Entry Testing


GuideSafe™ Entry Testing (formerly Stay Safe Together™ Testing) is providing free COVID-19 testing for students at Alabama’s colleges and universities. COVID-19 testing is required for many public or private four-year colleges in the state of Alabama and for all two-year college for students who reside on campus. For other schools COVID-19 testing is strongly encouraged but not required. Specific testing protocols are directed by each campus. Contact each college at the link below for campus-specific entry testing rules and regulations. By getting tested for COVID-19 within 14 days of entry, we can safely and confidently welcome you to campus.

Your respective university will reach out to you regarding testing directives. Search your university email or email on file with your school for a message directly from either testing@guidesafe.org or testing@staysafetogether.org. That communication will direct you to a web link to register for a day and time at a testing location most convenient for you.

Once you have your day and time set, the onsite test will involve a nasal swab just inside the nose that you will do yourself.

Your test results will be provided within 48 hours via an email from covid19@pwnhealth.com. If your test is positive, you will be contacted by phone within 24 hours and given next steps.

Once entry testing is complete, know that the fight against COVID-19 on Alabama college campuses won’t stop. Ongoing efforts to lower your risk of infection will include something called Sentinel Testing. This is a voluntary testing program that involves randomly testing a small percentage of a population to help track trends, identify outbreaks, and monitor COVID-19 on each campus. These tests are also less invasive but effective in identifying new cases that have the potential to spread.

We’re counting on you to do your part by accepting our invitation to participate should you be selected for this crucial, collaborative effort.

GuideSafe™ Entry Testing is free to students as it is supported by Governor Kay Ivey and funded by the State of Alabama with more than $750,000 in CARES Act money.

Check your university email for information about entry testing.

Testing Locations in Alabama

Auburn, AL

Birmingham, AL

East Huntsville, AL

Florence, AL

Hoover, AL

Huntsville, AL

Jacksonville, AL

Livingston, AL

Marion, AL

Mobile, AL

Montgomery, AL

Talladega, AL

Troy, AL

Tuscaloosa, AL

Registration is open to schedule your free COVID-19 test today. Check your school’s entry website linked below to learn more about COVID-19 testing requirements and exceptions.

Is COVID-19 testing mandatory for students before entering campus?

All students planning to return to campus prior to the start of fall semester will receive COVID-19 tests at no cost. Students will receive GuideSafe™ entry testing communications to their university email address outlining the details and options for their testing process.

How are students tested if they are scheduled to return to campus early?

Each university is handling early arrivals differently. Please contact your university for more information.

How do students submit their COVID-19 entry test results?

GuideSafe™ will submit student test results to each university on behalf of students who use the at-home test kit or test in person with GuideSafe™. Those who test privately, or need to share a prior positive, will need to contact their university for instructions on how to submit test results. 

Do I have to quarantine after I test (until I receive my results)?

It will be required for symptomatic individuals or those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive to self-quarantine. 

How long does it take to receive results once I send in my sample?

If using the at-home kit, you should get your results within 72 hours after you ship your kit. If testing at an on-site location in Alabama, within 48 hours of specimen collection.

What happens if I test positive?

You will get an email with your results through the platform portal (Everlywell for the at-home kit and PWN Health for the on-site platform). If your test is positive, you will also get a phone call from a health care provider within 24 hours after you receive the email. The testing group will notify the appropriate public health officials, as required. 

If I'm experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, can I schedule a COVID-19 test through GuideSafe™️?

GuideSafe™️ is providing COVID-19 tests at no cost for asymptomatic students who plan to return to campus prior to the start of the fall semester. Those exhibiting symptoms should seek medical attention from a health care provider. Click here to see a full list of symptoms provided by the CDC. Clinical testing is covered by insurance, including student health insurance. Students will receive GuideSafe™️ entry testing communication to their university mail address outlining the details and options for their testing process.

What if I don’t receive my results before I leave for campus?

A negative test result is a prerequisite for returning to campus. 

What if I haven’t yet received the email with testing instructions?

Messages are being sent to students in a staggered fashion based on move-in dates. Check your university email daily for updates. 

What if I live in Alabama and will return to campus after August 6?

Students who live in Alabama and who plan to return to campus after August 6, should watch for an email from GuideSafe™. The email will provide instructions for registering for and scheduling your COVID-19 test at one of 14 testing sites in Alabama. 

Where are the on-site testing locations in Alabama?

There will be 14 locations in Alabama where in-state students may get tested:

  • Auburn
  • Birmingham
  • Florence
  • Hoover
  • Huntsville
  • East Huntsville
  • Jacksonville
  • Livingston
  • Marion
  • Mobile
  • Montgomery
  • Talladega
  • Troy
  • Tuscaloosa

What if I test positive right before I leave to come to campus?

First and foremost: take care of yourself. Students who test positive must follow the isolation and quarantine protocols of your state or place of summer residence for your protection and well-being. Do not come to campus if you test positive. 

How do I submit my previous COVID-19 test results or the results of my test from a different provider?

Contact your university student health clinic for instructions on how to submit your test results. 

The self-administered COVID-19 test is not available because I live in NY, NJ, MD, RI or am under 18 years old. How do I test?

Due to FDA restrictions, out-of-state minors (under 18), those living outside of the United States or residents of New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Rhode Island will not be able to participate in the at-home testing kit option for entry testing provided by GuideSafe™ Testing (formerly known as Stay Safe Together).
Students who are not eligible for an at-home testing kit have the following three options to complete the COVID-19 entry testing requirements prior to coming to campus:

  • Identify a testing option (at personal cost) such as a drug store, your primary care physician, a local health department or drive-thru testing. This can include a testing option in your community or once you are in Alabama, as long as it is within the 14-day window of your entry to campus.
  • GuideSafe Testing (formerly known as Stay Safe Together), has 14 test locations set up across Alabama. To use this option, please email testing@guidesafe.org now to register to receive a test at one of these locations once you are in Alabama. You will need your negative test results prior to arrival on campus, and before moving into campus housing.
  • Contact your university to see if they have other campus testing options available.

I've entered my information for an at-home testing kit but I haven't received any notifications on when I would receive it?

We pull this list daily, Monday-Friday, and send to our at-home test kit partner Everlywell. When they receive the order and fulfill the order, they will email the student a tracking number for the shipment.

Can a student be tested at a different GuideSafe™️ testing location than they were originally assigned?

Students are able to schedule their own testing appointment – location, date, time. For those who participated in the pilot testing, locations were pre-assigned. To change your scheduled appointment, contact Verily User Support at healthyatwork@verily.com.

Why does Verily mention “work” in my email confirmation and when I log in to the system?

We want to assure you that you are in the right place. Verily’s “Healthy at Work” system supports organizations and their efforts for a safe return to work and school.

Alabama rolls out plan to test every college student for coronavirus

Download video from a media availability interview about GuideSafe™ Student Entry Pilot Testing. 

Governor Ivey announces COVID-19 testing, safety programs developed by UAB and the State Department of Public Health to support higher ed statewide

Governor Ivey Awards $30 Million of CARES Act Money For COVID-19 Testing, Safety Development Programs

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