Active Sentinel Testing

Throughout March, GuideSafe™ will be selecting random sentinel testing participants to win a $100 Amazon e-gift card. Each week three new student winners and one employee winner will be chosen on Friday starting March 12 and running through April 2. The only way to be randomly selected to win an Amazon e-gift card is to participate in active sentinel testing when invited at the GuideSafe™ testing site on campus. These Amazon e-gift cards will be delivered directly to the chosen winners each week from GuideSafe™ in an email with instructions on how to claim your prize.

As UAB continues to make data-driven decisions to keep campus safe, testing protocols for the spring semester will continue to evolve at the recommendation of infectious disease and public health experts. Due to what we learned from the fall semester, the increase in COVID in the community and other factors, UAB will begin active sentinel testing for students and employees at the beginning of the spring semester.

Active sentinel testing gives 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—the opportunity to be tested every other week on a first come, first serve basis. These tests are voluntary but are encouraged. After receiving an email notification from Verily (Team Healthy), qualifying faculty, staff and students will have seven days to schedule their test at one of the designated testing locations on campus. This approach allows for more frequent testing and gives us an idea of how much COVID-19 is circulating on campus. Residence hall students, as well as band, choir, and ROTC members will be required to complete active sentinel testing during the semester.

If you have not done so already, eligible faculty, staff and students must create an account on the Verily platform. You must have a Verily account to complete required, voluntary, and close contact testing.

Qualifying faculty, staff and students 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.

What to Expect


A minimally invasive nose swab test. Not the dreaded up-to-your-brain swab.


To get back to life right after getting tested. There's no need to quarantine if you're not experiencing symptoms.


Not to pay a dime. This is 100% free.

For Faculty, Staff and Students

  • Active sentinel testing invites are sent on an ongoing basis to students who are registered for face-to-face or hybrid courses and to campus faculty and staff who are designed by their unit administrators as on-campus or hybrid. Be sure to check your UAB email regularly for an invite.
  • If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, do not schedule an active 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.
  • Individuals must schedule an appointment through the Verily platform. Active sentinel testing is conducted in the following locations:
    • Blazer Hall Residence Life Center: 
      • Monday - Wednesday: 8:30am - 12pm & 1 - 5:30pm 
      • Thursday: 10am - 2pm
      • Sunday: 1pm - 5:30pm
    • Volker Hall
      • 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 Student Health to give you the next steps on how to protect yourself and others around you.
  • 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.

Students living in UAB residence halls, students involved in band, choir and ROTC, and student athletes are required to participate in active sentinel testing when selected.

We're counting on you to join the fight against COVID-19 on our campus.