Mitigation & Symptomatic Testing
The university will continue to refine and update testing efforts as needed as they are a critical component of a safe and healthy campus community. Testing programs are carried out across campus to help the university monitor and address real-time trends and prevalence and make timely decisions on potential intervention and response.
Testing is a key strategy in combination with all-important behavioral measures of social distancing, facial coverings, hand and surface hygiene and staying home when sick. Testing paired with good health habits is an easy, quick and incredibly consequential way to make sure we're each doing our part to keep our community safer and healthier. It’s one way that all of us help to protect each of us.
Any and all practices and policies delineated here at this time are subject to revision and updates.
Summer Term 2021 Mitigation Testing
Students residing in University Housing over the Summer Term will be required to participate in COVID-19 mitigation testing. This is a continuation of the mitigation testing efforts on campus since last spring. Testing is one component of the University of Cincinnati’s ongoing efforts to foster health and safety among our campus community. The test is free, quick and easy.
Requirement for testing: testing frequency over Summer 2021
Students residing in University Housing in Summer 2021 are expected to be tested for COVID-19 weekly during Summer Term, as recommended by the CDC based the regional COVID-19 incidence rate.
Fully vaccinated students residing in University Housing have the option to voluntarily submit proof of vaccination in order to participate in the required testing at a reduced frequency, and instead receive testing monthly. Even with full vaccination, periodic testing is still necessary due to the international travel that visitors and members of our campus community may engage in as well as potential effects of variant COVID strains.
Proof of vaccination consists of snapshots of your vaccination card (front and back), and you can upload those through secure email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not submit other information to this address, including medical records.
Please see this exemption link to seek a medical or religious exemption to testing. Exemptions must be approved by the UC COVID Response Team. (Please note that those who are unvaccinated and living in congregate housing are currently considered the highest risk for contracting and spreading COVID infection and are encouraged to obtain vaccination, which is free, fast and easy.)
Proof of fully vaccinated status currently requires that said vaccines consist of those that are either FDA or WHO authorized. Important to remember: Full vaccination status is defined as two weeks after your second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.
To be eligible for the once-a-month testing requirement (versus weekly testing requirement), you may voluntarily provide proof of your full-vaccination status by the Friday of the week you are due for your required weekly test.
For efficiency, voluntarily submitted proof of vaccination will be stored in the HIPAA/FERPA compliant application Salesforce along with all other university COVID-19 related information and will only be accessible to UC COVID Response Team members. The intent is to use documentation of vaccination to determine required testing frequency and may be used to determine necessary action steps should campus experience a public health need, such as a COVID-19 outbreak.
Summer testing begins May 17
Summer mitigation testing begins on May 17, 2021. It will be offered each Monday throughout the Summer Term, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in West Concourse of Fifth Third Arena. (Because of holidays falling on Monday, May 31, and Monday, July 5, required mitigation testing will move to Tuesday, June 1, and Tuesday, July 6, to accommodate those holidays.)
First step in order to participate in required summer testing is to complete brief, one-time online testing registration. After you fill out that one-time registration, you will receive email reminders on testing, and you will be able to walk-in for required summer testing.
For this Summer Term 2021 mitigation testing of students residing in University Housing, University Health Services will make use of pooled testing. During pooled testing, participants at the testing site will perform self-swabs to collect a nasal sample. Individual samples are then pooled together and analysis of the samples is then performed. This testing method allows more people to be tested quickly and helps relieve the shortage of reagents needed to conduct tests.
Each swab will be pooled with others so that multiple samples can be tested together at one time. If that test is negative, then everyone in that group is presumed negative. If that pooled test is positive, in most cases, the two-swab testing process allows for the identification of the infected individual in the pool. In most cases, only that individual will require a confirmatory clinical test to be performed at University Health Services. Any individual identified as having a pooled test result of concern will be contacted by a COVID Watch nurse to arrange confirmatory testing. In addition, that individuals(s) must self-isolate until the confirmatory test result is available. If the confirmatory test is positive, isolation will last at least 10 days from the date of the pooled test.
On-campus required mitigation testing is free
This required testing will be free to students. There will be no out-of-pocket cost to students, nor will insurance be billed for either pooled or any confirmatory testing.
Option to submit a current PCR test from another medical provider
As an alternative to the on-campus mitigation testing, students have the option to submit a current PCR COVID test from another provider as a substitute for your on-campus test. Any substitute COVID test from another provider would be conducted at the student’s expense.
To serve as a valid substitute, any PCR test from another provider must be fulfilled within the week you are required to test at UC.
It cannot be a previous test, nor can antigen or antibody tests be submitted, as these are significantly less reliable than the PCR test. If you opt to fulfill your requirement by submitting a PCR test from an outside medical provider, you must submit your test results by 11 p.m. on the Friday during the week you were scheduled to test at UC. Make submissions to UCCOVIDCheck@ucmail.uc.edu
Consequences of failing to test
Failure to participate in required mitigation testing will result in a Red Pass on your UC COVID Check App, which will limit your campus access. Students with Red Passes cannot be admitted to some campus buildings, including libraries, Tangeman University Center and the Campus Recreation Center. In addition, you will not be able to dine-in at campus dining halls but will need to pick up carry-out food at On the Green, located on the ground floor of Marian Spencer Hall.
For those who fail to obtain an exemption, do not test on UC’s campus and fail to submit a PCR COVID test from another provider, your UC COVID Check pass will turn Red at midnight on the Sunday following the Monday you were required to test on campus.
Contact email@example.com with questions.
Testing for symptomatic or exposed students
For symptomatic students and those who have had close exposure to infected individuals, one on-campus testing option is the University Health Services Testing Center, located at Commons Edge North, 57 W. Daniels Street. Students may call (513) 556-2564 for an appointment.
Also for symptomatic students and those who have had close exposure to infected individuals, University Health Services can arrange for testing at the UC Health Uptown Campus, 3120 Burnet Avenue (East Campus), which is by appointment only.
The student's health insurance plan will be billed for symptomatic and exposure testing.
For additional information and Frequently Asked Questions, see UC's Public Health website.