COVID-19 Mandatory Testing & Self-quarantine FAQs

Who is required to be tested for COVID-19 for the spring 2021 semester?

In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 to the campus community, SF State is requiring mandatory testing to all housing residents for the spring 2021 semester.

Tests are administered to residents who are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Any new or returning resident who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should not come to campus and should contact the Student Housing Office for further instructions.  

Do I have to pay anything for the test?

No. The test is free for all University Housing residents.

Where do I get tested and do I need to make an appointment?

New residents – New residents will be tested at their move-in day/time (January 22nd or 23rd) during the check-in process. A 2nd test will be required 1 week later (January 29th or 30th) and will be administered at the Quad. Pre-registration is required for both tests and a specific time will need to be selected for the 2nd test date.

Returning residents – Residents returning from the Winter Break will need to be tested on January 21st and will need to take a 2nd test on January 29th or 30th. The 1st test will be administered in Lot 20 and the 2nd at the Quad. Pre-registration with time specific time selection will be required.

How is the test administered?

The test is administered by a medical professional by anterior nares or nasopharyngeal (NP).

Can I get tested somewhere else?

No. You must make every effort to attend one of the SF State testing dates. For further information contact the Student Housing Office

What if I cannot make the testing date or I’m not coming back until later in January/early February?

If you cannot make any of the testing dates provided by SF State Housing, you will be required to take an initial and follow-up COVID-19 test on your own. The results of both tests will need to be emailed to the Student Housing Office ( and must have a negative test result 72 hours before you may move into or return to campus housing.

Do I have to wait for my test results before keys are issued to me and I can move in?

No. You will receive your keys a check-in and will await your test results while you self-quarantine in your room/apartment. 

Can I opt out of testing?

Residents will be allowed to opt out of testing for the following reasons:

  • The resident has a documented medical condition that would preclude them from having the test done.
  • The resident has a sincerely held religious belief.

If you fall within one of the two above categories, please contact the Housing Office for further information. 

What if I have not left the campus or expanded my social bubble, do I still need to get tested and self-quarantine?

Yes, all spring 2021 housing residents will be required to get tested and self-quarantine.

Can my friends of family get tested as well?

No. Only spring 2021 housing residents will be permitted to take the test.

When will I get my results?

Results of the test are projected to be returned to the campus/student within 24-36 hours of the test date. University staff will contact all students with a positive test result with support and guidance on how to proceed.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19, contact the housing office ( or (415) 338-1067) immediately for instructions. Residents who test positive for COVID-19 will be relocated to isolation units as identified by the University and will not be allowed to leave that unit until medically cleared.

What happens if I test negative for COVID-19?

If you test negative for COVID-19, you will still be required to self-quarantine for 7 days from move-in or for 14 days from your last known exposure to COVID-19 to ensure that no symptoms develop.

Do I have to be in quarantine again after the 2nd test?

Unless you receive a positive test result, you will not need to quarantine again after the 2nd test.

What does self-quarantine mean and how long do I need to quarantine?

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19 to see if they become sick. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms.

As a spring 2021 housing resident, you will be required self-quarantine for 7 days immediately after your first COVID-19 test is administered or for 14 days if you become exposed to a person with COVID-19 during the spring 2021 semester. During the self-quarantine period, you will be required to:

  • Separate yourself from others and restrict your environment.
  • Stay in your room/apartment during the required period to sure that you do not develop any COVID-19 symptoms. University officials will notify you when you are able to leave your room/apartment.

During self-quarantine, will I be able to leave my room/apartment?

You will be permitted to leave your room/apartment to pick up meals at the designated location for your meal plan or meal delivery service to your building, or if you have an approved Emotional Support Animal (ESA) that needs to be taken on walks. Leaving your room/apartment for reasons other than these are restricted.

For residents with jobs - Communication regarding the COVID-19 testing requirement occurred 30-days in advance so that students could coordinate the self-quarantine requirement with their employers. Additionally, the city of San Francisco is under a regional stay at home order which mandates any individual traveling to San Francisco from outside of the area to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. For further assistance, contact the Student Housing Office.

Will I get my meal plan and/or can I have food delivered during the self-quarantine period?

Yes, residents will be permitted to pick up their meal plan at the designated location for your building. In addition, food delivery services such as GrubHub and DoorDash will be allowed to deliver food to the residential community.

How do I contact the front desk while I’m in quarantine?

Manzanita Square 
(415) 338-0510
6:00 PM-Midnight (1/13/21-1/19/21) | 24 Hours a Day (starting 1/20/21)

Towers at Centennial Square
(415) 405-9360
Hours: 24 Hours a Day

University Park North
(415) 566-1556
CLOSED (1/13/21-1/19/21) | 12:00 PM-12:00 AM Daily (starting 1/20/21)

Can I self-quarantine off campus?

No. Residents will need to remain on campus and in their room/apartment during the self-quarantine period.

What is isolation and how long do I need to isolate?

Isolation separates someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19 from others who are not sick.

Residents who test positive for COVID-19 will be relocated to isolation units as identified by the University for at least 14 days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of your first positive COVID-19 test.

Will I be able to leave my room/apartment during isolation?

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the campus and residential community, residents will not be allowed to leave the isolation unit during the isolation period. You must remain in isolation until you are medically cleared.

What will be provided in isolation housing during the isolation period?

While in isolation, you will be provided with an amenities package which includes sheets, towels, thermometer, sanitizer, and tissues, etc., trash pick-up service, and meal delivery. (see the next question for further information about meals). Residents should also pack a bag with everything they will need during the 14-day period, including clothes, items needed for classes, any medications, toiletries, and other personal care items.

How will I receive my meals while I’m in isolation?

During the isolation period, residents will be assigned a 19 meals/week meal plan (meal plan charges will be incurred by the resident) and all meals will be delivered to your room by Residential Dining Services.

Can I have food delivered from someone other than Residential Dining Services while I’m in isolation?

No. For health and safety reasons, outside meal delivery services will not be permitted to access the housing community designated for isolation.

Can I isolate off campus?

Yes. If you test positive for COVID-19, you may isolate off campus if you desire. In order to return to campus housing, you will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to the Student Housing Office.

I tested negative for COVID-19 during the isolation period, can I end my isolation early?

No. It can take up to 14 days after exposure to the virus for a person to develop COVID-19 symptoms. A negative result before end of the 14-day quarantine period does not rule out possible infection.

How do I contact the front desk while I’m in isolation?

Manzanita Square
(415) 338-0510
6:00 PM-Midnight (1/13/21-1/19/21) | 24 Hours a Day (starting 1/20/21)

Towers at Centennial Square
(415) 405-9360
Hours: 24 Hours a Day

University Park North
(415) 566-1556
CLOSED (1/13/21-1/19/21) | 12:00 PM-12:00 AM Daily (starting 1/20/21)