Novel coronavirus information

September 14, 2020

UW students: Coronavirus testing for autumn quarter

This message was sent to all students enrolled at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. Similar messages were sent at UW Bothell and UW Tacoma. If you are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and follow the instructions at for what to do if you feel sick.

Dear Students,

Widespread testing – especially of people who aren’t experiencing symptoms – is one important way to protect you and your community from COVID-19. The sooner we can get the pandemic under control, the sooner we can return to a more “normal” way of living, learning and working.

That’s why the UW is launching the Husky Coronavirus Testing program, which is powered by the Seattle Flu Study team – the group that was the first to report community spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

Enrollment in the Husky Coronavirus Testing program opens Thursday, Sept. 24. Anyone who will be on campus for any reason or who is living with several other people in neighborhoods near campus this fall is strongly encouraged to participate, and you can express your interest now. Testing is voluntary and offered at no cost to you.

Tests will be conducted in-person at the UW Club building and Odegaard Undergraduate Library building. We’ll also offer self-administered test kits that can be delivered to your home. The tests use short (not long) nasal swabs and only take a few moments of your time.

Additionally, testing is being offered during move-in for on-campus housing residents and students living in fraternities and sororities – more details are being shared with these students directly. Even if you are tested before arrival or during move-in, you’re strongly encouraged to also participate in Husky Coronavirus Testing. Medical or health sciences students participating in clinical activities are welcome to participate in Husky Coronavirus Testing, but will also need to continue to follow specific clinical testing protocols. Student-athletes will continue to participate in UW Athletics’ testing program.

We expect all students to be tested as they come back for autumn quarter, as well as at any sign of possible infection or exposure throughout the quarter. In addition to enrolling in the Husky Coronavirus Testing program, testing is also available at Hall Health, at dedicated testing sites, such as those in King County, or through your primary healthcare provider. Please do get tested!

Testing will be conducted throughout the course of the pandemic on an individualized basis as determined by health risk status and/or risk of exposure. We fully expect to find positive COVID-19 cases through this testing – indeed, doing so is critical to stemming outbreaks before they can grow. Anyone who tests positive will receive follow-up guidance from UW Environmental Health & Safety about care, self-isolation and contact tracing.

You can learn more about the program at and from this UW News story.

Remember, young people are just as likely to catch – and spread – COVID-19 as older people, even if they are less likely to develop severe illness. People of all ages with underlying health conditions are at higher risk for developing severe illness and the long-term effects of COVID-19 are still unclear. Protect your Pack by participating in testing and by following the 3 W’s: Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Watch your distance.


Ana Mari Cauce
Professor of Psychology

Mark A. Richards
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Earth and Space Sciences