TYPE OF TESTS OFFERED: For Spring 2021 reentry testing, the University purchased additional testing equipment to facilitate the use of PCR tests, a more accurate way to detect an active COVID-19 infection. The PCR test involves an observed self-administered short nasal swab.

Student COVID-19 Testing

Spring 2021 Reentry Testing

Students who will live on campus, including Greek houses, for the Spring 2021 semester must test for coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) prior to resuming classes or other on-campus activities. Testing must be done within seven days of arrival, no later than Jan. 19. UA will offer a free PCR test on campus, or students may elect to test at home or through a personal physician prior to returning to campus. The PCR test is required. 

Those who move in to a campus residence prior to completing their reentry testing are encouraged to be vigilant about wearing masks and social distancing when around others.

On-Campus Reentry Testing: A free reentry test for campus residents will be provided at Coleman Coliseum beginning Jan. 7 on the following dates/times:

  • Jan. 11-14:  8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 15:  8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Jan. 19:  8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A scheduled appointment is required. The appointment schedule is now available, and appointments can be reserved. Students must bring government-issued identification and their CWID, wear a mask, and maintain social distancing at the testing site.


Reentry testing uses the PCR test with an observed self-administered short nasal swab. Results will be provided within 24 to 72 hours. Those who test negative will receive an email, and positive results will be relayed via telephone by a member of UA’s COVID-19 support program. Students awaiting results are encouraged to minimize contact with others and answer any phone calls with a caller ID from the COVID Support group.

Off-Campus Reentry TestingFor students who choose to be tested off campus by a personal health care provider, a PCR test conducted between Jan. 2 and Jan. 12 is required and must be conducted no more than seven days before returning to campus housing. Proof of a negative PCR must be uploaded and accepted by the UA COVID-19 Test Result Repository between Jan 2 and Jan. 12. The submitted documentation must clearly show the student’s name and CWID, date and location of PCR test, and test result. The University will not be responsible for charges associated with testing from a personal health care provider.

Prior PositivesStudents who have tested positive for COVID-19 since Oct. 28 should not test again for reentry testing. Those who received their positive test result on campus do not need to submit documentation. Others must upload verifiable documentation of the positive test to UA COVID-19 Test Result Repository, by Jan. 12 and affirm they served the required isolation period and have been symptom free for at least 10 days before returning to campus. Details on uploading information will be provided on the Student Health Center website.

Any other on-campus residents who may be excluded from the reentry testing requirement will be notified via email of their exemption.

Exposure and Symptomatic Testing

COVID-19 exposure and symptomatic testing is provided for University of Alabama students who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or who may be experiencing symptoms of the virus.

COVID-19 testing is currently available by appointment at the Student Health Center for students who are experiencing symptoms or who have been exposed to the virus. Call 205-348-2778 to make an appointment. Please leave a message if asked and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

The Student Health Center will be open on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 16 and 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for symptomatic and exposure testing only. Testing will end at 1:30 p.m. for test processing. The SHC will use rapid testing during these weekend hours, and medical clinics will not be available. This is not reentry testing.

While appointments are not required, students are encouraged to schedule an appointment through myBama and logging into the patient portal, or by calling 205-348-2778.

Students’ insurance will be billed for symptomatic and exposure testing. Any copays, deductibles or uninsured charges will be placed on the students’ account. In addition to their CWID and government-issued ID, students should bring their insurance information for billing.

For more information, contact the UA COVID-19 Hotline at (205) 348-CV19 (2819).

Sentinel testing

Sentinel testing involves the random sampling of all asymptomatic students, faculty and staff to understand the underlying prevalence of infection on campus so we can respond promptly to outbreaks or increases in infection rates. Our goal is to test around 3% of the campus population each week. Sentinel testing is required for students who live on campus, participate in club sports, are members of a student organization holding meetings with more than 10 people, or are participating in clinical activities, provided the student also has or will have a presence on campus.

For-cause testing

For-cause testing is for individuals in a shared geographic area, such as a residence hall floor, Greek house, student group or a class. It is conducted when campus health officials determine the need based on data trends. It is mandatory, and anyone who declines to participate will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

If you test positive

Those who test positive must follow the isolation and quarantine protocols. You must receive clearance from a health care provider before you return.  For more information contact the COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).


  1.  You don’t need a negative test to come out of isolation
  2.  Finish your isolation and be cleared by your case manager
  3.  You should not need another test before reentering campus in January

Why testing is needed

The University’s ability to test every student entering campus this fall will go a long way in helping us maintain a safe environment.  On our campus, testing will supplement other strategies to maintain a safe environment such as face coverings and physical distancing as well as daily symptom and exposure reporting.  Faculty and staff are also being tested.

Spring 2021 Return Checklist

  1. Get tested (for those required to do so).
  2. Complete a training module from UA.
  3. Check your symptoms daily at UA Healthcheck.



For a list of frequently asked questions about student testing and notifications, visit the Student Testing and Notifications FAQ section of the Return Plan FAQ page or Call 205.348.CV19 (205-348-2819) for help.