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Student Testing

Arrival Testing

Students with symptoms of COVID-19 should test for COVID-19 prior their return to campus. If the test result is negative, there is no need to delay your return to campus.

COVID-19 testing will be available at Northwestern’s on-campus testing sites but is not required, and individual departments and programs are not permitted to require arrival testing. Northwestern’s on-campus testing sites will operate with extended hours during the week of Sept. 12-16. Hours of operation vary by location for both asymptomatic and symptomatic testing. Before visiting a testing location, please confirm the current hours of operation.

These protocols may change based on public health guidance.

Student Testing Protocols

  • Masking: In alignment with Northwestern Medicine practice, masks are required at our health facilities and testing sites regardless of vaccination status. This means appropriate masking protocols are enforced and required at Northwestern Medicine Student Health Service (Searle Hall), the Jacobs Center, and on the Chicago campus at 345 E. Superior St. 
  • All students are welcome to complete Abbott rapid antigen tests as frequently as they want. 

Completing Your Abbott Rapid Antigen Test

Please see the details on the Abbott Rapid Antigen Testing website for information about rapid antigen testing and for instructions on how to:

  • Download the Abbott NAVICA app or visit the NAVICA website
  • Create an account with your Northwestern email address
  • Connect to Northwestern via NAVICA to ensure your results are shared with Northwestern for case management and compliance tracking purposes

Once you’ve activated your NAVICA account and connected to NU, you are ready to test. All Abbott rapid antigen testing for students occurs at the Jacobs Center, using the south entrance (Deering Meadow), and 345 E. Superior St. in Chicago. No appointment is needed for rapid antigen testing.

Questions about Testing

It is very important that students who have COVID-19 symptoms follow the processes outlined below.

If you have symptoms and need to be tested, please visit our symptomatic testing site, take an at-home test, or arrange for a test off campus. Do not visit an asymptomatic testing site if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Doing so may risk the health of others in the Northwestern community. Northwestern does not reimburse individuals or units for off-campus testing expenses. 


Symptomatic antigen testing is available for all students at the Jacobs Center (Evanston), using the northwest entrance. No appointment is needed for rapid antigen testing. Before visiting our symptomatic testing site, please confirm the current hours of operation.

For symptomatic testing options near the Chicago campus, please contact Case Management to facilitate testing through the Health Services. Symptomatic testing is not available at 345 E. Superior St.

Obtaining Your Test if You Have Symptoms

If you have symptoms and need to be tested, please visit the Jacobs Center, using the northwest entrance. Before visiting our symptomatic testing site, please confirm the current hours of operation. No appointment is needed for symptomatic rapid antigen testing. Please bring your Wildcard or other photo identification. While waiting for your test, and while waiting for your results, it is very important that you self-quarantine until you have a confirmed test result.

Before Testing

You have already received an email titled “NAVICA Invitation from Northwestern University for (your name)” to your Northwestern 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
  • 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.

Getting Your Results

For a rapid antigen test, you will receive your results within 30 minutes of completing your test. You will receive a notification on your phone informing you that your NAVICA results are ready. If you are using the NAVICA website, your results will be available under “Your Name’s Latest Test Result.”

If your test results come back positive, please immediately begin to self-isolate. If you test positive and have questions regarding your symptoms, please email This email is currently staffed with case managers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If at any point you require emergency medical attention, call 911 to access the most local emergency services.