Campus & community, Campus news

Reminder: Staff, faculty must test for COVID-19 before returning to campus

Get tested 1-3 days before being on campus and await a negative result before going back to work, leaders write

At the Rec Sports Facility, students are instructed how to swab their noses to test for COVID-19
Whether fully vaccinated or not, students were required to be tested for COVID-19 by UHS immediately prior to getting their keys and moving into campus housing. Here, a small group of students is given self-swab instructions at a testing site at the Rec Sports Facility's Field House. (Photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)

Chancellor Carol Christ, Catherine Koshland, interim executive vice chancellor and provost and Guy Nicolette, assistant vice chancellor for University Health Services, sent the following message to staff and faculty on Monday: 

In a campus update sent before the curtailment, we shared our expectation that everyone get tested before returning to work, study or live on campus. We’re writing to provide you with additional details and some important reminders.

Symptoms and positive tests

As a reminder, if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently tested positive for COVID-19, you must not come to campus until you have been cleared by University Health Services Occupational Health. If you test positive, please contact University Health Services via the faculty and staff reporting line: 510-332-7192.

Please note that isolation and quarantine guidance from the California Department of Public Health has recently been updated to align with guidance from the CDC, but with additional mitigation measures; the city of Berkeley public health orders have not changed at this time.

Return to campus testing

Before returning to campus from curtailment, we’re asking that you get tested. Ideally, you should get tested 1-3 days before being on campus and await a negative result before going back to work; this is especially important if you have traveled or attended large indoor gatherings within a week of your return. If you’re not able to get tested in the community or with an at-home test, testing is available through University Health Services by scheduling an appointment in the eTang portal.

If you’re not able to get tested before returning to campus, please plan to get tested on your first day back.

Please note that there is ample testing capacity at RSF this week and early next week, but that testing capacity will be more limited when students begin to return late next week. The earlier you get tested the better.

For more information, please see the return to campus testing Q&A.

Campus access badge

Please note that your badge compliance may have expired since the last time you were on campus. If it has been more than 90 days since your last campus surveillance test you are required to get tested again through University Health Services. If your surveillance testing status has expired or is set to expire within two weeks, getting tested on campus is a great way to fulfill the campus surveillance testing requirement and meet the expectation that you get tested prior to returning to work on campus.

Booster shots required

As a reminder, under UC policy you are required to obtain a booster shot as soon as you are eligible. Our campus expects all faculty, staff and students who are eligible to get their booster no later than the start of instruction on Jan. 18 (or by the first day you are on campus if you will be on campus before Jan. 18). Please review the instructions for how to update your vaccination record in eTang with your booster information.

Expect additional updates

As we learn more about the omicron variant the public health response continues to be fluid. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and are meeting regularly to make changes as needed. The campus coronavirus site continues to be updated with the latest information and pertinent updates will be shared by email. We thank you in advance for your attention to this new testing expectation and for your continued flexibility and understanding.