September 30, 2021
To: Members of the University Community
From: Katie Callow-Wright, Executive Vice President of the University and Chief of Staff in the Office of the President
The University of Chicago is opening applications for its COVID-19 Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program for the 2021-22 academic year beginning today, Thursday, September 30. This program is distinct from the Mandatory Surveillance Testing Program, which is required for all employees and students who are not yet fully vaccinated or who have obtained a vaccination exemption from the University for medical or religious reasons.
Weekly voluntary testing for employees and students who are fully vaccinated and will be on campus or another Chicago-area University facility regularly this Autumn Quarter can serve as an additional individual precaution and will help us monitor and limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
You can apply to participate in the weekly program until 5 p.m. CT on Thursday, October 7, or until it has reached capacity, whichever is soonest.
If you would like to apply to be part of the Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program (and are not already a participant in the mandatory testing program), you must be a University student, faculty member, other academic appointee, postdoctoral researcher, or staff member who meets the following criteria:
• Is fully vaccinated;
• Will regularly be on the Hyde Park campus or another University facility in the Chicago area this academic year;
• Has not tested positive for COVID-19 in the 90 days prior to your registration; and
• Can commit to weekly testing for the duration of the Autumn Quarter. Those who intend to leave Chicago for breaks/holidays are eligible to participate in the testing program.
If you meet these criteria and would like to participate, please complete the consent and HIPAA forms below to apply. Space is limited, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. You will be notified by the COVID-19 Testing Program if you are accepted. For those accepted, testing will begin in mid-to-late October.
The testing program will operate in the Walker Museum, Suite 309, located on the main quadrangle at 1115 E. 58th St.
No cost to participants
Costs of the tests will be covered by the University.
New consent and HIPAA authorization forms
To apply to participate in the testing program, please complete and submit the consent and HIPAA authorization forms created specifically for this testing program here. You must complete them, even if you completed similar forms in the past. Both forms can be accessed, completed, and submitted on the REDCap registration website. Required forms must be completed prior to your first appointment. Students under age 18 must have their legal guardian sign their consent form to complete registration.
Test type and results
For the 2021-22 academic year, the testing program will use a saliva-based COVID-19 test. During their testing appointment, participants will be asked to provide 1-2 ml of saliva into a specimen vial. While medical professionals will be on site to assist, the saliva specimen is self-collected by the participant.
Test results will be released within 48 hours but will normally be available faster.
Patient portal and testing times
The online medical patient portal for the 2021-22 academic year is my.WellnessPortal, which is separate from UChicago Medicine’s MyChart. Accounts have already been created, and students and employees can login using their CNetID and password. Through this portal, participants can: view information on testing appointments; reschedule testing appointments (subject to testing program availability); view test results.
COVID-19 testing appointments will be set for specific times. This is different from the 4-hour testing windows used last year. Participants will be able to change their testing appointment day and time via self-service capabilities in the portal, subject to appointment availability. If you are unable to be tested at your regular appointment time, you must contact the testing program at C19Testing@uchicago.edu or reschedule through the portal, subject to testing availability.
Testing if symptomatic or exposed
If you are symptomatic or exposed, you should not attend your regularly scheduled testing appointment—instead call the contact numbers on this page to schedule a screening with UChicago Medicine (employees) or UChicago Student Wellness (students). The screening process will determine whether a nasal-based COVID-19 test through the University’s Symptomatic Testing Program is needed. (Individuals experiencing symptoms may also contact their own medical providers if they do not wish to be screened and tested through the University's Symptomatic Testing Program.)
If you have questions related to applying for the testing program or the testing program in general, contact C19Testing@uchicago.edu. Please view our testing FAQ web page for answers to frequently asked questions.