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FAQs

General Questions

1. Who is providing the testing?

The testing operations are being offered as a partnership between Northwestern University and Northwestern Medicine.

The testing sites will be staffed by a combination of NU and Northwestern Medicine employees.

2. Who pays for the testing?

NU will cover the costs of testing provided through Northwestern testing sites that follows the protocols below.

3. What kind of testing is NU providing?

We are currently focusing on PCR testing, offering high levels of sensitivity and specificity.

  • The tests for students, faculty and staff will be run in Northwestern Medicine’s labs and by Tempus, a third-party diagnostic testing company.
  • Test results will usually be available in 2-4 days, depending on the volume of testing in the labs on a given day.

4. How do I sign-up for testing?

The testing procedures vary for different subsets of the Northwestern community. Visit your webpage for testing details:

5. What should I do if I need to change my appointment?

  • Undergraduate students should follow the instructions on the scheduling form to cancel and reschedule the appointment.
  • Graduate students, faculty and staff can cancel and change your appointment through MyNM. 

6. How often will I be tested?

  • Undergraduate students approved to access campus in the fall will be tested weekly.
  • Graduate students, faculty and staff: Each week, a new group of students, faculty and staff randomly selected for testing will be notified via email.

7. Is testing optional?

The goals of our testing protocols are to understand trends in prevalence of the virus in the on-campus student population, and identify cases early to initiate contact tracing and quarantine processes.

The protocols vary for different subsets of the Northwestern community. Visit your webpage for details:

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

The following testing site locations near the Evanston campus have been identified for your convenience. Note that requirements vary by testing site, and you may be required to obtain a test order from your primary care physician. Some locations may charge for testing and/or a physician’s evaluation of your symptoms. Please refer to the information provided by each site prior to visiting.

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
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. 

NorthShore University Health System
Testing available by appointment with doctor’s order.

  • Multiple Evanston locations including 2650 Ridge Avenue and 1729 Benson Avenue
  • Phone: 847-432-5849        

Erie Evanston Skokie Health Center
Testing available to existing patients, by appointment only.

  • 1285 Hartrey Avenue, Evanston.
  • Phone: 312-666-3494

AMITA Health St. Francis Hospital Outpatient Testing Site
Drive-through testing available with doctor’s order.

  • 355 Ridge Avenue, Evanston.
  • Phone: 855.692.6482

Howard Brown Health
No appointment needed

  • Multiple locations, including 6500 N. Clark Street, Chicago. 
  • Phone: 773-388-1600

AHS Family Health Center
Drive-through testing available with doctor’s order, by appointment only.

  • 8800 Lockwood Avenue, Skokie. 
  • Phone: 1-800-597-5077

Physicians Immediate Care Clinics
Curbside evaluation and testing available.

  • Multiple locations, including 6140 North Broadway, Chicago.
  • Phone: Varies by location

9. If I get tested at a location other than the Northwestern testing sites, can I submit my results to Health Services?

  • Negative results: You may use the Submit External Test Results form for the submission of any COVID test results or other lab tests that were performed external to Northwestern. This enables the Health Service to include these test results in your electronic health record and contributes to your compliance with the University-wide COVID testing program.
  • Positive results: If you receive a positive result, please notify covidcasemanagment@northwestern.edu and a member of the case management team will contact you.
  • If you are tested at a Northwestern Medicine test site, by signing the consent form the NM test results will be directly shared with NU.

Testing Results

1. How do I obtain my results? How long will it take?

The result process varies for different subsets of the Northwestern community. Visit your webpage for details:

2. I am having difficulty obtaining my results, what should I do?

The result process varies for different subsets of the Northwestern community. Visit your webpage for details:

3. What happens if I test positive?

If you test positive, you will be contacted by a member of the COVID Response Team, who will walk you through next steps. 

For more on how you'll be contacted and supported, visit your webpage:

4. What happens if my results are inconclusive?

  • Undergraduate students are testing on a weekly basis, so the next step is just to sign up for testing for the following week. If possible, earlier in the week would be better given your inconclusive results the week prior.
  • Graduate students, faculty and staff should email COVID Testing Support in order to be scheduled again in the near future to retest.  Our team will follow-up with you shortly regarding next steps to test.