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Undergraduate Student Testing

Northwestern’s asymptomatic testing protocols apply to undergraduate students approved to be on-campus in the Fall Quarter. Generally, those students are juniors or seniors, or students who have otherwise been approved for an exception to be on campus.

Protocols 

The asymptomatic testing protocols are comprised of three steps:

Step 1: At Home Testing

  • This step was completed between August 18 and September 6 prior to returning to campus.

Step 2: Arrival Testing

  • All students approved to be on campus in the Fall Quarter were required to be tested upon their arrival on campus.
  • Students living in on-campus housing were tested the day of their arrival.
  • Students living off-campus were tested in conjunction with Wildcat Wellness. 

Step 3: Recurring Testing

  • All undergraduate students approved to be on campus for the Fall Quarter must be tested weekly. This includes those approved to live in the residence halls, first and second year approved academic exceptions, and juniors or seniors planning to access campus.

Students not complying with the weekly testing requirement will have their Wildcards deactivated and will not be allowed on campus.

Weekly Testing Compliance

Students that have missed two consecutive weekly tests will have their Wildcards deactivated and will not be able to access campus buildings.

Once these students have tested again, they can initiate the process to reinstate their access to campus buildings. If they have completed a test within the last 7 days, they should take the following steps: 

  • Email the Return to Campus Team at returntocampusteam@northwestern.edu with the subject line “Building & System Access.”
    • Include your NetID, full name, and the date you tested
    • Attach an email with proof that you tested: this could be an email from Tempus (regarding downloading the app or informing you that test results are ready), an update from NUHS, or a message from an external test provider saying that your results are ready

Once the above request is received, the Return to Campus team will partner with the on-campus testing team and facilities to reinstate access within 2 business days.

Testing Location

All asymptomatic testing for undergraduate students will occur at the Jacobs Center (2001 Sheridan Road). Students should follow signs and enter at the South entrance of the building (adjacent to Deering Meadow).

Scheduling Your Test

Testing will be coordinated on a self-service scheduling basis. Slots will be available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, so you can book a time that best meets your needs. You can book your appointment up to two weeks ahead of time. We will release a new week of appointments each weekend.

Updating Your Address in CAESAR 

Before you arrive for testing, please make sure to update your local address in CAESAR. This will help ensure your test results are matched and communicated appropriately. 

Results

As you will hear during your testing appointment, Tempus will send you an email with instructions on how to download their app to review your results. This app will directly provide you with your results as soon as they are available. Tempus has some known issues with its mobile application only working on certain versions of iOS. If you experience any issues receiving the email from Tempus or downloading the Tempus app, you can directly contact Tempus customer support at covidinfo@tempus.com

If you are remain unable to access the Tempus mobile app, you can email patient.support@northwestern.edu. As a reminder, test results may take two to four days depending on when you take your test.

If your test results come back positive, a member of Northwestern’s COVID Response Team will reach out to walk you through next steps. This will include direction regarding your need to self-isolate as well as guidance regarding how Northwestern will coordinate required contact tracing and to help support your health and welfare throughout this period.

 

It is very important that students who have COVID-19 symptoms follow the processes outlined below. All symptomatic testing will be provided by Northwestern Medicine labs.

Location

All symptomatic testing for undergraduate students will occur at Northwestern Health Service (Searle Hall, 633 Emerson). There is a tent outside the building which will only be used for symptomatic and contact tracing testing.

Scheduling Your Test

If you have symptoms and need to be tested, call the University Health Service at 847-491-8100 in order to arrange for a test. You may be asked to pre-register for your appointment.

While waiting for your test, and while waiting for your results, it is very important that you self-isolate until you have a confirmed test result.

Register for Your Appointment

Follow these steps to register for a MyNM account and make your testing appointment.

  1. First, ensure you’ve registered for your MyNM account. If you have already downloaded the MyNM app or have an established account, you do not need to create a new account. Appointments can only be scheduled by Northwestern students and staff; others will see warning message.
    If you haven’t yet, complete these steps first:
    • Register for your MyNM account online
      Please note that if you click the above link on your phone, it will prompt you to download the MyNM app and walk you through a similar series of steps after you’ve downloaded the app
    • Under the What Type of Access Do You Need header, click the Access for Myself link
      mynm-access-for-self.jpg
    • Take two to three minutes to complete the registration process by sharing basic demographic information. 
  2. Log into your MyNM account and click Schedule an Appointment in the right-hand column
    schedule-appointment.png
  3. Select Northwestern University Testing Services towards bottom of the list and click on the purple Continue button.
    testing-services.png
    continue.png
  4. You will be routed to the Schedule an Appointment screen. (Please note that if you see an error message at this stage, email MyChartSupportforNU@NM.org. for assistance, and be sure to provide your date of birth and NetID.)
    Select the location you will be going to for testing.All symptomatic testing for undergraduate students will occur at Northwestern Health Service (Searle Hall, 633 Emerson).
  5. Select the available time that works best for you.
  6. Confirm all the information is correct and click the This Information Is Correct button at the bottom of the screen to continue.
    Please note: Insurance is not needed for this visit. You do not need to enter anything here.
    screenshot
  7. Next you will schedule the appointment. Write COVID Testing in the What is the most important thing you want addressed during this visit? box and click Schedule in the bottom right corner to confirm.
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  8. You will receive a confirmation immediately via email
  9. If something comes up and you need to reschedule your appointment, please cancel the appointment. You can then go back in and start over.

Updating Your Address in CAESAR 

Before you arrive for testing, please make sure to update your local address in CAESAR. This will help ensure your test results are matched and communicated appropriately. 

Results

Your test result will be available through your MyNM account.

If your test results come back positive, a member of Northwestern’s COVID Response Team will reach out to walk you through next steps. This will include direction regarding your need to self-isolate as well as guidance regarding how Northwestern will coordinate required contact tracing and to help support your health and welfare throughout this period.

In the event that you receive notification of a positive result prior to hearing from the COVID Response Team, please immediately begin to self-isolate pending further guidance and call us at 847-491-8422. This number is currently staffed with case managers and contact tracers from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. At all other times, this line will connect you to the University Health Service’s after hours call service where you can ask to speak with the physician-on-call, who will provide you with guidance for any immediate next steps, including any applicable need to move from your existing campus housing to the University’s isolation housing.

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I sign up for testing?
    You will self-schedule your tests through the scheduling form. Slots will be available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, so you can book a time that best meets your needs. You can book your appointment up to two weeks ahead of time. We will release a new week of appointments each weekend. Student athletes will receive information about scheduling their tests directly from Sports Medicine.
  2. How can I get tested if I arrive in Evanston after 9/21 once the “arrival testing” window has already been completed?
    Email COVID Testing Support to schedule an appointment and share the following:  first and last name, email address, your preferred campus to test on (Chicago/Evanston), and your NetID. Someone will follow-up with you sharing more guidance on next steps to be tested. In the interim, you will need to self-quarantine.
  3. What should I do if I need to change my appointment?
    You should follow the instructions on the scheduling form to cancel and reschedule your appointment.
  4. How often will I be tested?
    Those approved to access campus in the fall will be tested weekly.
  5. Is testing optional?
    No, this testing is required. Students who do not adhere to the required testing will be restricted from accessing campus buildings, in-person services, and other University resources.
  6. How do I obtain my results?
    As you will hear during your testing appointment, Tempus, the testing vendor, will send you an email with instructions on how to download their app to review your results. This app will directly provide you with your results as soon as they are available. Tempus has some known issues with its mobile application only working on certain versions of iOS. If you experience any issues receiving the email from Tempus or downloading the Tempus app, you can directly contact Tempus customer support at covidinfo@tempus.com
  7. How long does it take to obtain my results? 
    You will receive an email instructing you that your results are available in the Tempus app within 2-4 days of testing.
  8. I am having difficulty obtaining my results, what should I do?
    • If you are having a technical difficulty with the Tempus app or have not received an email after 5 days, you can contact tempus at covidinfo@tempus.com.
    • If you are not able to access the Tempus mobile app, and you still want to verify your test result, you can email patient.support@northwestern.edu and be sure to share your name, the date you tested, your NetID, and email address. Please note, test results may take 2 to 4 days depending on when you take your test, so please allow for 4+ days for the email from Tempus before reaching out to Patient Support.
  9. What happens if I test positive?
    If your test results come back positive, a member of Northwestern’s COVID Response Team will reach out to walk you through next steps. This will include direction regarding your need to self-isolate as well as guidance regarding how Northwestern will help support your health and welfare throughout this period. In the event that you receive notification of a positive result through the Tempus or MyNM app prior to hearing from the COVID Response Team, please immediately begin to self-isolate pending further guidance and call us at 847-491-8422. This number is currently staffed with case managers from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. At all other times, this line will connect you to the University Health Service’s after hours call service where you can ask to speak with the physician-on-call, who will provide you with further guidance. If at any point you require emergency medical attention, call 911 to access the most local emergency services.
  10. What happens if my results are inconclusive? 
    Since you are testing on a weekly basis already, 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.
  11. What should I do if I am a student but I also receive a notice for testing because I have a job and am considered staff?
    If you are a student, you will follow the student protocol, even if you are also employed. Results from testing at staff and student testing sites will be shared with NU Health Services.
  12. My Wildcard was deactivated for missed testing. How can I get my Wildcard and access campus buildings reinstated?
    Testing noncompliant students will have on campus access reinstated once they provide evidence scheduling a test within the last 7 days. Forward either of the items below to the Return to Campus Team at returntocampusteam@northwestern.edu with the subject line “Building & System Access”. Please be sure to include your NetID, full name, and the date you tested in your message, along with:
    • The email from Tempus/the external test provider saying that your result was ready; or
    • An email confirming your initial testing appointment.

    Once received, the Return to Campus team will reinstate access by 3 PM the following day.

  13. Do I have to participate in weekly recurring testing if I tested positive for Covid-19 recently and have been cleared to return to campus?
    If you have tested positive since August 15, 2020, once you have been cleared for return to campus, you will be exempted from the recurring weekly testing for fall quarter. 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 send your results to covidcasemanagement@northwestern.edu
  14. What should I do if I have symptoms?
    Many symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of the common flu and include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny note, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you have any of these symptoms, and particularly if you have new loss of taste or smell, you are not able to be tested at the Jacobs Center or 345 E. Superior Street. In these situations, you must contact the University Health Service in order to arrange for a test at Searle Hall (633 Emerson or Streeterville Immediate Care Center, 635 N. Fairbanks Ct).