This page outlines what happens when someone tests positive for COVID-19. For students living in campus housing, please review the Cal Housing website.


When someone tests positive for COVID-19, they are required to isolate for at least 10 days per public health isolation order, regardless of vaccination status.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing is initiated to identify any close contacts. A close contact is defined by CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes within a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic cases 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the positive individual is isolated.

Everyone coming to the UC Berkeley campus is strongly encouraged to activate exposure notifications via CA Notify to assist with the contact tracing process.


If a close contact is unvaccinated or symptomatic, they are required to quarantine for 10 days and continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days, per public health quarantine order. Testing is recommended at 5 days post-exposure.

If a close contact is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, they are advised to monitor for symptoms, wear a face covering and get tested at 5 days post-exposure.


UC Berkeley has developed protocols for responding to potential COVID-19 cases. If you test positive outside off-campus or become aware of a positive case, please contact University Health Services:

  • Students: 510-642-2000 press option to reach COVID Customer Service Line.
  • Faculty/staff: 510-332-7192.

University Health Services has a process for notifying students and employees of potential exposures. You should not communicate about positive cases without express written authorization from UHS due to privacy concerns.

You can access data about potential building exposures on the workplace exposure dashboard.


An outbreak is defined by Cal/OSHA as three or more employee cases in an exposed work group in a 14 day period. An outbreak remains in effect until no new COVID-19 cases are detected in the exposed group for a 14-day period.

In the event of an outbreak, face-coverings are required for the exposed work group while indoors and voluntary use of N95s are offered. The exposed work group must maintain, at least six foot distancing another person or maintain separation using cleanable solid partitions of sufficient size to reduce COVID-19 transmission. In addition, during an outbreak, UC Berkeley works closely with Berkeley Public Health who may include additional requirements such as testing of all members of an exposed work group at a prescribed frequency.