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COVID-19 testing for students and employees

Access campus testing

UW–Madison’s approach to testing will help us identify infections, help prevent the virus from spreading, and allow us to provide support to our students and employees.

Employees and students can access several on-campus COVID-19 testing centers. While anyone can get tested, priority should be given to:

  • People with COVID-19 symptoms
  • People notified by a contact tracer or other public health authority that they have potentially been exposed to someone with COVID-19
  • Students and employees who engage in higher-risk activities through their work are also encouraged to seek more frequent testing. This includes student teachers, social work interns and campus childcare workers.

University Housing students and employees are required to be tested regularly. University Housing will continue to provide more information to these individuals.

Additionally, some students and employees will be involved in ongoing surveillance testing. More details will be available soon.

Testing locations

All-campus testing

Testing appointments are available, be sure to check all testing locations in MyUHS.

For anyone in the campus community, with priority for people with COVID-19 symptoms, notified by public health or health provider they’ve had contact with a positive person, employees and students in higher-risk activities.

  • Kohl Center
    601 W. Dayton St., Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
    Tuesday: 6:30 a.m (for third shift employees) to 4:30 p.m.
  • 21 N. Park Street
    8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Curbside testing: Monday through Friday 
  • Porter Boathouse
    680 Babcock Dr.
    8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closed for lunch 12 – 1 p.m.

    Curbside testing: Monday through Friday 
    Pedestrian testing: M, W, F only

University Housing students and employees

All University Housing students and employees are required to be tested every two weeks and will receive more details about their testing site and times from Housing. Individuals in the Housing community are also able to use the all-campus testing sites if they have symptoms or have been identified as close contacts of someone positive for COVID-19. Testing information for students in residence halls under quarantine can be found here: smartrestart.wisc.edu/information-for-residence-halls-under-quarantine/.

  • Ogg Hall
    835 West Dayton St.
  • Frank Holt Center
    1650 Kronshage Dr.
  • Kohl Center
    601 W. Dayton St.

Map key

  • Green map marker For University Housing
  • Blue map marker For students and employees

Prepare for testing

To make an appointment log in to your MyUHS account with your NetID and password.

All UW–Madison students and employees have a MyUHS account. Once you sign in to your account, make sure your profile details are correct. You can find the Profile link on the left-hand side of the website. You will also need to go to the Forms link to review and sign the UHS Information and Consent Form.

Once your profile is up-to-date, and you have signed the consent form, navigate to the Appointments link on the left-hand side of the website to make an appointment for a COVID-19 test. Proceed to Schedule an Appointment. From there, you will be guided to COVID-19 test scheduling.

Upon making an appointment, you will receive a unique QR code to bring to your appointment on either a mobile device or printed.

Plan to arrive at the testing site shortly before your scheduled appointment time. You should wear a face covering and maintain a minimum of six feet of space between yourself and others at all times.

When it is time for your test, a University Health Services staff member will assist you. They will show you how to perform your own nasal collection. You will use a swab to collect a sample from the anterior part of your nose. It is not the deep nasal swab.

After your test is complete, you will receive within 72 hours a text or email notification that your test results are ready. You will log in to MyUHS to access your results.

What to do when you get your test results

Waiting for your results and next steps (click to download)

If you test negative

If you do not have symptoms and you test negative, this means you are not likely infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 at this time. However, it can take up to 14 days between the time you are exposed to the virus and when a test shows you are positive. You should continue to practice good hygiene, which includes frequently washing your hands, wearing a face covering when in public and indoors, and maintaining at least six feet of distance from people you do not live with.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, even if you receive a negative COVID-19 test result, you should still take precautions to limit contact with others. Avoid outings, going to work, and in-person classes.

If a contact tracer from University Health Services, Public Health Madison & Dane County, or another public health agency has told you that you have had high-risk exposure to someone infected with COVID-19, you should follow the instructions they provide. They may ask you to go to quarantine because you may still develop symptoms within 14 days of your exposure to a positive person.

If you test positive

Anyone who tests positive should isolate themselves immediately. A contact tracer will call you from a (608) area code phone number within a few days to help identify anyone else who may have come into close contact with you while you were positive for COVID-19. UHS will work to notify Divisional Disability Representatives, University Housing, instructors and others involved in campus health and safety whenever a positive case is identified on campus, sharing information only as necessary to keep campus safe while respecting individuals’ privacy.

Employees: Positive test reporting protocol
Students: Positive test reporting protocol

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Employees

Reporting a positive result (updated August 31, 2020)
UW-Madison has updated the reporting process for employees who get tested for COVID-19 at an off-campus location. Previously, this process applied only to those who tested outside of Dane County, but in an effort to ensure that UHS is aware of testing volume, this has been updated to include all off-campus tests. As originally stated in early August, a web form to report results would be made available to better streamline the reporting process for employees and the UHS team. Employees who receive a test from public health agencies or health care providers from an off-campus location should report their test results via the Messages menu item on MyUHS. The message center now includes an option to select “COVID-19 Outside Result Reporting.” This new process is the preferred reporting method, although employees may still email results to covidresults@wisc.edu or call 608-890-0000.

You must isolate yourself as best as possible from others, including those you live with, to protect the health of others while you recover.

Do not go to work. If you are at work when you receive your positive COVID-19 test result, go home or seek a safe and isolated place to stay. If you are home or in a safe and isolated place, stay there. Do not go into the workplace or attend other activities in person.

Tell your supervisor or Divisional Disability Representative that you will not be able to work on site. They will help you explore remote work options if you feel well enough to work, or they will inform you of your leave options if you are too sick to work. See more leave options at hr.wisc.edu/covid19/emergency-leave.

For more information on protocols for employees who test positive, visit hr.wisc.edu/covid19/.

Positive test reporting protocol for employees

Students living in University Housing

You must isolate yourself as best as possible from others, including those you live with, to protect the health of others while you recover.

UHS will notify University Housing of your positive COVID-19 test result. You will work with Isolation/Quarantine Housing, who will provide you with a safe and comfortable isolation space and help support you while you recover. You may call the number in your test result message to connect with a staff member. Some students may also choose to return home for the duration of their isolation.

You will need to be in isolation for at least 10 days, and until you are fever-free for at least 24 hours and your symptoms are improving. UHS will work with you to determine when your isolation period ends.

Notify your instructors that you will be unable to attend in-person classes for at least 10 days while you are in isolation. Your instructor will work with you to provide alternative ways to complete your work.

If you work, notify your supervisors that you will be unable to work on site for at least 10 days while you are in isolation.

Mental Health Services will be reaching out to each student during this period of time to support you. If you need more urgent assistance for mental health concerns, please call the UHS 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Line at 608-265-5600 (option 9). If you would like to schedule a routine phone screening to make an appointment at UHS Mental Health Services, call 608-265-5600 (option 2) or log on to MyUHS to make an appointment online.

More information can be found on COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation page for UW Housing at covid19.housing.wisc.edu. 

You can also find more on the Smart Restart website “Students” section and in the Smart Restart Health & Safety Brochure.

Students living off campus

You must isolate yourself as best as possible from others, including those you live with, to protect the health of others while you recover. Find more information on how to isolate on Public Health Madison and Dane County’s website. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide recommendations for quarantining and isolating when you live with other people.

Do not attend classes, work, or other activities in person. You may leave isolation 10 days after your symptoms started if you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours and your symptoms are improving. If you never develop symptoms, you can leave isolation 10 days after your positive test. UHS will work with you to determine when your isolation period ends.

Notify your instructors that you will be unable to attend in-person classes for at least 10 days while you are in isolation. Your instructor will work with you to provide alternative ways to complete your work.

If you work, notify your supervisors that you will be unable to work on site for at least 10 days while you are in isolation.

You can also find more on the Smart Restart website “Students” section and in the Smart Restart Health & Safety Brochure.

Returning to work and class after a positive COVID-19 test

You may return to the workplace and the classroom 10 days after your symptoms started if you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours and your symptoms are improving. If you never develop symptoms, you can return to the workplace 10 days after your positive test. For more information on isolating, visit the Public Health Madison and Dane County site. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide recommendations for quarantining and isolating when you live with other people.

What to do if you are told you have been exposed to someone positive for COVID-19

COVID-19 is spreading in our state and in our community. It’s possible you might be exposed to someone with the disease. Public health investigators called contact tracers work to identify anyone who may be at increased risk of exposure and will notify you when this is the case. It is important to take their call so you can help prevent others from getting the disease.

A contact tracer may ask you to quarantine yourself. For more information about quarantine, visit publichealthmdc.com/coronavirus/what-to-do-if-you-are-sick-or-possibly-exposed#exposed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide recommendations for quarantining and isolating when you live with other people.

You will need to remain in quarantine for 14 days, even if you test negative for COVID-19. You could become infectious for the virus any time within two weeks of a potential exposure. If you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 while you are in quarantine you will need to go into isolation for at least 10 days.

University Housing students will be provide a safe and comfortable place to quarantine. If you hear from a contact tracer at UHS they will help connect you with Isolation/Quarantine Housing.

Returning to work and class after quarantine

If you do not develop symptoms of COVID-19 and do not test positive for the disease, you may return to the workplace and the classroom after 14 days in quarantine. Students in University Housing staying in Isolation/Quarantine Housing will be cleared by UHS to return to work and class.

If you were tested for COVID-19 off campus

UHS will be the repository for all COVID-19 test results for employees working on campus, at campus facilities, and for all students. Test results for individuals who are tested at Henry Mall, Fluno Center, Holt, Ogg or 21 N. Park will automatically be reported to UHS.

People tested elsewhere — such as Alliant Energy Center, UW Health, an urgent care center or a doctor outside of University Health Services — should report positive test results to UHS using the secure email address: covidresults@wisc.edu or at 608-890-0000 (you will be provided prompts to follow). Results can also be submitted through a web form by logging into MyUHS, navigating to the Messages link, selecting New Message, and then choosing COVID-19 Outside Result Reporting.

Testing is available in the Madison community. See dates, times, and locations.

Individuals who test positive do not need to get tested again for three months after a positive test result.