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COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing

This page is for Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing (you do NOT have C19 symptoms). If you are looking for information on Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing, visit this page.

UC Merced has moved to rapid on-campus screening and testing in partnership with UC Davis

For UC Merced students and employees that are active on-site on a weekly basis, we are making changes to the asymptomatic screening program for the Spring 2021 semester.

  • COVID-19 testing requirements:
    • Weekly - Undergraduate Students
    • Every 2 weeks - Graduate Students, Faculty, and Staff
  • Testing participants will provide a saliva sample at a COVID-19 testing kiosk on campus.
  • The COVID-19 testing is cost-free to UC Merced students and employees, and it provides rapid results in 24-48 hours.

Spring 2021 Location and Hours

California Room in the Terraces Center

Current Hours *
Monday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Hours Starting 5/10 *
Monday 8:30 am - 2:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

* Holidays Excluded

How Saliva Testing Works

To find out whether they have COVID-19, testing participants provide a saliva sample at the COVID-19 testing site on campus. Check out these Technical FAQs for more information.



  • Please stay well hydrated and drink plenty of fluids 1 hour before your appointment.
  • Before arriving at the testing facility, you must complete the Daily Health Check-In and be prepared to show your green screen result for entry.
  • In the 30 minutes before your test, do not eat, drink, chew gum, smoke or brush your teeth.
  • Everyone waiting in line at the kiosk will need to do their part to follow campus safety rules, including wearing a face covering and following physical distancing guidelines.



Watch this instructional YouTube video!

You will be asked to sanitize your hands and provide your appointment QR code at a registration table. You will receive a straw, a pipette bulb with purified water, and a vial with a barcode. Then you’ll follow this seven-step process, as seen in the video.

  1. Once asked, remove the cap from the vial and place it in the provided tray. Don’t lose the cap.
  2. Tip the water from the pipette bulb into your mouth and gently swirl it around (do not gargle).
  3. Place the straw in the vial, but be careful not to push the straw so far that it creates a seal.
  4. Place your lips on the straw and push saliva through the straw into the vial.
  5. After filling the vial a little more than halfway, remove the straw and place it in the tray.
  6. Securely place the cap back on the vial and place the vial into the container.
  7. The attendant will take your sample. Sanitize your hands and exit.

COVID-19 Saliva Testing Instructions

Students (Undergraduate and Graduate) 


UC Merced Students must log in to MyHealth Portal to make an appointment for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing and view their results.


Staff and Faculty (non-Students)


Option 1 (Most Recommended by UC Merced):


Rapid Results Saliva Testing at UC Merced Campus

If you are a Student, do NOT use the process below. In the case of C19 Testing, you are considered a Student first. Please see the Student section above, and follow those procedures.

UC Merced Staff and Faculty need to sign the following forms to be eligible for testing:

  1. SHS Notice of Privacy Practices
  2. Notice and Informed Consent for Employees for Voluntary COVID-19 Testing at SHS
    (sign this during the appointment-making process in MyHealth Portal)

Once these forms are completed, UC Merced Staff and Faculty can log in to MyHealth Portal to make an appointment for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing and subsequently view their results.

If you are not regularly active on campus, you are not eligible for campus testing at this time, and you should not schedule testing appointments.




Option 2 (Supported by UC Merced):


Go to Castle Family Health Center (3605 Hospital Rd, Atwater, CA 95301)

Castle is open Monday - Friday, 8:00AM - 6:30PM with drive-thru testing (no appointment needed)


  • Bring your insurance card and Driver License or ID card
  • If your insurance is not currently accepted at Castle Health Clinic, UC Merced will pay Castle Family Health Center for your COVID-19 testing
  • Tell the Castle staff person who registers you that you are a UC Merced Employee
  • Sign a release of information form so that the results of your test can be shared with the COVID-19 Employee Testing Coordinator at UC Merced



Option 3:


Get tested at a certified testing provider of your choosing, as long as results are within 4 days of the exam, and send your results to Castle Family Health Center.


  • Fax your COVID-19 Test Results to Castle Family Health Center - Medical Records Department - (209) 381-2044
  • Identify on the Fax that you are a UC Merced employee
  • Write your UC Merced email address on the document that you are faxing