Screening Program FAQs

Updated October 20, 2020

Participation in COVID-19 screening

Is this screening mandatory?
Undergraduate students are required to be tested regularly. Faculty and staff returning to campus will be offered testing, but it is not required. Those who have been in close contact with individuals with confirmed COVID-19 infection will be offered testing, but it will not be required. Graduate and professional students returning to campus are required to have a return-to-campus test to ensure that they will not be introducing asymptomatic cases to campus after a period at home, and to provide increased confidence of a safe campus for students attending classes and meeting together.

Based on these balanced considerations, public health experts may determine that other groups have a testing requirement as we move through the coming months.

Who is eligible to participate in the Yale COVID-19 screening program?
The Yale COVID-19 screening program is for faculty, staff, and students who work, study, or live on campus, who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19, and who do not currently have confirmed COVID-19 infection. Family members who reside in residential colleges are also eligible to participate.

Yale community members who are working exclusively remotely do not require testing for COVID 19. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms that may be suggestive of COVID-19 should remain at home and call their personal health care provider to discuss testing and treatment. Symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, loss of sense of smell or taste, or stomach upset.

If I tested positive in the past, should I be screened again?
If you have already tested positive for COVID-19, you should not be retested at this time.

If I have tested negative in the past, can I be screened again at this time?
Yes, you can be screened again if you are just returning to campus for the first time. Graduate and professional students are required to have an arrival test after July 13 or near the start of their program, even if tested negative in the past. Repeated testing in the absence of symptoms or a particular high risk exposure is not recommended. If you feel you need another test, please call the Campus COVID Resource Line at 203-432-6604 or call your primary care provider to discuss your concerns.

I am not feeling well. Should I be screened?
No, you should not schedule a test through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19, you must stay home, notify your supervisor as soon as possible, and contact your personal health care provider to discuss testing and treatment. Symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, loss of sense of smell or taste, or stomach upset.

Details of screening and obtaining results

How will I know what room to go to for my test?
When you make an appointment, you will see the specific room location in the building within MyChart under Appointment Detail.

Can I change my testing location?
No. Viral testing sites are assigned to students, faculty, staff, and those who live in residential colleges. Each person will only see the test sites to which they are assigned. Test site assignment is determined dynamically to coincide with:

  • The residential college or dormitory in which individuals live, study or work OR
  • For other faculty and staff, test site assignment is determined by the department.
  • Faculty and staff who have routine viral test requirements may have different test sites assigned from those doing voluntary screening.

Can I change my assigned testing days?
Students now have the ability to change their test pattern (assigned dates for testing) in Yale Hub. If you wish to change your testing days, you may submit a request. Requests will be routed to the appropriate authorizing approver for consideration. Once approved, you will have switched your test pattern to the other schedule (either Monday+Thursday or Tuesday+Friday).

What type of sample is required? How will it be collected?
Testing requires an anterior nasal swab which you will obtain yourself under observation by a staff member. The swab is rotated several times in the front part of both nostrils

Will I be charged a copay or fee for this test?
No.

How long will it take to receive my results?
Results will typically be available within 48 to 72 hours from sample collection, although there may be times when results are available sooner or delayed beyond 72 hours.

How will I find out my results?
Results will be shared with you through MyChart. If you do not already have a MyChart account, you will be offered an opportunity to sign up for one following the scheduling process. If you are still unable to access MyChart, email MyChart Support or call them at 203-688-2231 and press option #5.

Interpreting and responding to different test results

What does it mean if I test positive?
A positive test indicates the presence of the novel coronavirus in your system. You may develop symptoms in the future, or you may never develop symptoms. It is possible to transmit the virus even in the absence of symptoms. You will need to self-isolate for 10 days to prevent transmission to others. If your test result is positive, someone from Employee Health will contact you to provide instructions and answer questions.

What does it mean if I test negative?
A negative test means that the novel coronavirus is not detected by the test at this time. Individuals who test negative may still become infected in the future and need to follow all recommended workplace and community precautions. There is a small chance of a false negative.

What will Yale do with these results?
Because this testing is part of a workplace safety program, Yale may store and track these results. Your supervisor will be notified of positive test results to ensure that safety measures are being taken in your workplace. Others in your workplace will be contacted by Employee Health for contact tracing, and Employee Health will ask your close contacts to quarantine for 14 days.

If I test positive, how long will I be required to be out of work?
You must self-isolate at home for 10 days. Should you become symptomatic during that time, you will need to speak to Employee Health or your healthcare provider. Your period of self-isolation will be extended to 14 days from symptom onset and 3 days after resolution of fever and improvement.

If I test positive and have to be out of work, how will I be paid?
Employees will be paid their regular scheduled hours while out of work after screening positive. Employees will not have to use PTO.

If I test positive, is my immediate family eligible to be tested?
Screening through this workplace safety program is available to Yale faculty, staff, and students who work, study, or live on campus. Only family members who reside in residential colleges are eligible to participate. Family members not residing in residential colleges should contact their own health care providers so that they can be tested according to the public testing protocols.

If I test negative and then develop symptoms, how long should I wait to be retested?
If you are experiencing any symptoms, you must remain at home, notify your supervisor, and contact your personal health care provider for testing and treatment.