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Message to students: COVID Surveillance Testing Required

Dear students,

You are receiving this message because you will be required to complete a COVID-19 test provided by the university at the start of the semester. As we announced on August 31, all undergraduate students in the St. Louis region who are living off-campus in non-Residential Life housing will be required to complete this test. Students in Residential Life housing are being tested during their move-in process.

After this initial round of testing, all undergraduate students living in the St. Louis region will be required to complete a university-provided COVID-19 test every two weeks for the duration of the fall semester. More details about this ongoing surveillance testing, including how to register, will be provided at a later date. The university is working to finalize a centrally located facility on the Danforth Campus for this ongoing surveillance testing. For the safety of the community, the university will be continuously reviewing and updating our surveillance testing strategy as needed.

This testing is not for students experiencing symptoms. If you have or develop COVID-19-related symptoms, contact Habif Health and Wellness Center immediately (314-935-6666). The university is providing testing for all Washington University students, faculty and staff who develop COVID-19-related symptoms at any time during the fall semester upon referral from Habif (students) or Occupational Health (faculty and staff).  

Testing dates

The start-of-semester testing for students who are not living in Residential Life housing will take place September 14-18. Undergraduate students who do not complete this test by September 18 will have their ID card swipe access to buildings on the Danforth Campus turned off.


Students are required to register for an appointment at the West Campus testing center. Undergraduate students in the St. Louis region who are living off-campus in non-Residential Life housing may only register for an appointment on September 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18. To register for an appointment, visit, login with your WUSTL key, and select COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Scheduling.

Testing logistics

  • Start-of-semester testing will be conducted at the West Campus Conference Center (7425 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, Missouri, 63105).
  • Bring a form of identification and smartphone/tablet/laptop to check in at the site.
  • This is a saliva test.  Do not eat or drink ANYTHING for 30 minutes prior to your test time. This includes, but is not limited to, tooth brushing, mouth washing, gum chewing, drinking water, and tobacco use before your testing. Not following preparation guidelines will result in a delay of your testing.
  • Testing will close promptly at 4 p.m.
  • The processing time for tests is approximately 24-36 hours.
  • Negative results will be emailed directly to your university email account. Positive results will be communicated directly to Habif medical staff, who will then contact you by phone to provide appropriate medical and healthcare support, and to begin contact tracing protocols.
  • The testing center was designed and is being operated with the health and safety of the university community in mind. This includes consultation with expert advisors from the School of Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases. As noted above, this testing is not for symptomatic students. Additionally, masks will be required (except when producing a saliva sample) and the site is designed to allow for physical distancing at all times except very brief interactions with testing staff.
  • Students who test positive will be offered the opportunity to move to isolation housing on campus to recover away from other students. There will be no cost for this isolation housing or the meals provided when a student is in isolation housing. Students who test positive who live off campus with roommates and are living in a situation where they cannot safely isolate from others will be required to move to isolation housing. 

Getting to West Campus

West Campus is about one mile west of the Danforth Campus. There are multiple ways to get there:

  • From the Danforth Campus (starting at Big Bend and Forsyth), walk west along Forsyth toward downtown Clayton. West Campus will be on your right.
  • The West Campus shuttle stops on the Danforth Campus at Mallinckrodt Center and Goldfarb Hall.
  • Parking for students being tested is available at West Campus.
  • Students can also take the MetroLink Blue Line and get off at the Forsyth station.


Students are exempt from testing if they are studying remotely and not living in the St. Louis region. Students who have previously tested positive, and those who live in the St. Louis region but will not be coming to campus, may be exempt from the mandatory surveillance testing. More information about requesting an exemption under either of these conditions is available on the university’s COVID-19 website.

Questions about testing?

If you have any questions, please send them to

Thank you for your attention to this email and for participating in our surveillance testing program.  We are all in this together and your participation helps to ensure the safety of our campus community.


Robert M. Wild
Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs