During the spring 2021 semester, UAB is offering four different testing structures to assess the spread of COVID-19. Faculty and staff who are in Workgroups A and F and who are designated by their unit administrators as on-campus or hybrid will have the opportunity to be tested every other week in an expanded and enhanced sentinel testing program called Active Sentinel Testing.

Symptomatic Testing

Anyone experiencing symptoms has access to physicians through Employee Health Services. Please use UAB Healthcheck to report symptoms to Employee Health and receive testing guidance.

Testing location:

UAB Highlands

Close-Contact Testing

Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 has access to testing. Please use UAB Healthcheck to report exposure to Employee Health and receive testing guidance.

Testing location:

UAB Highlands and UAB Kirklin Clinic on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays from 1-4 p.m.

Active Sentinel Testing
(expanded for Spring)

UAB employees designated as hybrid or on-campus have the opportunity to participate in GuideSafe™ Active Sentinel Testing every two weeks.

Testing locations

Blazer Hall Residence Life Center
Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday-Wednesday from 8:30a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1-4 p.m.
Thursdays 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Volker Hall
Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For-Cause Testing

UAB reserves the right to pursue “for-cause” or “cluster” testing of employees working in an environment where there may be an outbreak.

Automatic Testing Based on Symptoms and Exposure

UAB provides testing for faculty and staff who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19

  • If you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, you should first indicate them in your daily Healthcheck.
    Note: Indicating symptoms means you are required to quarantine for 10 days; you may leave quarantine only to test. If your results are positive, you may not test out of quarantine.
  • After noting your symptoms in Healthcheck, be sure to complete the UAB Medicine form at the end. This form will initiate the testing process through Employee Health.
  • You will receive a call from Employee Health to schedule your test at the drive-through site at UAB Highlands Hospital, located at 1201 11th Ave. S.
  • You will then proceed to the testing site at UAB Highlands and follow all instructions to complete your test. Employee Health will call you with your results within 48 hours.

Asymptomatic but in close contact with someone who tested positive

  • If you are NOT exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 but have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive (within six feet of the individual for more than 15 minutes), you should indicate that exposure in Healthcheck.
  • After noting your exposure, be sure to complete the UAB Medicine form at the end. This form will initiate the testing process through Employee Health.
  • The day after you report a close contact, you'll receive an email from Employee Health inviting you to test.
  • Close contact testing is held at UAB Highlands Hospital and UAB Kirklin Clinic on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays from 1-4 p.m. You must have an appointment to be tested.

Do you have COVID-19 Symptoms?

 
 
 

YES

Complete Healthcheck and the UAB Medicine form at then end of Healthcheck

 

Testing at UAB Highlands drive-through site

NO

 
Have you been in close contact* with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19?

*An individual being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters), of a person with COVID-19 for 15 minutes over 24 hours.

 
 
 
YES

Complete Healthcheck and the UAB Medicine form at end of Healthcheck

 

Testing at UAB Medicine locations (one day after close contact reported)

NO
 

Eligible for voluntary bi-weekly Active Sentinel Testing

Employees who receive testing outside of UAB (i.e. primary care physician or pharmacy), should report a positive test result to Employee Health through Healthcheck. Mark “yes” to your quarantine/isolation status in the online Healthcheck questionnaire or via text. Then, send a copy of your positive test result to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “Positive COVID-19 Result”. For more information on what to do if you are exposed or receive a positive test result, click here.

Enhanced Sentinel Testing

UAB Medicine Employees

Because of their unique health and safety protocols, UAB Medicine employees will not participate in UAB's piloted Active Sentinel Testing at this time. UAB Medicine employees should continue to follow asymptomatic, symptomatic, and close-contact testing procedures as currently outlined by their leadership.

Active Sentinel Testing

During the spring 2021 semester, campus faculty and staff who are designated by their unit administrators as on-campus or hybrid will have the opportunity to be tested every other week in an expanded and enhanced sentinel testing program called Active Sentinel Testing. This approach will help us quickly identify and isolate asymptomatic positive cases. Before any testing can be completed, eligible employees must first register with Verily. Verily (Team Healthy) is UAB's trusted testing partner and important testing communications will come from them.

When it's their turn, these qualified employees will receive an email from Verily (Team Healthy) notifying them that they have an opportunity to test. These tests are voluntary but are encouraged. After receiving the email, employees will have seven days to schedule their test at one of the designated testing locations on campus.

Active sentinel testing is a dedicated resource that does not take testing away from others who may feel sick or are experiencing symptoms. By participating, you will not be taking away from someone else.

Testing is voluntary. But, we hope that you will help us in the fight against this virus so that we can continue to put measures in place to keep you safe. Click here to learn more about active sentinel testing.

Even after you receive your vaccine, we are advising faculty, students and staff to continue to participate in COVID testing, wear a mask and practice social distancing. The vaccine is not fool proof and you may still contract covid or spread the virus to others, so continued precautions will still be important.

Active Sentinel Testing: What is the process?

  • Eligible employees should register with Verily.
  • Employee active sentinel testing invites are sent on an ongoing basis. Be sure to check your UAB email regularly for an invite.
  • If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, do not schedule a sentinel test. Use UAB Healthcheck to report your symptoms and follow the next steps to see if you need to be tested.
  • Qualified individuals will receive an email from our trusted partner, Verily (Team Healthy: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), directing them to sign up for a testing appointment.
  • Sentinel testing is conducted in the following locations:
    • Blazer Hall Residence Life Center on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Wednesday from 8:30a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1-4 p.m., and Thursdays 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
    • Volker Hall on Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The test consists of an observed nasal self-swab that will be processed in an on-campus lab. A healthcare professional will observe each self-test to ensure accuracy and provide coaching if needed. This test is not the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab.
  • Those being tested will be contacted within 24-48 hours with results.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive a call from Employee Health to give you the next steps on how to protect yourself and others around you.

For-Cause Testing

UA System campuses will immediately respond to any suspected increase in COVID-19 exposures in a specific campus location or an identified group of individuals (a “cluster”). Clusters will be identified by increases in reported positive tests or COVID-related symptoms, as identified by campus healthcare professionals reviewing Healthcheck and other campus metrics.

Testing FAQs

Will the test hurt?

No. The test consists of an observed nasal self-swab that will be processed in an on-campus lab. A healthcare professional will observe each self-test to ensure accuracy and provide coaching if needed. This test is not the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab.

If I receive the COVID-19 vaccination, do I still need to participate in testing at UAB?

Yes. Even after you receive your vaccine, we are advising faculty, students and staff to continue to participate in COVID testing, wear a mask and practice social distancing. The vaccine is not fool proof and you may still contract covid or spread the virus to others, so continued precautions will still be important.

What should I do if I test positive, but do not show symptoms?

Self isolate for 10 days if you test positive, but are not showing symptoms to help protect others in the community.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19 because you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, follow these steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

  • Immediately self-isolate- do not go to class or engage in social activities.
  • Fill out Healthcheck as soon as possible to report your symptoms and call Student Health Services at (205) 934-3580, or after-hours (205) 934-3411 to page the clinician on call for Student Health Services, if you have an urgent concern.
  • Expect a call from Student Health Services and you will likely be encouraged to have a Telehealth Visit with a Student Health Services clinician, and we may recommend COVID-19 testing.
  • Anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19 or thinks they may have been exposed should call ahead before coming to a clinic or emergency facility.
  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Separate yourself from other people.
  • Wear a mask or face covering.
  • Monitor your symptoms.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday

When should I seek emergency medical attention?

Look for warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek medical care and immediately call 911:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

What treatment is available for Covid-19?

Currently, only hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are receiving the approved medication. Further instructions on over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms will be discussed when a physician from Employee Health calls to discuss positive test results.

UAB and UAB Medicine are participating in numerous studies to identify treatments for persons who have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19. These studies are looking for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to participate in these clinical drug trials. The goal of these studies is to prevent disease progression, hospitalization and severe complications. If you are interested in participating, please call (205) 934-6777.

What do I tell my family and friends if I test positive?

Those who receive a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 should let family and friends who you have come in contact with know. Identify someone who can care for you through monitoring and for provision of nourishment, while keeping their distance. Those with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis will need to isolate for 10 days to prevent spread of the virus. Care partners should monitor themselves for symptoms and seek testing if symptoms develop by calling (205) 975-1881.

Best practices in isolation include:

  • Use a separate bathroom and bedroom
  • Wear a mask
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wash hands often
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday

Click here to learn more about caring for loved ones with COVID-19 at home.

What should I do if I or one of my direct reports receives a positive diagnosis of COVID-19?

If someone on your team has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19 and exposed other members of the UAB community, please follow these steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. Employee Health or Student Health will contact you for further testing and cleaning protocols if indicated. If the person who tested positive came in contact with others, they will report this to Employee or Student Health, who will then contact those that may have been exposed to COVID-19 for further testing if indicated.

All employees and students should update their Healthcheck to reflect an exposure, new symptoms or a positive test, which would then trigger a response from either Student or Employee Health, while concurrently leaving campus to quarantine or isolate until further instructed by either Employee or Student Health.

Those with a positive test are encouraged to:

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Separate yourself from other people.
  • Wear a mask or face covering.
  • Monitor your symptoms.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday

What test is the laboratory using? When will I get my results?

The tests will be processed using the Sophia Point of Care Rapid Antigen Tests at Student Health Services. If you are symptomatic and test negative with the Antigen test, a confirmatory PCR will be processed by a UAB Lab using the Panther COVID-19 PCR Platform.

If you test negative for COVID-19, you will receive results via your Student Health Patient Portal within 24-36 hours of testing.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive a call from one of the physicians working with Employee Health or Student Health to give you next steps on how to protect yourself and others around you on the day of testing.

What should I do if I am concerned I may have or have been exposed to COVID-19?

Do not go to class or engage in social activities. If you are feeling well, please fill out an updated Healthcheck to report the possible exposure. You will receive a call from Student Health Services within 1-2 business days for further guidance.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, other cold symptoms), please call Student Health Services at (205) 934-3580, or after hours (205) 934-3411 to page the provider on call if you have an urgent concern.

You can also fill out an updated Healthcheck and expect a call from Student Health Services. You will likely be encouraged to have a Telehealth Visit with a Student Health Services provider, and we may recommend COVID-19 testing. Anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19 or thinks they may have been exposed should call ahead before coming to a clinic or emergency facility.

What should I do if I've had close contact with someone with COVID-19?

Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a positive person for greater than 15 minutes without either person wearing a mask. This is calculated over 24 hour period. Fill out an updated Healthcheck and indicate you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. You will receive a call from Student or Employee Health Services within one business day. 

What happens after I report close contact with someone who is positive?

You will likely be encouraged to have a Telehealth Visit with a Health Services provider who will ask for additional information and may initiate a quarantine. You should call ahead before coming to a clinic or emergency facility.

What should I do if I'm a student and living in the residence halls and have had close contact?

Residents living on campus must quarantine if they have come in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Students must quarantine for 10 days. Students have the option to quarantine in their residence hall space or quarantine off-campus. It is strongly encouraged that student’s quarantine in a space off-campus, if possible. Student Health must clear students to resume their normal activities and attend in-person classes.

If students develop symptoms while in quarantine, they should contact Student Health Services immediately and update their Healthcheck. Students with symptoms may be required to enter a period of isolation.

What if I'm a student living off campus and have had close contact?

Students living off campus must quarantine for 10 days and should choose a location (apartment, home) where they can quarantine comfortably and maintain the most distance from others. Fill out your HealthCheck as soon as possible to report the possible exposure and expect a call from Student Health Services.

What do I tell my professors if I have had close contact?

Students who are in quarantine and asymptomatic should notify their instructor to determine the best way to continue their instruction.

What is active sentinel testing?

Active sentinel testing allows UAB to test a larger cohort of on-campus faculty, staff, and students on a regular basis. Only those students whose course schedules include face-to-face or hybrid classes—as well as campus faculty and staff whose work classification is coded as on-campus or hybrid— will have the opportunity to be tested every other week. These individuals will receive an email notifying them that they have an opportunity to test. These tests are voluntary but are encouraged. After receiving the email, individuals will have seven days to schedule their test at one of the designated testing locations on campus.

Is active sentinel testing different from the sentinel testing UAB offered in the fall?

Yes. The previous sentinel testing strategy was randomized and only selected a small percentage of the campus community.

When does active sentinel testing start?

UAB will begin active sentinel testing for clinical and research-intensive students on January 5. Students living in residence halls or who are members of the ROTC, band or choir must complete a test before coming to campus.

All other faculty, staff and students may come to campus prior to receiving your first invitation to active sentinel testing. All students, faculty and staff are expected to comply fully with the entry policies, protocols and guidelines outlined here, as well as specialized and more stringent guidance from their particular departments/units/schools. Each department/unit/school will develop and communicate its operational plan for coming to campus.

Am I required to participate?

Employees are not required to participate. Students in the following groups are required to participate:

  • Residential students
  • Students in select groups, including band, choir, and ROTC

Remaining students’ participation is voluntary, but is strongly recommended as this is an important tool for the campus in the effort to keep the campus healthy and safe. Your choice to participate or not will not impact on your grades or standing at UAB.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks, please opt out of active sentinel testing. If you have not received a positive diagnosis, we ask that you participate in UAB's sentinel testing.

If I have been chosen for sentinel testing, can I continue to be on campus while waiting for results?

Yes. You can continue to be on campus, both academic and medical, as long as you are without COVID-19 symptoms or significant exposure to a COVID-19 positive person. UAB requires everyone on campus, both academic and medical, to wear a mask to protect yourself and others from spreading COVID-19.