Health & Safety has updated its COVID-19 Prevention Plan, an all-inclusive preparation plan for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within the UC Santa Barbara community amid the campus’s gradual return to in-person instruction, research, operations and other activities.

Additional notices from the chancellor and others may be found in Messages to Campus.

Campus Mitigation Protocols

For faculty and staff members who are reporting to work on-site and for students who live in university housing or attend classes or conduct research on campus, a number of protocols are in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Among them are the following:

Vaccine Policy

The UC Office of the President has established a systemwide vaccine policy, which requires all UC faculty, students, and staff to receive all vaccine doses in a primary series and any boosters recommended by CDC or by the California Department of Public Health against the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus, or receive an approved exemption before they will be allowed in any UC facility or office or to participate in any University programs.

Individuals are considered up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccination if they are either:

  • fully vaccinated and have received a bivalent booster dose; or
  • fully vaccinated and not yet eligible to receive a booster dose

Individuals are considered compliant at UC Santa Barbara if they have provided verification of having received vaccinations approved by FDA or WHO to meet the University of California - Policy on Vaccination Programs, or have obtained an approved medical or religious exception. The COVID-19 vaccine bivalent booster dose may be declined by filling out the Vaccine Declination Statement located under the Clearances tab in your UCSB MyHealth Portal.

Individuals who are eligible for a booster but recently tested positive for COVID-19 can wait 90 days.

Face Coverings

Masks are no longer required but individuals should use information about the current COVID-19 community levels to guide which prevention behaviors to use and when (at all times or at specific times) based on their own risk for severe illness and that of members of their household, their risk tolerance, and setting-specific factors.

Regardless of the COVID-19 community levels, The California Department of Public Health recommends that you: 

  • Wear a mask around others if you have respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, runny nose, and/or sore throat),
  • Consider wearing a mask in indoor areas of public transportation (such as in airplanes, trains, buses, ferries) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations, and seaports).
  • When choosing to wear a mask, ensure your mask provides the best fit and filtration (respirators like N95, KN95 and KF94 are best). 
  • If you’ve had a significant exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, wear a mask for 10 days.

Face masks, both surgical and N95, are available without charge for students, faculty, and staff at the UCEN Campus Store Customer Service Desk and the A.S. Pardall Center, and at other locations on campus. Access the "N95 Mask - How to Wear" and the "N95 Respirator Use" videos to learn about proper use of N95 respirators. 


Frequent hand washing and surface cleaning is recommended. Disinfection should be performed in work areas where a COVID-19 exposure has been reported.

Campus Resources

Additional guidelines, and the “COVID-19 Returning to Work Training” course required by Cal/OSHA and the California Department of Public Health, are outlined on the Campus Requirements page.

Human Resources’ Guidance for Staff and Supervisors During COVID-19 Impacts provides information and resources for staff and supervisors. Links on the page are updated as announcements are made and new information becomes available.

Environmental Health & Safety has posted its COVID-19 Prevention Plan, an all-inclusive mitigation and preparation plan for the campus’s gradual return to in-person instruction, research, operations and other activities.

The Environmental Health Program at Environmental Health & Safety offers numerous resources, including general information, guidance documents, information on masks and face coverings, cleaning resources and infographics and signage.

Some or all instruction for all or part of the Academic Year may be delivered remotely. Tuition and fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year. Figures for tuition and fees represent currently approved or proposed amounts and may not be final. Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California as determined to be necessary or appropriate. Final approved tuition and fee levels may differ from the amounts presented.