You are here: American University Campus Life New COVID Testing Procedure

Office of Campus Life

Dear Members of the Community with a Campus Presence,

We’re writing to let you know about changes to AU’s COVID-19 testing procedure that will mean faster test results, in less than 24 hours, and will also change the way you check into the test site and receive your test results. This will now involve a free downloadable phone app.

AU is leading a new partnership with the University of Illinois, ‘Shield T3 COVID test that expands access to COVID-19 testing for our community and the DC region. This new system begins for students on Monday, March 8 and for faculty/staff on Monday, March 15.

To get started, download the Safer Community app from your phone’s app store (Google Play for android phones, Apple Store for i-Phones) and sign in with your AU email before testing.

If you have questions about getting started with the app and using it, see these FAQs about the app and testing.

When this starts:

  • Students: Monday, March 8
  • Faculty/staff: Monday, March 15

What’s changing:

  • You must bring your phone to the test site;
  • You will check into the test site and receive results through the Safer Community app, along with other needed instructions; you will not receive results by email. 
  • Results will be faster – less than 24 hours.

What’s the same:

  • The test will be a saliva-based PCR test;
  • Locations are the same (Constitution Hall for students, the University Club for faculty/staff);
  • Check the schedule before going to the test site; it’s posted online and updated regularly
  • As always, do not eat, drink, chew, smoke, vape, or drink water for one hour before testing.

The new partnership led by AU has the capacity to process more than 50,000 COVID-19 tests per week at the new mobile laboratory, housed at Gallaudet University. More than 1.3 million tests have been administered to date by universities using this test, including University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, University of Maine, Vanderbilt University, and others.

We will appreciate your patience and understanding as we transition to this new system that will help keep our community safe. 


Fanta Aw
Vice President of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence
American University