COVID Information and Updates


As you may know there have been many changes and updates to the COVID-19 Vaccine Policy over the past years, which may be a bit confusing. To be honest, it has been a challenge for us to keep up with these policy changes as well, and so we thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we move forward together.

To comply with the current UC-wide Immunization Policy requirements, ALL students (New and Returning) are REQUIRED to obtain the NEW COVID-19 Vaccine. All previously received COVID-19 vaccines, Bivalent Boosters, and Internationally received vaccines will NOT qualify, and your status will be Non-compliant in your Student Health Portal. This is similar to the Seasonal Flu Shot which needs to be updated annually. Because of these recent changes and challenges, Registration Holds WILL NOT be put into place for COVID-19 Non-compliance this year.

Currently, we DO NOT have the NEW COVID-19 vaccine at our Student Health Center, but many of our Local Pharmacies have them in stock. Click here for resources on How to Get Your Vaccines, and we will be sure to provide an update once our NEW COVID-19 vaccine arrives.

For those students with a Medical or other reason not to receive the NEW COVID-19 vaccine, there is a Declination Process now in place. If you recently submitted your Declination but are still seen as Non-compliant, please know that we are working to adjust your status and that your future registration will not be affected.


Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

  • Early symptoms may be nonspecific, such as fever, body aches or chills, scratchy throat, and or/mild stomach upset (diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, loss of smell).
  • A few days later a dry cough may emerge, that can worsen to start including shortness of breath over several days.
  • Upper respiratory symptoms like nasal congestion or sneezing are less common.
  • Coronavirus can also be asymptomatic, so it is important to get a test if you think you have had an exposure.
  • CDC COVID-19 Symptoms
  • People who have symptoms should stay home, wear a mask, and get tested.
  • People who have more serious symptoms like a fever (>100.3F) for two or more days, persistent cough or shortness of breath should contact their healthcare provider for advice.
  • Students with UC SHIP should contact the Student Health Center at 949-824-5304 to schedule an appointment with a provider.
  • Students without the UC SHIP insurance plan should contact their own Primary Care Provider for clinical issues and support.
  • Your provider will work to get you tested and recommend the appropriate treatment guidelines if you are COVID positive.
  • For After-hours or Weekends, click the link below for information on Emergency Room, Urgent Care, Nurse Advice and Live Health Online (24hr Provider Telehealth visits).

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

Look for the emergency warning signs for COVID 19:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake.

If someone is showing any of these signs, call 911. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.


  1. Review the most up-to-date Isolation guidelines from CDC and CDPH:
  2. Notify your Primary Care Provider so that they are aware of your positive COVID-
    19 status and may recommend specific care or treatment that may be needed
    based on your medical history.
  3. Follow up with your Primary Care Provider for any symptoms or concerns that
    may develop.
  4. Notify people with whom you were in close contact.
  5. If you are an employee (including a student employee), review the guidelines about when to return to work.

If you think you may be considered a “Close Contact” with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and are wondering what to do?

  • If you DO NOT have SYMPTOMS, you do not need to quarantine.
    • Test now and if negative, test again 3-5 days from last exposure.
    • If you test positive, contact your Primary Care Provider for guidelines.
  • If you tested positive for COVID in the prior 30 days, you do not need to test unless symptoms develop.
  • If you DO have SYMPTOMS, you should contact your Primary Care Provider and get tested as soon as possible: If you have UC SHIP, then you can go through the Student Health Portal to self-schedule a test. For instructions regarding the self-scheduling of lab tests, visit here.
    • If you test negative, test again 3-5 days from last exposure.
    • If you test positive, follow your Primary Care Provider’s guidelines.
  • Per CDPH masking guidance, wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days, especially while in indoor settings and when near those at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Additional requirements for returning to work do exist for Healthcare workers.
  • Cost information:
    • For students on UC SHIP:
      • COVID testing by SHC’s Lab may have a co-insurance applied.
      • There is no limit to the # of COVID tests that you may undergo during an academic (i.e., “plan”) year. However, as with any health insurance plan, diagnostic tests ordered by a provider must be based upon medical necessity.
    • For students with health insurance other than UC SHIP:
      • There is no fee for submitting an online request for COVID testing.
      • There are fees for the actual lab testing performed by SHC’s Lab. These fees will be charged to your campus billing account (Zot Account) whether requested online by you or ordered by a SHC provider.
      • If you schedule an appointment with a SHC provider to discuss the test results, then the fees associated with that office visit will be charged to your campus billing account (Zot Account).
      • If you have an HMO plan (e.g., Kaiser, Sutter Health) or Medi-Cal/Cal Optima, then you will likely not receive reimbursement for any routine, non-urgent and/or preventive care services rendered by SHC.
      • SHC does not bill any health insurance plans other than UC SHIP.
    • For a listing of Lab fees associated with COVID testing, please visit Fees for Common Services.


There are currently no masking requirements on campus.Regardless of COVID-19 case rates, the CDC recommends masking:

  • If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a cough, runny nose, or sore throat
  • In crowded indoor settings, such as in airplanes, trains, and buses
  • In public areas around people who are older or have medical conditions that put them at increased risk for severe COVID-19
  • For 10 days after having a significant exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

Weekly COVID-19 testing is not required for non-vaccinated students living, learning and/or working on campus including students who previously received an approved exemption, exception or deferral.   

Students, faculty, and staff can pick up rapid antigen at-home test kits free of charge at the following campus locations:

August 16, 2023: UC Vaccination Policy Update

The Policy on Vaccination Programs – With Interim Revisions was updated with interim revisions effective August 16, 2023. A systemwide review of this policy will take place in Fall 2023 with an expected issuance/effective date in early 2024. 

Revisions for the Policy on Vaccination Programs – With Interim Revisions include the following:

•Policy will require covered individuals to either be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccination or to opt out of COVID-19 vaccination. In the event applicable law or public health orders impose stricter vaccination requirements, such as for healthcare workers, the policy will continue to require compliance with those stricter requirements.

As policy will no longer require covered individuals to either be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccination or receive a University-approved exception, model forms and other content regarding the exception process were removed.

•COVID-19 vaccination program implementation guidelines were removed. Relevant language regarding vaccination data moved to main policy. Policy noncompliance language added to main policy, including citations to relevant University policies.

Removed content regarding rescinded California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Health Care Worker Vaccine Requirement.

•Updated language consistent with current public health usage. Removed outdated deadlines and content.

This policy can be found here.   

Effective immediately:

  • The University will require students to either receive or affirmatively decline a COVID-19 vaccination each year.
  • Students will no longer be required to submit documentation of a COVID-19 primary series or submit and receive an approved medical or religious exception, or disability deferral to be present on campus.

COVID vaccines and vaccine booster shots are available at UCI Student Health Center. Call 949-824-5304 to schedule an appointment (Available for Students Only). For inquiries regarding availability of COVID vaccines and booster shots and other relevant information, please contact UCI's Student Health Center at 949-824-5301 or by email at