Novel coronavirus information

September 14, 2020

Coronavirus testing for UW employees

This message was sent to all staff, faculty and other academic personnel at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus, with the exception of UW Medicine clinical personnel. 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 Colleagues,

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 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 at a UW campus or facility this academic year, especially those who will be there at least once a week, is strongly encouraged to participate, and you can express your interest now. Testing is voluntary and offered at no cost to you. (UW Medicine personnel will continue to access testing via UW Medicine sites using the employee survey process.)

Tests will be conducted in person at the UW Club building and Odegaard Undergraduate Library building, with a location at UW Medicine South Lake Union also planned, as well as through 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.

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. UW Medicine is also conducting move-in testing for Seattle students in on-campus housing, and SCAN is testing during fraternity and sorority move-in. 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.

Together we can protect our campus and broader community 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