Working Together to Protect our Community and Advance our Academic Mission

COVID-19 Voluntary Testing Program Registration Re-Opening (Oct. 12, 2020)

From: Katie Callow-Wright, Executive Vice President of the University and Chief of Staff in the Office of the President
Subject: Opportunity to Participate in UChicago COVID-19 Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program

The University of Chicago is reopening the registration for its COVID-19 Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program beginning today, Monday, October 12, for those who are not already part of the University’s COVID-19 surveillance testing programs. We encourage anyone in the University community who might be on campus during Autumn Quarter to register for this weekly testing program.

Weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing is a critical part of our efforts to limit the spread of the virus, and testing is mandatory for students living on campus and for in-season varsity athletes. Re-opening registration for the Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program gives those who did not know their Autumn Quarter schedule or who did not apply during the first phase of registration another opportunity to participate. You can apply to participate in the weekly program until 5 p.m. CT on Thursday, October 15, or until it has reached capacity, whichever is soonest.

Participant Requirements

If you would like to apply to be part of the Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program (and are not already a participant in either the voluntary or mandatory testing program), you must be a University student, faculty member, other academic appointee, postdoctoral researcher, or staff member who meets the following criteria:

  • Will regularly be on the Hyde Park campus this academic year*;
  • Has not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days prior to your registration; and
  • Can commit to weekly testing for the duration of the academic year**

*If you are a student, you may apply if you plan to interact with other current students, use on-campus resources, or otherwise be on campus for any reason, regardless of whether you are taking classes in person or remotely.

**Those who intend to leave Chicago during vacation periods in the academic year are eligible to participate in the testing program.

If you meet these criteria, follow the steps below to apply. Space is limited, so we encourage you to register as soon as possible. In selecting participants, we will take into account a number of factors, including how often prospective participants expect to be on campus. For those accepted, testing will begin no earlier than late October or early November.

Test Locations

The weekly Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program is held at two central locations on the Hyde Park campus:

  • 950 E. 61st Street (Woodlawn Social Services Center (WSSC), lobby at Ellis Avenue)
  • Rosenwald Hall, 1101 E. 58th Street, Suite 100 (at University Avenue)

Testing at Rosenwald is near capacity, so most new participants will likely be assigned to 950 E. 61st St.

Test Process

The University of Chicago Medicine will administer the weekly testing at no expense to participants. The test will be a nasal swab test conducted by a trained medical assistant and should take less than 10 minutes. This is less invasive than a nasopharyngeal test; it requires a light swabbing of the inside of the nose. Participants will receive their results typically within 48 hours.

More information and frequently asked questions about the University’s COVID-19 testing program as well as our contact tracing and treatment measures are available on the UChicago Forward website.

Instructions to Apply for the Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program

(Students under age 18 will need their parent or legal guardian to sign their consent form and HIPAA authorization to complete registration.)

Step 1: Go to to complete a screening questionnaire to determine if you are eligible for the program. If you are, you will be directed to the next step.

Step 2: If you are confirmed eligible to apply, you will continue your application with your name, date of birth, University affiliation (student/non-student), and you will select your preferred testing day(s) and time slot(s).

Step 3: Next, you will need to digitally sign a consent form and HIPAA authorization to release your testing results to the University and UCM. You will need your Chicago ID number for this process.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your Chicago ID is not your student ID number. This is the 8-digit number followed by a letter found on the back of your University ID card. If you do not yet have a University ID card, you can find your Chicago ID at Faculty, other academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, and staff can also find their Chicago ID numbers at the site listed above.

Step 4: Once complete, you should receive a copy of your signed consent form and HIPAA authorization by email immediately.

Step 5: If you are accepted into the program, you will receive an email at a later date to register for MyChart, a medical patient portal. Participants must activate their MyChart account to see their scheduled testing date and time slot, along with additional details about your test. MyChart is also where you will locate your results. If you are not accepted into the program, you will be notified by email in the coming weeks.

Step 6: Participants should arrive at testing site with their UChicago ID or other form of photo identification. You will not need your insurance information. The test is free to participants; all costs will be covered by the University.

If you have been exposed to or test positive for COVID-19, promptly report to, even if you have not been on campus.