Updated: Mar. 23, 2022

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

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 with a vaccine exemption.
  • 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 no-cost options, refer to the FAQ “I want to get tested for COVID-19, where can I go?”  Personnel and students 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 kiosks at the Seattle campus; 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 preferred and required for those who work or train in a healthcare setting. Those who do not work or train in a healthcare setting may submit results from a self-administered antigen test. Tests must 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): The test kit must be an FDA-EUA/approved COVID 19 rapid antigen test. Individuals in healthcare 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 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 include the following information to be accepted:

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

If an individual receives a positive (or inconclusive) test result, they are required to stay home (or go home) 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 safety measures for unvaccinated personnel and students

In addition to required weekly COVID-19 testing, the following enhanced safety measures are required or recommended (as indicated) for unvaccinated personnel and students. Supervisors must ensure the below measures are communicated and requirements followed.

  • Face coverings are recommended in most indoor public spaces. In areas where face coverings are required (e.g., healthcare, UW Shuttles), employees must wear a medical/procedure mask or higher level of protection in accordance with the Face Covering Policy. Cloth masks are not permitted in locations where face coverings are required.
  • Patient care restrictions: For patient care and patient interacting healthcare workers, cannot work with bone marrow transplant, solid organ transplant patients, in congregate patient units like the geriatric psychiatry unit, or care of patients with COVID-19 or other immunocompromised patients.
  • Off-site responsibilities (e.g., K-12 schools or child care settings): Individuals must follow any additional requirements of the off-site location.
  • A six-foot distance from others is recommended while eating or drinking.

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.

Questions

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