COVID Testing and Tracing at Campus Health

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.

Prospective Evaluation Testing at the Carolina Union

  • Who: UNC students, living both on- and off-campus who don't have symptoms, have not been notified of close contact status, and who have not tested positive for COVID in the past 90 days.
  • Where: Carolina Union Gallery area, outside of the Great Hall 
  • When: No appointment needed. Times vary for the rest of the semester.
    • November 23rd - 25th: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. (closed 11/26 and 11/27 for Thanksgiving)
    • November 30th - December 23rd: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    • December 24th - January 3rd: No testing
    • 2021 testing details TBD
  • How often: Testing every 5-9 days is recommended.
  • Cost: Free
  • How: Saliva-based specimen collection; no nasal swabs.
  • Parking: There will be 10 spaces reserved in the Undergraduate Lot (N8) Lot.
  • Time to receive results: Results will be delivered directly to your mobile device in 1-2 days. Any student with a positive test result will also be contacted by Campus Health.


Since you will use a saliva-based testing method, we ask that you do not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum for 30 minutes before getting tested. Detailed testing instructions are available by pdf and video

Diagnostic Testing at Campus Health

Diagnostic testing is for close contacts and symptomatic students, post-doctoral fellows and their eligible partners and spouses in the Student Testing Center at Campus Health. It is recommended to test when symptoms develop or after 4 - 5 days have passed since being exposed to COVID. 

  • Who: UNC student, post-docand eligible partners  who are close contacts of a known positive, who have symptoms, or who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Where: UNC Student Testing Center. Enter at the Physical Therapy clinic door located on the side of the Campus Health building facing the Bell Tower Parking Deck. This means you’ll enter on the lowest level of Campus Health. Click for a Google Map to the testing center.
  • 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.
  • 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 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, continue to:

  • wear a mask
  • stay physically distanced
  • avoid crowds and indoor crowded places
  • wash your hands frequently
  • monitor for symptoms and
  • minimize 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, 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.

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.

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 and they are provided instructions on the need to quarantine for up to 14 days, provided self-monitoring instructions and they receive daily communications from Campus Health. Arrangements for support if needed during the quarantine period are coordinated with campus partners such as Housing, Dining and Dean of Students Office.