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Additionally, booster shots are now available to anyone age 18 or over.

Updated: Nov. 29, 2021

Frequency | Testing locations | Allowed tests | Uploading results | Pause allowance | Additional safety measures | Compliance | Questions

Personnel and students with an approved exemption from the vaccination requirement are required to get tested for COVID-19 each week.

COVID-19 testing requirements for unvaccinated personnel and students

Routine COVID-19 testing is required for personnel and students who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to help ensure the health and safety of our campus and broader community. The individuals subject to this requirement are those with University-approved religious and medical exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. All other personnel and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment and/or academic enrollment at the University. Additional information about the requirements and procedures for testing is below.

Frequency of testing

  • Testing is required one (1) time per week for personnel and students who work outside of health care settings.
  • Testing is required two (2) times per week for personnel and students who work in health care settings.
  • Tests must be spaced so they are taken three days apart or more. Individuals may select the days each week to get tested. However, tests must be spaced to be taken every three (3) days or more apart. For those required to test two times per week, example days for weekly testing are Monday and Thursday, Tuesday and Friday, or Wednesday and Saturday.
  • For personnel, the University issued vaccine exemption approval letters state the frequency of testing required for each individual.
  • Testing participants do not need to stay home while awaiting test results, unless they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Where to get tested

For testing options, including options that are of no cost to you, see “I want to get tested for COVID-19, where can I go?”  Personnel and students are can choose to get tested at any testing site, that meets the University testing requirements, such as a public health testing site. If there are costs associated with testing, they are the responsibility of personnel or the student, unless they live outside the Puget Sound area.

The University offers the Husky Coronavirus Testing program (HCT), which is a voluntary research study. HCT offers on-site testing at the Seattle campus (walk-in testing preferred); test kit pick-up locations at the Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma campuses; and if needed, mailing of test kits to a private residence within the HCT delivery zone.

Personnel and students outside of the Puget Sound area who need assistance finding a test provider can visit the WA Department of Health webpage for statewide test locations. Personnel and students outside of WA state can contact covidtest@uw.edu for assistance finding a test provider.

Testing is done during compensated work time: For personnel, the time it takes to travel to/from, wait, and obtain a COVID-19 test is considered time worked. Overtime compensation for testing is not permitted unless it is approved in advance by the supervisor. See the UW Human Resources (HR) website on release time for COVID-19 testing for more information.

COVID-19 test requirements

A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is required to be taken unless an individual does not have access to a PCR test. See below for more information. Tests are required to meet the below criteria in order to be accepted.

  • PCR test: The test result must be from an FDA/EUA-approved COVID-19 viral PCR test or other Molecular (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test [NAAT]) test. Nasopharyngeal swabs, nasal swabs or saliva PCR tests are acceptable.
  • Antigen tests (e.g., rapid tests) are only accepted if an individual does not have access to a PCR test. If approved, the test kit must be an FDA-EUA/approved COVID 19 rapid antigen Individuals in health care settings are not approved to use antigen testing.

How to upload test results

The Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) department will provide a link to a secure portal to individuals with vaccine exemptions to create a profile and upload test results. Individuals will receive a weekly (or twice weekly) reminder with a link to the portal to upload their test results. Students with pending exemption requests will be notified by Hall Health Center to start testing after approval is confirmed.

Test results can be uploaded as a photo or copy of your test results (jpeg, pdf). The test result record must show all of the following to be accepted:

  • Name of the person tested
  • Type of test performed
  • Test result
  • The entity issuing the result
  • Test sample collection date

If individuals receive a positive (or inconclusive) test result, they are required to stay home (or go home), report immediately to covidehc@uw.edu, and follow the University’s COVID-19 Public Health Requirements and Guidance.

Testing pause allowance

A testing pause is permitted if an individual is away from work or school for one (1) work week or more due to vacation or illness. A pause is also permitted for 90 days after a person has tested positive for COVID-19.  When individuals receive the weekly reminder with the link to upload their test result, they can select one of the testing pause options for the given week they are on a pause.  If personnel are on extended leave from the University (e.g., At least three weeks or more at a time), supervisors can notify covidtest@uw.edu to freeze the notifications until the individual returns. Personnel are required to notify their supervisor to request a testing pause at least two work weeks ahead of scheduled leave when possible. The following criteria must be met for a testing pause:

  • For students, a pause is permitted during University scheduled academic breaks (e.g., winter break, spring break).
  • Staff, contract-covered academic personnel and student employees must be on an approved time off or leave of absence. Workday records should reflect your time off.
  • Academic personnel must be on a 100% approved medical or personal leave.
  • Personnel and students must resume testing within 24 hours after return to work or instruction after a pause.
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should not test for 90 days after their positive test result since they may test positive even though they are no longer infectious to others.

Additional required safety measures for unvaccinated personnel and students

In addition to routine COVID-19 testing, the following enhanced safety measures are required for unvaccinated personnel and students. Supervisors are required to ensure the below measures are followed. Units are responsible for providing appropriate medical/procedure masks.

Must wear a medical/procedure mask or higher level of protection where face coverings are required at the University in accordance with the Face Covering Policy.  They can be ordered from the UW Clean and Safe Storefront. Cloth masks are not permitted.

  • Must distance at least six (6) feet from others while eating or drinking.

Additional requirements for specific activities/settings:

  • Health care – direct and indirect patient care activities:
    • Eye protection for all patient encounters
    • Patient care restrictions: For patient care and patient interacting health care workers (HWCs), cannot work with bone marrow transplant (BMT) or solid organ transplant (SOT) patients or in congregate patient units like the geriatric psychiatry unit (e.g., medical center NW or 5MB at HMC), or care of patients with COVID19 or other immunocompromised patients.
  • SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 researcher: additional PPE and possible reassignment are additional safety measures.
  • Performing arts: Individuals may not remove their mask while actively performing, even though mask use while actively performing is exempted from the state masking requirements.
  • Off-site responsibilities (e.g., K-12 schools or day-care settings): individuals must follow any additional requirements of the off-site location.

Compliance enforcement

Failure to comply with these mandatory testing requirements and other safety measures will result in corrective or disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, termination of employment/appointment for personnel and termination of enrollment from the University for students.

For personnel, UW HR and the Office of Academic Personnel (OAP) will receive a weekly compliance report from the testing portal and will follow up with supervisors and units to address instances of non-compliance.

For students, the Student Conduct Office will receive a weekly compliance report from the testing portal and will follow-up to address instances of non-compliance.

The University will be providing supporting policy information for personnel and students related to compliance with required safety measures.

Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University will periodically re-evaluate the required testing and other safety measures.

Questions

Questions about the testing requirements for unvaccinated personnel and students can be directed to covidtest@uw.edu or 206.616.3344.