COVID-19 Information

Health & Wellbeing

To help our campus community members manage their health and wellness while mitigating the spread of COVID-19, we offer the following information and resources.

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Are you experiencing COVID-19 symptoms?

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, or if you think you need a COVID-19 test, contact Student Health or your healthcare provider immediately.

Reporting a Positive Test Result

Campus community members who receive a COVID-19 positive test result from outside of campus testing or receive a COVID-19 positive rapid antigen home test result are strongly encouraged to report the positive test result by following the instructions on the Reporting COVID-19 page

Reporting your outside COVID-19 positive test results will result in a 90-day block from any campus COVID-19 testing requirements, and a 90-day delay in your deadline for a COVID-19 booster vaccine dose. 

What Should I Do If I Think I Have COVID-19 or I Have Been Exposed to the Virus?

Anyone in our campus community who suspects they have coronavirus should stay home. Students should contact Student Health Services by dialing (805) 893-3371 to speak with the appointment desk, or call their primary health care provider. Faculty and staff members should contact their health care providers for instructions about seeking care.

It is important to call prior to arriving at the medical office so health professionals can provide information regarding your illness and plan for your visit, if necessary. 

The COVID-19 Testing Resources page provides information about testing sites available to students, faculty, and staff.

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, has been exposed to the virus or has traveled out of the state should follow the protocols listed below. (Note: Quarantine and isolation guidelines are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health's isolation guidelines.)

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I Have a Positive COVID-19 Test Result

Isolation Needed

Regardless of your vaccination status or whether you have symptoms, if you test positive for COVID-19 you must remain isolated for at least 5 days following your positive test result or for 5 days from the onset of symptoms, whichever starts earliest. Isolation days are counted by adding 5 to the start date, e.g., if a positive test occurred on January 1, your isolation would end after January 6.

Isolation can end after day 5 if you have no fever for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication AND your other symptoms are gone or improving.

If you still have a fever, continue to isolate until the fever is gone for at least 24 hours. If other symptoms are not improving, continue to isolate through Day 10.

After you end isolation:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 full days after the start of symptoms. If you had no symptoms, wear a mask for 10 full days after your positive test.
  • You may remove your mask sooner than Day 10 if you have two negative tests in a row, at least one day apart.
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I Have COVID-19 Symptoms but I Don't Have Any Test Results

  • Get a COVID test as soon as possible and stay home until the results are known.
  • If the test is positive, stay home for at least 5 days of isolation as explained in the section above.
  • If unable to test or if you choose not to test, and if symptoms are not present or are resolving, isolation can end after day 10.


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I Had Close Contact with a Confirmed COVID-19 Case

No quarantine is required for students, faculty or staff without symptoms of COVID-19. However:

  • A COVID test (PCR or rapid antigen test) 3-5 days after the last known exposure is strongly recommended.
  • If any COVID symptoms develop, stay home and obtain a COVID-19 test. If positive, follow Isolation instructions in the section above.
  • As a close contact, you should wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings and when near those at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease. 
  • Persons previously infected within the prior 30 days do not need to be tested unless symptoms develop. If the infection was within 31-90 days, testing with a COVID-19 rapid antigen home test is recommended.

I Have Traveled Outside of California within the Past 5 Days

  • A COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days following arrival is recommended for everyone who has traveled.
  • No quarantine is required; self-monitor for any COVID-19 symptoms and test again if they develop.
  • Persons previously infected within the prior 30 days do not need to be tested unless symptoms develop. If the infection was within 31-90 days, testing with a COVID-19 rapid antigen home test is recommended.

COVID-19 Symptoms and Prevention

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Any student who suspects they have influenza or coronavirus should contact Student Health Services. Faculty and staff members should contact their primary health care providers.

Seek medical attention immediately if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19. These include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse or bluish lips or face. Note: This list is not inclusive. Consult your health care provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person through exposure to respiratory fluids carrying infectious virus, mainly through inhalation of very fine respiratory droplets and aerosol particles produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. 

Three vaccines are available to protect against COVID-19: Pfizer-Biontech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers guidelines for COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

Masks are no longer required on the UC Santa Barbara campus 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's Face Covering Guidelines 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. 

The CDC recommends a number of additional precautions to protect yourself & others. 

For guidelines specific to UC Santa Barbara, see Campus Mitigation Protocols.

Counseling and Community

Some members of our campus community may be affected by the virus without themselves being sick. The news, and especially the uncertainty, can feel very scary. Some also have concerns regarding family members and friends in other areas who are sick or who are at increased risk. Others are grappling with issues related to physical distancing.

We want to help if you are struggling.

Students can call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at (805) 893-4411 to schedule an appointment with a counselor or to hear more about counseling resources on campus. After-Hours Phone Counseling also is available at that number.

Faculty and staff members can contact the Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) at (805) 893-3318.

Other campus resources include UC Santa Barbara Health & Wellness and Student Wellbeing.

It is important that we support one another and stand together as a campus community against any xenophobia, bigotry or racism brought about by the presence of the virus.

Travel Advisories

Regional Travel Guidance

Medical experts and the UC Office of the President recommend following all California Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control guidelines. Check the international travel guidelines posted by the U.S. Department of State for your destination.

Public health authorities recommend that everyone:

  • Delay travel until you’re vaccinated and boosted.
  • Consider wearing a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated indoor areas, including on public transportation and in transportation hubs.
  • See more travel advice from the California Department of Public Health at
  • Consider getting a COVID-19 test if you:

    • Develop COVID-19 symptoms before, during, or after travel.

    • Will be traveling to visit someone who is at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.

    • Were in a situation with a greater risk of exposure during travel (e.g., in an indoor, crowded space like an airport terminal while not wearing a mask).

Rapid COVID-19 antigen home test kits are available without charge at multiple campus locations. Do not travel if you test positive; immediately isolate yourself and follow public health recommendations. COVID-19 testing for travel requirements are offered by the following organizations:

No quarantine is required after travel; self-monitor for any COVID-19 symptoms and test again if they develop.

Persons previously infected within the prior 30 days do not need to be tested unless symptoms develop. If the infection was within 31-90 days, testing with a COVID-19 rapid antigen home test is recommended.


UC Travel Advisories

The UC Office of the President directs that all University travelers follow the Centers for Disease Control guidance before, during and upon return from travel. Any exceptions to this guidance and the determination of what travel is considered essential are deferred to the campuses. Additionally, all international travelers should review the Department of State Travel Advisories related to their destination(s) prior to making travel plans, and should ensure their travel is registered with the UC Travel Insurance Program