Winter Quarter Guidance Update

Winter Quarter Guidance Update

This page was last updated on February 24, 2022.

On January 6, 2022, UC Davis issued updated winter-quarter guidance for employees and students to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant among our campus community. Please review the guidance summary and FAQs below.*

*Please note that these requirements for winter quarter do not apply to those people working for UC Davis Health, as they must comply with healthcare worker mandates. For UC Davis Health employees, please refer to the COVID-19 employee resources for updates.

STUDENTS: The Aggie Info and Help Line (530-752-4636) is available as a resource if students have questions about the updated guidance.

The first four weeks of winter quarter will be virtual, wherever possible. Some non-lecture classes will be held in person during this time. 

Based on what we’re seeing with positivity rates related to the Omicron variant, as well as staffing and operational concerns, we have decided that it is most prudent to continue remote instruction for 3 more weeks of winter quarter, through Jan. 28. Please see the FAQ below for guidance on which non-lecture classes may be held in-person. Employees whose work requires them to be in-person will continue to be on campus, while employees whose work may be completed remotely should do so during this time. You may also review the Q&A on Campus COVID-19 Operations for additional information.

  • Should students who are already in Davis leave?

  • No. It’s important that you stay in the Davis area if you’re already here. That includes students living on campus. We need to stabilize our community, and that means staying put so that we can reduce the risk of introducing new COVID cases. We have the right tools and resources here in Davis, and restaurants and other local activities are still available. We really need your cooperation so that we can return in-person. In addition, as announced in an email to students on Jan. 9, some non-lecture classes will meet in person throughout the next three weeks. See the question below for more information. 

  • Which non-lecture classes may be held in person during this time?

  • Please review the communication that was sent to students on Sunday, Jan. 9 for the complete update. Key highlights from the message include:

    • As in 2020-2021, the School of Medicine, School of Nursing and School of Veterinary Medicine may continue in-person instruction for all courses deemed essential for clinical and non-clinical training.
    • For all other colleges and schools, all lectures will be held remotely through Jan. 28. For all other types of courses and non-lecture course components, please see the bullet below.
    • Instructors of Record are encouraged to teach the following types of courses in person:
           > Laboratory, fieldwork, capstone, studio, performance and other similar courses. 
           > Undergraduate, graduate, or professional-level courses that have a focus on experiential learning, interactive learning,
               and/or hands-on learning.
           > Internships and field trips (with or without academic credit).
    • In-person instruction can begin as early as January 10, though some instructors may prefer to begin on January 18 or later to allow additional time to notify students of the change in course modality. Instructors should expect higher than normal absence rates throughout January, as many students may still be required to isolate during this time. Instructors should be proactive in planning for these absences and consider instructional accommodations that can be made for these students.

    Unless you have an approved accommodation or are otherwise directed by the instructor, if you have a class that is now being offered in person, and you are not in the Davis area, you should plan to return to campus so that you may attend. Instructors will be providing updates to students as soon as decisions have been made, however, please understand that they may need some time to consider various factors. 

  • Why are we able to have some non-lecture classes in person but not others?

  • We continue to have operational concerns that limit our ability to support lecture courses. However, we are allowing some smaller, non-lecture classes to meet in person (at the discretion of the instructor) whenever their departments believe they have the staffing to do so. In addition, we feel confident in our COVID-19 mitigation strategies to effectively manage the smaller class sizes. Those mitigations will continue with the verification of the Daily Symptom Survey and ensuring that all attendees are compliant with vaccine and testing requirements. Because of staffing, operational and resource impacts caused by the omicron surge, we do not have this same mechanism globally for all classes, especially for larger lecture classes.

  • Should students wait to come back to Davis until Jan. 28?

  • No. For students who traveled outside of Davis and have not yet returned, we want them to come back to Davis as soon as they are able to get tested locally to help stabilize our community. Testing outside of Davis and then traveling back to Davis brings an additional exposure risk. The residence halls and dining commons will remain open during this time. In addition, as announced in an email to students on Jan. 9, some non-lecture classes will meet in person throughout the next three weeks. See the question above for more information. 

  • Is campus closed or are we in lockdown/shelter in place during this time?

  • No. The state and county have not declared a mandatory shelter in place. Our campus is open, and, with a negative COVID-19 test, students and employees can access such facilities as Shields Library, the ARC and Rec Pool, the Memorial Union, Student Health and Counseling Services, dining commons and the bookstore. Most classes will be held remotely, and student services will be primarily offered remotely. Employees should work with their managers to determine the feasibility of remote work. Events are not required to be cancelled; however, we recommend that campus gatherings and events scheduled through Jan. 28 be held remotely or cancelled if this shift can be made with minimal disruption.  Research activities may continue during this time to avoid any impact to the research. 

  • What is the status of various campus facilities and services?

  • Please note that all open facilities will require entrants to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to entrance as indicated by the Daily Symptom Survey (DSS) result email.

    • Shields Library is generally open for reduced hours. Check the Library website for the latest info. The 24-Hour Study Room at Shields is closed through Jan. 9. Carlson Health Sciences Library is closed through Jan. 30.
    • All Campus Recreation programs and facilities, including the ARC, are open to support students. Courses are limited in size to protect our participants and social distancing. Reservations are only needed for the Rec Pool.
    • Residence Halls and Dining Commons will be in operation for students living on-campus with additional mitigation efforts inside of facilities. After Jan. 10, individuals without the required DSS result email will be denied entry to the Dining Commons.
    • Student Health and Counseling Services will be available to students for medical care and mental health support at the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC). The SHWC allows entrance to students for care without proof of a recent negative test. Counseling Services scheduled at other locations will be offered virtually.
    • The first floor of the Memorial Union and the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center will be open.
    • Unitrans will operate at a reduced schedule. Please check their website for current schedules.
    • The UC Davis Bookstore will be open with reduced guest capacity allowing up to 100 guests into the store at a time. Please note that the wait times may be longer than usual, depending on the time and day of visit.
    • Graduate Center: The Graduate Center and Graduate Studies offices will be closed until January 31. During this time Graduate Studies staff will be working remotely and email is the recommended form of communication. Contact information for Graduate Studies staff members is available on the Graduate Studies staff directory. Students may schedule an appointment with their Senior Academic Advisor through our appointment system. 
  • What resources do I have access to if I need accommodations for my situation?
  • The Student Disability Center is the campus unit designated to receive requests for accommodations, approve services and coordinate support for students who have medical reasons affecting their ability to be present on campus. Students should contact the Student Disability Center to discuss possible accommodations and options. Contact the center by e-mail,, or call 530-752-3184 during business hours Monday through Friday.
  • Will N95 or KN95 masks be made available to me if I have to come in for a laboratory or performance class?
  • Yes. We are providing one N95 or KN95 for each student and instructor who will attend classes or laboratories in person between now and Jan. 28. We have sufficient supply to support one mask per student and employee — and we are asking everyone who receives one to retain and reuse their mask for the duration of the present surge. Students will receive their mask from one of their in-person instructors.

    More information is available on Campus Ready’s Face Coverings and Masks page.
  • What happens if we have a surge of positive cases leading up to Jan. 28?
  • We plan to resume in-person classes and operations on Jan. 31. In consultation with the Yolo County Public Health Department, we will monitor our positivity rate, status of isolation and quarantine housing and other relevant indicators to determine if additional action or adjustments to our safety protocols are needed.  

Everyone is required to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to accessing campus the first time, with the exception of using the testing facilities.

  • When should I get tested?
  • Thanks to the overwhelming response of our community, many employees and students have already been tested since Dec. 27, received their negative test result and met this requirement. If you have not obtained a negative test result since Dec. 27 and are still showing a “Not Approved - Overdue for Negative COVID Test Result” (Blue) when you complete the Daily Symptom Survey, you will need to get tested as soon as you are able and prior to the first time you access any campus facility.

  • If I work remotely, do I need to have a negative test result prior to Jan. 28?
  • If you are not coming to campus or accessing Davis campus facilities, then you do not need to have a negative test result prior to Jan. 28. You will need to show proof of a negative test result in Health-e-Messaging in order for your Daily Symptom Survey result to turn to “Approved,” which will then allow you to access campus facilities. Your DSS result will not update the same day you take the test. Instead, plan to take your test several days before needing to access campus facilities in order to give the lab enough time to process your test results.

  • Where should I get tested?
  • It is critical that students and employees get tested locally, and we strongly recommend using the ARC, UC Davis Health Administrative Services Building on the Sacramento campus, or Healthy Davis Together testing locations. These locations are directly connected to Health-e-Messaging, so your Daily Symptom Survey result will automatically update once your test result is confirmed. If you are getting tested at the ARC or UC Davis Health ASB, you must make an appointment in Health-e-Messaging. Healthy Davis Together offers walk-in only testing for UC Davis employees and students at two locations in Davis, Research Park and Veterans Memorial Center, as well as locations in Woodland and West Sacramento.
  • Can I use the results from an at-home test?
  • No, only PCR test results (saliva, nasal swab or nasopharyngeal swab) for COVID-19 from other medical providers will be accepted.
  • Can I get tested elsewhere locally?
  • Employees and students can get PCR testing (saliva, nasal swab or nasopharyngeal swab) for COVID-19 from other medical providers to meet testing requirements. In order to meet the testing requirement, you will need to upload the negative test result from your third-party PCR testing in Health-e-Messaging.

    To upload a PCR test once you have your test result, 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. Employees and students are required to follow protocol to report all positive COVID-19 tests to campus, unless they received their positive result through university testing.

  • How will this requirement affect the Daily Symptom Survey (DSS) results email?

  • On December 27, the Daily Symptom Survey will be reset for all employees and students and everyone will have a “Not Approved - Overdue for Negative COVID Test Result” (Blue) result when they complete the Daily Symptom Survey. Your Blue ‘badge’ will allow you into the testing facility. In order to change the result to “Approved” (Green/Purple) result, we must receive proof of your negative test result either automatically if you test at the ARC or HDT or manually if you get tested at an alternate local site. 

    If you are not coming to campus prior to Jan. 28, your DSS results email will REMAIN “Not Approved,” and you will not be able to access campus facilities until we receive verification of a negative test result. DSS badge status will not change until the lab has reviewed your test sample. So plan for scheduling a test days ahead of when you will need to access campus to allow time for the test sample to be reviewed by the lab. Once you satisfy this initial negative test requirement, the DSS will resume operating as usual: with either a 4-day or 14-day testing requirement based on your vaccination status

  • I tested positive for COVID-19. What happens next?
  • If you tested positive from a campus COVID-19 test, you should receive an email including isolation instructions and information for seeking care and how to identify and inform close contacts. Please follow all isolation and testing guidelines provided to you by Student Health and Counseling Services, Campus Ready and/or public health. Please note that anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 must report it to the university within Health-e-Messaging, unless they received their positive result through university testing.

  • What’s the importance of checking your Health-e-Messaging email? Where will I be notified if I have a positive COVID-19 test result?
  • Employees and students who test positive for COVID-19 through UC Davis testing facilities will receive a message inside Health-e-Messaging with instructions on isolation and how to report your case. If you are in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you will NOT be personally notified by the UC Davis contact tracing team. The diagnosed employee or student will have been advised to notify close contacts. This follows public health guidance from Yolo County and the state of California.

    Read more about contact tracing scenarios and communications.

  • Is isolation and quarantine housing (I/Q housing) available for students?

  • Please note that we are NOT out of isolation beds. UC Davis has nearly 250 beds dedicated for use as isolation space at no cost to students. In an effort to preserve isolation and housing for students in dorms and high-risk spaces, Student Housing and Dining Services is offering isolation housing only to students who live in the residence halls and other congregate housing on campus.

    Students living at The Green at West Village or off campus are receiving instructions via email on how to isolate or quarantine at their residences. 

    More information is available on Campus Ready’s Quarantine and Isolation page.

  • If I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, am I required to test prior to accessing campus facilities?

  • No, as long as you had your test on campus or have properly reported your positive case through the university’s Report COVID process within Health E-Messaging, then you have a testing exemption for up to 90 days from your positive test.

If you are eligible for a booster, you are required to get it by Jan. 31.

Campus will be enforcing a systemwide mandate for a booster vaccine for all faculty/academics, staff, and students who do not have a vaccine exemption currently in place. No later than Jan. 31, every booster-eligible member of the campus community must upload proof that they have obtained a vaccination booster in Health-e-Messaging. With this mandate, we anticipate a significant demand for boosters in Davis and surrounding areas during the month of January, therefore we strongly encourage you to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

  • Are booster shots required for everyone on both campuses (Davis and Sacramento)?

  • Yes. UC Davis Health and University of California Office of the President are requiring everyone on UC Health campuses to receive a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine (or a second dose, if J&J vaccine was received) before the end of January. On the Davis campus, we will be enforcing a campus-wide mandate for a booster vaccine for all faculty/academics, staff and students who do not have a vaccine exemption currently in place. Both requirements are for people to receive a booster dose of vaccine by Jan. 31.

  • How do I report my booster vaccine in Health-e-Messaging?

  • Once you receive your booster shot, you can provide this information in Health-e-Messaging by clicking on the "Enter My COVID-19 Vaccination Information" button on the home screen. If you previously signed the "COVID-19 Vaccine Verification Authorization" form allowing Student Health and Counseling Services to access your vaccination information via the California Immunization Registry (CAIR2) database and receive your booster in California, you may not need to manually upload your booster information.

  • When am I eligible to get a booster and which one?

  • Please review the current CDC guidance for booster shots for individuals who received the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC also provides guidance for individuals who were vaccinated outside of the United States. CDC has updated its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines with a preference for people to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna). Read CDC’s media statement.

  • What if I am not yet eligible to receive a booster?

  • If the timing of your original vaccination leaves you ineligible for a booster by Jan. 31, within 14 days of becoming eligible, you must receive the booster and submit confirmation in Health-e-Messaging.

  • Are boosters now mandated as per UC Policy?

  • The UC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Policy has always included a provision that “Participation compliance will require repeat vaccinations or boosters on an annual or recurring basis consistent with FDA-approved labeling and CDC recommendations.” With the recent emergence of the Omicron variant and shift in CDC guidance, campus is now enforcing this booster mandate and issuing the deadline of Jan. 31 for booster-eligible employees and students.

  • If I work 100% remotely, am I required to get a booster?

  • If you have an approved No Physical Access Form agreement and continue to work fully remote, you are not required to get a booster. If at any point in the future you have need to access campus facilities, the No Physical Access Form agreement is no longer applicable and you will need to become UC Vaccine Policy compliant immediately.

  • Will campus testing requirements change for someone who hasn’t received their booster?

  • As of right now, no. Individuals who have completed their original vaccination series will be required to test every 14 days. However, we anticipate this criteria will change in the future to include boosters.

Fully vaccinated employees or students are required to get tested every 14 days.

Although we had planned to discontinue the testing mandate for vaccinated people in mid-January, we are now going to maintain our fall-quarter requirement: testing every two weeks for those people who are fully vaccinated and testing every four days for those people who are not vaccinated.