FAQs About Student Testing

FAQs About Student Testing

UPDATE

Due to the current rise of cases on campus, Wake Forest is currently testing all undergraduate students weekly at the testing center on campus. The only exceptions are:

  • Any students who are in quarantine at the hotels. Student Health Service will arrange for testing for these students.
  • Students with symptoms. Symptomatic students must contact Student Health Service at apptshs@nullwfu.edu or call 336.758.5218 to arrange for testing at the clinic AND follow recommendations to isolate.
  • Students who tested positive in the previous 90 days. They should fill out the reschedule form.
  • Student-athletes who are tested as part of their sport.

Wake Forest University will continue to test students each week to track the prevalence of COVID-19 among students who may not present any symptoms but may still spread the infection to others. Testing the asymptomatic student population will help inform decisions about University operating levels and public health measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. (see sample invitation)

The test is required and will be administered on campus at no cost to students.

Wake Forest has partnered with BioReference to administer these tests.


testing location

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Testing Location

  • Enter the testing location from Parking Lot X (see map), located at the corner of Wake Forest Road and Carroll Weathers Drive and across the street from the Worrell Professional Center. Parking is available for students getting tested.
  • Because of cold weather in the spring, testing will be on the top floor of the former Anthropology Museum (No. 29 on the campus map). Signs will direct students to the appropriate location upon arrival.
  • When warmer weather arrives, testing will take place under tents on the tennis and basketball courts outside of Palmer and Piccolo Residence Halls (No. 48 on the campus map), but the only access is from Parking Lot X.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about testing can be answered in several ways:

Requests for an exemption to testing may be submitted here (please see the FAQ below about exemptions).

Please refrain from contacting Student Health Service about testing policy or processes so that medical staff remain available to address personal health issues.

    I've been selected. What do I need to know?

  • Why was I selected to get tested for COVID-19?

    At least 1,000 students are selected each week to be tested. Asymptomatic testing tracks the prevalence of COVID-19 among students who may not present any symptoms but may still spread the infection to others. NOTE: Starting the week of Feb. 8, Wake Forest will test all undergraduate students weekly until further notice.

  • Am I required to get tested?

    If you are notified that you have been selected for COVID-19 testing, you are required to comply. The Public Health Emergency Addendum to the Undergraduate Student Code of Conduct requires that students “comply with all University policies and expectations that are implemented in response to the pandemic and that pertain to student conduct on-campus and off-campus.”

  • What happens if I do not get tested?

    Those failing to comply will be subject to sanctions through the Student Code of Conduct process, including removal from on-campus housing, and/or suspension or expulsion.

  • Under what conditions could I request an exemption from testing?

    Exemptions are limited to:

    • students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19,
    • students who are in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19,
    • students with documented acute medical conditions,
    • have had a positive COVID-19 result in the past 90 days and have notified the University (see question below for details);
    • and students who do not reside within a 45-mile radius of the Wake Forest University Reynolda Campus. NOTE: If you tell the University that you are living outside that radius and cannot come for testing, your DeaconOne Card will be deactivated. You will not be allowed to come to a Wake Forest University property or participate in University-sponsored programs off campus.

    No other exceptions will be made.

    • If you are currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or have other medical concerns, contact Student Health Service at 336-758-5218 or apptshs@wfu.edu.
    • Submit your exemption (via this form) to the COVID-19 Coordinator if you have been selected for asymptomatic testing and you are currently in quarantine or isolation for COVID-19 at the direction of Student Health Service, have a documented acute medical condition, or do not reside within a 45 mile radius of the Wake Forest University Reynolda Campus.

    You are required to get tested when notified, even if you have been vaccinated or have a prior positive COVID test result suggesting the possibility of antibodies.

  • What if I was recently tested due to symptoms or possible exposure?

    If you do not meet any of the exemption criteria listed in the previous answer, you are still required to get tested through the testing program.

  • I tested positive for COVID in the past. Am I exempt from testing now?

    If your positive COVID test came within the past 90 days:

    • Please submit a Rescheduling Form and indicate you have been positive within the last 90 days.
    • Be sure that you have notified the University of any positive test, whether you live on or off campus. If you receive a positive test (and it was not administered by the Student Health Service), you must email your test result to traceshs@wfu.edu and covid-coordinator@wfu.edu immediately with your full name and student ID.

    If your positive COVID test was more than 90 days ago:

    • You must comply with asymptomatic testing, unless you meet the exemption criteria outlined above and in the test request email.
  • I have received both vaccination shots. Why do I still need to test?

    While the vaccine has been shown to reduce or prevent symptoms and lower the risk of serious illness, it has not been proven to prevent infection and transmission of the virus to others. In other words, a person who is fully vaccinated can still become infected and pass it on to others. Therefore we must continue to do testing on students who have been vaccinated, and act upon a positive test result accordingly.

    Students who have been vaccinated will have antibodies, but we are not testing antibodies. We are testing for virus. If a vaccinated student tests positive for COVID-19, that student will be required to comply with the same isolation requirements as unvaccinated students.

    The University is, however, making an adjustment to quarantine requirements for students who have been vaccinated. Specifically, if a student has received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and is later identified as a close contact due to contact tracing, the vaccinated student will not be required to quarantine if the student is asymptomatic. If the vaccinated student begins experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they should immediately contact the SHS.

  • I now have a conflict with my scheduled testing time. How do I reschedule?

    It is your responsibility to cancel your current appointment through the BioReference portal and schedule a new appointment. If you cannot reschedule your appointment using the portal, submit the need to reschedule to the COVID Coordinator using this form. If you do not reschedule for the current week of testing, you will be contacted by the COVID Coordinator.

  • I forgot the the date and time of my appointment. How do I find it?

    You should receive a text message right after scheduling that includes confirmation number, time, date and the WFU address.

    In addition, you can return to the portal and choose “Cancel Existing Booking.” Input your confirmation number, email address and phone number. On the next screen, titled “Booking Cancellation,” your appointment date/time will be displayed. Then hit “Go Back” or exit the portal.

  • How will I receive my test results and how long will it take?

    Once your result is available, you will need to log into the BioReference portal to view your results, following these steps:

    1. Go to go.wfu.edu/testresults and select PATIENT PORTAL.
    2. Click the CREATE AN ACCOUNT button and complete the registration process. You must use your WFU email address.
    3. If you need assistance accessing the portal, email patientportal@bioreference.com.

    We anticipate the average wait time should be 48-72 hours until your results are posted. It could take longer depending on the demand across the country/availability of lab processing.

    If your test result is positive:

    • You will receive a call from the University Contact Tracing Team during normal business hours to review:
      • How and where to isolate
      • Resources for support during isolation
      • Determine others who may have been in contact with them during the time they were contagious (contact tracing)
      • To connect students who need medical attention related to any symptoms
    • Until students receive a call from the University Contact Tracing Team, those with positive tests should follow CDC recommendations for isolation.
    • Students who need medical advice on how to care for symptoms if they develop, can call the Student Health Service during normal business hours for guidance or to schedule an appointment. A nurse advice line is available for students who need urgent medical advice by calling the Student Health Service, appointments cannot be made on the after-hours line. Appointments in the Student Health Service are not required for those with a positive test or symptoms.
    • Students do not need to notify the University or the Student Health Service of a positive result unless they need medical guidance.
  • What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

    If your test result is positive:

    • You will receive a call from the University Contact Tracing Team during normal business hours to review:
      • How and where to isolate
      • Resources for support during isolation
      • Determine others who may have been in contact with them during the time they were contagious (contact tracing)
      • To connect students who need medical attention related to any symptoms
    • Until students receive a call from the University Contact Tracing Team, those with positive tests should follow CDC recommendations for isolation.
    • Students who need medical advice on how to care for symptoms if they develop, can call the Student Health Service during normal business hours for guidance or to schedule an appointment. A nurse advice line is available for students who need urgent medical advice by calling the Student Health Service, appointments cannot be made on the after-hours line. Appointments in the Student Health Service are not required for those with a positive test or symptoms.
    • Students do not need to notify the University or the Student Health Service of a positive result unless they need medical guidance.
  • What do I do if I get a positive result in my Bioreference portal after business hours?

    Until students receive a call from the University Contact Tracing Team, those with positive tests should follow CDC recommendations for isolation. Stay in their room/home and away from others and wear a mask.

    Students do not need to notify the University or the Student Health Service of a positive result from asymptomatic testing unless they need medical guidance.* Please note that appointments in the Student Health Service are not required for those with a positive test or symptoms.

    *Students who need medical advice on how to care for symptoms (if they develop) can call the Student Health Service during normal business hours for guidance or to schedule an appointment. A nurse advice line is available after hours for students who need urgent medical advice by calling the Student Health Service. Note: appointments cannot be made on the after hours line.

  • Will I be required to get tested more than once?

    It is likely you will be notified more than once that you must get tested. While this may seem unfair, remember that each test only represents a snapshot in time.

  • What if I am unable to get tested due to a physical disability?

    Students who require disability-related accommodations to complete COVID-19 testing should email wfevents@wfu.edu.

  • Am I required to quarantine while waiting for test results?

    You will not be asked to quarantine unless you are exhibiting symptoms or have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

  • What type of test is it?

    BioReference Laboratories, a nationally recognized lab that specializes in mobile testing, will use a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test utilizing anterior nares (nasal swab) collection. The swab is taken from the front of the nostril only and has been described as the least invasive of the different types of nasal swabs.

  • The CDC advised against testing individuals without symptoms. Why is Wake Forest continuing this program?

    While asymptomatic testing for individuals is unnecessary, random testing of groups in congregate living environments, like college campuses, helps to track the prevalence of the virus and informs containment strategy and the University’s approach to protecting public health.

  • Can I volunteer to get tested?

    Unfortunately no.

    Surveillance testing (or stratified random sample testing to be more specific) serves the purpose of 1) understanding the pervasiveness of the virus as early as possible; and 2) engage the contact tracing and investigation process to mitigate spread.  For that reason, we need to maintain the integrity of our stratified random sampling process.

    If you are experiencing symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to someone known to have tested positive for COVID-19, please contact Student Health Service at 336-758-5218 or email apptshs@wfu.edu.

  • Will I need to wait in a crowded area to get tested?

    No, the testing area will not be crowded. Test appointments are spaced out to avoid a large group of people being present at any one time. The testing site was strategically selected to aid with social distancing. Staff will be present to monitor conditions and address any concerns.

  • Who sees the results of my COVID-19 test?

    Test results will be protected in compliance with FERPA. Test results will not be shared with a parent or guardian without a student’s specific consent. Student Health Service will notify Residence Life and Housing of the need to provide quarantine/isolation accommodations when necessary. (This may also be required by possible exposure and does not suggest a positive test result.)

    Student Health Service must notify the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services of positive results but will not provide personally identifiable information. Aggregate data of confirmed COVID-19 cases will be reported on the Wake Forest’s COVID-19 dashboard and will include known positive, laboratory-verified test results reported to the Student Health Service. The source of these tests will be both clinical diagnostic testing and the testing program.

  • My friend just told me they tested positive for COVID-19, what should I do?

    If you think you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, please report this on the SneezSafe screening tool, rather than calling or emailing the Student Health Service. However, if you have already completed your SneezSafe for the day, email traceshs@wfu.edu to say you may have been exposed.

    You do not need to call the Student Health Service unless you have symptoms.

    While you are waiting to receive guidance from Student Health Service or a contact tracer, you should quarantine (which means staying in your room and not socializing with others). You can get grab and go food or order in; please do not eat with others. You can go out of your room to use the bathroom; do not congregate or go in groups. A contact tracer will contact you to determine next steps.

    NOTE: Do not worry if you do not hear from a contact tracer right away; it can take up to 24 hours.