Testing Before Traveling

Test result reports for travel can now be accessed in eTang.

In eTang under Lab Results you can access "View Reports" to show the full COVID-19 lab result, including collection time, type of test (PCR), lab information (including CLIA).

COVID-19 Testing and Documentation For Travel Requirements

Whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, airlines and countries may still be requiring documentation of a negative COVID-19 test.  Below is some information to be aware of and what University Health Services can provide for these travel requirements

UHS COVID testing and travel documentation requests for students

 Please note:  UHS does not provide test documentation for travel purposes for faculty and staff, our Occupational Health team is not resourced to provide that service to employees.  Please seek this documentation from your health care provider or see below for other testing centers that offer testing for travel purposes.

For students, we can try and assist you with providing documentation for your travels.  However, we may not be the best or quickest solution for getting you what you need in a timely manner for your travels.  We have listed additional outside resources below that specialize in offering COVID testing for travel purposes.

  1. Airlines may require a letter of recovery AND documentation of test results.  It is your responsibility to know what is required for your travel.

  2. CDC recommends against travel in the 10 days following a positive COVID test/symptom onset. 

  3. Letters of recovery can be written for tests done at UHS or if appropriate test documentation is submitted. For home tests this means the test results: 

    1. Are reported in a timely manner (within 3 days) via the eTang +COVID questionnaire

    2. Are submitted via a photograph that includes the test result, result date AND an ID that includes two identifiers (full name and date of birth or student ID number).  

  4. Student Letters of Recovery can typically be accommodated by UHS within 3 business days.

    1. Wait times could be longer if there is especially high demand or a surge in cases that requires us to redirect staffing to outbreak response. Please plan ahead. 

  5. If you did your test at UHS, you can download a copy of the results from the eTang portal to satisfy requirements for test documentation. 

  6. If you test positive on a home test and anticipate travel or needing documentation of your result for other reasons, consider repeating with a lab-based or proctored antigen test as soon as possible after your home test. 

  7. If you lack documentation of your positive test and are required show proof of a negative test result for travel or other activities and are within 90 days of a COVID infection, seek out a lab-based or proctored ANTIGEN test as these are less sensitive and will have a much lower rate of positive results in the post-infectious period than a PCR test, which can pick up viral fragments for up to 3 months. 

  8. Proctored antigen tests typically cost *approximately* $60 and are not always covered by insurance. Several companies use video appointments to complete these visits so the test may be administered from anywhere in the world, provided you have the internet capability.

Getting Tested 

  • Testing done at our symptomatic site should not be used for travel documentation. 
    • Please note: there is a charge for clinical testing that ranges from $60-$150 depending on the test type.  Testing for travel is not covered by insurance.
  • Surveillance testing is an option.  
  • Tests can take up to 72 hours to be completed.

Other things to know:

  • We provide mid turbinate COVID testing. If your travel requires a naso pharyngeal COVID test, you will need to get tested elsewhere.

  • All of our tests are RT-PCR tests.

  • It is a student's responsibility to figure out what they need and by when.

  • We cannot change or alter the name listed in your health record (some countries are strict about it matching the passport name)

  • We cannot provide embedded stamps electronically. If this is something you need, you will need to get testing elsewhere for this letter. 

Outside COVID Testing for Travel Services

Off-campus options for testing are widely available. Please look for some local options that may be able to meet the travel requirements in the timeframe you need them.

https://carbonhealth.com/covid-testing

https://www.passporthealthusa.com/locations/ca/san-francisco/covid-19-testing/

https://norcalcovid19testing.com/locations/oakland-in-terminal

https://www.flysfo.com/covid-19-testing