""UAB prioritizes 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 will be randomly selected to voluntarily participate in COVID-19 testing after they are on campus, called Sentinel Testing.
  • All students who were on campus for the fall 2020 semester received a COVID-19 test prior to coming on campus, known as Campus Entry 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.

Use UAB Healthcheck 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 6 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 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.

Sentinel Testing

Help stop the spread of COVID-19 and stay on campus by participating in sentinel testing. Each week we randomly select employees and students to be tested to give us idea of how much COVID-19 is circulating on campus. By participating in sentinel testing, we unite to stay on campus. UAB plans to test between 2.5% to 5% of the population randomly on a weekly basis, regardless of symptoms. 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. 

Sentinel testing is voluntary for most of the campus community, but is REQUIRED for students, clinical students, students living in UAB residence halls, students involved in registered student organizations and student athletes if selected. Click here to learn more about sentinel testing.

Sentinel Testing: What is the process?

  • Student sentinel testing invites are sent daily. 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. 
  • Randomly selected individuals will receive an email from our trusted partner, Verily (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), directing them to sign up for a testing appointment. 
  • Students must schedule an appointment through the Verily platform. Student sentinel testing is conducted in the following locations:
    • Blazer Hall Residence Life Center on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Mondays from 8 a.m. to 1 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 Student Health to give you the next steps on how to protect yourself and others around you.

Cluster 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 a self-swab just inside the nose that is painless.

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 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'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.

Am I required to participate in sentinel testing?

Students in the following groups are required to participate:

  • Residential Students
  • Clinical Students, for those that will have a presence on-campus.
  • In registered student organizations that hold in-person meetings with (10) or more people

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 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.

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.