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Testing Protocol


Testing Before Returning to Campus

Regardless of vaccination status, all students must get tested for COVID-19 before arriving back on campus. If you tested positive during the winter break, please report your positive test result, observe all isolation protocols and precautions, and only return to campus after you complete your isolation period and are symptom free.

Entry Testing

All students must get tested for COVID-19 twice whenever they return to campus. Students must self-administer a test once at the beginning of the week, and once at the end of the week (e.g., Monday and Thursday, or Tuesday and Friday).

Weekly Testing

All undergraduate and graduate students living on campus are required to continue testing weekly throughout the term. New students who are not yet vaccinated upon arrival must also submit weekly COVID-19 tests prior to the February 11, 2022 vaccination deadline.

Learn what to do if you test positive during the quarter and tips for taking care. Those with qualified exemptions from vaccination will be required to test weekly.

For questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 testing, please contact the COVID-19 Operations team at

Rapid Antigen Tests Availability

Students who suspect that they have been recently exposed to COVID-19 or who have COVID-like symptoms may now use a rapid antigen test to achieve faster results. Please continue to test weekly with Color as well. You may obtain rapid antigen tests and KN-95 masks at residence hall service desks or the Health Ambassador table outside of the Learning Commons.


Self-Administered Testing from Color

On-campus testing is done exclusively by a no-cost, self-administered nasal swab from
Color. Here’s how it works:

  1. Create an account with Color.
  2. Pick up a testing kit in your residence hall, Benson Memorial Center, or in other buildings around campus.
  3. Activate your testing kit and collect your sample.
  4. Drop off your test at a collection bin (found at the same locations where you pick up the testing kits).
  5. Receive your results within 24-36 hours through your Color account.

Test kits can be picked up in residence halls or the following buildings around campus:

  • Benson (info desk in east lobby)
  • Charney
  • Dowd (lobby)
  • Guadalupe (Office of Graduate Admissions and Student Services, 1st floor)
  • Lucas (lobby)
  • SCDI (lobby)
  • St Joseph's (lobby)
  • Vari (lobby)
  • SCDI: Heafey
Completed samples can be dropped off at these same locations.
Off-campus students are strongly encouraged to participate in weekly testing even if they are not attending classes face to face. 

Jesuit School of Theology (JST) Berkeley Campus

  • Covid-19 testing kits can be picked up at the Front Desk on Tuesdays between 8 AM and 5 PM and Wednesdays between 8 AM and 1:30 PM. 
  • Ask the staff member at the desk and they will give you a testing kit.
  • The collected sample must be dropped off at the Front Desk before 1:30 PM on Wednesdays.

If You Test Positive During the Quarter 

When the University becomes aware that an individual has received a positive COVID-19 test result, the SCU COVID Support Team works to ensure the individual is isolated and, as appropriate, that close contacts are quarantined.

In order to notify close contacts, individuals who test positive will receive a short survey from the COVID Support Team, COVID-19 Case Self-Report (Qualtrics), requesting information pertaining to which campus buildings the individual visited during the 48 hours prior to the test date.

If an individual receives a positive test result from an off-campus testing facility, they must complete the COVID-19 Case Self-Report (Qualtrics) survey in order to notify the SCU COVID Support Team.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 from an off-campus test or off-campus testing facility in the past 3 months —regardless of vaccination status—you must report your positive test result to be exempted from testing.

The CDC recommends that people not test again for 90 days after a positive test, as it is possible to continue to test positive despite being non-infectious after the isolation period. 

Please note that if you are not vaccinated, or if you are living on campus, you will be expected to start testing again weekly once you are 90 days past the date of the positive test.

For more information, please read the University’s isolation and quarantine guidelines.


Tips for Taking Care

You've got this. SCU can help. If you live on campus please respond to SCU's COVID-19 support emails or calls to receive isolation details and get help.

number one Isolate in your room for at least 5 days

Even if you have no COVID-19 symptoms. You can do this. Have roommates bring you food or get delivery in the dorms, make sure everyone masks up when you are out of your room, and open windows for better ventilation. Even if you are vaccinated, you can still spread COVID-19 to your suitemates and housemates. Isolation can end after day 5 if symptoms are not present or are resolving and a rapid antigen test (not a PCR laboratory based test) done on day 5 is negative. If the rapid antigen test taken on day 5 is positive, you must remain in isolation until day 7. On day 7, isolation can end if symptoms are not present and a rapid antigen test done on day 7 is negative. If the rapid antigen test taken on day 7 is positive, you must remain in isolation until after day 10.

number two Take care of yourself

Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines to help you feel better. Call Cowell at 408-554-4501 or your doctor if your symptoms worsen or if you need medical advice.

number three Take care of your friends 

Contact the people you’ve been hanging out with in the past couple of days (even if you all were wearing masks), tell them you tested positive and encourage them to get tested too (preferably 3-5 days after they last saw you). They should minimize interactions with others until they receive a negative test.

number four Take care of your mental health

Video chat with friends & family to stay connected! Get productive—apply for jobs, internships, grad programs, or just catch up on studying. If you feel overwhelmed, take a break to meditate or try an online yoga class. Treat yourself to a sweet treat or decadent meal and watch movies.

number five Take care of your academics

Reach out to your professors for extensions/help as needed. Let your professors know that you won’t be in class, and make sure you can access class recordings or live streams. They are here to help, they expect students to miss class for isolation.

Note: Faculty and students in your classes will receive an email that someone in the class has tested positive, but they will not know it is you.


Vaccine Mandate Waivers

Any student, faculty, or staff member who is not fully vaccinated and received an official University waiver from the vaccine mandate is required to participate in weekly testing.

To qualify as fully vaccinated, a minimum of two weeks must have passed since your final vaccine dose.