University of Arizona

COVID-19 Testing

for students and employees

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A technician prepares to draw blood from President Robbins, testing for COVID-19

If you are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, stay isolated, self-quarantine and call to make an appointment with Campus Health Services or your healthcare provider.

COVID-19 TESTING LOCATIONS & HOURS TAKEAWAY TESTING

Testing for Students & Employees

Students or employees who are symptomatic should stay isolated and contact Campus Health or their healthcare provider. 

We offer voluntary, free, and convenient COVID-19 testing on main campus. Please visit Testing Locations & Hours for more information. 

In the event of a significant COVID-19 outbreak in a shared student housing setting, the University may require dorm (campus housing) residents and/or employees to comply with COVID-19 testing. Prior to implementing this requirement, the University will receive approval from the Arizona Department of Health Services.  

We offer voluntary, free, and convenient COVID-19 testing on main campus. Please visit Testing Locations & Hours for more information. 

We offer voluntary, free, and convenient COVID-19 testing on main campus. See Testing Locations & Hours for more information. 

Current University protocols require that if you are exposed to COVID-19, you must quarantine for the recommended duration. However, CDC guidelines outline specific criteria for vaccinated employees that would remove the requirement to quarantine.

Asymptomatic employees who are concerned that they may have been exposed to COVID-19  have the opportunity to register for a virus test. See testing locations and hours

Active DCCs should complete the Designated Campus Colleague COVID Test Request. Once approved, active DCCs may proceed with testing registration and scheduling.

Note: Eligibility for testing does not guarantee that testing will be available at the DCC’s location.

DCCs are invited to get an antibody test through the IRB-approved statewide antibody testing research study. See locations & hours for more information.

Test All Test Smart offers PCR testing for international travel at the Student Union - Catalina Room. PCR testing registration and a scheduled appointment are required. 

When scheduling your test, follow these instructions for your sample to be flagged as “International Travel” for the lab. 

  1. Select “PAC-12/International Travel/Exemption PCR Testing”
  2. Choose the date and time for your appointment
  3. Enter your name and email address
  4. From the drop down menus, select your campus affiliation and your test type (International Travel)

PCR test results are usually available within 2 business days. In many cases, if you test before 9 am, same-day results may be available. Test results are not provided on weekends. Results for tests taken on Friday are usually available Monday afternoon.

Note: Although Test All Test Smart is able to provide a general results delivery window and makes every effort to deliver timely results, we cannot guarantee this test will satisfy your travel requirements or that results will be delivered during the timeframe you require. If you need test results urgently or by a specific date, you may want to consider scheduling an additional, backup test, as sometimes samples are rejected.

It is your responsibility to determine if the Test All Test Smart COVID-19 PCR test fulfills your specific international or domestic travel requirements and schedule accordingly.  

Antibody tests determine whether a person has developed an immune response to COVID-19 infection or vaccination. The IRB-approved antibody testing research study for the State of Arizona is available for anyone in Arizona age 18 and older, including all University of Arizona students and employees, and allows for retests. Registration and appointments are required. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you should wait a minimum of 14 days after your positive test before registering for an antibody test. If you have been vaccinated for COVID-19, you should wait a minimum of 14 days after receiving your second/final dose before registering for an antibody test.

See Antibody testing locations

Types of testing available

There are three types of tests that are available as part of our Test, Trace, Treat support plan – two that diagnose whether an individual is currently infected with the COVID-19 virus (“diagnostic tests”), and one that determines whether an individual has developed an immune response against the COVID-19 virus (“antibody test”). 

Rapid Antigen Testing

Used for: Diagnosing active COVID-19 infection
Results: Within 2 hours
Method: Self-administered nasal swab

Who can get tested:

Antigen testing is used when public health metrics require expedited results for a specific group, e.g. dorm residents.

About the test: 

An antigen test is designed for rapid detection of the virus that causes COVID-19. Antigen tests are very specific for the virus but are not as sensitive as PCR tests. Negative results may need to be confirmed with a PCR test.

PCR Saline Gargle (SG) Testing

Used for: Diagnosing active COVID-19 infection
Results: Usually within 2 business days 
Method: Saline gargle

Who can get tested:

Asymptomatic off-campus students and employees can complete one-time registration and schedule a test.

About the test: 

A real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test is a molecular diagnostic testing technique that detects the genetic material from the virus. The samples can be collected in a variety of ways including nasopharyngeal swab and saline gargle.

Antibody Testing

Used for: Immune response to COVID-19 infection or vaccination
Results: 10-15 working days
Method: Blood draw

Who can get tested:

Antibody testing is currently available for anyone in Arizona age 18 and older through the statewide antibody testing program, which is an IRB-approved research study. 

About the test:

An antibody test determines whether you have developed an immune response against COVID-19 infection or vaccination. The test is not used to diagnose an active infection.

Testing Results

If your test was done at a location other than Campus Health, your results will be available on the test results portal as soon as they are ready. If you were tested at Campus Health, visit their patient portal for your results. Learn more at COVID-19 Test Results.

Please note that you will not receive your results via an email or a text message. Instead you will receive notification that your results are available on a secure server.

Student Testing Incentives

Star Rewards Program

All students can earn star rewards for completing COVID-19 testing (and receiving a COVID-19 vaccine)! 

Earn Rewards for COVID-19 Testing: August 27 - Sept 24

  • Earn a $5 reward on your Catcard each time you test (1 time per week)

  • Get tested weekly for the next four weeks and earn $20 in Star Rewards!

  • Claim your Star Rewards in Wildcat OneStop

  • Redeem your Star Rewards at the Student Unions & BookStores (selected vendors) 

Follow these instructions to claim your reward:

  1. Log into Wildcat OneStop.

  2. Below your photo, look for the star icon. On the star, you will see a red circle with the number of stars you have earned (4 stars = 1 Star Reward). You earn 4 stars for each weekly test you take (maximum 4 Star Rewards from August 27 - September 24).

  3. If you have 4 or more stars, click the green button that says “Claim” to receive your reward.

  4. After you have claimed your reward, $5 will be added to your CatCard. Your reward will be ready to spend once you receive a confirmation email, which may take up to an hour.

  5. Return to step 3 to claim a $5 reward for each set of 4 stars (4 stars = 1 Star Reward). Once claimed, reward funds have no expiration date.

Star Reward funds are eligible for redemption at: 

UArizona BookStores

Student Union Memorial Center

  • Arizona Market, Chick-fil-A, Core, Einstein Bros Bagels, IQ Fresh, Nrich Urban Market, On Deck Deli, Starbucks @ Bookstore

Global Center

  • Core+, Mas Tacos, Nrich Urban Market Express, Park Avenue Market, The Den

‘85 North

Highland Market

To order with Grubhub, see redemption instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Testing

Testing for the COVID-19 virus is a component of the university’s overall support plan. Even if you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, there’s a chance that you have been exposed and have the virus, but just not know it. We offer voluntary, free, and convenient COVID-19 testing on main campus and Phoenix campus.

A COVID-19 virus test determines if you currently have COVID-19. An antibody test determines whether you have developed an immune response against COVID-19 infection or vaccination. An antibody test is not used to diagnose an active infection.

The university offers testing at main campus locations as well as at other UArizona locations. See testing locations and hours.

If you test positive for COVID-19 and are instructed to isolate, you must isolate for the full 10 days, either in an isolation dorm or off-campus. Once you receive a positive COVID-19 test result, you cannot test out of isolation early and, if you live on campus, you will not be permitted to return to your on-campus residence until isolation is complete.

COVID-19 Virus Testing

The university currently uses two types of tests that diagnose whether an individual is currently infected with the COVID-19 virus:  PCR Saline Gargle (SG) test, which is considered the gold standard for detecting an active COVID-19 infection but takes time to produce results, and an antigen test, which is a diagnostic test designed for rapid detection of the virus. An antigen test produces results more quickly than a PCR test but also has a higher chance of producing a false negative result.

COVID-19 virus tests only detect active infections of the virus.  An antibody test determines whether you have developed an immune response against past COVID-19 infection or vaccination. An antibody test is not used to diagnose an active infection.

Even if you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, there’s a chance that you have been exposed and have the virus, but just not know it. We offer voluntary, free, and convenient COVID-19 testing on main campus. See locations & hours for more information.

If you are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, stay isolated and make an appointment with Campus Health Services or your healthcare provider to get tested.

Asymptomatic students or employees are eligible to register for voluntary, free, and convenient testing. See locations & hours for more information.

Participants in the Test All Test Smart COVID-19 testing must sign a consent and authorization for the release of information. Copies of the forms are provided at the links below for your reference.

Students and employees who are tested at Campus Health will sign separate consents and authorization paperwork. 

Per the CDC, there are no confirmed reports to date of a person being reinfected with COVID-19 within 3 months of initial infection. Current data shows that a person who has recovered from COVID-19 may have low levels of virus in their bodies for up to 3 months after diagnosis. This means that if the person who has recovered from COVID-19 is retested within 3 months of initial infection, they may continue to have a positive test result, even though they are not spreading COVID-19.

The University of Arizona has limited capacity for each test type. Through dual testing (PCR and antigen on the same patient) we have shown good concordance of results for actively infected individuals.

Yes. Although antigen tests have more false negatives when used in the asymptomatic population, antigen tests appear to detect contagious individuals at a very high rate. Contagious individuals are the most likely to spread COVID-19.

The antigen test detects proteins (known as antigens) on the surface of the virus and is able to detect contagious individuals at a high rate. However, the antigen test is not as sensitive as the PCR test, which is able to detect extremely low levels of viral genetic material.

A positive antigen test result is highly accurate, but a negative antigen result does not rule out infection (which could be detected by PCR). Read more about the two types of diagnostic testing.

While there is no test with zero risk, the risk of transmission at the PCR Saline Gargle test sites is very low. Test takers cover their mouths and noses with their face coverings while swishing and gargling, all of the test takers are asymptomatic and the vast majority of the test takers are not infected (typically 97-99%).

 

If you are unvaccinated and may have been exposed, you should self-isolate until you get tested. Studies suggest that you should wait 5-7 days after exposure to get tested due to the virus’ incubation period (the time needed for the virus to replicate and be detected), which ranges from 2 to 14 days.

If you are symptomatic, contact Campus Health or your healthcare provider for a diagnostic test.

Asymptomatic students and employees who are concerned they many have been exposed to COVID-19 may schedule a diagnostic test on campus.

View COVID-19 Exposure Protocol.

Test All Test Smart:

In addition to the uses described in the consent and authorization forms (see question above), aggregated and/or de-identified testing result data may be used, under certain scenarios, by university personnel responsible for COVID-19 planning, mitigation, and public health safety duties. Such uses include, but are not limited to, campus health monitoring, identifying potential outbreaks, and evaluating appropriate mitigation measures.

Campus Health:

For testing and patient services provided by Campus Health, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, patients will be provided with Campus Health Service’s notice of privacy practices.

COVID-19 test results from the Test All Test Smart initiative are stored in HIPAA-compliant systems with the university's strongest security and monitoring efforts in place.

This system must adhere to robust risk-informed auditing and reporting procedures as required by University policy and standards, “Information System Audit, Accountability, and Activity Review Policy,” and ISO-1100-S1 “Logging and Monitoring Standard.” Additionally, this enterprise system undergoes an annual risk assessment signed off by the Chief Information Security Officer to ensure continued attention to appropriate security controls.

Access controls are in place to ensure that only approved individuals, as required for test delivery and operations or according to individual authorizations, have access to the data. For additional information about the University of Arizona’s information security and privacy policies and procedures, please visit the University Information Security and Privacy page.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

An antibody test is a blood test that can confirm that your body's immune system has developed antibodies against the COVID-19 virus after you have been infected or vaccinated. Antibodies  help you fight off infections and can potentially protect you from getting the disease again.

Antibody testing is available for anyone in Arizona over age 18 through a University of Arizona IRB-approved research study. Researchers are interested in studying antibodies and immunity over time.

See Antibody testing locations

 

Antibody testing can help you learn about your immune status. Getting a test can confirm that you have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past and have developed antibodies against the virus. If you have been vaccinated, getting a test can confirm antibody response to the vaccine.

Antibody testing through the IRB-approved research study can also help researchers learn more and answer questions about COVID-19 and immunity, including: How long does immunity last? How many antibodies does it take to achieve protection against infection? How does age affect immune responses to infection or vaccination? How do symptoms after infection or vaccination correlate with antibody levels?

Most people who are infected by the virus make antibodies within a few weeks of infection. Most people who are vaccinated for COVID-19 make antibodies within a few weeks of being fully vaccinated. However, the amounts of antibodies vary among individuals, and a fraction of people make low or no antibodies. Low levels of antibodies might not be detected by this test.

If you have questions about your antibody test results, please contact the Antibody Testing call center: 520-848-4064 (local), 833-985-2304 (toll-free) or antibodytesting@arizona.edu. Phone lines are open Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Arizona time.

In the absence of symptoms, it is unlikely for someone to have a positive antibody test and currently be infected.

An antibody test is a blood test that can confirm that your body’s immune system has developed antibodies against the COVID-19 virus after you have been infected or vaccinated. Antibodies help you fight off infections and can potentially protect you from getting the disease again. A COVID-19 virus test (for example, a PCR Saline Gargle or antigen test) determines if you are currently infected with COVID-19.

A positive test result indicates your body's immune system has developed antibodies in response to infection or vaccination. By itself, it does not indicate current infection. Testing positive for antibodies does not indicate lasting immunity to COVID-19.

Results from your test should be available 10 -15 working days after the test. You will receive an email to let you know when your results are available.

The presence of COVID-19 antibodies means that your immune system mounted a response against the virus after being infected or vaccinated.

Participating in the IRB-approved research study will help researchers continue to answer questions about COVID-19 and how long immunity lasts. We do not yet know the amounts of antibodies that are required to fully prevent subsequent infections. Because we still do not know enough about this virus, protection should not be assumed and you should continue to follow all applicable local, state, and federal public health guidance aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19, regardless of your test result.

For the safety of our team members, other participants and our community, individuals with active COVID-19 symptoms will not be included in the current antibody testing. All participants will be screened for symptoms before their appointment, and anyone showing symptoms will not move forward in the process.

We've partnered with the State of Arizona to provide antibody testing across the state.

Learn more

Contact the Antibody Testing call center: 520-848-4064 (local), 833-985-2304 (toll-free) or antibodytesting@arizona.edu. Phone lines are open Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Arizona time.

Yes. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you should wait a minimum of 14 days after your positive test before registering for an antibody test. If you have been vaccinated for COVID-19, you should wait a minimum of 14 days after receiving your second/final dose before registering for an antibody test. When you register for the IRB-approved research study you will be asked to provide you vaccination date(s), if applicable.