""UAB is prioritizing testing for students by offering three different testing structures to assess the spread of COVID-19:

  • Any student experiencing symptoms or who has been exposed to COVID-19 will have access to physicians through Student Health Services.
  • UAB students entering campus after Aug. 1 will receive a free COVID-19 test prior to coming on campus, known as Campus Entry Testing.
  • UAB students will be randomly selected to voluntarily participate in COVID-19 testing after they are on campus, called Sentinel Testing

How to Get Tested for COVID-19

STUDENT RESOURCES

Been exposed? Experiencing symptoms? Need to get tested?
Call (205) 934-3580 to speak with someone from Student Health.

SHOW your Blazer spiritAll students, regardless of insurance coverage, have access to Student Health Services at no additional charge. Students can have an in-person or virtual visit with no copay or out of pocket charge for the visit.

Students experiencing symptoms or who have been exposed:

If you have experienced symptoms or been exposed to COVID-19, Student Health can discuss the various testing options and costs of each. If you are a UAB student and are experiencing symptoms, please call (205) 934-3580 during regular hours or (205) 934-3411 after hours to page the student health provider on call.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive a follow-up call with instructions on next steps. You will be contacted by Student Health via email if you test negative.

Students who suspect or know that you are positive:

If you think you may have COVID-19 or have already tested positive, you should self-isolate and call Student Health Services at (205) 934-2580. Student Health professionals who work closely with the health department will be able to assess risk and provide guidance. You do not need to try to determine who may have been exposed.

If you were evaluated and tested through Student Health, your provider will give you details on when to expect your test results, as well as self-care at home. Furthermore, a nurse will be contacting you regularly to follow up on your symptoms and test results. If you were tested at another location, that location will contact you with test results, but if you let us know you were tested, a Student Health nurse can still contact you to check in regularly.

If You Have Tested Positive

  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 through Student Health Services, you have completed the notification process. If you tested positive through any other health care provider, call Student Health at (205) 934-3580 to report this result or report your positive result through the Exposure Notification application.
  • Information will be collected to identify and anonymously notify close contacts you have had with others.
  • Do not attend face-to-face classes, engage in social activities, or report to work. If you have a class that requires your attendance or are unable to complete your assignments as a result of your illness, contact your instructor to determine the best next steps.
  • Residents must self-isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19. On-campus apartments designated for isolation will be made available and residents will be required to temporarily relocate to those spaces for “minimum” of 10 days and symptom-free for 72 hours (3 days). Student Health must clear students to return to their originally assigned residence halls and classes. Students can return home if CDC Guidelines allow.
  • Students living off-campus must isolate and should choose a location (apartment, home) where they can isolate comfortably and maintain the most distance from others.

Mandatory Campus Entry Testing

REQUIRED FOR STUDENTS

All UAB students coming to campus on or after Aug. 1 for the fall semester will receive a free COVID-19 test as part of the GuideSafe™ entry to campus program, supported by CARES Act funding through the State of Alabama. Non-compliance with the required entry testing will result in students not being able to remain on campus or participate in any in-person classes, meetings, jobs, extracurricular activities, and events.

 

Here a few key things to know about UAB's Campus Entry Testing:

  • Any student that plans to physically come to UAB on or after Aug. 1 for classes, meetings, jobs, extracurricular activities, events or any other reason to be on campus will have to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Testing will begin the first week of August, but students should not test more than 14 days before coming to campus. We suggest setting up your test 7-14 days prior to arrival.
  • Students must have a negative test within the 14-day window of coming on UAB's campus, along with completing the appropriate safety training and enrolling in UAB Healthcheck.
  • Free testing will be provided for ALL students coming to campus on or after Aug. 1.
  • You can go to your primary care provider or another testing site. Provide UAB Student Health Services a copy of your negative results via the secure patient portal. You can access your portal on the Student Health Services website with your Blazer ID and password. Select the “Messages” tab and then upload your documentation to “Coronavirus Lab Results.”
  • Students will receive information about COVID-19 testing in the initial email from GuideSafe™ Entry Testing.
  • International students should be tested in their country of origin prior to coming to campus. Be sure to not test more than 14 days prior to coming to campus. Provide UAB Student Health Services a copy of your negative results via the secure patient portal. You can access your portal on the Student Health Services website with your Blazer ID and password. Select the “Messages” tab and then upload your documentation to “Coronavirus Lab Results.” If you cannot get tested in your current residence, you are eligible to register for a free COVID-19 test through GuideSafe™ Entry Testing. However, you will not be able to live on campus or come to campus until cleared.
  • Campus Entry Testing will supplement other strategies to keep our campus safe, such as UAB Healthcheck and Sentinel Testing.

Our ability to test students for campus entry will go a long way in helping us maintain a safe environment. If your results are positive you will need to contact Student Health Services for follow-up care and clearance prior to entering campus. Student Health will provide guidance on self-isolating and caring for yourself during this time.

GuideSafe™ Onsite Testing: What is the process?

  • Students will receive an email from GuideSafe™ Testing with a link to register online for testing. Please look for and promptly complete the instructions in the email.
  • After registration and system verification, each student will schedule an appointment at an approved testing site on the day and time of choosing. Click here for a full list of testing sites.
  • A confirmation email with the testing appointment and instructions on what to bring and information about what to expect with sample collection will be sent to each student.
  • Each student will receive an appointment reminder via email.
  • When the student arrives at the testing site, they will present the confirmation email and identification. The confirmation email can be shown via phone.
  • After identity verification, the student will complete the sample collection under observation at the testing site.
  • The sample is transported by the testing site to the testing lab and run within 24 hours.
  • The testing lab reports the test result to the student, the student's state department of public health, GuideSafe™ Testing, and UAB.
  • If the student’s results are positive, they will need to contact Student Health Services for follow-up care and clearance prior to entering campus.
  • If the student’s results are negative, they are clear to enter campus.

Student Campus Entry Testing: What should I expect during the test?

The test will be a self-administered swab in the nostril — though not the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab.

  • You will be handed a swab.
  • Hold the swab placing your thumb and forefinger in the middle of the swab shaft covering the scoreline or black line.
  • Do not touch, lay down, or drop the swab.
  • Insert the swab about 2 cm (less than 1 inch) into your nostril until you meet resistance.
  • Gently rotate the swab for 5 seconds pushing against the center of your nose.
  • Remove the swab from the first side of nose and insert it into the other side of your nose.
  • Rotate the swab for 5 seconds pushing against the center of your nose on the second side.
  • Remove the swab from your nose and hold it out so your observer can take the swab from you without touching you.

Student Campus Entry Results and Exceptions

Positive COVID-19 test during Campus Entry Testing:

  • If your results are positive you will need to contact Student Health Services for follow-up care and clearance prior to coming on campus.
  • You can begin the semester by taking courses online if you are able to do so. Please coordinate with your instructor and Disability Support Services.

Positive COVID-19 test within the last 12 weeks:

  • If your positive COVID-19 test was within the last 12 weeks of your entry to campus you will not need a new test. Instead, provide UAB Student Health Services a copy of your results and health care provider clearance documentation via the secure patient portal.
  • You can access your portal on the Student Health Services website with your Blazer ID and password. Select the “Messages” tab and then upload your documentation to “Coronavirus Lab Results.”
  • Your information will be reviewed, and you will be notified via the portal once clearance is confirmed.

Negative COVID-19 test within 14 days of entry:

  • Provide documentation of test results to UAB Student Health Services a copy of your results and health care provider clearance documentation via the secure patient portal.
  • You can access your portal on the Student Health Services website with your Blazer ID and password. Select the “Messages” tab and then upload your documentation to “Coronavirus Lab Results.”
  • Your information will be reviewed, and you will be notified via the portal once clearance is confirmed.

Other Exceptions:

  • Participating in fully online courses, live out of state and outside reasonable distance to likely travel to campus. All students who live in Alabama will be required to participate in Campus Entry Testing.
  • Students who came to campus prior to Aug. 1 who have already received a campus entry test have met the entry requirement and do not need to take further action.

Protecting Your Privacy

The reason you are being asked to share a lot of information about yourself during the entry testing registration process is because of CDC guidelines and mandates by the ADPH. To protect your privacy, data will be de-identified when shared with the CDC. Your de-identified data will help us understand COVID-19’s impact, rate of positivity, testing coverage, and will help identify supply chain issues for reagents and other materials.

Sentinel Testing

As students unite on campus, we prioritize the health and safety of each individual. We are adopting sentinel testing across the full campus, both academic and medical. Random testing of a percentage of our population on a weekly basis will provide a snapshot of how much of the COVID-19 virus is circulating among our population.

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.

Sentinel Testing: What is the process?

  • Each week, 2.5% to 5% of those on campus will be randomly selected for COVID-19 testing. Students that are randomly selected will be notified via email by Student Health.
  • You will receive a specific time frame to go to Student Health for testing in the email, should you choose to participate.
  • Once you arrive, present your email to confirm testing need.
  • The test consists of an observed nasal self-swab that will be processed in an on-campus lab. Someone from Student Health will observe each self-test to ensure accuracy and provide coaching if needed.
  • Those being tested will be contacted with 36 hours with results.
  • If you test negative for COVID-19, you will receive results via email within 36 hours of testing.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive a call from one of the physicians working with Student Health to give you next steps on how to protect yourself and others around you.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks, please opt-out of sentinel testing.
  • If you have not received a positive diagnosis, we ask that you participate in UAB's sentinel testing.

Testing FAQs

Will the test hurt?

No. The test consists of a self-swab just inside the nose that is painless.

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

Self isolate for 14 days if you test positive, but are not showing symptoms to help protect others in the community.

What do 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. You should quarantine or self-isolate for 14 days or until you are symptom free for 72 hours, which ever comes last.

  • 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 14 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 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 Aptima Bio Fire Fusion platform by UAB epidemiologists and our infectious diseases lab.

If you test negative for COVID-19, you will receive results via email within 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.

What do 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. 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 do 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 a close contact. On-campus apartments will be made available to students in quarantine and residents will be required to relocate to these spaces for 10 days if no symptoms appear. Student Health must clear students to return to their assigned residence hall and classes.  

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

Students living off campus must quarantine and should choose a location (apartment, home) where they can quarantine comfortably and maintain the most distance from others. 

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. 

Am I required to participate in sentinel testing?

No. Participation in sentinel testing is not required; however, it is strongly encouraged that you participate to help keep our campus community safe and healthy. Many people may carry COVID-19 without showing symptoms. People that are asymptomatic are still carriers of the virus and can infect others.

Your choice to participate or not will not impact on your grades or standing at UAB. Supervisors will not be made aware if participation in sentinel testing is declined. Nevertheless, 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.

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

When does sentinel testing start? Can I come on campus before I am selected for sentinel testing?

UAB began sentinel testing on July 6.

Yes. You can come to campus prior to 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.

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.