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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 as information becomes available. If you can't find the answer to your question, please submit a question or email returntocampus@mail.wvu.edu.

Can I quarantine in my residence hall room?

Yes, if you're asked to quarantine because you are a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, follow these steps to quarantine in your residence hall.

Do I have to be tested if I've already had COVID-19? New

Students and employees who have had COVID-19 within the last 90 days are not required to be tested but should notify WVU Shared Services.

Do I have to be tested if I've been vaccinated for COVID-19? New

Students and employees required to be tested for COVID-19 — either as part of return to campus testing or ongoing testing — must still be tested even if they have received the COVID-19 vaccination. Those vaccinated can still be carriers of the virus.

How do I find my test results? Updated

The campus results dashboard should not be used to monitor individual test results. Students and employees should follow the instructions for accessing test results at:

How do I reschedule my COVID-19 test?

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?

You should receive your test results within three to five days, depending on lab workload.

For step-by-step instructions for viewing your results, see:

Related questions:

How often will employees and students get tested?

In addition to testing symptomatic individuals, WVU is sample testing certain groups of students, faculty and staff to quickly assess and limit the potential spread of COVID-19.

Individuals who may be asked to participate in sample testing include students with in-person classes, those living in residence halls and University Apartments, those participating in athletics, those in the performing arts, specific faculty and staff populations and random samples of students and employees — regardless of whether they have a known exposure or are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Some of these groups (e.g., student athletes, resident assistants and residence hall coordinators) may be asked to complete testing on a weekly basis based on their potential exposure to COVID-19.

Learn more about mandatory testing.

Spring Semester Return to Campus Testing
The University will require COVID-19 testing for all students and employees who are returning to the Morgantown campus for the spring semester.

Students, faculty and staff who are required to be tested will receive an email in early to mid-December from COVIDtesting@mail.wvu.edu with instructions to register for testing.

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

Return to Campus testing for the spring semester is being held at the Student Recreation Center and the Mountainlair through Jan. 16.

The University anticipates conducting between 2,000 to 2,500 tests a week throughout the semester in its ongoing testing program. Ongoing testing is conducted at the Student Recreation Center.

There is no charge for COVID-19 testing through WVU.

For more about our ongoing testing, the testing procedure and how results are communicated, see What You Need to Know: Testing.

Related questions:

I am an international student and have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Do I still need to participate in WVU's COVID-19 testing program if I can provide proof of vaccination?

Yes. Students who have received a COVID-19 vaccine still are required to participate in WVU’s testing program. There currently isn’t sufficient evidence on the potential for vaccinated individuals to spread COVID-19 to others. Further, at this time, individuals who have been vaccinated still will be required to quarantine if they have been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

I missed my COVID-19 testing appointment. How do I reschedule?

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

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

Check What to Do If: You May Have Been Exposed to COVID-19 for guidance.

I was tested for COVID-19 and haven't received my results within 5 days. What do I do?

Quest Diagnostics

For assistance accessing results from Quest Diagnostics, please contact Shared Services at 304-293-6006 or SharedServices@mail.wvu.edu.

QLabs

If you're trying to access results from QLabs, 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 you still cannot access your results, please call WVU Medicine Student Health at 304-285-7200.

I've already had COVID-19 and recovered. Am I now immune to the virus? What if I still test positive or exhibit new symptoms?

At this time, we do not know if someone can be re-infected with COVID-19. Data to date show that a person who has had and recovered from COVID-19 may have low levels of virus in their bodies for up to 3 months after diagnosis. This means that if you have recovered from COVID-19 and are retested within 3 months of initial infection, you may continue to have a positive test result, even though you may not be spreading COVID-19.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.

Until we know more, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all people, whether or not they have had COVID-19, continue to take safety measures to avoid becoming infected with COVID-19 such as wearing a mask, washing hands regularly and staying at least 6 feet away from others whenever possible.

If I’m completely online and don’t plan to be on campus ever, do I need to take the COVID-19 test?

No, you will not be required to take a COVID-19 test if you won’t be on campus for the spring semester. However, we recommend that all WVU students who will be in Morgantown take advantage of the free COVID-19 testing to help minimize community spread within Monongalia County.

If my class schedule is all online but I plan to be on campus, do I need to get tested?

Yes, anyone who plans to be on campus 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. Close contact is defined as having been within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

Related questions:

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

False positives from RT-PCR tests are rare. PCR tests can take from 24-72 hours to provide results but are regarded as the gold standard testing method.

Generally, antigen tests provide faster results but can be less accurate for asymptomatic screenings. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, an initial antigen test may be administered to enable the rapid identification and isolation of positive COVID-19 cases.

What are the University's overall COVID-19 test results?

We're providing updated WVU System test results every weekday.

What diagnostic tests are being used?

WVU’s spring semester testing program will use two types of diagnostic tests:

  • RT-PCR tests detect the virus’s genetic material – the RNA – and is sensitive enough to need only a small amount. PCR tests can take from 24-72 hours to provide results but are regarded as the gold standard testing method.
  • Rapid antigen tests detect specific proteins from the virus and are particularly useful for identifying a person who is at or near peak infection. Generally, antigen tests provide faster results but can be less accurate for asymptomatic screenings.
    • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, an initial antigen test may be administered to enable the rapid identification and isolation of positive COVID-19 cases.

Learn what your results mean for each test type.

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 happens if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19 through WVU testing?

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. Students can refer to our What to Do If ... pages for more about what to expect. 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 test results?

If you are in quarantine at the time of your test, you should remain in quarantine. If you have or develop symptoms of COVID-19, you should quarantine until you receive your test results. Avoid contact with others to the furthest extent possible and do not come to campus.

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 or Gaskins House for isolation. Check our step-by-step guides for detailed information.

Where should I go if I want to be tested?

Free community testing is offered regularly at the WVU Student Rec Center. No appointment is necessary. For more, see Testing: Students or Testing: Employees.

Other free testing opportunities are available through West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources partnerships. To learn more about upcoming testing opportunities, visit the Free COVID-19 Testing site.

If you're experiencing symptoms or think you've been exposed to COVID-19 ...
Students should contact WVU Student Health or contact your primary healthcare provider. Employees should contact WVU Medicine or your primary healthcare provider.

Why do I need to be tested when I return to 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 semester as testing continues.

Will COVID-19 testing be free?

Yes, the COVID-19 test is free.

If you need to have symptoms evaluated by a physician, the physician visit will be billed to your insurance.

Will testing be free for temporary employees?

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

Will the University test new hires for COVID-19 as they come on board?

Any new hires who will be working on campus, including those working in a hybrid capacity, will be required to complete a COVID-19 test.