Know Before You Go

Before heading home, get free COVID testing Nov. 16-18

UC students both on and off campus will soon be heading home for the Thanksgiving Holiday and winter break, and we want to help you have a healthy holiday season with your families.  

For peace of mind, to contribute to public health efforts, and to help you and your families take any added health precautions, the university will provide free, voluntary COVID testing Monday, Nov. 16 thru Wednesday, Nov. 18to any currently enrolled student in a “Know Before You Go” testing blitz.

What's the process

Testing will consist of a highly sensitive viral test known as a PCR and will be provided by Wild Health Laboratory of Lexington, Kentucky. It’s quick. The entire testing experience requires less than 5 minutes. Students should arrive approximately 10 minutes before their appointment time.

Results will be available within 48-72 hours of testing.

  • Students who test positive will be called by University Health Services nursing staff.
  • Students who test negative will receive an email to their university account.

When can students get tested

Each testing appointment requires just a few minutes, but you must reserve your 5-minute appointment slot, available between 10 a.m.-6 p.m. each day, Monday, Nov. 16, thru Wednesday, Nov. 18

SIGN UP now as appointments are available on a first-come basis.

Where will the pre-break test blitz take place

Testing will take place at the Campus Recreation Center basketball courts. Social distancing and mask wearing will be maintained.  

UPDATE on entry: To participate in the pre-break COVID testing blitz, first go to the Stadium View Cafe at the north end of Nippert Stadium (right behind the large scoreboard).

From the Stadium View Cafe locale, you will follow the signs directing you to Know Before You Go testing.

Because we are seeking to direct traffic in order to safeguard everyone's health and social distancing, please do NOT enter the basketball courts from the Nippert Stadium playing field. 

Please make use of the COVID Check App for your daily health check before leaving your residence hall room or coming to campus for this testing. Students are required to complete and pass the daily health check to enter some campus buildings including dining centers and the Campus Recreation Center.

What happens if a test result is positive

Students testing positive will receive a phone call from University Health Services nursing staff to review next steps. In addition, a member of UHS’ Investigation and Contact Tracing Team will be in contact with the student. 

For students residing in University Housing who test positive in this pre-break testing blitz, UC Housing isolation accommodations will be offered and strongly encouraged in order to avoid travel as well as exposure and risk to family members and others. Students may opt for UC Housing isolation accommodations for the full 10 days or may accept such accommodations until their families are able to make suitable plans and arrangements for at-home isolation. If students do travel home, they should only do so in a private vehicle (no public transportation) and avoid any close contacts with others. Please see CDC guidelines for isolating when sick or positive with COVID-19.

What if you are a close contact with someone who tests positive

Close contacts of anyone with a positive test result will be strongly encouraged to obtain a COVID-19 test and to quarantine for 14 days. Exposure testing is available via a variety of on-campus options including

  • Testing available every weekday via the on-campus UHS Testing Center located at Commons Edge North, 55 W. Daniels Street. Students may call (513) 556-2654 for an appointment.
  • Also for symptomatic students and those who have had close exposure to infected individuals, University Health Services can arrange for testing at the UC Health Uptown Campus, 3120 Burnet Avenue (East Campus), which is by appointment only.
  • Testing may also be obtained via private physicians, options like Kroger’s Little Clinic or local and regional health departments, among others. 

Close contacts will generally need to quarantine for 14 days. See CDC information regarding quarantine.

If instructed to quarantine, it's recommended that students in University Housing return to their permanent homes to do so. If that is not possible due to extenuating circumstances, on-campus quarantine accommodations will be offered.  

What to expect if quarantining or isolating on campus over Thanksgiving

If isolating or quarantining on campus, a student will receive outreach from a member of the University Housing team to assess the student's needs, situation and explain the process for temporary relocation. This will include

  • Students will be offered transportation to and from quarantine or isolation housing.
  • Students receive recommendations on what to bring with them to quarantine or isolation as relates to bedding, clothing, toiletries, schoolwork material, laptops, chargers, etc.
  • Information on meal options/plans, via UC Food Services, as well a laundry service are reviewed.
  • This initial conversation is followed up with an email to the student containing their quarantine or isolation room assignment along with a listing of "what to bring" for their quarantine or isolation stay.
  • UC's Division of Student Affairs periodically calls students in UC quarantine and isolation and seeks to determine how those in quarantine and isolation are doing, how students might be staying active and engaged, physical activities, in contact with family and friends, etc.
  • Resident education staff also provide UC quarantining and isolating students with their cell phone numbers to allow for immediate access and assistance.

UC Food Services will offer the option of a special Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day. 

In addition, other services will remain available to students via Counseling and Psychological Servicesonline exercise options from the Campus Recreation Center, and throughout any quarantine or isolation, students will be able to continue studies remotely.

What happens if a test is negative

Students who test negative will receive an email to their university account.

It's important to remember that any test is a snapshot of one moment in time. Anyone can contract COVID-19 subsequent to any test, and that’s why it’s so important to maintain consistency in healthful behaviors. These include mask wearing, social distancing, hand hygiene, cleaning of frequently used spaces, and limiting gatherings to 10 people or fewer.

Please remember the importance of complying with COVID-19 safety precautions over the next few weeks. Making safe and responsible choices now will help to ensure the health of our families at home and here at UC. Remember, Bearcats take care of Bearcats!

Don't bring COVID home for the holidays

Below are some essential steps for college students to see family safely, from "MedPage Today." Advice includes

  • Self-sequester 8 days before leaving for home.
  • Get pre-travel COVID-19 testing.
  • If your COVID test is negative, travel according to CDC guidelines, including a double mask and eye protection. Also, clean your hands frequently with alcohol-based sanitzer and use antibacterial wipes on the areas around you while you travel.