To protect the health of the campus community, isolation, contact tracing and quarantine protocols are in place for when individuals test positive for COVID-19. 

This page addresses the following topics:

What should I do if I test positive?

If you test positive through UCLA’s campus testing program, you’ll be contacted by campus health officials with instructions on isolation. Your “close contacts” — those who have been within 6 feet of you in an indoor setting for a total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period — will be notified by contact tracers, who will provide them with instructions on testing and possible quarantine.

If you test positive outside of UCLA — or if you are experiencing COVID-19–related symptoms and have been in contact with an infected person — you should upload the results of your positive test to the UCLA COVID-19 Action Center (formerly the Symptom Monitoring Survey) and contact: 

For students
Ashe COVID Hotline

For faculty and staff
UCLA COVID Call Center

Do you need to isolate?

If you test positive, or if you are symptomatic and awaiting test results, you’ll need to isolate, either at home or on campus, regardless of your vaccination status. When isolating, you shouldn’t have visitors and should only leave to receive medical care. 

UCLA will provide appropriate isolation accommodations for students living on campus. When isolating, you should bring with you enough personal belongings to last 10 days. Staff will monitor your health and arrange for meal delivery three times a day.

Students and employees living in non-UCLA housing should remain in a private room with a private bathroom, if possible, and arrange for meals and other essential needs.

You must wear a mask during your isolation period if you will be around others, including those you live with.

Everyone is expected to isolate for 10 days. However, you can end your isolation after Day 5 and return to work, class and campus activities early if you meet the following criteria and follow the instructions below:

Early release: Symptomatic cases 

(1) Your symptoms have improved and you are fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medications.

(2) You take a rapid antigen test on Day 5 or later and receive a negative result.

Early release: Asymptomatic cases

(1) You’ve remained asymptomatic.

(2) You take a rapid antigen test on Day 5 or later and receive a negative result.

Testing for early release

Employees and students who are not in on-campus isolation can submit proof of a negative self-administered rapid antigen test (a photo is acceptable) through the UCLA COVID-19 Action Center.

Students in the following groups will be given detailed instructions about early release from isolation based on their group’s requirements:

  • Students isolating in on-campus UCLA isolation housing
  • Club sports student-athletes
  • All medical students
  • Dental and nursing students who are considered health care workers

Masking following early release

It is strongly recommended that students released from isolation on or after Day 5 wear a highly protective mask around others through Day 10.

It is required by Cal/OSHA that employees released early who return to work wear a mask in the workplace through Day 10.

Full 10-day isolation

For those isolating for the full period, isolation can end after 10 days if:

  • Symptomatic cases: You have not had a fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
  • Asymptomatic cases: You have never developed symptoms of COVID-19.

Completion of isolation 

Students, faculty and staff should confirm completion of their isolation through the UCLA COVID-19 Action Center to be cleared for campus.

What if you have a ‘COVID rebound’?

In some cases, your symptoms may return or get worse after you have ended your isolation period. This is known as “COVID-19 rebound.” If this happens, you must isolate away from others and again contact the Ashe COVID Hotline or the UCLA COVID Call Center for guidance.

If you are instructed to isolate again, follow the instructions above on isolation.

Do you need to quarantine?

If you are close contact of an infected person but have no symptoms, you do not need to quarantine, regardless of your vaccination status. However, you will need to:

  • Mask: Wear a highly protective mask around other people until 10 days have passed since your exposure to the infected person.
  • Test: Take a PCR or rapid antigen test 3–5 days after your exposure and receive a negative result. (If you test positive, follow the reporting and isolation instructions above.)
  • Monitor: Check your symptoms for 10 days after exposure. If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately and test as soon as possible — do not wait 3–5 days.

Additional exemption: Those who are asymptomatic and have recovered from COVID-19 in the previous 90 days do not need to quarantine or test at 3–5 days.

Individuals who are close contacts of an infected person and who are not able to follow UCLA’s quarantine exemption requirements listed above must follow the full quarantine procedures outlined by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Further details

Note: This protocol does not apply to UCLA Health employees, who must follow protocols for health care settings, or to pre-K–12 schools and programs, which must follow the LACDPH’s protocol for K–12 schools (PDF) and exposure management plan (PDF).

For more information on isolation, quarantine and contact tracing procedures, see the following resources:

Recommended COVID-19 resources

For journalists

UCLA faculty members are available for interviews with news media on a wide range of topics related to COVID-19, including public health and epidemiology, virology and vaccines, mental health, education, law, politics and the economy.

UCLA COVID-19 experts UCLA COVID-19 news stories

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