Active Sentinel testing ends April 22. Declining positive COVID test results eliminate the need for continued active sentinel testing, says epidemiologist Suzanne Judd, Ph.D. This decline in positive cases is in large part due to vaccinations and adherence to safety measures by the campus community, and it is important to continue those. The decision to end the active sentinel testing program was made in consultation with public health, infectious disease and testing experts; UAB can resume testing should the need arise.

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

Symptomatic Testing

Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms have access to clinical staff through Student Health Services. Please use the Student Exposure & Symptom Form to report symptoms or exposures and receive next steps.

Close-Contact Testing

Students who have been exposed to COVID-19 have access to testing. Please use the Student Exposure & Symptom Form to report symptoms or exposures and receive next steps.

For-Cause Testing

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

*If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, you will not be eligible to participate in 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.

All 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.

Use the Student Exposure & Symptom Form to alert Student Health to symptoms or a close contact that could put you at an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, defined as being within 3 feet of an infected individual for more that 15 minutes. This is calculated over a 24 hour period. With proper social distancing and adherence to face covering/mask requirements, you would not necessarily be at an increased risk or need to quarantine because someone in your class, residence hall or building/floor tests positive.

Students who receive testing outside of UAB (i.e. primary care physician or pharmacy), should report a positive test result to Student Health through the Student Exposure & Symptom Form.

 

Do you have COVID-19 Symptoms?

 
 
 

YES

 

Fill out the the Student Exposure & Symptom Form. Student Health Services will contact you with information on next steps.

NO

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

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

 
 
 
YES
 

Fill out the the Student Exposure & Symptom Form. Student Health Services will contact you with information on next steps.

NO
 

Continue to mask and practice social distancing of 3 feet from others.

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.

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?

    f 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 the Student Exposure & Symptom Form or Employee Exposure & Symptom Form as soon as possible to report your symptoms and learn next steps.
    • Expect a call from Student Health Services or Employee Health and you will likely be encouraged to have a Telehealth Visit with a 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 report an exposure, new symptoms or a positive test via the Employee Exposure & Symptom Form, Student Exposure & Symptom Form or Healthcheck, if you are using daily. This will 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 not feeling well, please fill out the Student Exposure & Symptom Form or Employee Exposure & Symptom Form as soon as possible to report your symptoms and learn next steps.

    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.

  • 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. Please fill out the Student Exposure & Symptom Form or Employee Exposure & Symptom Form as soon as possible to 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 reporting close contact?

    UAB Student Health Services or UAB Employee Health will follow up to gather additional information and with guidance on next steps.

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

    Depending on factors such as vaccination status as evaluated by healthcare professionals in UAB Student Health Services, residents living on campus must quarantine if they have come in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

    If students develop symptoms while in quarantine, they should contact Student Health immediately and update their Student Exposure & Symptom Form. 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?

    Depending on factors such as vaccination status as evaluated by healthcare professionals in UAB Student Health Services, students living off campus must quarantine.

    Fill out the Student Exposure & Symptom Form 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.