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Abbott Rapid Antigen Testing

Northwestern is partnering with Abbott to offer our community its rapid antigen test, BinaxNOW. We use this test in conjunction with Abbott’s NAVICA app or website, which you use to retrieve your test results. 

About the Test

Studies suggest that these antigen tests do a good job of detecting positive cases when viral levels are higher, meaning the individual is likely to be infectious. When used more frequently, the nearly immediate results can be helpful in quickly identifying those who are asymptomatic and more likely to be infectious, further protecting our community.

Testing information for students is outlined on the Student Testing webpage. Testing information for faculty and staff is outlined on the Faculty and Staff Testing webpage. All Northwestern students, faculty and staff are welcome to complete as many rapid antigen tests a week as they would like. 

Locations and Times

Rapid testing is available at:

  • Jacobs Center (2001 Sheridan Road) in Evanston, using the south (Deering Meadow) entrance
  • 345 E. Superior Street in Chicago

No appointments are needed for rapid testing. Before visiting a testing location, please confirm the current hours of operation.

Completing Your Rapid Antigen Test

The information below outlines the steps you will need to take before coming to take your rapid test and what to expect afterward. If you have questions, please contact

Before Testing

  1. Please note, if you are completing an Abbott rapid antigen test for the first time, you’ll need to complete an online consent form in advance. You will need to complete this form only one time.
  2. You have already received an email titled “NAVICA Invitation from Northwestern University for (your name)” to your NU email address. 
    • This email details the steps you need to take to create your NAVICA account and connect to Northwestern. This email also provides your personal Connect Code that is necessary to connect to NU before you can begin testing.
    • Download the NAVICA app at App Store or Google Play. If your phone does not support the NAVICA app or if you are experiencing technical difficulties, you can use the NAVICA website as an alternate way to access your account.
    • Enter your basic demographic information to set up your account.
    • Use your Northwestern email.
    • You will receive a “Please confirm your email address” email from NAVICA/Abbott.
    • Upon completion, you will receive a “Welcome to NAVICA” email as part of this process.
  3. Connect to “Northwestern” in your NAVICA settings. 
    • Once in the NAVICA app, select the “Test Site” tab from the bottom navigation.
    • Click the settings icon in the upper right corner.
    • In the “CONNECTED ORGS” section, select the “Connect an Organization” option.
    • If you are using the NAVICA website, scroll down until you see “Your Name’s Connected Organizations” and click “Add.”
    • Enter your personal “Connect Code” provided to you in the above “NAVICA Invitation from Northwestern University” email, and click the blue “Verify” button at the bottom of the screen. You need to enter this only once in the app.

Testing: What to Expect

The rapid antigen test is a simple nasal swab and should take you less than 15 minutes on-site.

What to bring: A device to log in to your NAVICA account (remember your NAVICA password so you can log in), your Wildcard and your NetID


  • Results will be available within 30 minutes of completing your test.
  • You will receive a notification on your phone informing you that your NAVICA results are ready.
  • Log in to your NAVICA app to view your results.
  • If you are using the NAVICA website, your results will be available under “Your Name’s Latest Test Result.” 

If your results are negative, you will see a green NAVICA pass on the “Pass” tab. If your results are positive, self-quarantine immediately, and Case Management will reach out shortly to provide guidance on next steps. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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

To be eligible for COVID-19 testing through Northwestern University, you need to use your Northwestern email address for all testing-related activities and communications.

I created my NAVICA account, but I cannot find the email with my personal “Connect Code” to connect to Northwestern. What should I do?

You should have received an email from containing your “Connect Code” the day NU uploaded you as a participant. This is not necessarily the same day that you created your account. If you cannot find this email in your inbox, check your spam folder. If you still are unable to find your “Connect Code,” please email with you first name, last name and NetID, and we will resend the invitation.

What should I bring to my test?

A device to log in to your NAVICA account (remember your NAVICA password so you can log in), your Wildcard and your NetID.

How will I receive my results?

You will receive a notification on your phone within 30 minutes of taking your test informing you that your NAVICA results are ready. Log in to your NAVICA app to review your results. If you are using the NAVICA websitelog into your account 30 minutes after taking your test and results will be available under “Your Name’s Latest Test Result.”

What should I do if I receive a positive result?

Regardless of your vaccination status, self-isolate immediately. You will receive a notification from Case Management with guidance on next steps.

What should I do if I receive an invalid result?

While an invalid result is not indicative of either a positive or negative result, it does not provide you with a definitive result. We ask that you return to re-test at your earliest convenience.

What should I do if I don’t have a smart device?

Email and tell them that you don’t have a smart device. We will walk you through next steps to navigate testing.

What should I do if I am having issues downloading my NAVICA app or creating an account?

Please inform a staff member upon arrival at the testing center so we can quickly work through these issues onsite.

I notice an at-home option in the NAVICA app. Do I have access to this?

At-home testing is offered by Abbott independently through eMed. If you chose to purchase these tests you do so at your own cost. Costs will not be reimbursed by Northwestern.