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Frequently Asked Questions

Color Genomics Testing Questions

See below for answers to common questions about asymptomatic testing. If you need additional help, please contact the appropriate support: 

I forgot my password, what should I do?

Please visit reset your password. Color will send you a link to your email that will allow you to reset your password. You can also request a one-time single sign in link to sign into your account securely, even without your password.

I forgot my username, what should I do?

Your username should be your email address that you used to create your account. Please contact Color at mycovidtest@color.com if you need login assistance.

What should I do if I collected my sample, but I missed today’s pick up time?

If you are unable to drop off your completed kit by 3:30PM CST on your designated testing day, your test will not be able to be processed. Please email NU-COVID-Testing-Support@northwestern.edu for guidance on next steps.

What if I’m having kit pick-up or drop-off issues?

If you are unable to drop off your completed kit by 3:30PM CST on your designated testing day, your test will not be able to be processed.  Please email NU-COVID-Testing-Support@northwestern.edu for guidance on next steps.

The system says that I’m not eligible, what do I do?

Please ensure that you are accessing the website from the link provided by Northwestern and you are entering your email address correctly. If you are still experiencing an error, please email NU-COVID-Testing-Support@northwestern.edu

What should I do if I already have a Color account for my personal use set up with my Northwestern email address?

Only one email can be associated with each Color account.  Given testing through Color needs be completed using your Northwestern email address, you’ll need to switch your personal account over to your personal email address.  Outlined below are the steps needed to complete the process so that you’ll be eligible for testing with your Northwestern email address.  If you have questions regarding this process – please reach out to Color directly at mycovidtest@color.com or call (844) 352-6567

  1. Sign in to home.color.com
  2. Open https://home.color.com/account/settings/personal-info (under account settings)
  3. Edit Email Address to personal email
  4. Follow the instructions. This will send an email to their old and new email, which you'll need to click on to complete the process.
  5. Verify by signing out and in with your personal email. (Very important! This completes the process.)

What email address should I use to create/sign in to my Color account?

Please use your Northwestern University email account for all testing communications and activities.

I was registered under an email address I don’t use; what do I do?

In order to be eligible for COVID testing through Northwestern University, you need to use your Northwestern email address for all testing related activities and communications.

Can I update my email address in Color?

In order to be eligible for COVID testing through Northwestern University, you need to use your Northwestern email address for all testing related activities and communications.

What email address will communications from Color (notifications etc.) be sent to?

Communications from Color will be sent to the email address associated with your account and activated kit.

When will I receive notifications?

You will receive email and text notifications to remind you ahead of your next test and if you forgot to activate or return your kit. You’ll also receive email and text notifications when your results are ready.

Can I turn off the notifications?

Color will only send you important notifications and reminders that pertain to your COVID-19 testing - reminders and results.

What should I do if I forgot to activate my kit?

Your kit must be activated in order for your sample to be processed and to receive results.  If you collected your sample and still have your kit but forgot to activate it, please return your expired kit to one of our designated testing sites in order to receive a new kit.  If you submitted your specimen but realized after the fact that you forgot to activate, just know that the lab will not process your sample and you will not receive test results. Students will need to complete another test to ensure you remain in compliance with your testing requirements.  

My barcode cannot be validated, what should I do?

Please ensure that you have typed in your barcode exactly as it appears on the kit label. Just enter the numbers and letters listed – not the dashes.  If you are still unsuccessful, please contact Color at mycovidtest@color.com with your barcode number, name, and date of birth.

I entered the wrong bar code, what should I do?

Please contact Color at mycovidtest@color.com for assistance.

My roommate/friend/partner mixed up our kits, what do we do?

Please contact Color at mycovidtest@color.com to cancel your test. You will need to visit 2001 Sheridan Rd (Evanston) or 345 E. Superior St (Chicago) to obtain a new kit and collect a new sample.

My kit is broken (e.g. top won’t stay on, crack in tube). What should I do?

  • If your kit has already been activated: Please contact Color at mycovidtest@color.com with your kit barcode number, name, and date of birth to have your broken kit information deactivated from your account. Please return your kit to one of our designated sites in order to receive a new kit.
  • If your kit has not been activated: Please return your kit to one of our designated sites in order to receive a new kit.

How long will it take to receive my results?

Results typically take 2-4 days, though the actual time may vary. If you feel you are experiencing severe or worsening symptoms, do not delay seeking medical care while waiting for your results. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people experiencing the following symptoms get emergency medical attention immediately: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to stay awake or wake after sleeping, bluish lips or face.

How will I receive my results?

You will receive your results online. Color will send you a text and email notification as soon as they are available. You can also visit your account dashboard to check if your results are ready. You’ll need to sign into your Color account.

Who will my results be shared with?

All results will be shared with you, Northwestern University and Northwestern Medicine. We will also share your results with your state and/or local health department, as required by law.

How do I get a new kit?

Please visit one of our designated sites in order to receive a new kit.

General Testing Questions

Are there places I can be tested not affiliated with Northwestern?

The state of Illinois runs drive-thru and walk-up testing sites across the state including Harwood Heights, Arlington Heights, and Waukegan. No appointment required but limited capacity. See the IDPH website for locations, hours, and contact information: https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/covid-19-testing-sites

If I get tested at a location other than the Northwestern testing sites, how should I report my results?

Students who test positive for COVID-19 while away from the Evanston/Chicago area, and who are not planning to be on campus in the current academic quarter, do not need to submit their external positive diagnosis to Northwestern. 

If a student plans to return to campus within 90 days of testing positive, we ask that the student  submit that test result to Northwestern by uploading your results to the Risk Management site so the student can be appropriately removed from testing requirements when returning to campus.

What should I do if my results are positive?

Please visit the If You Test Positive page. 

What should I do if I’m going away or need to pause my testing schedule for any reason?

What happens if my results are inconclusive?

This is nothing to be concerned about.  Just continue with your next testing appointment as planned.  There is no need to schedule an additional testing appointment.

Do I have to participate in recurring testing if I tested positive for COVID-19 recently and have been cleared to return to campus?

If you have tested positive in the last 90 days, once you have been cleared to return to campus, you do not need to participate in asymptomatic testing. If you tested positive at a Northwestern testing site, there is nothing further you need to do. If you tested positive at an external testing site, please upload your results to the Risk Compliance site.

How can I get tested if I arrive in Evanston after the “arrival testing” window has already been completed?

You will need to be tested before coming to in-person activities on campus. If you arrive after Wildcat Wellness, you should:

I am required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing due to my expected time spent on campus, but I have concerns about getting tested due to a disability and/or a medical condition. Can I request an exception?

Students requesting an exception to required COVID-19 testing on the basis of disability and/or a medical condition should contact Accessible NU and complete the application process.

COVID-19 alone may not be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, due to the fact that the illness in some may be transitory and have limited impact on major life activities in ordinary circumstances. However, students who have significant impacts due to Coronavirus or ongoing medical conditions related to the COVID-19, may be eligible for reasonable accommodations.

I was in Evanston/Chicago and required to be tested weekly, but I have decided to leave the area for the remainder of the quarter. How do I get removed from my testing requirement?

If you are an undergraduate student, you need to send an email to NU-COVID-Testing-Suppport@northwestern.edu and request to be removed from testing requirements. You will need to update your local address in CAESAR to reflect that you are no longer in the area.

If you are a graduate student and you are no longer going to be in the area, you need to update your “Campus Interaction Status” in CAESAR to “Never” and update your local address in CAESAR to reflect that you are no longer in the area.

I was able to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Am I still required to undergo testing?

Yes. Because we still don’t know the efficacy of the vaccine in all populations, as well as open questions about transmission post-vaccination, our public health and infectious disease experts suggest that you continue to test even though you’ve received the vaccine. This will be adjusted as we learn more about the impact of vaccination across the larger NU community.

I never tested positive for COVID-19, but I think I had it; or I had a positive COVID-19 antibody test – do I still need to test?

Yes, you need to continue testing. There are many case reports of repeated infections, and some of the newer variants of the disease appears to evade natural antibodies. Because we don’t know how long a prior infection may protect against re-infection, and because many antibody tests are prone to false positives due to detection of other coronaviruses, we ask that you keep testing even if you have a positive antibody test.