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 following changes will take place in the new year:
- Testing efforts among asymptomatic members of the campus community will now focus on using at-home rapid antigen tests rather than PCR testing collected on campus. Therefore, the campus COVID-19 testing center located in Building 434 will be discontinued, and PCR testing on campus will end. Antigen tests provide quicker results and can be self-reported via the Student Health Patient Portal. The university will continue to distribute antigen tests at no cost to all members of the campus community at the Library, the Customer Service Desk at the UCEN Bookstore, and the Rec Cen, as well as most campus housing front desks and other campus locations.
- If COVID-19 PCR testing is desired rather than the rapid at-home antigen tests, students who are symptomatic should make an appointment at Student Health. Employees who are symptomatic should consult with their health care provider or a local pharmacy. PCR tests are also available using your health insurance at Aptitude's testing facilities located at Earl Warren Showgrounds and through the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department at Direct Relief offices in Goleta.
- Persons who have approved COVID-19 vaccine exemptions or who otherwise are not up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations will no longer be required to obtain weekly testing.
- Campus isolation housing will be discontinued. Members of the campus community who test positive can still receive isolation advice if needed and are encouraged to report their results through the Student Health Patient Portal on the form under “New Message.” COVID-19 notification requirements will continue as mandated by California Assembly Bill (AB) 2693.
Conditions for COVID-19 operational changes depend on COVID-19 positivity remaining low. We will continue to monitor the pandemic carefully, and if warranted, will re-establish procedures and operations as needed to ensure the welfare of the campus community.
Thank you for continuing to prioritize the health and welfare of our campus community.