To identify COVID-19 cases, UC Davis runs a free, rapid saliva testing program on campus
We are taking a unique, multi-disciplinary approach to screening and testing members of UC Davis and the Davis community for the coronavirus. Screening symptom-free students and employees has helped to identify COVID-19 and track cases on campus.
This COVID-19 testing uses saliva samples, is cost-free to UC Davis students and employees, and provides rapid results in 24-48 hours.
COVID-19 testing is available to all UC Davis students and employees, and routine asymptomatic testing is required to monitor the health and safety of our campus community.
UC Davis also partners with the City of Davis to provide community testing through Healthy Davis Together.
Current campus testing requirements
Updated Oct. 14: Thanksgiving break guidance for testing and compliance is now available.
All registered students and Davis campus employees are required to get tested routinely to comply UC Davis Screening and Testing program.
Please be prepared and be patient, as more students and employees line up for routine COVID-19 testing this fall. Employees and students are strongly encouraged to show up on time for your appointment, walk or bike to the ARC if possible to avoid impacted parking lots and follow directions of kiosk staff. To avoid long lines at the ARC, you may also follow directions to get tested Healthy Davis Together sites or get tested at the Administrative Services Building in Sacramento.
Unvaccinated students and employees are required to get tested at least every four days, regardless of when you access university-controlled facilities.
Fully vaccinated students and employees are required to get tested at least every 14 days — if their normal schedule requires they visit campus at least once per week. Fully vaccinated students or employees who visit campus less often than once per week (because of a flexible work agreement or remote class schedule) will need to get tested prior to accessing university facilities, either on the same day of their visit or up to 14 days prior to their visit.
The campus testing guidance aligns with CDC guidance that frequent COVID-19 testing contributes to low case rates in university and healthcare settings. Everyone must continue to adhere to all UC Davis public health policies.
Questions and answers about testing
Delayed test results: Most results are returned within 48 hours. If you have not received your test result after 48 hours, please log back into the Health-e-Messaging Portal and check “Lab Results.” A small number of results may take longer to be reported to the testing participant due to technical considerations. Please note a delay does not indicate a positive or negative result.
Student help with testing: If you do not find answers on this webpage or cannot find your test results, registered students can call (530) 752-6125 for more information.
Employee help with testing: If you have additional questions about testing or your test results, employees (who receive paychecks through UCPath) can email email@example.com for assistance.
Symptom-free: This testing is only for students and employees who do not have symptoms. You will be required to complete the Daily Symptom Survey before entering the testing facility on campus.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact Student Health and Counseling Services for care or testing (or your medical provider or Occupational Health if you are a campus employee). Students and employees may also access symptomatic testing through Healthy Davis Together at its Research Park location, 1632 Da Vinci Court.
How the COVID-19 testing process works
To find out whether they have COVID-19, testing participants make an appointment and then provide a saliva sample at a COVID-19 testing kiosk on campus. If you have problems logging in or making an appointment, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please stay well hydrated and drink plenty of fluids 1 hour before your appointment.
- Before arriving at the testing facility, you must complete the Daily Symptom Survey and be prepared to show your results for entry.
- NEW: Be prepared to show your photo ID after you arrive at the testing kiosk.
- In the 30 minutes before your test, do not eat, drink, chew gum, smoke or brush your teeth.
- Everyone waiting in line at the kiosk will need to do their part to follow campus safety rules, including wearing a face covering and following physical distancing guidelines.
At the kiosk: You will be asked to sanitize your hands and provide your appointment QR code at a registration table, along with your photo ID and symptom survey results. You will receive a straw, a pipette bulb with purified water, and a vial with a barcode. Then you’ll follow this seven-step process, as seen in this video:
- Once asked, remove the cap from the vial and place it in the provided tray. Don’t lose the cap.
- Tip the water from the pipette bulb into your mouth and gently swirl it around (do not gargle).
- Place the straw in the vial, but be careful not to push the straw so far that it creates a seal.
- Place your lips on the straw and push saliva through the straw into the vial.
- After filling the vial a little more than halfway, remove the straw and place it in the tray.
- Securely place the cap back on the vial and place the vial into the container.
- The attendant will take your sample. Sanitize your hands and exit.
What happens when someone tests positive for COVID-19
When a campus test comes back positive, you will be contacted by the campus contact tracing team with information about isolation, care and any further testing if needed. The confidentiality of individuals with positive results will be protected, and their name and COVID-19 status will not be shared with close contacts.
UC Davis has set aside quarantine and isolation facilities for students to use if necessary, at the directive of Student Health and Counseling Services.
Aggregated results from campus testing, including positivity rate, are shared publicly on the UC Davis COVID-19 Dashboard.
Employees and students who receive a positive COVID-19 test result from off-campus testing are required to report their diagnosis to UC Davis. Find out how to report COVID-19 if you test positive.
Here are some of the FAQs about UC Davis COVID-19 testing that we have received from employees and students. We will add more questions and answers over time. You may also watch our video demonstrating the testing process.
FAQs about testing requirements
NEW: Can I get tested at Healthy Davis Together?
Yes, as of Sept. 20, walk-in appointments are available for employees and students at Healthy Davis Together, beginning with these two locations:
>> HDT at Research Park: 1632 Da Vinci Court, Davis
>> Veterans Memorial Center: 203 E 14th Street, Davis
You must go as a walk-in and also identify yourself as part of UC Davis upon entry, in order for your testing information to be synced with your Health-e-Messaging records to meet campus testing requirements.
If you forget to identify yourself as part of UC Davis or if you make an appointment in the Healthy Davis Together system, then you will need to follow directions to manually report your testing information to the Health-e-Messaging system. Automatic tracking of your testing information will only happen if you go as a walk-in and identify yourself as part of UC Davis.
Employees and students can also get PCR testing (saliva, nasal swab or nasopharyngeal swab) for COVID-19 from other medical providers to meet testing requirements, as long as they report their testing information to the Health-e-Messaging system.
To upload a PCR test, log in to Health-e-Messaging and select Medical Clearances and then “COVID-19 Vaccine and Test.” You must enter your test date, select your result and upload an image that shows proof of your appointment or result. In order to be in compliance with testing requirements, you will need to provide this information on the day of the test (enter a negative test result initially). Employees and students are required to follow protocol to report all positive COVID-19 tests to campus. (Updated Sept. 30, 2021)
UPDATED: Can I get tested elsewhere?
- Employees and students can get PCR testing (saliva, nasal swab or nasopharyngeal swab) for COVID-19 from other medical providers to meet testing requirements. You will need to upload results from your third-party PCR testing in Health-e-Messaging and will need to keep records of your tests for if/when monitoring and compliance changes in order to meet campus requirements. An antigen test is not accepted to meet this requirement.
To upload a PCR test, log in to Health-e-Messaging and select Medical Clearances and then “COVID-19 Vaccine and Test.” You must enter your test date, select your result and upload an image that shows proof of your appointment or result. In order to be in compliance with testing requirements, you will need to provide this information on the day of the test (enter a negative test result initially). Employees and students are required to follow protocol to report all positive COVID-19 tests to campus. (Updated Sept. 9, 2021)
- NEW: Can I meet testing requirements with an at-home test?
- If it is a PCR test, then yes. An antigen test will not be accepted to meet this requirement, which rules out many rapid, at-home testing options.
Employees and students can get PCR testing (saliva, nasal swab or nasopharyngeal swab) for COVID-19 from other medical providers to meet testing requirements. The PCR test must be performed by a CLIA-certified laboratory. You will need to upload results from your third-party PCR testing in Health-e-Messaging and will need to keep records of your tests for if/when monitoring and compliance changes in order to meet campus requirements.
To upload a PCR test, log in to Health-e-Messaging and select Medical Clearances and then “COVID-19 Vaccine and Test.” You must enter your test date, select your result and upload an image that shows proof of your appointment or result. In order to be in compliance with testing requirements, you will need to provide this information on the day of the test (enter a negative test result initially). Employees and students are also required to follow protocol to report all positive COVID-19 tests to campus. (Sept. 9, 2021)
- NEW: How do I report my test results if I get tested elsewhere?
- To upload a PCR test from a CLIA-certified laboratory to meet campus requirements, log in to Health-e-Messaging and select Medical Clearances and then “COVID-19 Vaccine and Test.” You must enter your test date, select your result and upload an image that shows proof of your appointment or result. In order to be in compliance with testing requirements, you will need to provide this information on the day of the test (enter a negative test result initially). Employees and students are also required to follow protocol to report all positive COVID-19 tests to campus. (Sept. 9, 2021)
UPDATED: I rarely access university facilities, do I have to get tested every four days?
- Yes, if you are unvaccinated then as of Sept. 9, your frequency in accessing campus facilities does not affect the testing requirements of the policy. If you are unvaccinated, then you will need to get tested every four days in order to avoid the consequences of non-compliance. If you get tested at an off-campus location, you will need to upload proof of your test to the Health-e-Messaging portal. Our campus testing requirement maximizes our chances of discovering an infection before it has a chance to spread in our community.
If you have verified that you are fully vaccinated, then you will need to get tested every 14 days — if you visit campus at least weekly.
But if you are fully vaccinated and visit campus less frequently than once per week, then you will need to get tested on the same day you visit campus in order to access facilities. This new requirement for vaccinated employees and students is scheduled to begin on Sept. 20, with the first round of 14-day testing due by Oct. 4 at the latest. (Updated Sept. 15, 2021)
- NEW: I am an employee who never accesses a university facility, do I have to get tested?
- If you are an employee who will not access campus at all for a set period of time, please talk with your supervisor about whether the No Physical Access Verification form can be issued on your behalf. Doing so removes you from vaccine policy compliance altogether because you are certifying you never come to campus. If at some point in the future, you have need to come to campus, you will need to become compliant with the UC Vaccine Policy before doing so. (Sept. 22, 2021)
- How do I seek a medical accommodation for this testing requirement?
- Employees seeking a medical accommodation to assist with testing should first contact their supervisor, who can begin a conversation with Disability Management Services so that the parties can engage in the interactive process.
- UPDATED: How will employee compliance with this testing requirement be monitored and managed?
- Compliance is monitored through the Health-e-Messaging system and the Daily Symptom Survey.
For fully vaccinated employees
The Daily Symptom Survey will turn yellow to show you are “Not Approved / Overdue for COVID-19 Testing” if you are overdue for your 14-day testing requirement. You will still be able to access the campus testing kiosk to get tested. If you visit campus less frequently than once per week, then you will need to get tested in order to access campus facilities. Once you have been tested, you will need to take the Daily Symptom Survey again in order to be updated to an “Approved” status to access other campus facilities.
For unvaccinated employees
Employees and supervisors will be emailed if an unvaccinated employee is out of compliance with their required testing frequency (every 96 hours). Employees who are notified or denied facility entry are directed to immediately contact their supervisors.
> If the employee is on work status, utilize your regular means of communication to issue a directive to your employee to test immediately pursuant to the notification they received (verbally or in writing).
> If your employee is not on work status, the email notification is a reminder to the employee that they must test when they return to work status. In this case there is no action you need to take while the employee if off work status.
After 2nd Notification
If you directed your employee to test yesterday, and you receive another notice today, that means the Health-e-Messaging system does not have proof they tested.
1. Inform your employee you received a second notice they are out of testing compliance and ask the employee what happened (ask if they tested/uploaded proof, and if not, why not).
2. If the employee did test, but outside of the ARC, the ASB in Sacramento, or Healthy Davis Together locations, remind them they need to upload proof.
3. If the employee has a reasonable explanation for why they were unable to comply with your first directive (family emergency, flat tire, testing site closure, etc.), direct them to test immediately today while on work status.
4. If the employee did not follow your directive to test or is refusing to test, contact your department’s human resources contact or Human Resources Business Partner who will work with Employee & Labor Relations/Academic Affairs for assistance and support issuing appropriate discipline.
(Updated Sept. 30, 2021)
- UPDATED: Who is able to take the test? What about contractors, visiting scholars, emeriti faculty members, temporary affiliates, vendors, visitors or others who come to campus?
- All registered UC Davis students and all UC Davis employees are eligible for testing at the ARC kiosk by making an appointment through the Health-e-Messaging system. The requirement for employees specifically applies to employees who have UCPath identification numbers. This means emeritus faculty members are eligible because they have UCPath ID numbers — but not temporary affiliates, who usually do not.
All others — including temporary affiliates, visiting scholars, vendors, visitors, contractors and community members — are also welcome to get tested at the ARC testing kiosk by making an appointment through Healthy Davis Together.
Household members of UC Davis employees are now also eligible to get tested at Healthy Davis Together testing kiosks, whether or not they live or work in Davis themselves. Family members of UC Davis employees are also eligible for testing at the UC Davis Health testing location in the Administrative Services Building, 2450 48th St., in Sacramento. To set up appointments, register through the UC Davis Family Testing initiative (use code: UCDHFamilies). See “Can my family members get tested” for more details.
Here is another resource to find testing nearby. (Updated Sept. 9, 2021)
- UPDATED: Can my family members get tested with me?
Family members of UC Davis employees are eligible for asymptomatic testing.
In Davis: Register for appointments through Healthy Davis Together (use code: Davis when signing up)
> See Healthy Davis Together website for other current locations
In Sacramento: Register for appointments through the UC Davis Family Testing initiative (use code: UCDHFamilies when signing up).
> Sacramento: Weekdays
Administrative Services Building
(2450 48th Street, Sacramento)
Please note that UC Davis employees should continue to make appointments for testing through the Health-e-Messaging portal, in order to meet requirements for accessing campus facilities. Health-e-Messaging does include appointments for employees at all possible locations. (Updated Aug. 20)
- UPDATED: Are UC Davis Health employees eligible to get tested? Do they need to get tested to access university facilities?
- Employees and students at UC Davis Health are eligible to get tested at the Davis campus testing kiosks or on the Sacramento campus. UC Davis Health also requires unvaccinated employees and students to get tested at least every four days as part of this testing program. (Updated Sept. 9, 2021)
- What if I can’t log into the Health e-Messaging Portal?
- Only currently registered students and UC Davis employees who have UCPath identification numbers should be able to log into the Health e-Messaging Portal. If you are able to login, but cannot schedule an appointment, then please contact email@example.com so Student Health staff members can troubleshoot your account. Student Health staff members are working to fix any login issues, and they appreciate your help in prioritizing which accounts need to be updated.
- UPDATED: I don’t go to campus often. Can I get tested on the same day I visit campus? Do I need my test results before I can go to campus?
- Testing requirements for unvaccinated students and employees are no longer tied to how often you come to campus. You will need to get tested at least every four days, if you’re unvaccinated.
If you are fully vaccinated, then you will need to get tested at least every 14 days, if you access campus on a weekly basis. If you are fully vaccinated and access campus less frequently than once per week, then you will need to get tested before you access campus facilities, either on the same day you visit campus or up to 14 days beforehand.
Employees may get tested during work hours. Please note that testing availability will vary each week and same-day testing appointments are not guaranteed, so we encourage you to plan ahead as much as possible to meet your requirements. (Updated Sept. 15, 2021)
- UPDATED: As an employee, do I need to come in before the start of my shift to get tested?
- Employees can get tested during work hours, as you will be afforded paid release time for testing. To accommodate a range of work schedules, the testing kiosk has extended hours on Wednesdays, 6 a.m.–6 p.m. Testing any time during a shift, including near the end of a shift, are also acceptable options as long as you are testing frequently enough to be able to pass the Daily Symptom Survey. Please consult with your supervisor for scheduling. (Updated June 18, 2021)
- It’s been 2 days since I was tested, but no results yet. Are my results missing? How can I find out my results?
We continue to experience some delays in notifying participants of their test results. If you have not received your test result after 48 hours, please log back into the Health-e-Messaging Portal and check “Lab Results.” A small number of results may take up to 5 days before they are reported to the testing participant. This can be caused by a combination of timing between worker shifts, machine errors, retesting samples and other troubleshooting that takes extra time to resolve. Please note this delay does not indicate a positive or negative result. We are making strides to reduce the frequency of these delays and seeking ways to notify participants if their results are among those taking longer to process. We apologize for the delays and ask for your patience in the meantime, thank you. (New as of Dec. 11)
- Do students or employees need insurance to take this test?
- This test is free for all eligible students and employees. No insurance needed.
- UPDATED: I don’t have a parking pass. Can I park for free while I get tested?
- There is free 30-minute parking in Lot 25 by the ARC for any testing participants. As more people are expected to get tested at the ARC this fall, we encourage campus participants to consider biking or walking to the ARC for their testing appointment if possible, to avoid impacted parking lots. (Updated Sept. 9, 2021)
- UPDATED: What happens if an employee tests positive?
- If an employee tests positive, they will be called by Occupational Health (students with positive results will be called by Student Health and Counseling Services) and provided with information about next steps. This will include notifying the employee of their positive results, instructing them on public health-mandated isolation, and encouraging medical care with their medical provider. See our Contact Tracing webpage for more details.
With respect to paid leaves entitled to employees who test positive or are under a quarantine or isolation order, please refer to the COVID-19 Leaves webpage, which continues to be updated.
Occupational Health will also determine when an employee is able to return to work after testing positive for COVID-19. (Updated Sept. 9, 2021)
- I’m concerned about getting tested indoors. Isn’t ventilation important?
- In anticipation of winter weather, the testing kiosk has moved indoors to the four-court gym, also called Room 125, at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC). Because this move would mean inviting groups of people indoors, a multidisciplinary team evaluated multiple indoor locations on campus to find a space that was large enough and had adequate ventilation controls to mitigate potential viral risks related to airflow. This room in the ARC is one of the most voluminous on campus, has the ability to be fully ventilated with 100 percent outside air, and has MERV 13 filters, which are very efficient at removing coronavirus particulates from the air if temperatures outside drop too much for outside air ventilation. The team also performed smoke tests to check the circulation within the space, and made necessary upgrades to the HVAC system before confirming this indoor location for the testing kiosk. Learn more about building ventilation and filtration on campus, from Facilities Management.
- I’m concerned about getting exposed to the virus during the testing process. How is this process designed to keep me safe?
- Having an appointment helps keep the testing process moving quickly. The whole process usually takes 15 minutes or less.
Students with symptoms can get COVID-19 testing at Student Health after a telehealth appointment with a Student Health provider. Testing participants at the ARC kiosk must pass the Daily Symptom Survey, so they do not have symptoms and have not recently been a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19. Everyone must show that they’ve passed the Daily Symptom Survey before they can get tested.
While waiting, you are required to maintain physical distancing and wear a face covering. Inside the ARC testing kiosk area, we are requiring that participants maintain extra physical distancing of 10 feet while they are indoors. You must sanitize your hands before and after the sample process.
The testing kiosk workers also wear gloves and sanitize their hands often when handling any of the testing materials, including the pipette bulb and straw. All the equipment used to cut and fill the bulbs/straws are new or sanitized each day, and the water is from sealed water bottles used only for that purpose. Workers all wear gloves in the spit station area and sanitize their station and hands after every client.
- Can I use this test to meet travel requirements?
- UC Davis is currently discouraging non-essential travel, in accordance with CDC, state and Yolo County guidelines. Campus testing is a RT-qPCR test used to detect whether someone is currently infected with the coronavirus, even though they do not have symptoms. Samples are processed in a CLIA-certified lab on campus, and results are available via the Student Health e-Messaging portal. Travelers are responsible for determining whether this test meets their needs regarding flight or entry requirements. You may also consider using this tool to find more testing options nearby.
- What if I have a question about testing that is not already answered?
If you cannot find an answer to your question about testing on the Campus Ready website:
Student help with testing: If you do not find answers on this webpage or cannot find your test results, students can call (530) 752-6125 for more information.
Employee help with testing: If you have additional questions about testing or your test results, employees can email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
The saliva test used at UC Davis is a rapid test that detects whether someone is currently infected with the coronavirus. This is a laboratory developed test that uses a high throughput, real time, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) protocol run on machines repurposed from the agricultural genetics industry. The saliva samples are processed at the UC Davis Genome Center, which is a CLIA-certified extension of the UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services CLIA license. Read more about what's behind the UC Davis COVID-19 saliva testing process.
- How does this test work?
- This protocol tests for the presence of two viral genes, N1 and N2, in a saliva sample to identify if someone is acutely infected with COVID-19. The test uses a protocol adapted from CDC-designed assays specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in order to detect the virus in saliva samples. SARS-CoV-2 RNA is generally detectable in saliva specimens during the acute phase of infection. Detection of the viral genes leads to a positive result.
- How accurate is it? What about false positives or false negatives? How sensitive and specific is this test?
All tests have a trade-off between the likelihood of false negatives and the likelihood of false positives, which is measured by a test’s sensitivity and specificity.
Sensitivity can be considered in two ways. The limit of detection can be determined by analyzing contrived samples containing known amounts of deactivated virus added in. This test’s lower limit of detection was determined to be 15 copies per microliter (µL) of saliva. This represents a low level of virus that is comparable to other tests authorized by the FDA for emergency use. Such low levels have been shown to be rarely infectious in cell culture studies.
The second way to measure sensitivity is to compare it to clinical samples that have been declared positive or negative by an independent lab. On this basis, this test’s sensitivity is currently calculated at 84–88%, which is considered adequately sensitive. This means the test will positively identify 84–88% of those who are actually infected with COVID-19. It will, however, reliably detect people with high viral counts, who are the most likely to be infectious.
Another way of looking at this test’s sensitivity is that about 12–16% of people who are actually infected will receive a “false negative” result from this test because they have low levels of virus. This could be because they are in the short period during early stages of infection when the viral load is just beginning to increase or in the longer period of recovery after the infectious period.
The test uses the same PCR primers as previously validated for numerous FDA approved tests, and it is therefore considered highly specific for SARS-CoV-2. Consequently, a positive result is therefore diagnostic of COVID-19. False positives are highly unlikely.
- Is this test FDA approved?
- No, this test is not currently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. This is a laboratory-developed test. The FDA is not currently required to review laboratory-developed tests and until recently has declined to review new requests for emergency use authorizations (EUAs). There is signage to this effect at the testing kiosk. The guidance on EUAs has recently changed and therefore we will be submitting an EUA to the FDA.
- How was this test validated?
- To validate the test, the campus testing protocol was compared to a validated saliva-based test from Arizona State University. ASU provided 50 positive and 50 negative samples; the FDA recommends at least 30 of each. The UC Davis test achieved high concordance up to the limit of detection. The test’s limit of detection was determined by testing contrived samples containing known amounts of deactivated virus. The lab director for Student Health and Counseling Services approved the validation of this UC Davis rapid saliva test based on the validation data as recommended by FDA.
- What genes does the test target? What about the endogenous control?
- The test targets the N1 and N2 gene of SARS-CoV-2 using primers approved by the FDA. Human RNaseP is used as the endogenous control as approved by FDA.
- What is the cycle threshold for this testing process?
- The cycle threshold (Ct) values will vary by test and machine. The Ct value for our limit of detection as defined by the FDA is 32. However, the test can detect the virus at higher Ct values (lower viral loads). The cut-off for calling a positive is the FDA recommended value of <40. However, we rarely obtain Ct values greater than 35.
- UPDATED: Are samples genotyped and sequenced?
All samples that test positive for SARS-CoV-2 are now genotyped to monitor for currently known variants of concern using assays for at least seven diagnostic, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Most positive samples are also later sequenced to confirm results and reveal the presence of any novel changes to the viral genome. Data on COVID-19 variants are available on the Health Davis Together website. (Updated July 16, 2021)
- Are samples batch tested?
- Samples are tested in batches of up to 760 as individual samples. Samples are not pooled. The machine is sufficiently high throughput that pooling is not necessary or desirable. Pooling would increase the complexity of the workflow and slow the return of results by at least a day.
- UPDATED: I’m concerned about privacy. Who will have access to our results?
The Genome Center receives each saliva sample in a bar-coded tube with a handwritten date of birth. The lab reports a result for that barcode to the Student Health and Counseling Services secure database. The testing lab does not have access to the results except in an anonymous form. The handwritten date of birth serves as a backup confirmation of identity in case there are questions about a positive result.
From the database, employees from Student Health and from Occupational Health — all of whom are trained to maintain HIPAA compliance — connect the result to the individual tested.
If you test positive, you will receive a call from a campus medical provider with information about your results and next steps. You will also be contacted by the campus contact tracing team. The confidentiality of individuals with positive results will be protected, and their name and COVID-19 status will not be shared with close contacts.
Positive test results are also reported to the Yolo County Public Health Department, in accordance with CDC guidance, state and county requirements and as mandated by law. (Updated Sept. 9, 2021)
- UPDATED: What will happen to my saliva sample? Are the samples being used for research?
All saliva samples are stored in a cold room for at least a few days in case a sample needs to be rerun.
All positive samples are then stored frozen in a freezer, for use in quality control and protocol improvement. A few negative samples will be kept as controls.
All positive samples are also genotyped to monitor for known SARS-CoV-2 variants, and some are also sequenced to confirm results and reveal the presence of any novel changes to the viral genome. Data on COVID-19 variants are available on the Health Davis Together website.
Currently the saliva samples are not being used for research. If in the future the Genomics Lab team is interested in pursuing research using saliva samples from this testing process, then they will guided by the Institutional Review Board process, and a consent form for optional research will be made available for testing participants to decide if they want to consent to participating in the research or not. (Updated Sept. 9, 2021)
- UPDATED: Why does campus allow an employee or student to access facilities on the same day they get tested, before they have received a negative test result?
Our goal is to test asymptomatic members of our campus community frequently, in order to quickly identify individuals who may be contagious and to monitor the infection rates of our community. Participating in this routine testing program is valuable for our community, and we aim to make this process as easy and convenient as possible.
Routine testing is a public health program aimed to reduce risk, but it does not guarantee that anyone accessing campus facilities is negative for the coronavirus.
It is important to understand the limitations of a negative test result. Even with rapid, regular testing, someone can get infected and become contagious in between their tests. Through multiple layers of public health precautions and responses, we are doing our best to reduce the number of people who are unknowingly i infectious and to mitigate potential spread.
We encourage everyone to act as if those around them are potentially positive for the virus. (Updated Sept. 9, 2021)
Testing rollout: From student move-in, to Davis community
Students living on campus with Student Housing and Dining Services were first required to get tested for COVID-19 before moving into their residences in September 2020. Student residents continued to be tested throughout the school year on at least a weekly basis.
During the initial pilot phase, the saliva screening process was backed up with a more traditional, certified testing process using nasal swabs. As part of the pilot phase, UC Davis students residing at The Green and in Sorority and Fraternity residences were also eligible to begin testing, as were student firefighters and EMTs living on campus. First responder and frontline health employees on the UC Davis campus were also invited to participate in testing during the pilot phase. After the saliva test was validated, additional groups of students and employees were invited to begin participating in the testing program (see the scope of the COVID-19 testing and screening program for more details).
Weekly testing is now available for all UC Davis students and employees. The UC Davis COVID-19 Dashboard provides weekly updates on the number of tests and positive results. Additional saliva-based testing kiosks were also opened as part of the Healthy Davis Together initiative to serve the needs of Yolo county residents and workers.
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