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Last updated Jan. 14, 2022

UCSF Health requires you to show *one* of the following before visiting a patient indoors:

  • Option 1: proof that you're fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Option 2: proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered no more than 72 hours (three days) before your visit
  • Option 3: proof of a recent COVID-19 infection from which you've recovered

See below for more information about each of these options.

Option 1: How to show you're fully vaccinated

Definition of "fully vaccinated"

You're considered fully vaccinated if you had your second Pfizer or Moderna dose or your single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two weeks ago.

(While UCSF does not require visitors to have received a booster shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone get a booster once they're eligible. Learn whether you're eligible and how to make an appointment.)

If you haven't received all your shots or are waiting for your two weeks to elapse, you can be cleared to visit the hospital by choosing one of the other options described here.

Proof of vaccination

Here are the options allowed by the California Department of Public Health for demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status:

  • A physical copy of your vaccine card.
  • A photo of your vaccine card.
  • A digital copy of your vaccine record. Visit California's Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record portal and enter the required details to access a digital copy of your record.
  • Documentation from your health care provider.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, please see the UCSF COVID-19 vaccines page.

Option 2: How to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test

Visitors who are not fully vaccinated can enter a UCSF facility if they show proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered within the past 72 hours (three days).

Both antigen (often called rapid) and molecular (mainly PCR) tests are acceptable forms of COVID-19 testing. Any test done through a health care provider or licensed COVID testing center will meet this requirement.

Please note that UCSF cannot accept the results of the home self-tests sold by pharmacies and other stores unless the test involves observation and interpretation by a health professional through its accompanying app and the results are automatically digitized so they can be noted in our systems. Self-swab mail-in tests interpreted by laboratory professionals are accepted.

Because your test must be performed during the three days before your visit to the hospital, it's important to ask about the expected turnaround time at the testing center you use. Find a facility that can provide a result in time for your visit.

How to get a COVID-19 test

Most visitors to our hospitals need to arrange their own testing.

UCSF coordinates testing for essential caregivers and for visitors who are UCSF patients.

Essential caregivers include:

  • Parents or other guardians of a child patient
  • A support person for a labor-and-delivery patient
  • A support person for a patient with a physical, intellectual or developmental disability or with cognitive impairment

Find testing sites near you through an interactive map of San Francisco testing locations (from SF.gov) or California testing locations (from CA.gov).

Being tested for COVID-19 through a health care provider or licensed testing center is free. If you have health insurance, your insurance company pays for it. If you don't, the state of California covers the cost.

If you're a UCSF patient, learn how to get a test by visiting our COVID-19 testing page.

Option 3: How to show proof of a recent COVID-19 infection

If you've recently been infected with COVID-19 and recovered, you can visit UCSF patients indoors without proof of full vaccination or a negative test.

You must show proof that you tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days or proof that your symptoms (later confirmed as COVID-19) began within that period. Provide one of the following documents showing your COVID-19 infection history. Digital versions are acceptable:

  • A copy of your health record
  • A letter from your doctor

Visitor restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic

In addition to the screening rules outlined on this page, there are a variety of COVID-related policies affecting visitors. These policies can change at any time depending on the infection rates at our hospitals and in the community. Please check our latest visitor restrictions due to COVID-19 before coming to visit a patient, so you know what to expect.

Thank you for helping to protect our patients and our community.