Testing and Tracing

UNC Health, Campus Health, the North Carolina and Orange County health departments and our infectious disease team have robust testing capabilities, reflecting state-of-the-art practices to limit virus spread. Telehealth services, UNC Hospitals and the Employee Assistance Program are open and available to provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art care, if needed.

Before leaving home for work or study each day, all individuals should check for symptoms using the COVID-19 screening checklist. Anyone who is experiencing any symptom(s) indicated on the screening checklist must not go to class or work and should contact their health care provider. 

Environment, Health and Safety has a screening checklist and other resources for employees. 

Campus Health has a screening checklist and other resources for students. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has launched the SlowCOVIDNC app. The app alerts users if they have been in close contact with an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19. It is voluntary to download and use, and is designed to enhance the state’s existing contact tracing efforts.

 

Prospective Testing for Students

Prospective testing is for those students without symptoms, who have not been close contacts of positive cases, and those who have not tested positive for COVID in the past 90 days.

  • Who: UNC students, living both on- and off-campus who don’t have symptoms, have not been notified of close contact status, and who have not tested positive for COVID in the past 90 days.
  • Where: Carolina Union Gallery Area, Outside of the Great Hall
  • When: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., No appointment needed.
  • How often: Testing every 5-9 days is recommended.
  • Cost: Free
  • How: Saliva-based specimen collection; no nasal swabs.
  • Parking: There will be 10 spaces reserved in the Undergraduate Lot (N8) Lot.

Since you will use a saliva-based testing method, we ask that you do not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum for 30 minutes before getting tested. Detailed testing instructions are available by pdf and video.

Testing for Students

Campus Health has developed robust and convenient COVID-19 testing capabilities for students, post-doctoral fellows and their eligible partners and spouses. Students and post-docs who are living either on or off campus should let Campus Health know if they test positive at a facility other than Campus Health. 

When should someone consider being tested for COVID-19?

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Orange County Health Department (OCHD) are directing current and former residents of on-campus residence halls and fraternities and sororities to get tested for COVID-19.

CDC recommends that individuals be tested when they:

  • Have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Have come in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
  • Are in a CDC defined high-risk group

If you believe you need to be tested for COVID-19, but have already returned home, please visit this COVID-19 Test Finder to find a testing location in your area. There are a variety of testing locations in Orange County and Campus Health offers testing by appointment, so students and post-docs can message a nurse in the patient portal or call Campus Health to coordinate and facilitate your care.

The University guideline on testing and tracing outlines student, faculty and staff responsibilities for providing accurate information on a positive test.

Testing for Employees

Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)  and  Employee Occupational Health (UEOHC)  recommend that employees (except Healthcare and COVID-19 researchers) utilize their primary care physician (PCP) to request SARS-CoV-2 testing.  EHS/UEOHC can be notified in multiple ways that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The University guideline on testing and tracing outlines student, faculty and staff responsibilities for providing accurate information on a positive test. 

  • Healthcare COVID-19 Hotline
  • Direct calls to UEOHC by employee and/or supervisor
  • COVID-19 Wellness Self-Check web application
  • Local County Health Department

Contact Tracing for Students

If a member of the Carolina  community – including students, faculty and staff – tests positive for COVID-19, we will follow standard  contact tracing  protocols to identify and communicate directly  with those who had close contact with the individual. 

  • Visit the  Campus Health website for more information. 
  • A close contact includes those within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes when any person is not wearing a face covering.
  • Tracing is conducted in concert with Employee  Occupational Health, Campus Health and the Orange County Health Department or other local health departments. 
  • The University guideline on testing and tracing outlines student, faculty and staff responsibilities for providing accurate information on close contacts.

 

Contact Tracing for Employees

If a member of the Carolina  community – including students, faculty and staff – tests positive for COVID-19, we will follow standard  contact tracing  protocols to identify and communicate directly  with those who had close contact with the individual. 

  • Visit Campus Health for more information on tracing for students and post-doctoral fellows. 
  • A close contact includes those within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes when any person is not wearing a face covering.
  • EHS/UEOHC initiates contact tracing of close contacts that occurred in the workplace/on-campus only. 
  • The county where the employee resides is responsible for contacting close contacts outside of the workplace/campus. 
  • EHS/UEOHC works closely with county health departments to identify these close contacts at the workplace/campus. 
  • EHS/UEOHC provides guidance to close contacts on 14-day quarantine and to not return to workplace/campus.
  • EHS/UEOHC will recommend and may submit orders for close contacts to be tested through the UNC Healthcare Respiratory Diagnostic Clinic (RDC).
  • The University guideline on testing and tracing outlines student, faculty and staff responsibilities for providing accurate information on close contacts.
  • Employees can complete a Protecting the Carolina Community from COVID-19 self-study unit containing important safety training information on the EHS website.

Communication of testing

Consistent with the State Human Resources Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as well as other privacy considerations, schools, departments and units should not communicate about COVID-19 positive cases broadly to their populations. Individuals who have been potentially exposed to the positive case will be notified through the University’s contact tracing procedures, making broad communications unnecessary. 

The University is committed to communicating important information in a timely manner while maintaining the privacy of students, faculty and staff. In some circumstances it may be appropriate for the University to inform specific campus populations – whether within a specific residence hall, office building, classroom or other defined campus environment – as an additional precaution, subject to important privacy laws that prevent the disclosure of information that may be used to identify the individual(s) who tested positive. The University will make decisions on any communications to specific campus populations based upon approved guidelines and coordinate decisions with schools, departments and units. The University will determine the release of non-identifying communications about clusters of positive results based on approved guidelines.