UC San Diego Installs COVID Test Kit Vending Machines on Campus

Students use their school IDs to access the free kits and self-administer the nasal swab before dropping it in a box next to the machine.

UC San Diego Installs COVID Test Kit Vending Machines on Campus

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The University of California at San Diego (UCSD) has installed vending machines around campus that dispense COVID-19 test kits.

The tests, which are free for students and staff, became available at 11 locations around campus as of Jan. 2, reports WHDH. A total of 20 machines are expected to be installed in high traffic areas such as lobbies, laundry rooms and dining halls.

Users self-administer the test and drop their nasal swabs into boxes next to the machines within 72 hours. Students and staff can then use an app to scan the test kit and view their results. The boxes are delivered to clinics and results are expected within a few days. Students can use their school IDs to access the machines.

Employees and students who report to campus are expected to undergo daily symptom and exposure screenings before they arrive. The approximate 10,000 students living on campus are required to be tested once a week with no more than nine days between tests.

UCSD has a dashboard that allows people to review COVID-19 infection rates on campus. It also has a separate website with information on the self-administered testing procedure, according to The College Post.

“While UC San Diego is one of the few colleges in the nation with low rates of infection and a large student body on campus, the university remains vigilant to reduce transmission of the virus in our community to the greatest extent possible,” UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla wrote in a statement. “[The vending machines] are an amazing innovation, simple, effective and impactful.”

The initiative is part of the school’s “Return to Learn” program, which seeks to return to secure in-person instruction as soon as possible. Another initiative in the program is the monitoring of wastewater outflow, which can contain traces of coronavirus.

Less than 10% of UCSD’s Winter 2021 undergraduate courses will be offered in-person and are only permitted to be conducted outdoors. If a class is granted permission to be indoor, it must have fewer than 50 students or 25% of classroom capacity.

For the majority of employees who are currently working remotely, they will continue to do so at least through May 31.

About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family.

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