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.

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 respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Recent studies indicate people who are infected but do not show symptoms likely play a role in the spread of COVID-19. 

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, and the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The CDC recommends the following safety precautions:


Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain, whether or not you have upper respiratory symptoms. Cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snuggly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Clean your hands frequently. 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Practice physical distancing between yourself and other people outside of your home. That means:

  • Stay at least 6 feet from other people
  • Do not congregate in groups
  • Avoid crowded places and mass gatherings

Clean and disinfect surfaces

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them with detergent or soap prior to using a household disinfectant.


To support the health and wellbeing of students, faculty and staff, the University of California, in consultation with UC Health leadership, has issued a systemwide executive order requiring all members of the UC community to receive an influenza immunization before Nov. 1, 2020. UC has developed a set of FAQs for students and a set for faculty and staff members.

Reporting a Positive Test Result

Campus community members are strongly encouraged to report a positive test result to the campus COVID-19 Call Center at or (805) 893-3113.

The campus’s COVID-19 Response Team will:

  • Notify the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to ensure officials are aware of the case 
  • Help identify close contacts
  • Advise and help prepare notifications to potentially affected campus community members
  • Work with EH&S to determine cleaning procedures and establish time frames for resuming operations

Additional information and resources related to reporting, including a checklist for responding, is available on our Reporting COVID-19 page.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have Coronavirus

Anyone in our campus community who suspects they have influenza or coronavirus should stay home. Students should contact Student Health Services by joining a QLess line to speak with an advice nurse, 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. 

Preventative actions help mitigate the spread of respiratory diseases. Based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Student Health Services has developed additional screening and has implemented additional protocols to help identify possible cases of coronavirus to provide optimal care for those with symptoms and to protect other patients and staff.

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

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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 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

Holiday Travel Advisory

In advance of the Thanksgiving holiday, Dr. Vejas Skripkus, executive director of Student Health, and Dr. Laura Polito, medical director of the campus’s COVID-19 Response Team, offer travel guidance to students. The medical experts encourage students to remain in the area over the holiday weekend, or to complete the quarter from home if they do choose to travel. Details may be found in their Nov. 9 message to students. Faculty and staff members received similar advice in a Nov. 11 message to campus from Executive Vice Chancellor David Marshall, Associate Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Garry Mac Pherson and Dr. Polito.

UC Travel Advisories

Regularly updated COVID-19 travel advisories are available from the UC Office of the President. Policies on travel to countries affected by COVID-19 will reflect the assessments of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of State.

The University is recommending against all non-essential University-related travel, international and domestic, for UC Santa Barbara employees. This guidance is in addition to current UC systemwide restrictions already in place to CDC Level 3 (widespread community transmission) and Level 2 (sustained community transmission) countries. See the CDC's Coronavirus Information for Travel.

Any employees who do travel for business are reminded to register their trips, which is required by UC Santa Barbara policy and provides customized, real-time travel updates and alerts.

"For me, it’s really hard to track where people have been and who you’ve been in contact with. And you just never know who’s been affected. So it’s always best to keep a safe distance."

Ben Drum
Fourth Year, Communication & Sociology

UCSB student with face covering