Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing Program for Onsite Employees, Students, and Trainees

Dear UCSF Community:

To continue to ensure a safe working environment amid the coronavirus pandemic, this week UCSF will begin an asymptomatic testing program for employees, trainees, and students who work onsite.

This testing is voluntary, and individuals will be selected at random to participate. The screening will add to our ability to quickly detect whether the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading in our buildings so we can contain it. This new program will supplement the important and effective prevention strategies of mandatory universal surgical masking in our clinical facilities and face coverings on UCSF property, daily health screenings, physical distancing, and increased cleaning of our facilities.

We will begin by identifying a random sample of people who worked for more than 12 hours during the prior week at the Precision Cancer Medicine Building on the Mission Bay campus. We hope to make the program available to those who work at our Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay, and Mount Zion campuses in a phased rollout by the end of August. Participants will once again be selected for testing at random. This program may be extended to other UCSF sites in the near future.

Those chosen to participate will be asked to self-administer nasal swabs under the guidance of a trained staff member, and they will receive their test results as soon as possible, depending on laboratory testing volumes and capacity. Everyone’s data will be safeguarded, and no individually identifiable data will be shared publicly.

This new random sampling of our UCSF population augments the asymptomatic testing we have already been conducting for new and returning trainees and students, new campus housing tenants, and others. Also starting this week, UCSF will offer regular testing to child care staff working in UCSF’s child care centers. Later, UCSF plans to launch a testing program for all newly hired faculty and staff.

We will continue to provide testing for any employee, trainee, or student who reports symptoms consistent with COVID-19. And we will also continue evaluating and incorporating any new public health orders regarding testing.


Josh Adler, MD
Chief Clinical Officer
UCSF Health