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Testing Common Questions

These questions supplement What You Need to Know: Testing, where you can find more information.

Questions will be added and updated throughout the summer. If you can't find the answer to your question, please email returntocampus@mail.wvu.edu or ask it at a Return to Campus Conversation.

Are nasal swab tests as accurate as the more intense tests?

Yes. These tests have been proven to be accurate while also being less invasive.

Can employees and students get tested before coming to campus?

You can certainly get tested on your own before coming to campus. However, you also will be required to test again once you arrive on campus. Prior test results will not be accepted by the University.

Do I have to get tested for COVID-19 before I move into my residence hall? New

If you're living in a residence hall, you should plan to be tested for COVID-19 the day you move into your residence hall. Depending on your move-in time, you should schedule your COVID-19 test before or after moving in. Testing hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you are unable to schedule your test for the same day you move into your residence hall, you should schedule an appointment no later than the next day.

How do I cancel my COVID-19 test if I won't be on campus?

If you need to cancel:

  • Log back into myhousing.wvu.edu.
  • Select COVID-19 Testing.
  • Select Continue.
  • Select Schedule an Appointment at the top of your confirmation page.
  • Follow the prompts to cancel.

How do I reschedule my COVID-19 test? Updated

If you need to reschedule:

  • Log back into myhousing.wvu.edu.
  • Select COVID-19 Testing.
  • Select Continue.
  • Select Schedule an Appointment at the top of your confirmation page.
  • Follow the prompts to cancel and reschedule your appointment.

If you missed your appointment, please call Shared Services at 304-293-6006 for assistance. You will not be able to reschedule using the instructions above.

How is it not against HIPAA for people to be notified if someone tests positive?

Students, faculty and staff will be notified privately by the local health department if they test positive. Those identified as a close contact will be notified they have been exposed, but no personal, identifying information will be given.

WVU Student Health and WVU Medical Management are also notified of positive cases during the contact tracing process in order to aid in medical care and initiate cleaning and disinfecting processes.

How long will it take for test results to come back? How can I check them? Updated

You should receive your test results within three to five days, depending on lab workload. Morgantown students can view their test results online by creating an account with Quest. Employees on all campuses, WVU Potomac State College students and WVU Institute of Technology students will be given a registration number from QLabs, which they can use to view their results online.

For step-by-step instructions, see Getting Your Results on the Testing page.

Related questions:

How often will employees and students get tested?

Once the first phase of initial testing is complete, the University will continue to provide testing throughout the year, focusing on three major areas:

  • Rapid testing for anyone who exhibits any symptoms
  • Frequent, ongoing testing for groups that may be at higher risk (e.g., those living in residence halls, those participating in athletics and those in the performing arts)
  • Ongoing surveillance testing throughout the campus community during the school year

There is no cost to the individual being tested. Since the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), all forms of public and private insurance, including self-funded plans, must cover FDA-approved COVID-19 tests and costs associated with testing with no cost-sharing.

Related questions:

How will I be contacted if I need to get tested for COVID-19?

If you have been designated as an on-campus or hybrid employee, you will receive an email with information about registering for testing. View more information about testing.

How will the University enforce students to stay home if not tested but still want to use campus facilities? New

When it comes to public access to facilities, we will monitor as best as we can, but this is really where personal accountability comes in; we need our community to follow our guidance and not step foot on campus if they haven’t been tested for COVID-19 and received a negative result.

How, when and where will tests for COVID-19 be conducted? Will I have to pay for them? How will I learn the results, and what will be done with the information?

To view the test schedule and learn about scheduling your test, what to do the day you get tested and how you'll receive your results, see What You Need to Know: Testing.

Related questions:

I am a Health Sciences employee who works on campus for about one hour a week. Do I need to get tested?

Yes. All employees who have regularly scheduled hours on campus will be required to get tested.

I am a sufferer of allergies and sinus issues. Will that affect the test results for COVID-19?

WVU's testing providers (Quest Diagnostics and QLabs) will perform a nasal live-virus, anterior swab test, which is less invasive and results in less discomfort than sampling from other upper respiratory anatomical sites. The presence of other symptoms should not affect the test results.

I am being considered a “hybrid” employee this fall. Do I need to get tested?

Yes. If you will be consistently working on campus — even if it's not every day — you are required to be tested.

I missed my appointment. How do I reschedule? New

Please call Shared Services at 304-293-6006 for assistance.

I think I was exposed; can I request a test?

Check our Coronavirus FAQ for information on what to do if you have symptoms and what to do if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Students should contact Student Health. All others should contact their primary care provider or call the WVU Medicine line at 304-598-6000 (Option 4).

I’ve gotten tested for COVID-19 and have not received my results within 5 days. What do I do? New

Please call Student Health at 304-285-7200 for an update on your result, whether you are an employee or student.

For employees: We ask that you attempt to use the Qlabs website for testing results in an alternate web browser, and double-check that you are entering the number correctly, with QL at the beginning of the number.

If I am a student and also an employee who will be working remotely this fall, will I be required to get tested?

Yes. Students who also are employees and will be on campus this fall will be required to undergo testing.

If I’m completely online and don’t plan to be on campus ever, do I need to take the COVID-19 test? And if not, how can I be sure I won’t be charged the $250 fee?

No, you will not be required to take a COVID-19 test if you won’t be on-campus this fall. You will not receive a $250 fee if you are not required to take a test and do not take one. However, we are recommending that all WVU students who will be in Morgantown should take advantage of the free COVID-19 testing to help minimize community spread within Monongalia County. If you are charged a $250 fee inappropriately, please contact Shared Services at 304-293-6006.

If I’ve already been tested and can provide my test results, will I be required to get tested again?

Yes. Prior COVID-19 test results will not be accepted.

If my class schedule is all online but I plan to work on/hang out on campus, do I need to get tested?

Yes, anyone who plans to be on campus this fall in any capacity is required to be tested for COVID-19 and receive a negative result prior to physically being on campus.

If one student in a class tests positive, will all students in the class have to quarantine?

Only those who have been within close contact of a person who tests positive will be asked to quarantine. A close contact is someone who is within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes of the person who tests positive.

Related questions:

Is it true that if you have a common cold or very recently had a cold that you can test positive for COVID-19?

The CDC says there is a chance that antibody testing may produce a positive result if you have antibodies from another virus from the coronavirus family, such as the common cold. Some milder coronaviruses can cause illnesses like the common cold, while others cause more severe illnesses like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The COVID-19 viral test (which will be used to test WVU faculty, staff and students) tells patients whether they have a current infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Should I reschedule my COVID-19 testing time? New

You should do so only if you are planning to schedule a later move-in date/time and/or if you are planning to leave Monongalia County after your scheduled COVID-19 test and prior to the start of the fall semester. It is recommended that you do not leave Monongalia County following your COVID-19 test in an attempt to minimize community spread.

Related questions:

What about testing for staff located in Charleston?

Students, faculty and staff on our regional campuses will have access to testing in their areas. They will not have to travel to Morgantown to get tested. More details will be coming soon.

What are the chances that a test could result in a false positive?

False positives are rare. The test only indicates infection at the time of testing. Students, faculty and staff will be asked to monitor conditions and consult with Student Health or their provider if they develop symptoms.

What consequences do faculty and staff face if they do not get tested and complete the education module within the established deadlines?

Faculty and staff will be subject to disciplinary actions until they get tested and complete the education module. These actions include (but are not limited to) being placed on an administrative leave without pay and/or being placed on administrative leave while using annual leave.

What consequences do students face if they do not get tested and complete the education module within the established deadlines?

Students will be subject to a $250 fine and may face disciplinary actions in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Students will have an opportunity to provide information about any extenuating circumstances that may apply. Consequences will be based on the specifics of each student’s situation and may include but are not limited to: increased education on public health risks, written warning, removal from class, probation, suspension and/or expulsion from the University.

What does “nasal live-virus” mean?

This means that the sample to be tested will be collected from your nose. WVU's testing providers (Quest Diagnostics and QLabs) will perform a nasal live-virus, anterior swab test, which is less invasive and results in less discomfort than sampling from other upper respiratory anatomical sites. Your test result will indicate that at the time of testing, you were either positive or negative for COVID-19. More information can be found on the CDC Testing site.

What does “surveillance testing” mean?

Surveillance testing is when you test an ongoing population for a potential infection.

What happens if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19?

Students, faculty and staff with a positive test result will be notified by the local health department.

Morgantown students, faculty and staff with a positive test result will also be notified by the Student Health Services clinic. Representatives from the local health department will conduct a case investigation for all positive cases and initiate contact tracing.

The University will assist with contact tracing and also work with local health departments to determine if there is a need to decontaminate a specific facility or implement any additional mitigation measures.

Testing information regarding patients is regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines and will be kept confidential.

What protocols should faculty, staff and students follow while waiting for their test results?

You will be asked to maintain physical separation as much as possible and avoid large gatherings to the fullest extent possible until the results of your test are available.

Faculty and staff should still report to work, but they must wear a mask/face covering as mandated, stay in their workspace as much as possible, practice physical distancing and avoid large crowds.

Students can leave their residence hall room but should wear a mask/face covering as mandated and stay physically distant as much as possible. Students should still be able to eat within the dining halls, but they should wear a mask/face covering and physically distance themselves while traveling to dining halls and when they are not eating. During this period, various virtual activities will be hosted for students to stay busy, meet people, etc.

What should employees expect after testing positive for COVID-19?

Employees will be contacted by their local health department and will be instructed to isolate. They will be encouraged to contact their primary care provider for additional care information.

What should students expect after testing positive for COVID-19?

WVU Student Health and Student Life will work with the student to ensure they follow proper isolation protocols. Students living in residence halls who test positive will be moved to Arnold Apartments (which have been newly renovated) for isolation and are encouraged to contact their instructor for accommodations.

Any student, no matter where they live, who tests positive is encouraged to notify the WVU CARE Team to make sure their needs are met.

When can I schedule my test for COVID-19?

You will receive an email to your WVU account containing a registration link:

  • Morgantown faculty and staff: Registration emails began going out Monday, July 13, to faculty and staff (@mail.wvu.edu accounts) who will be returning to work on campus, even if they will not be on campus every day. Employees who are on temporary furlough will receive the email to schedule testing upon their return.
  • Morgantown students (including graduate assistants, student workers, work-study students, etc.): Registration emails began going out to Morgantown students on Monday, July 20. Student testing registration emails are being sent to @mix.wvu.edu accounts.
  • Beckley and Keyser faculty, staff and students: A registration email will be sent on Monday, Aug. 3, to students, faculty and staff at WVU Institute of Technology and WVU Potomac State College.

The test schedule, how to reschedule and more details are on What You Need to Know: Testing.

If you have questions about the testing schedule or need assistance with registering, contact WVU Shared Services at 304-293-6006 or sharedservices@mail.wvu.edu.

Related questions:

Why do I need to be tested when I arrive on campus?

It's important that WVU establishes a baseline of disease prevalence on campus. The best way to do this is testing when students, staff and faculty return to campus. This will allow the University to monitor trends throughout the year as testing continues.

Why were some students asked to be testers?

The University has provided WVU's health professions students with an opportunity to participate in a community service project to work alongside experienced medical personnel to collect anterior nasal swab specimen for COVID-19 testing in exchange for community service hours. This is a voluntary opportunity for students to gain community experience in the healthcare field. Volunteers will be outfitted in full PPE at N95 mask level, trained on technique and fit tested for mask use prior to duty days. They will be supervised by trained, medical professionals.

Will COVID-19 testing be free?

Yes, the initial test will be free. There may be a cost to additional testing.

Will everyone be tested before returning to campus?

WVU will provide a free test to all students, faculty and staff who are returning to WVU campuses and provide for continued testing throughout the year. Students who are taking classes exclusively online will not be required to be tested. Employees who are notified by their supervisor in the coming weeks that they will continue to work remotely this fall will not be required to be tested. Extension agents in the field are not required to be tested but are welcome to travel to a campus testing site if they choose.

The test schedule, sign-up process and more details are on What You Need to Know: Testing.

Related questions:

Will testing be drive-thru or walk-up?

Employees are being tested outside of the Coliseum, which is a drive-thru location. However, a walk-up lane will be available.

Morgantown students will be tested at the Mountainlair, Recreation Center and Erickson Alumni Center, which are indoor (walk-up) locations.

Will testing be free for temporary employees?

Yes. Testing will be free for all employees who will be working on campus.