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COVID-19 Testing at AU

This is your guide to COVID-19 testing at AU, including the testing schedule. Please note: The schedule changes regularly! Check it before going to your test site.

Questions? Jump to the FAQs below the Testing Schedule.

Testing Schedule

Students, staff and faculty with a campus presence must participate in regular testing to screen for COVID-19. Testing is mandatory and free of charge. Please note: ONLY those with a campus presence may test; if you are not on campus, you must test with your provider or at a community testing site.

  • Students, faculty and staff without symptoms: Check the schedules below for Summer Testing (asymptomatic) 
  • Students with possible COVID-19 symptoms:  schedule an appointment for testing with the Student Health Center.
  • Faculty or staff with possible COVID-19 symptoms: On-campus testing is not available for symptomatic faculty or staff. Please consult with your primary care provider or go to a local testing facility.

Summer Testing (asymptomatic)
Available for Faculty, Staff, and Students
July 26 - August 6, 2021
Constitution Hall (on East Campus)

Walk-in only. You must test twice a week if you live on campus and once a week if you come to campus for any purpose (fitness center, studying, etc.) but are not residential. Do not eat, drink, chew, smoke or vape for one hour before testing. Remember to bring a smart phone or tablet.

Monday, July 26
7:00am-1:00pm
Tuesday, July 27
10:00am-3:00pm
Wednesday, July 28
8:00am-12:00pm
Thursday, July 29
10:00am-3:00pm
Friday, July 30
8:00am-12:00pm
 
Monday, August 2
7:00am-1:00pm
Tuesday, August 3
10:00am-3:00pm
Wednesday, August 4
8:00am-12:00pm
Thursday, August 5
10:00am-3:00pm
Friday, August 6
8:00am-12:00pm

Walk-in only. You must test once a week during every week you will be on campus (regardless of number of days on campus). The exception is staff living on campus, who test twice a week. Do not eat, drink, chew, smoke or vape for one hour before testing. Remember to bring a smart phone or tablet. 

 

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Taking the Test

Using the Safer Community App

Getting Your Test Results on the Safer Community App

If You Test Positive

If You Are Exposed

Vaccination questions

Taking the Test

How do I prepare to test?

Download the Safer Community app from your smart phone's app store. Check the schedule above for your category – student, faculty/staff or contract worker – and go to the site, bringing your phone. 

Remember: You cannot have anything to eat, drink, or chew for one hour prior to testing. This includes brushing your teeth, chewing gum, taking medications, smoking, vaping, or drinking water. 

You must be well-hydrated to produce sufficient saliva for this saliva-based test. Although you can't consume anything in the hour immediately before the test, please make sure to hydrate in the days and hours just prior to that. You will need to be able to fill the tube with clear liquid (no bubbles) — and the trick to doing that is being well hydrated!

Do I need an app to test?

Starting on March 8 for students and March 15 for faculty/staff, you must use the Safer Community app to check into the test site and receive results and information. Results will no longer be emailed.

How often must I test?

There are different categories, based on your level of campus presence:

  • once a week for anyone living in AU-operated housing; 
  • once a week for anyone with a regular weekly presence;
  • once a week, during the week you are present, for anyone coming to campus periodically;
  • student-athletes have specific requirements.

Using the Safer Community App

What is the Safer Community App?

This is part of a process being phased in during early March - starting Monday, March 8 for students and Monday, March 15 for faculty/staff.

The Safer Community app is how you will submit tests and receive results. It will also tell you if you are cleared to enter campus facilities, if you need to isolate, what the next steps will be if you test positive, remind you when you need to test, and provide more information you’ll need.

It is used at other universities and in Washington, DC, but your app will be tailored to AU and to you.

How do I get the app and set it up?

Safer Community is available for both iPhone and Android. It’s found in the app store of both platforms.There is no charge to download or use this app. 

To download, go to - 

To log in/ start setup:

  • Launch the Safer Community app, and tap “Get Started”.
  • Enter your AU email address (username@american.edu) so the app can match you to AU’s testing community. Please do not enter a phone number, as it will not be recognized.
  • The app then opens an AU branded login page. Login using your AU Username (NOT full email) and password. 
    • Example: ab1234a; not ab1234a@american.edu
  • Acknowledge opening prompts/user agreements  
  • Save your encryption key (may prompt for access to camera/files)
    • The encryption key is a secure means to access your historical test data if you reinstall the app or move to a new device. Treat this like you would a password – store it in a secure place and don't share! 
  • Fill in your personal info
    • Before your COVID test, first-time users must enter their personal information. Log into the app and follow directions.  (It will tell you to scroll to the “Your Account” section and select “Personal Information.” Then select “Update My Personal Information" and enter it. Be sure to use a local address in the DMV - DC, Maryland or Virginia). 

Need more information? See the Help Desk (Knowledge Base) article, Getting started with the Safer Community app.

When and why did the process using the Safer Community app begin?

It’s being phased in during early March – first with students (from March 8), and then with staff and faculty (from March 15).

Using the app is connected to a partnership of four DC-area universities, led by American University, using the University of Illinois' Shield T3 system, called the Shield T3 Partnership. The partners have joined together to open a mobile lab that brings faster, less expensive testing to all partners by utilizing the University of Illinois’ innovative and cost-effective Shield T3 COVID testing system. As the lab is housed locally, at Gallaudet, results come rapidly, generally within 24 hours of testing.

The app is a tool in this process.

Where can I read more about this partnership and Shield T3 testing?

More information about Shield T3 testing and AU's leadership in this innovative region-wide partnership, the underlying science, and AU’s leadership role in helping to keep our broader community safe.

Getting Your Test Results on the Safer Community App

How do I get results?

Check your app. You will receive a notification when test results are available. On the home screen of the app tap View Health History and it will display your latest results.

You will receive the results on the app. Results will not be emailed.

For detailed instructions, see this Help Desk (Knowledge Base) article, How do I take a COVID-19 test or get my results with the Safer Community app?

When will I receive the results?

Generally within 24 hours of testing. You will receive them on the app. 

If You Test Positive

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

Next steps will depend on your circumstances:  

  • Students living on campus will relocate to university isolation housing, with meals provided by no-contact delivery.

Your COVID-19 Case Coordinator will also work with you to determine whether you had close contact with any campus community members. Any contacts will be notified with the date of potential exposure, but no identifying information about you will be disclosed.

Select information gathered by your COVID-19 Case Coordinator will be shared with the DC Department of Health to assist their contact tracing efforts. You should expect the DC Department of Health to contact you to identify additional contacts and to provide guidance on when you may end isolation.

For details on contact tracing at AU, see this document on Affiliate Notification

I’m a student in the Washington, DC region. What happens if I test positive, but not through AU-provided testing?

Self-report by using the Self Report Dashboard (AU login required) in the AU Forward portal.

Self-report if you have tested and are awaiting results; have tested positive; or are in quarantine due to known exposure. You may also self-report symptoms.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

“Quarantine” refers to those who have been exposed and must stay home to avoid the possibility of infecting others. “Isolation” is used to refer to people infected with the virus.

If you are a student in AU-provided housing, this information sheet on quarantine and isolation explains what happens in each circumstance.

I’m a student not in the Washington, DC region. What happens if I test positive or am exposed? Do I need to report it? What supports are available?

Students, please connect with the Dean of Students office if you need assistance. They can help you notify faculty that are not able to participate in classes.

If You Are Exposed

If I’ve been exposed at AU, how will I find out?

If AU is aware that you have been exposed through our Affiliate Notification Program, you will be contacted by a COVID Case Coordinator who will provide you with guidance on limiting your daily activities, share applicable campus support resources, and answer any questions or concerns related to the exposure notification.

The date of contact will be shared, but no identifying information about the individual who tested positive will be disclosed.

Please see Health and Safety Directive: Requirements Following COVID-19 Exposure, Positive Test, or Suspected InfectionFor details on contact tracing at AU, see this document on Affiliate Notification

What if I’m exposed, but not notified through AU?

Members of the community may be exposed to the virus in ways that are not related to AU. If you find out that you have been exposed, self-report by using the Self Report Dashboard (AU login required) in the AU Forward portal.

Self-report if you have tested and are awaiting results; have tested positive; or are in quarantine due to known exposure. You may also self-report symptoms.

I live on campus. If I’m exposed, what happens next?

You will quarantine, but will not need to relocate. Please see this information sheet on quarantine and isolation quarantine for details.

I’m an off-campus student, faculty or staff member. If I’m exposed, what happens next?

You must quarantine immediately. Please follow CDC guidelines on quarantine and see Health and Safety Directive: Requirements Following COVID-19 Exposure, Positive Test, or Suspected Infection

File a Self-Report with AU and a Covid Care Coordinator will contact you.

Can a student who has been exposed be tested on campus for active COVID infection?

Yes. Your Covid Care Coordinator will share this information with you.

Can I attend in-person class and am exposed?

No, you must quarantine in your residence, whether on-campus or off-campus. Do not come to class. Connect with the Dean of Students Office if you need help in ensuring that faculty are notified about your absence.

Can a faculty or staff member who has been exposed be tested on campus for active COVID infection?

No. AU does not provide testing for faculty or staff with known exposure or symptoms. Testing is available through your health provider or at off-campus sites in Washington, DCMaryland, or Virginia.

Vaccination questions

I’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19. Do I still need to test?

Yes, at present you must be tested, according to your category, even if you have been vaccinated.

I've been vaccinated. Do I still need to wear a mask and practice physical distancing?

We follow current CDC recommendations. Masks continue to be required indoors and at large outdoor gatherings. Maintain physical distancing if unvaccinated persons are present, or if vaccination status is unknown.

Will AU administer COVID-19 vaccinations?

Beginning on Wednesday, June 2, District Urgent Care will establish a clinic to serve AU staff, faculty, students, contract workers, and their eligible family members, as well as neighbors wishing to receive the COVID vaccine who are ages 18 and older. Please refer to the Covid Vaccine Information webpate for additional information.

After you have been vaccinated, you still need to follow AU’s COVID-19 testing protocols.

Looking for More Information?

AU's Health & Safety Procedures and Coronavirus Response: More details about AU's coronavirus response, health and safety protocols, COVID-19 testing and links to policy directives can be found here.

How to prepare for your covid-19 test - don't eat, drink, smoke, vape, chew (including gum) or brush teeth for one hour before text; do bring your smart phone or ltablet; do check schedule and location. All sympatomatic testing is walk-in.