University of Arizona

COVID-19 Testing

for students and employees

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.

register for testing

Sign in with your NetID and password and then see the testing options available to you.
See testing locations and hours.

Testing for Students & Employees

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

Consistent with the University’s Test, Trace, Treat program and the terms of the Housing & Residential Life License Agreement Addendum, asymptomatic dorm students are periodically required to have an antigen test. Residential Life communicates the testing dates and locations to dorm students via email.

All asymptomatic students who live off-campus, including fraternities and sororities, were strongly encouraged to have a free antigen test offered by the University of Arizona before spending any time on-campus.

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

Sign up for antigen testing

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

SIGN UP FOR ANTIGEN TESTING

Testing for students and employees at remote locations was offered on August 20 thru September 2. Additional opportunities for tests at remote locations are planned. More information will be available soon.

Antibody tests determine whether a person has been exposed to the virus in the past, not if they are currently infected. The IRB-approved antibody testing research study for the State of Arizona has recently been expanded to include everyone age 18 and over, including all University of Arizona students and employees, and allows for retests. 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.

See Antibody testing locations

The university’s Test Smart program is a data-driven testing plan that monitors ongoing prevalence of COVID-19 in the campus community. The Test Smart program monitors disease prevalence through weekly systematic COVID-19 testing of randomly-selected asymptomatic students and employees and will help inform mitigation activities and phased campus reentry.

The Test Smart program will only be effective with student and employee participation. Although participation is completely voluntary and you are not required to be tested if you are selected, by participating, you will be  helping the university gather essential data.

If you receive an email invitation to participate in the Test Smart program, are eligible to participate as explained in the invitation, and choose to participate, please promptly register using the link provided in the email. Employees also have the option of getting an antibody test at the same time through the IRB-approved statewide antibody research study. Students can register for an antibody test separately from the Test Smart program.

Want to learn more about COVID-19 testing through the Test All Test Smart program? Watch the video of the Campus Update on Test All Test Smart webinar from September 2020.

Types of testing available

There are three types of tests that are being deployed during the pandemic as part of our Test, Trace, Treat 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”). 

Antigen Testing

Used for: Diagnosing active COVID-19 infection
Results: Within 1 hour
Method: Self-administered nasal swab

Who can get tested:

Asymptomatic students and employees can sign up for a free antigen test.

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.

RT-PCR Testing

Used for: Diagnosing active COVID-19 infection
Results: Within 48-72 hours (depending on location)
Method: Nasal swab

Who can get tested:

As part of the university’s Test Smart program, randomly-selected employees will be contacted and asked to participate in PCR testing to assess and manage COVID-19 prevalence. In some cases, PCR tests are administered for diagnostic testing as an alternative to antigen tests.

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. 

Antibody Testing

Used for: Immune response to COVID-19 virus
Results: 7-10 working days
Method: Blood draw

Who can get tested:

Antibody testing is currently offered to employees and students 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 the COVID-19 virus. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please explore the FAQ to learn more about the different types of testing.

General Testing

Testing for the COVID-19 virus is an important component of the university’s overall reentry plan for the Fall 2020 semester. 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. By getting a COVID-19 test, you can help to make it possible for our university to gather the data needed to return to in-person learning, research, and on-campus activities as quickly and safely as possible

A COVID-19 virus test determines if you currently have COVID-19. In contrast, an antibody test determines whether you have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past and have developed antibodies against the virus.

The university will offer testing at main campus locations as well as at other UArizona locations throughout the state of Arizona. 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.

You can contact us by phone or by email. The Call Center's phone numbers are 833-345-0246 (toll-free) and 520-848-4030. Phones are generally staffed from 9 AM to 5 PM, Arizona time. You can also send an email with your questions to UACOVID-19Testing@Arizona.edu, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

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: a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 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. A different type of test called a COVID-19 serology or antibody test is used to determine if you may have been infected with or exposed to the COVID-19 virus in the past.

Testing for the COVID-19 virus is an important component of the university’s overall reentry plan for the Fall 2020 semester. 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. By getting a COVID-19 test, you can help to make it possible for our university to gather the data needed to return to in-person learning, re search, and on-campus activities as quickly and safely as possible.

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.

STUDENTS:

  • Students who will live on-campus: Consistent with the University’s Test, Trace, Treat program and the terms of the Housing & Residential Life License Agreement Addendum, asymptomatic dorm students are periodically required to have an antigen test. Residential Life communicates the testing dates and locations to dorm students via email.
  • Students who live off campus, including fraternities and sororities, are strongly encouraged to have a free antigen test offered by the University of Arizona before spending any time on-campus. See testing locations and hours.

Pima County Health Department offers free diagnostic testing at many convenient locations. See testing locations and hours for more information.

EMPLOYEES:

The university’s Test Smart program includes weekly systematic COVID-19 testing of randomly-selected employees and students in order to assess and manage COVID-19 prevalence and incidence. This voluntary testing program launched in Fall 2020, and participants will receive email messages with more information.

In addition, the Arizona Department of Health Services offers free COVID-19 testing in Pima County. This testing is also available at other locations in Arizona.

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.

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.

You can contact us by phone or by email. The Call Center's phone numbers are 833-345-0246 (toll-free) and 520-848-4030. Phones are generally staffed from 9 AM to 5 PM, Arizona time. You can also send an email with your questions to UACOVID-19Testing@Arizona.edu, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

These types of blood tests detect whether your immune system has made proteins called antibodies. This test is for antibodies that attach to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

People can have the virus but not know it because they do not experience symptoms. Getting a test can confirm that you have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past and have developed antibodies against the virus.

Most people who are infected by the virus make antibodies within a few weeks of infection. However, the amounts of antibodies vary among individuals. Low levels of antibodies might not be detected by this test.

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

A positive test result indicates the presence of antibodies. By itself, it does not indicate current infection or that you have immunity to COVID-19.

Results from your test should be available 7-10 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. 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

I have other questions. How do I find answers?

You can contact us by phone or by email. The Call Center's phone numbers are 833-345-0246 (toll-free) and 520-848-4030. Phones are generally staffed from 9 AM to 5 PM, Arizona time. You can also send an email with your questions to UACOVID-19Testing@Arizona.edu, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

Questions?

UArizona Testing Call Center (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.):

Toll Free: 833-345-0246 | Local: 520-848-4030

email Us