Working Together to Protect our Community and Advance our Academic Mission

Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program

Voluntary surveillance testing will continue to be available through the summer for individuals who will frequently be on campus or at another University facility in the Chicago area and can commit to regular testing in Hyde Park. We strongly encourage anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated and who will be at a University location this summer to participate in the Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program.

Note: If you were a part of the Mandatory Surveillance Testing Program for the 2020-21 academic year but will be frequently on campus or at another University facility in the Chicago area for summer 2021 and can commit to regular testing, you have the option to enroll in the Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program.

Fully vaccinated individuals may continue in the testing program but please note that quarantine requirements apply for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status. While it is still possible for a fully vaccinated individual to contract COVID-19, a positive test of such an individual is more likely than not to be a false positive.

To be eligible for the University’s Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program, you must be a University student, faculty member, other academic appointee, postdoctoral researcher or staff member who meets these conditions:

1) Will regularly be at a University facility in the Chicago-area for this summer; and

2) Can commit to regular testing in Hyde Park for the duration of this summer.

* Individuals who will be away from campus periodically during the summer are still eligible to be tested during the weeks that they are on campus. You can request make-up tests or changes to your test schedule at the testing site or via COVIDSolutionsSupport@uchicago.edu.

People in this program must be asymptomatic and must commit to a specific time frame and day to be tested every week for the duration of the summer. In addition, eligible participants must not have tested positive for COVID-19 at any point in the 90 days prior to their first test.

Participants will be required to sign consent and HIPAA authorization forms releasing their testing results to the University and to University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) in order to be a part of the program.

  • How to register for the program 
    • An email was sent to previous testing participants with instructions on how to register. If you were not previously part of the testing program and/or did not receive this email, or cannot find it, contact COVIDSolutionsSupport@uchicago.edu.
  • Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program locations and hours 
    • The testing program will operate this summer at one location, Woodlawn Social Services (950 E. 61st), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting Monday, June 14.
    • When registering, participants will be able to select their day of the week and can come at any time during the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. period on their testing day.
    • You can request make-up tests or changes to your test schedule at the testing site or via COVIDSolutionsSupport@uchicago.edu.
    • Test information 
      • The test used is a PCR nasal swab administered by a trained medical assistant. This is less invasive than a nasopharyngeal test; it requires a light swabbing of the inside of the nose. PCR tests offer high levels of sensitivity and specificity.
      • The test should take less than 10 minutes to complete.
      • All tests are free to the participant, and insurance information will not be required or otherwise used.
    • Results
      • Results from your test will be available within 48 hours and available on MyChart, a medical patient portal.
      • If you test positive for COVID-19, your result will be available on MyChart and you will be contacted by phone with next steps and options for follow-up care. If you are a student, you will be contacted by UChicago Student Wellness; other academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, and staff will be notified by UCM.
    • Option for fully vaccinated individuals to opt-out of testing program
      • UChicago Medicine experts have advised the University, in accordance with CDC guidance, that asymptomatic testing of fully vaccinated individuals is not necessary. While it is still possible for a fully vaccinated individual to contract COVID-19, a positive test in a person without any symptoms is more likely than not to be a false positive.
      • Individuals are considered fully vaccinated:
        • Two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or
        • Two weeks after receiving the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
      • To opt out of the program, inform covidsolutionssupport@uchicago.edu so that your future appointments can be cancelled.
      • The program remains available to individuals who choose to continue participating regardless of their vaccination status. If you decide to continue participating in the program, no action is required. Important note: if you are fully vaccinated and receive a positive test result, isolation requirements according to public health guidance will continue to apply regardless of your vaccination status.
      • Regardless of your vaccination status, if you experience symptoms of COVID-19 you should schedule a screening with UChicago Medicine or UChicago Student Wellness. Students should call Student Wellness at (773) 834-WELL. Faculty, academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, and staff members should call the UCM triage hotline at (773) 702-2800 to arrange a test and receive any needed medical attention. Employees of UCM or the Biological Sciences Division may call (773) 702-6819.
    • Frequently asked questions

If you have been exposed to or test positive for COVID-19, promptly report to C19HealthReport@uchicago.edu, even if you have not been on campus.