Northwestern releases at-home COVID-19 testing procedure


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Searle Hall, the location of Northwestern University Health Service. According to a Wednesday email, NUHS will run COVID-19 testing in partnership with Northwestern Medicine.

Megan Munce, Development and Recruitment Editor

Northwestern released further details on its COVID-19 testing procedure, including at-home testing prior to arrival and the future release of a symptom tracking app.

In a Wednesday email, signed by Luke Figora, senior associate vice president and chief risk and compliance officer, and Executive Director of Northwestern University Health Service Dr. Robert Palinkas, the University announced that students must complete an at-home nasal swab test before Aug. 27 and test negative in order to have their Wildcard activated. Tests will be mailed out and conducted by Picture Genetics, a clinical diagnostic lab offering FDA-authorized COVID-19 tests. International students and students under the age of 18 are ineligible for mail-in testing and therefore exempt from the requirement, the email read.

If students do test positive, they will be required to self-isolate at home for 10 to 14 days before being cleared to return to campus. Details about on-campus testing procedures will be released in future, according to the email.

In addition to testing, NU students, faculty, staff and guests will be required to complete a “Symptom Check” via an app each day in order to gain a virtual badge, which they will be required to show on campus to certify they do not show COVID-19 symptoms. Users who do report symptoms will receive a “red badge” and be instructed on how to proceed. The email did not mention any method of ensuring honesty on the survey.

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Twitter: @meganmuncie