Sentinel Testing

Sentinel testing is a system that collects information useful for monitoring trends in diseases and pathogens. It can help assess the stability or change in COVID-19 spread across campuses. For the COVID-19 pandemic, plans are to test between 2.5% to 5% of the on-campus population weekly to identify how much of the COVID-19 virus is circulating.  Sentinel testing is being adopted by higher education campuses across Alabama. Testing is voluntary and highly encouraged. Sentinel testing will help in the fight against COVID-19 to help keep our community safe.

Am I required to participate in sentinel testing?

Participation in sentinel testing is not required; however, it is strongly encouraged to help keep our campuses safe and healthy. Many people may carry COVID-19 without showing symptoms.

Will the test hurt?

The test will be a self-administered swab in the nostril — though not the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab.

What do I do if I test positive, but do not show symptoms?

Self isolate for 14 days if you test positive, but are not showing symptoms to help protect others in the community.

How will I get my results?

If you test negative for COVID-19, you will receive results via email within 36 hours of testing.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive a call from a healthcare provider to give you next steps on how to protect yourself and others around you.

If I participate in sentinel testing, am I using a test that could be given to someone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or exposure?

Sentinel testing differs from COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Sentinel testing is a self-administered swab in the nostril — not the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab used in a COVID-19 test. Sentinel tests are processed in a lab setting and are not a contributing factor to the limited availability of COVID-19 test. 
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UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.