COVID Testing and Tracing

Campus Health offers COVID testing and supports the Orange County Health Department with contact tracing for UNC students, post-docs and eligible partners and spouses. Those who are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone with the virus should receive diagnostic testing at Campus Health. 

If you have tested positive for COVID in the past 90 days, retesting is not recommended.

Carolina Together Testing Program

Mandatory and voluntary asymptomatic testing on campus is available to students and staff. This testing is not for symptomatic students or those who have been identified as close contacts and is not performed at Campus Health.

Details for CTTP testing are available on the Carolina Together website.

During the weekdays between August 4th -11th, members of the Campus Health team will perform the asymptomatic testing for students. We ask faculty and staff to refrain from asymptomatic testing during this time. No reservations will be needed. Results will be given to those who test during this time via a text message. If your test result is positive, follow-up will be initiated by the Campus Health team. The hours at the Carolina Union will be:

  • Wednesday, August 4 - Friday August 6th and Monday August 9 - Wednesday, August 11
    • 9am-5pm at Carolina Union

Diagnostic Testing at Campus Health

Diagnostic testing is recommended for both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals who are close contacts of persons with COVID-19. Unvaccinated individuals should be tested immediately after being identified, and if negative, tested again in 5–7 days after last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop during quarantine. Vaccinated individuals should be tested 3 - 5 days after last known exposure with a person who tests positive for COVID-19.

If you're experiencing symptoms and are a UNC student, post-doctoral fellow or eligible partner/spouse, you can complete diagnostic testing at Campus Health as soon as your symptoms arise. 

  • Who: UNC students, post-docs and eligible partners  who are close contacts of a known positive, who have symptoms, or who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Where: Campus Health 
  • When: Monday - Friday 9 am - 12 pm and 1 pm - 4 pm by appointment. Schedule an appointment by requesting an appointment through the Patient Portal or call 919-966-2281.
  • Cost: The costs of diagnostic testing is covered by most health insurance plans. Costs may be lower at Campus Health than other testing locations because the visit portion of charges has already been paid through your health fees.
  • How: Diagnostic testing is offered by nasal swab testing.
  • Parking: Campus Health offers several parking spaces next to our building. Request a parking pass be emailed to you when you make your appointment.
  • Results: Time to receive lab results can vary based on reference lab testing capacity and any shortage of testing supplies. Currently, test results are available in 1-3 business days. 

If your test result is positive

Students who test positive must isolate until they meet criteria for ending isolation (i.e., 10 days from onset of symptoms or day of positive test, as well as no fever or symptoms for 24 hours). Campus Health will contact any positive student with isolation instructions. Those who reside on-campus will be instructed on relocation to dedicated isolation space on campus. 

Students and post-docs who test positive off-campus should contact Campus Health as soon as possible after receiving their result.

If your test result is negative

A negative test result indicates your status at the moment of the test, and does not indicate that you will remain negative after the test. 

Even if you have a negative test result, be mindful about:

  • wearing a mask indoors as detailed by the community standards
  • staying physically distanced
  • avoiding crowds and indoor crowded places
  • washing your hands frequently
  • monitoring for symptoms and
  • minimizing contact with people at high risk of COVID-19 complications.

If you test negative but have been in an area with clusters of cases or have been otherwise exposed to the virus and are unvaccinated, you may still need to quarantine. It can take 2-14 days for someone who is exposed to SARS-CoV-2 to develop symptoms of COVID-19. In other words, a negative test is not a free pass out of quarantine. You could still unknowingly pass COVID to others during those 14 days.

Close Contact Tracing by Campus Health

Campus Health, with guidance from the local Health Department, conducts close contact tracing when students and post-doctoral fellows test positive for COVID-19. Your name and information will not be shared and remains confidential.

Campus Health utilizes the following definition of a close contact:

Any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative time of 15 minutes starting from 2 days before symptom onset for symptomatic individuals and 2 days prior to positive specimen collection for asymptomatic individuals.

This means that individuals who maintain at least 6 feet physical separation in a classroom or congregate setting will typically not be considered a close contact.

Close contacts of a positive case are contacted by Campus Health or Orange County Health Department, and those who are unvaccinated are provided instructions on the need to quarantine for 10 days, provided self-monitoring instructions and they receive communications from Campus Health or the health department. Arrangements for support if needed during the quarantine period are coordinated with campus partners such as Housing, Dining and Dean of Students Office.