Novel coronavirus information

October 19, 2021

Husky Coronavirus Testing Study updates – Action required (Message to HCT participants)

This message is being sent to all participants in Husky Coronavirus Testing.

We are excited to continue to be a testing resource for the University of Washington through at least Spring quarter 2022. We have updated the study design; additional details on changes are listed below. Here is a summary:

  • We are continuing to send the daily attestation where participants may indicate symptoms, exposure to COVID-19, or traveled out of the state or country. Marking any of these will trigger a testing invitation.
  • We have paused random community testing of asymptomatic participants due to a very low number of positive results from this group.
  • We now accept walk-ins (coming for a test even if you do not have an invitation and if you don’t fill out the attestation) at UW Club testing kiosk during operational hours or by picking up a test kit (see next bullet).
  • Integrating test kits for pickup across various campus locations starting 10/18. HCT participants may obtain kits at one of our dropbox locations, “activate” the kit for use, swab themselves at home, and then return the swab to any dropbox on the same day. Kits can be picked up in a “walk in” manner (no appointment) or can be obtained by appointment. Kits must be activated online before being dropped off.Please follow the instructions provided in the test kit carefully

We use data provided by our participants to inform our study design, and we will continue to update our testing design to best accommodate ever-changing conditions. To ensure we are collecting accurate data, please confirm your study information is correct and up to date [via the link to the survey in the e-mail you received.]

Thank you for continuing to participate in our research and keep the UW community safe as we transition back to in person learning and working.

Thank you,

The Husky Coronavirus Testing Team
206-616-2414 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m.)


Additional information

Daily Attestations

Please continue to fill out your daily attestations and indicate if you have started experiencing symptoms, been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, or traveled out of the state or country. Marking “yes” to any of these on the survey will trigger a testing invitation. If you have picked up a test kit from a dropbox location, please indicate this on your survey and you will be sent a kit registration link. If you pick up a kit later in the day you can go back and edit your daily survey to register your kit. Due to the high volume of study participants, daily attestations are sent in batches throughout the day instead of all at once.

Community testing and walk ins

After reviewing our data and information from other sources, we have decided to discontinue sending testing invites to the UW community, unless you attest positive to travel, COVID-19 exposure, or symptoms on your daily survey. Random community testing of asymptomatic HCT participants in the previous academic year did not result in achieving the goal of detecting positive cases and reducing outbreaks on campus. Instead, most positive cases resulted from exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case or from reporting symptoms. More information can be found in our publication online.

Due to the changes in community testing invitations, if you would still like to get tested even if you are not sent a test invitation based on your daily survey answers, you are welcome to walk-in to our UW Club testing kiosk during its operational hours up to our capacity. We will also have a limited number of dropbox kits available at each location during staffed hours.

Dropbox kits

With the return of many students and staff to campus, we are also utilizing a new method of sample collection to make the study more convenient and accessible. HCT participants will be able to pick up a test kit at one of our dropbox locations, complete kit activation, swab at home, and then return the swab to any available dropbox the same day. Kits must be activated online before being dropped off. Please follow the instructions provided in the test kit carefully. You will not be able to receive results if you do not correctly activate your kit online.

There will also be a how-to video linked in the kit activation survey you can watch, or you can call or email our study team if you have any questions. Starting Oct. 18 there will be drop boxes located at:

  • Lander Hall main lobby
  • Willow Hall main lobby
  • Health Sciences Building, 4th floor T-wing lobby by overpass bridge
  • UW Tacoma Campus Y Center
  • UW Bothell UW2 Building front lobby

Currently, kits are only available for pick up during designated times listed on our website, but can be dropped off anytime the buildings are accessible. Please call or email the study if you have any questions about the new test kits or are having trouble using your kit.