Housing COVID-19 FAQs & Resources

Published on June 26, 2020


UCSF Housing Services understands that there is a lot of uncertainty and stress surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19). We aim to answer all your questions and support you during this time. We are working with UCSF campus and medical professionals to provide you with the most up-to-date information that we have.

Visit this page to review the Housing Protocol for Testing.

UCSF Announcement on Self-Reporting

All UCSF affiliates who test positive or have previously tested positive for COVID-19 at an outside facility (e.g., Kaiser, Sutter) must self-report these results to the appropriate UCSF department, as outlined below.

- Students must self-report positive test result to UCSF Student Health and Counseling Services by calling (415) 476-8736.
- Faculty, staff, trainees, and volunteers must self-report positive test result to UCSF Occupational Health Services(OHS) by calling the COVID-19 hotline at (415) 514-7328 or emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
- Anyone who provides services for UCSF on a contract basis (e.g., on-site vendors) are strongly encouraged, though not required, to disclose positive test results to OHS.
- Occupants of UCSF Housing with no official UCSF affiliation (“other occupants”) are strongly encouraged, though not required, to disclose positive test results to OHS.
- Self-reporting positive test results to supervisors or advisors is not required.

This policy applies to all students and personnel at UCSF and UCSF Health, regardless of whether you are working on-site or remotely, paid or unpaid. It will remain in effect until further notice.

UCSF is committed to protecting your personal health information. All COVID-19 test results will be kept strictly confidential and used only for limited, health-related purposes, including contact tracing and other activities to address employee, student, and patient safety as directed by UCSF OHS and Infection Prevention Services. Test results will be kept only in the appropriate health records, separate from personnel files or student records.

Click here to learn more about the self-reporting policy.
Questions about this policy can be addressed to UCSF OHS at (415) 514-7328 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

UCSF Travel Advisories

UCSF strongly encourages all employees and students to quarantine at least 10 days if they are returning from travel outside the 9-county Bay Area or 4-county Fresno area. For employees or students who are required to work on-site soon after their return from travel, UCSF strongly recommends they get tested for COVID-19. UCSF is offering COVID-19 testing to asymptomatic employees and students who are resuming on-site activities after travel. Information about how to get tested is available here. If resuming on-site work/learning after your travel, UCSF requires three COVID-19 tests.

Please complete this form to be placed in a temporary, private quarantine space upon your arrival.

For more information on quarantining in your unit, visit this helpful resource page we have created for our tenants.

Frequently Asked Questions for Housing

The UCSF Housing Community

Q: Is campus housing closed?
A: Our offices are physically closed but we are here to assist you! You can still contact us via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by calling 415-514-4550. Our housing buildings remain open for our tenants.

Q: I am looking to help out in my community. Do you have any resources?
A: Yes! Please email HousingEvents[at]ucsf.edu to sign up to be a community food ambassador. You will be contacted in case we have quarantined tenants who need deliveries to be picked up from lobbies and delivered outside their apartment door.

Health & Safety

Q: I have noticed others are not social distancing or wearing masks while in common areas. Help!
A: Housing Services requires all tenants to wear face coverings and keep their distance while in our building common areas.

Q: My roommate is planning on having a visitor come to our apartment. Is this ok?
A: Housing Services requests that you refrain from having visitors in UCSF buildings, in compliance with the UCSF Coronavirus Visitors Guide.  This is especially important in shared apartments and houses. Please do not invite non-essential visitors onto the property.  The California Department of Public Health directive states that institutions of higher education should restrict building access by non-residents, including outside guests, non-residential staff, and others.

Q: Are you cleaning the common areas in our housing buildings?
A: UCSF Facilities Services has increased cleaning of all Housing common areas, and is taking extra precautions when entering tenant units. We have significantly reduced the need to enter tenants’ properties, and are only addressing the most essential services (like flood, fire, gas leak, etc.) We are following CDC standards for cleaning products and protocols.

Q: Should I be worried about the ventilation in my unit?
A: Each campus apartment has an individual air ventilation system. The systems do not connect units with each other through a central air system.

Q: What are you doing to clean the apartments before someone moves in?
A: Our facilities team is wearing PPE while cleaning and disinfecting units, 3 days after they have been vacated. If the former Tenant had self-reported being COVID-19 positive, the cleaning is overseen by UCSF Environmental Health & Safety, using CDC guidelines for disinfection.

Q: I am moving into an apartment with roommates soon. What do I need to know?
A: We encourage you to communicate with them before and after your move. Have a house meeting, make rules for allowing (or not allowing) visitors, cleaning and use of shared spaces. If you live together you are considered one “household” and do not need to socially distance or wear masks. However, it is advised to use only one bathroom in the unit in order to lessen possibility of cross-contamination. The SF Department of Public Health recommends frequent cleaning of shared spaces such as kitchens.

If you or one of your roommates has tested positive for COVID-19, please .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) right away.

Rent & Moving In/Out

Q: My program changed our timelines. Can I get an extension for my current apartment in UCSF Housing?
A: We understand that things are changing rapidly. Please contact HousingAssignments(at)ucsf.edu for extension questions.

Q: I cannot afford to pay my rent on the first of this month. Can I delay payment?
A: Please email HousingFinance[at]ucsf.edu and they can address any questions you may have.

Need to Quarantine?

Vacant campus housing units are prioritized first for current housing tenants who are asymptomatic and who need to separate from their COVID-19 positive apartment / roommates.
Tenants who are COVID-19 positive are to remain quarantined in their own apartments.

We will not alert nearby tenants of a positive case as that is a HIPAA violation. However, unit-mates will be informed as they will be provided a temporary, alternate accommodation.

If the tenant, who is living in a quarantine apartment in The Tidelands becomes symptomatic, they should seek medical attention and if they test positive, they should move back in with their apartment/roommates and recover together.

Vacant campus housing units are prioritized on a secondary basis for students/trainees who are not UCSF campus housing tenants under the following conditions:
• An asymptomatic student/trainee has to separate from their off-campus roommate/housemate because the roommate/housemate is COVID-19 positive. (In this case, the COVID-19 positive patient will self-isolate in their apartment and the roommate/housemate will move to UCSF campus housing.)
• An asymptomatic student/trainee is returning from oversees and needs to self-isolate and has no place to go.
• Housing offers quarantine units to non-tenants for a nightly rate of $64.
Note: Vacant campus housing units are not suitable for COVID-19 patients, except if they are existing tenants and are staying in their assigned apartments.

Or, see the City’s hotel program for healthcare workers below.

No basics supplies are available for these units. See a list of what is included in these quarantine units here.

Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to request a quarantine unit, or fill out this form.

We know the logistics can be complicated for tenants who need to be quarantined. We’ve created this resource page with all kinds of information to help you navigate this isolating time.

Additional Housing Emergency Resources & Food Insecurity

Q: I need urgent housing, but I am not eligible to move into UCSF Housing right now. Where can I stay?
A: Please visit our Short-Term lodging resources page. Housing Services is unable to assist you in covering the cost of your accommodations. If you are a healthcare worker, you may be eligible for the California hotel rooms program.

If you are looking for below-market rate housing in San Francisco, you may be able to apply for the city’s housing lottery. See more info here.

Resources for Food Insecurity & Housing Emergencies

• The Non-Congregate Sheltering (NCS) for California Healthcare Workers Program was created to keep California’s healthcare workers safe and healthy and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It provides hotel rooms to healthcare workers who give critical care to COVID-19 patients so they don’t bring home the virus to their household. If you are a UCSF Health healthcare worker and have presumed exposure to COVID-19 or have tested positive but do not require hospitalization, fill out this form for a hotel quarantine. 

• San Francisco City program - Apply for help with costs during COVID-19

Student Life Services, Basic Needs and Food Security
Students who do not have assistance with groceries during quarantine should email Alece Alderson at alece.alderson[at]ucsf.edu.

Basic Needs & Food Security for Students

Financial Aid can assist with Student Emergency Loans

Housing Assistance Program through Student Financial Aid

Faculty & Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) for mental health support

• For Post-Docs, Clinical Fellows and others not categorized as a “student”, please reach out to your Department for assistance.

San Francisco City Food Programs

San Francisco-Marin Food Bank Emergency Food Program
• Provides a three-day supply of food for people in crisis
Visit sfmfoodbank.org/find-food or call 2-1-1 for locations
• Service available to all San Francisco residents (with ID) one time in a 12-month period

Food Pantries and Free Meals
• Get a current list of free food pantries and free meals offered around San Francisco at freeprintshop.org.
• Father’s House (Pomeroy Center, 269 Herbst Road, San Francisco) - Thursdays 5-6 p.m. Bring Photo ID with proof of SF residency (address on ID or piece of mail with current residential address).

CalFresh Program
• Government-funded food assistance program that issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy most foods at many markets and food stores
• Some students are eligible to receive up to $194 per month in benefits
See the CalFresh Student Guide for application instructions and eligibility details
The online application takes only about 10 minutes to complete.

City of San Francisco Food Resource
•    Help for people having trouble getting or affording food during the coronavirus pandemic.


If you have questions regarding eligibility or assistance with Federal Work Study verification documents, please contact Student Financial Aid.


If you have any other questions, please email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Please visit the UCSF COVID-19 website for more university-wide information.

Review the California DPH Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education.

If you are a UCSF international postdoc, follow this step-by-step guide for accessing the Postdoctoral Scholar COVID-19-related services.