Information for faculty and staff. Information for students will be shared soon. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

What is the expectation for testing in January 2022?

As noted in the Dec. 22 campus message, UC Berkeley expects everyone to get tested before returning to work, study, or to live on campus. This includes all students, staff, faculty and other academic appointees.

What if I worked on campus through curtailment?

If you didn’t have a break from working on campus, you are not expected to get tested. However, if you were traveling locally and/or were gathered in large groups of friends and family testing is a good idea.

What if I’m already back on campus?

If you are already back on campus, you’re asked to get tested as soon as possible. Testing is available through University Health Services and can be scheduled using the eTang portal.

Am I required to get tested on campus?

No, community testing and at-home tests are acceptable.

What if I’m not able to find testing availability in the community?

Testing is available through University Health Services and can be scheduled using the eTang portal. You are welcome and encouraged to get tested via UHS prior to when you will be back on campus for work.

Am I required to provide proof of a negative test result?

No, we trust that you will understand the importance of testing and will do your part to help mitigate the spread of the omicron variant by getting tested.

What tests are considered acceptable?

For the purpose of the spring 2022 return to campus testing, you may get tested off-campus and at-home antigen tests are acceptable. PCR tests are more accurate and are preferred over antigen tests when available.

When do I need to get tested?

You’re asked to get tested before returning to work, study, or to live on campus. Ideally, you’re able to get tested with enough time to receive a negative result before returning. If you traveled over the holidays, it is recommended that you wait at least three days after travel before testing. Why is this new testing requirement being put in place? The omicron variant has increased the transmissibility of COVID-19, making it necessary to increase testing especially following the winter break when many have traveled and/or gathered with friends and family.

Why am I expected to test before returning to work, attend class or live on campus?

The omicron variant is more contagious than other variants, and people who have obtained their boosters may be positive without symptoms. Testing after holiday travel and gatherings and before return to campus lowers the chance of ‘seeding’ infections in the workplace and classroom, and will help mitigate spread. Given that society is open right now, this is one of the limited number of things that the campus can do to decrease transmission among the campus population.

Do I need to have a negative test result before returning to campus to work, attend class or live?

It would be best if you did so, consistent with the message that the campus sent on Dec. 22. In acknowledgment of the present difficulty of obtaining tests, it is acceptable for you to test on campus at the RSF on the day that you return to campus (or on the earliest date that an appointment is available) if you cannot obtain a home test or community health care provider appointment to do so earlier.

Do I need to report my negative home test or negative test from a community health care provider to the campus?

No. Employees who test positive need to report their positive result to UHS by calling 510-332-7192, and may not return to work until cleared by occupational health.

Am I obligated to tell my supervisor or co-workers that I have tested positive?

No. You may tell your supervisor that you cannot work in person because you are ill, you are not obligated to disclose the nature of your illness to anyone other than UHS by calling 510-332-7192. Contact tracers will determine who needs to be informed of exposure.

I am overdue for my next surveillance test. Does completing my surveillance test satisfy the testing expectation?

Yes, but if possible schedule that test in time to have your test result before you return to campus.

I’d like to work from home until the predicted peak of the omicron wave is over. Can I do that?

You may consult with your supervisor regarding remote work arrangements at any time. It is important to understand the risk associated with omicron in context. People who are generally healthy and who have obtained their boosters as soon as they were eligible are not at significant risk of serious illness or hospitalization from omicron. Most people who obtained their boosters and become infected either have flu-like symptoms or are asymptomatic. Supervisors have been encouraged to be especially flexible in work arrangements for employees who live with children who cannot become vaccinated or live with people who are vaccinated but severely immunocompromised.

I have an event scheduled. Am I required to cancel it?

No. Keep close track of the City of Berkeley public health requirements for events, and comply with all of them. Consider not serving food or drinks, so that attendees can keep their face covering on for the entire event. If doing so is not consistent with the objectives for the event, move the event outdoors, or hold it remotely. Be mindful that many people are going to decline to attend an indoor in-person event right now, and expect people to decline invitations or fail to show up.