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COVID-19 Symptom and Exposure Screening

Get information about symptom and exposure screening requirements for UC San Diego employees.

In accordance with the current San Diego County Health Order (which is also available in Spanish), all UC San Diego staff, faculty and student employees who are reporting to campus or any other physical UC San Diego location for work must conduct a self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure and report any symptoms and/or exposure using the process outlined below. For employees who are working remotely, self-screening is strongly encouraged. The symptom and exposure screening tool can be accessed from your computer or mobile device. View frequently asked questions about symptom and exposure screening »

The symptom and exposure screening process must be completed each day prior to reporting to your UC San Diego Campus or Health worksite and is strongly encouraged for those working remotely in the San Diego region.

Complete the COVID-19 symptom and exposure screening registration form »

Complete the COVID-19 symptom and exposure screening »

  • If you’re currently working remotely in the San Diego region (i.e. within commuting distance to UC San Diego Health sites for testing): You are strongly encouraged to complete the online symptom and exposure screening daily in case testing is needed. Continue to work remotely until you receive other instructions from your Vice Chancellor.
  • If you’re currently working remotely outside of the San Diego region: You do not need to use the online symptom and exposure screening tool. Continue to work remotely until you receive other instructions from your Vice Chancellor.
  • If you're currently reporting to campus or any physical UC San Diego location, or are scheduled to perform work on-site: Follow the instructions outlined below to use the daily online screening tool.
  • If you don’t have access to the internet or are unable to use the online symptom and exposure screening tool for other reasons: Please follow the directions of your supervisor, work lead and/or check-in person regarding whom to contact to report whether or not you are experiencing any of the current symptoms being screened and whether or not you have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Managers and supervisors: Learn more about your role in this process and the steps you may need to take in the case of an employee who reports experiencing symptoms or exposure or refuses to complete the symptom and exposure screening process. Read more »

Campus Work and Health Management Registration 

All employees (excluding student employees) must also complete the Work and Health Management registration form. This form only needs to be completed once. Learn more about UC San Diego's Work and Health Management program.

Complete the Work and Health Management registration form »

1. Register your information on the symptom and exposure screening registration form (only do this once)

  1. Start by filling out the registration form (log in with your Business Systems or Active Directory account.)
  2. Fill out these fields/selections:
    • Place of employment (UCSD Campus or UC San Diego Health)
    • First name
    • Last name
    • Email 
    • If you have not already been tested, please let us know if you would be interested in a voluntary one-time COVID-19 test? 
      • Yes, I am interested in being contacted for voluntary testing
      • No, or I have already been tested at UC San Diego Health
    • Phone
    • Supervisor's name
    • Supervisor's email
    • Job category
    • Primary work site
    • Specific campus location

2. Review your symptoms and exposure daily

  1. Access the symptom and exposure screening tool. For easier access, bookmark the symptom and exposure screening tool on the device you'll be using to complete the process each day.
  2. The symptom and exposure screening tool asks: "Where are you planning to work today?"
    1. Select UCSD on-site location or Working remotely
  3. Next, the form asks: "Are you currently experiencing any of the following symptoms that started within the last 14 days?"
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  4. If you have experienced any of the symptoms listed, click Yes.
    • The form then asks: "If yes, are all of the symptoms you’re experiencing related to a known chronic condition?"
  5. If you have not experienced any of the symptoms listed, click No.
  6. Click Next button (->)
  7. The form then asks: "Over the past 14 days are any of the following true:  
    • Have you been informed by a public health agency or a healthcare system that you have been exposed to COVID-19?
    • and/or
    • Has a person in your household been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection?"
  8. Answer Yes or No 
  9. Click the Next button (->)

3. If you aren't experiencing any symptoms or exposure and selected 'No' via the web tool:

  1. You will receive an email clearing you for work.
  2. Follow your supervisor/work lead/check-in person’s instructions regarding sending the confirmation that you are cleared for work. (Campus supervisors receive this notification automatically.)

4. If you reported that you are experiencing symptoms and/or that you have recently been exposed:

  1. Your supervisor will receive a message via the symptom and exposure screening tool.
    1. If you are scheduled to report to work in-person, DO NOT report to your worksite.
    2. If you are scheduled to work remotely, if you feel well enough to work, you can still engage in work.
  2. UC San Diego Health and or Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine (COEM) will confidentially contact you to determine if a nasal swab test needs to be scheduled at no cost to you.
  3. Contact your supervisor/work lead/check-in person for additional instructions.

UC San Diego Employee Testing, Exposure, and Return-to-Work Guidelines

Please see Appendix A for a review of specific scenarios related to COVID-19 exposure and symptoms.

This guideline applies to UC San Diego Employees, including all staff, faculty, and student employees. Now that novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading in our communities, all employees are at risk of exposure to COVID-19, whether in the workplace or in the community.

ALL employees should self-monitor for fever and respiratory symptoms daily, which means ensuring you are asymptomatic before reporting to work for each shift or physically appearing on a worksite. If symptoms develop, remain at home and report your symptoms in the daily symptom and exposure screening tool as well as following these instructions and using the Symptom Self-Monitoring Tracker in Appendix B. Please adhere to UC San Diego masking/face covering, physical distancing, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) policies for proper protection guidelines in the work setting, as applicable.


1. When is someone considered to have an exposure to COVID-19?

An exposure occurs when an uninfected person comes into close (< 6 feet) and prolonged (>15 minutes) contact with someone who is contagious for COVID-19 without proper PPE. An exposure may occur in the following scenarios:

  • You have lunch unmasked with a coworker who is contagious for COVID-19.
  • You have a household member with COVID-19 symptoms and/or COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • You were coughed or sneezed on by an unmasked, confirmed COVID-19 infected individual who was within 6 feet of you, and you were not wearing both a regular mask and eye protection.
  • You touched a confirmed COVID-19 infected individual’s respiratory secretions and then the secretions came into contact with your eye, nose, or mouth before you cleaned your hands.

2. I’ve been told I had an exposure to COVID-19 and need to self-monitor and document for COVID-19 symptoms. What should I do now?

If you are an employee and have an exposure to someone with COVID-19, you will need to quarantine in accordance with public health requirements for 14 days from the time of exposure and monitor for symptoms.

Monitor yourself for all the symptoms noted below, twice a day using the 14-day Symptom Self-Monitoring Tracker in Appendix A for your convenience. The 14 days of tracking should be from the last day you had contact with the infected individual. Such monitoring allows you to get the right medical care and testing as quickly as possible, while also protecting other people from getting infected.

If you are able to work remotely during your quarantine, please fill out the Symptom Screening and Exposure tool daily and indicate that you are working remotely.

For more information, please review the Symptom Screening and Exposure information on this page. 

Here are the COVID-19 symptoms to look for (not related to a chronic condition):

Fever*  Sore throat Congestion or runny nose
Chills Loss of smell or taste Nausea
Cough Fatigue or muscle aches Vomiting
Shortness of breath Headache Diarrhea

*Temperature > 100 degrees Fahrenheit


3. What should I do if I develop COVID-19 symptoms?

  • Stay home and call your supervisor to report symptoms and arrange coverage.
  • Indicate in the Symptom Screening and Exposure tool that you are experiencing symptoms.
  • UC San Diego Health’s Testing Support Line will call you for evaluation and to arrange testing, if deemed necessary based on your responses to the screening tool. You may also call the Testing Support Line directly at (619) 543-8260. If you have severe symptoms, you should call 911.
  • Remain at home in isolation while you are symptomatic. Follow current employee leave policies.
  • Your return-to-work timing will depend on whether you get tested for COVID-19, your test results, and resolution of symptoms. COEM or your Primary Care Provider should provide you with a return-to-work note.
    • Generally, if you test positive, you will have to be home and isolate for at least 10 days from start of symptoms (for severe disease or severely immunocompromised people, it could be 20 days). In order to return-to-work, you must:
      • Complete your isolation period; AND
      • Have no fever for at least 24 hours/1 day (without the use of fever-reducing medications, such as acetaminophen aka Tylenol), AND
      • Have improvement of symptoms.
    • If you test negative, you should stay home until you have no fever for at least 24 hours/1 day (without the use of fever-reducing medications, such as acetaminophen aka Tylenol), AND improvement of symptoms.
  • See more information in COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios in Appendix A.

4. I have COVID-19 symptoms. How can I protect my family and others?

Stay at home, except for medical care for serious symptoms that might require hospitalization. Do not leave home to go to work, school, public areas/crowds, or shopping. Do not use public transportation or taxis. If you need groceries or supplies, have friends or neighbors bring them to you and leave outside your door. Wear a mask or face covering consistently. Separate yourself from other people in your home as much as possible by:

  • Keeping a 6-foot distance from others in the home,
  • Staying in a different room from others in your home,
  • Using a separate bathroom, if available,
  • Not sharing household items (including utensils, drinking glasses, towels and bedding) and washing them right away with soap/ detergent after you use them,
  • Washing your hands or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often, such as before and after touching your face or any other object that someone else may need to touch, such as a door handle or refrigerator,
  • Covering your cough and sneeze with a tissue (throw away immediately), or sneezing into your mask, face covering, or sleeve, and wash your re-usable masks frequently,
  • Using disinfectant wipes to clean things that you and others may touch.

Appendix A: COVID-19 Community Exposure Scenarios

Employee has no symptoms (Asymptomatic)

  • You must notify your supervisor regarding the exposure, if you have reported to a physical worksite in the past 3 days.
  • You will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day of exposure according to public health requirements, even if you take a COVID-19 test and receive a negative result. UC San Diego Health can offer you a test on Day 5-10 post-exposure, at no cost to you.
  • All exposed employees must self-monitor for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms twice a day for 14 days from last contact with the exposed individual to ensure you are asymptomatic.
  • Maintain physical distance from persons when possible, and wear your mask or face covering consistently. Eat and drink more than 6 feet away from persons, preferably outside if possible.
  • Complete the Symptom Screening and Exposure tool daily.
  • Report any symptoms if they develop.

Employee is Symptomatic

  • If you develop symptoms (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste, fatigue or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) you should go home or stay home and self-isolate.
  • Complete the Symptom Screening and Exposure tool daily.
  • You should contact your supervisor to report the COVID-19-related absence.
  • You will be contacted by the UC San Diego Health’s Testing Support Line to further assist you with next steps or you may call the support line at (619) 543-8260.
  • You will not be allowed to return-to-work until symptoms improve, and will depend upon testing as per below.

Employee tests positive:

  • If you test positive for COVID-19 at a UC San Diego Health location, you will be contacted by the UC San Diego Health’s Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine (COEM). In general, you may return to work after 10 days from the start of your symptoms and when fever is resolved for at least 24 hours/1 day without the use of fever-reducing medication, and symptoms have improved. COEM will provide you with a Release from Work medical note as well as a Cleared for Work medical note.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 at an outside healthcare provider, you should request a medical note that states your release from work and when you are cleared to return to work.

Employee tests negative:

  • If you test negative for COVID-19, you may return to work when fever is resolved for at least 24 hours/1 day without the use of fever-reducing medication, and symptoms have improved.
  • If you test negative for COVID-19 and have a symptom of loss of taste or smell, you should remain in isolation and re-test after 72 hours.

Appendix B: Symptom Self-Monitoring Tracker

Download a PDF of the Symptom Self-Monitoring tracking sheet »

COVID-19 Symptom and Exposure Screening Guidance for Managers and Supervisors

Managers and supervisors play a critical role in screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure, in accordance with the San Diego County Health Order. 

  1. Please communicate with employees expected to work in-person to inform them of the appropriate supervisor/work lead/check-in person to identify, along with that person’s email address, when completing the online symptom and exposure screening process.
  2. For those employees without necessary internet access, they should call the appropriate supervisor/work lead/check-in person in advance of going to work-in person for that person to share the current symptoms/exposure to screen for and allow the employee to state “no” to all of the symptoms or a “yes” to one of the symptoms without requiring a designation of which symptom. Supervisors should not ask the specific symptom for which the employee has a “yes” answer.
  3. The symptom and exposure screening process will generate an email to the designated supervisor/work lead/check-in person for employees who “fail” the checker. For Campus employees, an email will also be generated for those who “pass” the screening.
    1. Check your Spam folder for emails from the symptom and exposure screening online process.

View frequently asked questions about symptom and exposure screening » 

Failed Screening

If an employee indicates that they are experiencing symptoms that could be indicative of COVID-19 or have recently been exposed, this is referred to as a failed screening. In these scenarios, take the following steps:

  1. The employee should not report to the worksite.
  2. UC San Diego Health and or Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine (COEM) will confidentially contact the employee to determine if a nasal swab test needs to be scheduled at no cost to the employee. If the employee has severe symptoms, they should call 911.
  3. Contact your unit's HR contact to determine appropriate paid status options available for the employee and inform the employee. Paid leave options, if available, include:
    1. Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (PAL).
    2. Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL).
      1. Per criteria #3 of the COVID-19 Related Leaves and Job Protections Guidance, an employee is eligible if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking diagnosis. Employees sent to COEM or their healthcare provider due to failed screening are required to provide documentation to support they are seeking diagnosis.
    3. Use of own personal accruals.
    4. Chancellor Supplemental Leave with appropriate documentation as noted here: https://blink.ucsd.edu/HR/services/covid-19/faq.html#How-can-I-review-Chancellor-Kho.
  4. If you are informed that an employee took a coronavirus test outside of a UC San Diego Health location, contact Employee Relations at employeerelations@ucsd.edu and also contact the EOC at eocepg@ucsd.edu. The EOC will inform COEM.

Returning to Work after a Failed Screening

  1. Employees who fail screening:
    1. SHOULD NOT REPORT TO THE WORKSITE
    2. Contact their healthcare provider and/or the Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine (COEM) at the dedicated COVID Nurses line: (858) 663-8205. If the employee has severe symptoms, they should call 911.
    3. Follow the guidance provided by COEM and/or their primary care physician.
    4. Once the employee is able to report to the worksite based on guidance from COEM and/or their primary care physician, on the next required in-person work day, employees should review their symptoms using the symptom screening tool to determine eligibility to report to the worksite.
  2. Documentation (i.e. doctor’s notes) may be required based on how long the employee must be off work and/or the type of leave needed. Managers should work closely with their HR contacts to assist in making this determination. Employees should be informed prior to return to work of any documentation required.

Refused Screening

If an employee refuses the lawful order requiring symptom and exposure screening prior to entering the work site, take the following steps:

  1. Determine the reason for the refusal.
  2. If the refusal is based on religious exemption or other protected reasons, consult with the HR contact and Employee Relations regarding appropriate pay status.
  3. If no reason is given, consult with your unit's HR contact and Employee Relations. Generally:
    1. Policy-covered employees will be placed on a leave of absence without pay.
    2. Represented employees will also be placed on a leave of absence without pay. (The unions have been noticed by Labor Relations.)

COVID-19 Guía de Detección de Síntomas para Gerentes y Supervisors »

Information for Health Sciences/Medical Center Managers and Supervisors

If you are not able to see your employees on the Health Dashboard, please verify that they have identified themselves (in their registration) as a UC San Diego Health employee, NOT UC San Diego Campus.

Health users/supervisors will not receive emails regarding employees when they are “cleared for work.” If the employees identified themselves as UC San Diego Campus (as their primary employer), rather than UC San Diego Health, the supervisor will get both the “Cleared” and “Not Cleared” email notifications. Health Supervisors should use the Tableau dashboard to monitor their employees statuses using the link below.

Access the Tableau Dashboard (login required) »

If you do not have access to the dashboard, please contact the IS Service Desk and ask them to create a request for the Enterprise Reporting Team, to add you to the Return To Campus Dashboard for UC San Diego Health. For faster service, you may submit a self-service request at our online portal at https://uchealth.service-now.com/ess_ucsd/.

Not seeing the symptom and exposure screening emails in your inbox?

If your COVID-19 symptom and exposure screening configurations are accurate and you do not see your email in your inbox, please verify that the emails are not in your Junk folder. Additionally, the screening emails may be in the ProofPoint Spam quarantine folder.

To check your ProofPoint folder, please follow these steps:

  1. Under the “Search Current Mailbox” at the top of your Inbox, type in “UCSD Health Spam Quarantine”
  2. On any of the search results, locate the and click on the “Manage My Account” link (usually located at the far right of the email after the introductory paragraph)
  3. The link will open up web page which contains the emails that have been filtered
  4. Click on the check box to the left of the desired email
  5. At the top of your web page, please select the “Release and Allow Sender”
    1. This will allow all future Symptom Screening email to be delivered to your Inbox

If you need further assistance, contact the IS Service Desk at:

If you are a campus employee and you have questions, contact the Human Resources Employee Relations team at employeerelations@ucsd.edu or 619-543-8260. Health Sciences and Health System staff and faculty should contact Health Human Resources for guidance and information.

Note: this page has has a friendly link that is easy to remember: https://blink.ucsd.edu/go/screening