Daily Symptom Survey

UC Davis symptom survey on a mobile phone

Helping reduce the spread of the coronavirus in our campus.

A daily symptom survey is a requirement for all UC Davis-operated facilities anywhere in California and serves as a reminder to pay attention to your symptoms.

Everyone — students, employees, visitors — must complete a Daily Symptom Survey before entering a university-managed facility. This includes campus housing and off-campus, remote and leased locations. (UC Davis Health has its own symptom monitoring procedures for its Sacramento campus.)

While the process may look different depending on the facility, the survey and the outcomes are the same across campus. 

Symptom Survey via Qualtrics

The Daily Symptom Survey is a web application provided through Qualtrics that can be accessed from desktop and mobile devices. There is a version available for Students and Employees who have university credentials, and a version for Other Visitors to Campus.

Take the daily symptom survey at SymptomSurvey.ucdavis.edu

You’ll need to enter your contact information the first time you take the survey, but the system will pre-populate that information for you each subsequent survey. It should take no longer than 30 seconds to complete each day.

For visitors and others who cannot use the online survey, a paper survey will be made available at each facility.

What happens after the survey

The survey will indicate whether you’re Approved or Not Approved to enter campus facilities. You should screengrab or print this approval, which is also sent to your email, as you will need to present it at facility access points.

two options for survey results shown for Gunrock: Approved and Not Approved
Preview of what the survey results look like, depending on whether you are approved to enter campus facilities (left) or not approved to enter facilities (right).


symptom screening sign

Implementing Symptom Surveys

Implementation of the Daily Symptom Survey is the department’s responsibility and should be incorporated into your Campus Ready worksite plan. Be advised that facility occupants should be prepared to verify their Daily Symptom Survey at any time (screengrab on device, printed approval letter).

Please DO NOT create your own version of a daily symptom survey. 

Options for Implementing Daily Symptom Survey

  1. Close access to all facility entry points except one, where you assign an employee to verify Symptom Survey compliance prior to allowing entry.
  2. Allow open access to facility but require Symptom Survey verification at internal locations (e.g., reception desk, individual lab).
  3. Ask employees to forward their Daily Symptom Survey verification to a supervisor’s email or another central email.
  4. You may consider providing colored stickers individuals can display to signal Symptom Survey verification.
  • A toolkit is available online and includes guides, sample communications, printable signage and more.

Monitoring Compliance

Your Campus Ready worksite plan should review compliance rates on a daily or weekly basis to ensure everyone is using the survey daily. Here are a couple options:

  1. Ask each facility user to forward their Symptom Survey approval letter to a department representative. That individual could compare who is in the building and who has provided Symptom Survey verification.
  2. COGNOS Reports - Access to COGNOS reports for survey data is being provisioned to very few people in each school, college and division. Worksite planners, supervisors and others with a business need for COGNOS survey data will need to identify an internal method of distribution. We will soon provide the names of individuals who have access to survey reports in COGNOS.
  • Can I deny access to someone for non-compliance? 
  • Absolutely, that's the expectation. If a person enters without having done the survey and you have told them they cannot, let them know that you are going to escalate the situation, per the guidance from the UC Davis Interim Public Health Policy
  • How can we implement this in a building that a) doesn’t have any receptionist b) houses multiple departments c) doesn’t allow us to check all who are entering the building? 
  • Do your best. You know your facility best and those who use the space. Consider coordinating with fellow building occupants and contact campusready@ucdavis.edu if you can’t devise a workable solution. 
  • Should employees send a screenshot of their daily approved letter to their supervisor, or forward their email?  
  • This up to your department. Either option is fine.  
  • How do we ensure our faculty members are filling out the symptom survey when we as staff aren’t there to monitor it? 
  • Consider setting the expectation with faculty members to email their approved survey letter to a designated supervisor or building contact, for example a dean.  
  • Can we implement the survey on an honor system? 
  • No. There has to be a process and it needs to be one that can be reviewed. You need to be able to verify that employees are following the process.  
  • Do we have to check everyone when they come in? 
  • No, you don’t if it doesn’t work for your facility. However, there does need to be a system in place to check people at some point. 
  • Can you change the survey to route approved/not approved letters to an employee’s supervisor? 
  • No. The more complicated we make the survey, the more chance there is for error. We want this survey to be easy and reliable. 

Symptom Survey Data

All data is purged from the Qualtrics application multiple times daily. Only data for students and employees that complete the survey will be sent to the COGNOS reporting tool, and is limited to contact information and survey outcome (pass/fail). Symptom data IS NOT sent to COGNOS.

  • Who is responsible for collecting the survey completion records, especially if there are multiple departments per building? 
  • Here are two options and we’d be happy to add more if you send them to campusready@ucdavis.edu

    The departments within the building can agree to control access at the envelope of the building. This means that you would station someone at the building entrances to physically interact with people who come into the building.  

    All departments within a building agree to establish an expectation that if an employee is entering a facility, that they take the survey and then email the response they receive to their supervisor.  
  • How long should departments keep Symptom Survey sign-in sheets and emails? 
  • Please do not keep paper files (sign-in sheets) or electronic records (emails) longer than 30 days and never collect anything that indicates symptoms. 

    The office of record for all electronic files generated by the Qualtrics survey is Risk Management. 

Manual Process

While the online Daily Symptom Survey is available to anyone with a connected device (visitor survey coming 9/21), a paper Symptom Survey must be administered to anyone who needs/chooses to complete a paper Symptom Survey.

  • The Manual Process Toolkit includes materials for implementing the paper Daily Symptom Survey with printable surveys, instructions and more.


  • What survey do visitors complete?
  • As of Monday 9/21,  we’re pleased to deliver a Qualtrics-based symptom survey that doesn’t require university credentials for access. You can access the visitor survey on the Campus Ready Symptom Monitoring pagePlease ensure that employees and students continue using the correct survey. Visually, the output letters for both surveys are slightly different so you can quickly differentiate.

    Other options:
    >>  We have outlined a manual process on the Campus Ready site that includes a verbal symptom questionnaire. 
    >>  Multiple facilities within the same vicinity (e.g., Vet Med) or otherwise connected (e.g., dining facilities) could implement a sticker system for non-affiliates that have verbally completed the survey. 

    We encourage you to share other options with campusready@ucdavis.edu  
  • What about delivery drivers that have their own keys and can let themselves into a facility? How can we make sure they are compliant with COVID-19 regulations and campus policies? 
  • We will be notifying campus vendors about the requirement in the near future and are working on other solutions that could help. For example, we could potentially place Aggie Public Health Ambassadors at vehicle entrance gates to administer the symptom survey and provide drivers a daily approved letter. Send your ideas to campusready@ucdavis.edu  

Temperature Checks (Optional)

Guidance from public health agencies and UCOP allows temperature checks to be added to the Daily Symptom Survey process. Temperature checks can be administered by either:

  1. Controlling facility entry points and using staff to administer temperature checks during business hours.
  2. Allowing open access to the facility, but requiring a temperature self-check at designated locations, using designated equipment.


  • Will a temperature screening be required to enter my building? 
  • It’s optional. Those responsible for the facility may choose to implement a temperature screening in addition to the symptom survey.  
  • If we do a temperature screening, do we need to complete a survey too?  
  • Yes, completing the survey is mandatory, whether electronically or manually using the paper survey.  

Policies, Requirements and Enforcement

Public Health Policy (Interim 290-01) outlines physical and behavioral standards applicable to all campus affiliates and non-affiliates to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus. The policy requires face coverings, physical distancing, daily symptom surveys and more. Read more about the policy.

More Questions & Answers

We have shared some of the most commonly asked questions about the Daily Symptom Survey throughout this page, and we'll add more as we receive questions at campusready@ucdavis.edu.

Top questions about taking the survey

  • Is this required of employees who are working from home? 
  • No. The symptom survey is designed to ensure that access to a facility is only granted to someone who doesn’t have/show symptoms of COVID-19. If you are not coming to campus to use a facility, you are not required to take the survey.  
  • If someone comes to campus, but does NOT enter a facility, do they need to take a Symptom Survey? 
  • No. This includes people visiting the Quad or Arboretum, people working on field assignments, and even delivery drivers who only access a delivery dock. If you’re not entering a facility, you don’t need to take the survey. 
  • Do we need to take the Symptom Survey on the weekends? 
  • Yes, if you are entering a campus facility. 
  • If you go from one building to another do you have to retake the survey? 
  • Affiliates – No
    For students and employees, a symptom survey approval letter is like a daily pass, good for use campuswide on the current date. Every day that you enter a campus facility, you will need to complete the symptom survey. 

    Non-affiliates – Likely yes
    While all campus facilities are using the Daily Symptom Survey to screen entrance, each facility may be checking the survey approval in different ways. Facilities within the same district or under the same umbrella (e.g., dining facilities) might adopt a shared screening process that would not require the visitor/vendor to take the survey multiple times. For example, your department could use a sticker [see sample] that is signed and dated as a visual option to confirm someone in the facility is approved. 

    An electronic symptom survey will soon be available for those without UC Davis CAS login credentials. This survey will largely imitate the current electronic symptom survey for affiliates and will produce an approved/not approved letter. 
  • If I make a mistake when submitting the Symptom Survey should I retake it or notify someone?  
  • If you make a mistake, retake it and notify your supervisor. While nobody receives a copy of your approved/not approved email, except you, a record of it is sent to the COGNOS data reporting tool, which may be accessed. 
  • Do I need to report a ‘Not Approved’ letter through ReportCovid@ucdavis.edu
  • No. The COVID-19 reporting process is separate from the symptom survey and will remain that way. The symptom survey is used to keep sick people at home and to determine whether someone can enter a facility. The symptom survey is not used to  diagnose COVID-19 cases. 
  • Does the system automatically send an email daily to remind everyone to take it? 
  • No. However, this option is being pursued. 

Helpful but difficult to categorize:

    • Will the flu shot mandate be verified through the symptom survey?
    • Update: Beginning Oct. 16, employees and students must self-report their flu vaccination by answering a question in the Daily Symptom Survey, in order to access campus facilities after Nov. 1. Find more details about this UC requirement and how to meet it on the UC Davis Flu Vaccination Information page.
    • Which survey should UC Davis Health employees complete while on the Davis campus? 
    • When you’re on the Davis campus, take the Davis campus survey. When you’re at UC Davis Health, take the UC Davis Health one.  
    • Can we implement a campuswide colored sticker system, like at UC Davis Health? 
    • No. We considered implementing that system, but logistically it would be too difficult because we have so many facilities and they are so decentralized. It would be much more difficult to implement a campuswide sticker system on the Davis campus at this time.  
    • How will this process intersect with campus COVID-19 testing plans? 
    • It does not. The symptom survey is a tool used to establish a safe environment within a facility. The COVID-19 screening and testing program is another tool to identify asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and mitigate community spread.  
    • Can we get some signs? 
    • The online toolkit has downloadable and printable signage and QR codes. A-frames and large format signs are available at no cost. Email campusready@ucdavis.edu for more information. 
    • Why don’t we use the exact same survey as UC Davis Health?  
    • UC Davis Health is an essential industry while the Davis campus is not. While the questions are very similar, the “What to Do” section is very different from the Davis campus survey. 
    • How does the Daily Symptom Survey address issues with asymptomatic people? 
    • It does not. However, in addition to symptom questions, the survey asks “Have you had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days?” that can help address asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. 
    • Does the Symptom Survey and its dissemination to supervisors violate any HIPAA rules? 
    • University of California attorneys have vetted the Symptom Survey and its internal verification procedure and have concluded that the survey and the procedure adhere to HIPAA rules and regulations. 
    • Why don’t you ask what facility someone is entering for contact tracing purposes? 
    • Entering a facility does not equate to contact tracing. It just means that we are trying to protect the other occupants in the facility and maintain a safe environment. Contact tracing focused on “close contacts.” Close contacts are defined as someone that you interact with, at a distance of less than six feet, for longer than 15 minutes. Just because one enters a facility does not mean that you had a close contact with someone. Learn more about contact tracing at UC Davis.