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Return To Campus & COVID-19 Information for Students Division of Student Affairs

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Testing and Vaccinations for COVID-19: Questions & Answers

Last Updated: 4/14/2021

Latest Updates

Currently Vaccinating Phase 1b, Tier 1

Find out more about Vaccine eligibility for Sacramento County by visiting the Sac County Health Department website.

Latest President Nelsen’s Message on Vaccines

COVID-19 Testing

Q. What are the options are for getting tested for COVID-19 and what would the requirements be?
There are many places to access testing in the Sacramento community. You can find those resources on the Sacramento County website or on our Student Health and Counseling Community Testing Resources Website.

Q. If I am a student, staff or faculty who is coming to campus at least one day a week, and I was selected to get tested; do I have to get tested on-campus or can I get tested near me and send in my results?
The testing invitation from Sacramento State is not required but highly encouraged. If you are tested at another site, there is no need to send your test results to Sacramento State unless you receive a positive test. If that occurs, you are asked to report it to our Health Center using the Report COVID-19 Illness Exposure Form.

Q. How are students, faculty, and staff selected for an invitation to be tested for COVID-19?
Each week, Student Health and Counseling invites a random sample of 20% of individuals who are approved to be on-campus for work or school activities. Since the sample is random, you could be invited several times during the semester or not at all.

The invitation is not required but highly encouraged. The faster we can identify positive results within the campus community, the sooner we can provide care and stop the spread (especially when individuals are not aware they have COVID).

Q. If I receive a positive test result, what will happen next?
If your test result comes back positive, a health provider from our Student Health Center will be contacting you to talk through the result, what you need to do (e.g. receiving care, self-quarantining, determining exposure to others, etc.).

Q. What happens if my test result is negative?
If you are notified that your result is negative. No further action is needed.

Q. Does a negative test result mean I don’t have to worry about COVID-19?
Please keep in mind that the test is only valid for the specific point in time you were tested. Thus, you could have your test, leave the testing site and then be exposed to COVID-19. If you believe you’ve been exposed or are having symptoms, please complete a report to our Student Health Center using our Report COVID-19 Illness Exposure Form.

Regardless of being tested or not, you should continue to follow public health guidelines for wearing face coverings, physical distancing, hand washing (and sanitizer) and not gathering in groups.

Q. If I think I have been exposed to COVID-19 or if I am experiencing symptoms, what should I do?
Complete a Report COVID-19 Illness Exposure Form.

Q. Where can I learn more about how Sacramento State is addressing COVID-19?
More information is available on the COVID-19 Information and Resources web page.

Additional information can be found on the Student Health and Counseling Community Testing Resources Website.

Q. Will Sacramento State be asking students and employees to participate in testing for COVID-19?
Yes. Students, faculty, and staff who are approved to be on-campus will be asked to participate in COVID-19 testing protocols. Details on these protocols are below. The testing is at no cost and voluntary (unless otherwise indicated below).

Most individuals on-campus will participate in the University’s Surveillance Testing Protocol. The protocol invites 10% of the population from different groups to participate in the testing each week. Special notices will be sent to individuals inviting them to participate and providing specific instructions on how to sign up and make an appointment.

  1. Residence Hall Students – Students living in the Residence Halls will be required to be tested at the start of the Spring 2021 semester. University Housing Services will provide specific instructions to students regarding the testing date, time, and protocols.
  2. Students Participating in Face-to-Face Courses – Students in a class with an on-campus component will be included in the surveillance testing protocol. More information will be coming soon for this population.
  3. Student-Athletes – Students participating in Intercollegiate Athletics are already required to follow testing protocols as outlined by the NCAA. The Athletics Department and Athletic Training are providing specific information to student-athletes and coaches.
  4. Students Working On-Campus – Students who are working on-campus will be notified about participating in the University’s Surveillance Testing Protocol.
  5. Employees (faculty, staff, and administrators) – Employees who are working on-campus will be notified about participating in the University’s Surveillance Testing Protocol.
  6. ASI Child Care Center – Employees working in the Child Care Center are already participating in a surveillance testing protocol.

Testing will continue throughout the semester. If you have additional questions, please email

Q. Do I have to be tested if I need to make a quick visit to campus for a specific reason?
No, if you need to make a trip to campus to take care of something, you would not be part of our on-going surveillance protocol. We do ask that you complete the Daily Self-Screening or complete it using the Sac State App on your phone.

Reminder: all visitors must follow on-going safety protocols such as, social distancing and wearing a face cover.

Q. If I may have been exposed or am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, will I have access to testing?
If you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms related to this virus, please complete the Report COVID-19 Illness Exposure Form.

A health professional will contact you to determine the next steps (which may include testing).

Q. If I want to plan some type of event or activity on-campus, will I need to be tested first?
The Sacramento State campus continues to operate virtually unless work or activities are expressly approved by President Nelsen. To request consideration for an activity on-campus, please complete the form titled “Return to campus safety plan” on the Environmental Health and Safety website.

You will be notified if additional information is needed or if the request is approved or denied. If the plan is approved, you will be notified if testing is required.

Q. What kind of COVID-19 test is Sacramento State using?
Sacramento State will be doing nasal swab PCR testing which is considered the gold standard. We intend to have results within 48 hours, with the occasional 72-hour wait if the lab gets overrun with samples. The testing will not result in any out-of-pocket expense.

Q. What do I need to bring to get tested?
Please bring a government-issued photo id and your Sacramento State One Card to the testing appointment.

Q. Is the testing safe? Where can I find out more about that type of test?
You can learn more about the COVID-19 testing on the Sacramento County COVID-19 Information website.

Q. Where else can I find information about getting tested?
More information is provided at the Student Health and Counseling Community Testing Resources Website.

Q. Where can I find information on COVID-19 cases reported at Sacramento State?
Weekly case reports are provided on the COVID-19 Information and Resources web page.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Q. Who is eligible to be vaccinated at Sac State? Will it be only for all faculty, staff, and students or will the general public be included as well?
The County determines eligibility, and we are following the tiered system which is available on the County Health Department website. For the most up-to-date information on eligibility, check the Sac County Health Department website.

More information on the COVID-19 vaccination in Sacramento County is available at the COVID-19 testing on the Sacramento County COVID-19 Information website.

Q. When will I be able to book an appointment to receive a vaccine?
Per the guidance of Sacramento County Public Health, when your vaccination tiers open, you will receive an email invite from the Sacramento State Administration. The links to book your appointment will be in that email. The invitation is only for the individual receiving the email. Do not share the link with others.

You must have an appointment to be vaccinated. No walk-ins are accepted in our vaccination clinic.

Q. What if I have issues filling out the form? Who can I contact to help me complete the COVID-19 vaccine form?
For questions filling out the form or registering for a COVID-19 vaccination can be sent to

Q. How much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost me?
The vaccine is at no cost to you. You will be asked about insurance, just select "private" or "none" and then you will not have to answer any further insurance questions to complete your registration.

Q. Can I bring a guest to get vaccinated with me?
Vaccinations are by appointment only. There is no option for individuals without an appointment to walk in with someone who has an appointment. Individuals associated with Sac State (employees, students, and retirees) will be sent links to register. Other individuals who are eligible based on the county’s current tier, will be able to sign up for a vaccination site (including Sac State) using the county’s website.

Q. Will, there be a drive-thru option to receive the COVID-19 vaccination?
At this time there is no drive-thru option for vaccinations.

Q. What type of vaccine is being given?
Sac State is administering the Pfizer Vaccine.

Q. Who is administering the vaccine?
Sacramento State Health Center medical staff and trained Nursing students are administering the vaccine.

Q. I have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine; how will I be notified when to receive my second dose?
Individuals who received their first dose of the vaccine at Sacramento State will receive an invitation for their second dose. Those invitations will begin soon and will continue to be sent about a week before the second dose date.

Sometimes your second dose appointment will be a day or two before or after your second dose date on the card. This is fine. The number of days between does is a guideline, not an exact requirement. For Pfizer vaccine, the second dose should be administered about three weeks after the first.

Q. What if all appointments are filled up for the week that I would like to be vaccinated?
At this time, we have a limited number of appointments each day and they do fill up quickly. We will continue to provide new dates as they become available. The best advice is to monitor your emails for more information.

If you have questions or concerns about your COVID-19 vaccination appointment, please contact us by sending an email to

Q. Where can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccination and who is able to get vaccinated now?
You can learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine on the COVID-19 testing on the Sacramento County COVID-19 Information website.

Q. Will, Sacramento State become a COVID-19 vaccination site?
Yes, working with the Sacramento County Public Health Department, Sacramento State will become a COVID-19 vaccination site. More details to come.

Q. If I am an employee or student, will I be able to get vaccinated on-campus?
The general answer is yes. But remember that the State of California and our county health department are rolling out the vaccine by groups of individuals based on their level of risk. Additionally, at the current time vaccine availability is limited.

As the county moves through its phases and tiers, you can find the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 testing on COVID-19 testing on the Sacramento County COVID-19 Information website.

Q. When I am able to get the vaccine on-campus, how will I be notified?
The University will continue to send out email updates to the campus community. In addition, this Q&A and our COVID-19 web pages will continue to be updated as more information becomes available. Please continue to monitor your Sac State email and the University’s web page for future updates.

Q. Will, I have to pay for the vaccine when I am able to get it?
No, the COVID-19 vaccine is being offered for free.

Q. Where on campus is the vaccination site?
Plans are for a walk-in vaccination site in the University Union to vaccinate students, faculty, and staff. If needed, the University is prepared to host a drive-through clinic in Parking Structure 3.

Q. Is the vaccine safe?
You can learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine on the COVID-19 testing on the Sacramento County COVID-19 Information website.