Student coronavirus testing plan

Dear students,

Utah has had a troubling surge in coronavirus cases, and we want to do our part to protect you, your families and the health of our community as we navigate coronavirus and travel at Thanksgiving and the end of the semester.

We are concerned about the possibility that students may be asymptomatic and unintentionally expose their families to coronavirus as they return home. With that in mind and in line with the state of emergency and executive public health order Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued on Nov. 8, 2020, the U will offer testing to all students—those living on campus and those in the community—for coronavirus. We hope that by testing students we will be able to identify those who are asymptomatic and provide them with an opportunity to isolate on campus or at home while the virus runs its course, thus reducing risk to families and the community.

We strongly encourage all students to sign up for a free test. Our approach is aligned with actions of other higher education institutions throughout Utah. Here is an overview of our current testing plan:

  • All students are asked to sign up to be tested between Nov. 11-Nov. 23
  • You will receive a text message on Wednesday, Nov. 11, directing you to a page on alert.utah.edu that links to a Qualtrics registration form where you can schedule a free test
  • Testing will be available at: Rice-Eccles Stadium; Officers Club (students living on campus only); University of Utah Health Centers in Farmington, South Jordan and on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City
  • Testing will be available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • You will be asked NOT to come to any of these testing sites if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Instead, call 801-587-0712 to be guided to an appropriate location to be tested
  • The U is using the BinaxNOW rapid test; you will self-swab a nostril and insert the swab into a card that indicates a negative or positive result
  • You will need to download the Navica App to receive test results and will be required to show your U ID upon arrival at a testing site
  • You will be notified via the Navica App of your test result, likely within 1 to 2 hours
  • If your test is provisionally positive, you will be asked to return to the testing site to take a saliva test to confirm the result and then to self-isolate while awaiting confirmation, which may take 36 to 72 hours
  • If the test is confirmed positive, you will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days while the virus runs its course

At present, we also are sending campus community members a weekly text message asking them to do a self-check of coronavirus-related symptoms. We will have a broader testing program in place when spring semester begins in January. Faculty and staff who wish to be tested now should visit the state’s coronavirus website for testing locations, https://coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-covid-19-testing-locations/

As our health experts have noted, by quickly identifying those who have coronavirus we will be in a better position to help stop its spread in our community and to protect people who are at risk of serious illness and complications that can lead to death. This is about joining together in actions that will protect the health and well-being of all members of our community. Thank you for joining us in this goal.

Ruth V. Watkins
President

Mike Good
Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

Dan Reed
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs