Quinnipiac University
A student self administers a COVID nasal swab test

Students and Families COVID-19 Resources

Testing and Contact Tracing

Pre-arrival, return and ongoing testing paired with contact tracing are critical to staying ahead of the spread of COVID-19. Below is more information about our approach to testing and contact tracing.

Testing and contact tracing goes hand-in-hand with other health and safety measures. Learn more

Student Testing Overview

As part of our extensive health and safety guidelines for students, Quinnipiac has designed a comprehensive COVID-19 testing program for students. This program requires students be tested before returning to Quinnipiac, again shortly after their arrival, and regularly throughout the semester. The testing program we have designed is a key component of our plan to bring students back to, and sustain, a healthy QU community and to be able to keep our campuses and classrooms open.

Pre-arrival testing Before Returning to Campus

Timeline for Taking and Submitting Your COVID-19 Pre-Arrival Test

You should have already ordered and received your at-home test kit from Quest Diagnostics, based on the instructions we provided in our December 19 communication to you (available below). If you have not ordered your test, please do so immediately, as it takes 3-4 days on average to receive the kit after ordering.

The below table notes when you should take your at-home COVID-19 test based upon your return-to-campus date. All students living off campus in non-QU housing should follow the timeline for “commuters.” M1 and M2 students received a separate communication from their school with information on testing times and requirements. It is critical you follow these timelines to ensure sufficient time for your test to be received and analyzed by Quest, and for Quinnipiac to then approve your return to campus.

Student Cohort Return to Campus Date Date to Take Your Quest Test You Must Ship Your Test to Quest... Date of First On-Campus Test
Residential Students,
Group 1
Thursday, January 21 Tuesday, January 12 No more than 18 hours after taking test Thursday, January 21
Residential Students,
Group 2
Friday, January 22 Wednesday, January 13 No more than 18 hours after taking test Friday, January 22
Residential Students,
Group 3
Saturday, January 23 Wednesday, January 13 No more than 18 hours after taking test Saturday, January 23
Residential Students,
Group 4
Sunday, January 24 Wednesday, January 13 No more than 18 hours after taking test Sunday, January 24
Undergraduate and Graduate Commuters n/a Sunday, January 17 No more than 18 hours after taking test Saturday, January 23,
Sunday, January 24, or
Monday, January 25
Law Commuters Monday, January 25 (on-ground classes) Sunday, January 17 No more than 18 hours after taking test Saturday, January 23

Upon returning to Quinnipiac, students will be tested by the university through its on-campus testing program before attending in-person classes. Students will receive an email from QU with confirmation of their assigned on-campus testing dates.

Have questions about getting your COVID-19 pre-arrival test?
Review our Frequently Asked Questions for important information and deadlines about both the Quest pre-arrival test and submitting your own COVID-19 test if you choose not to use Quest.

Pre-arrival testing is required before a student can be cleared to move into their assigned housing, access our campuses, or engage in any in-person instruction. Questions about the student testing plan should be emailed to COVIDPretest@qu.edu

return-testing-icon-50x50.png Upon Returning to Campus

Regardless of whether a student lives in university housing or off-campus housing, they are expected to limit their activities and movement outside their living unit upon return during our campus containment period. The university has partnered with the Broad Institute, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based genomic research center, to perform all of Quinnipiac's on-campus testing. This will be a non-invasive nasal swab test.

ongoing-testing-icon_wide-50x50.png Throughout the Spring Semester

Targeted, weekly testing of asymptomatic students will be conducted throughout the spring semester. This is among the most important health measures we must sustain throughout the spring to protect our community, in addition to wearing face coverings and physical distancing.

Your participation is essential! This testing will help us effectively monitor for — and quickly mitigate — the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. Here is a brief overview of how the weekly testing program works:

  • Testing a portion of our students – Each week we will test approximately 20% of all Quinnipiac students. This will be accomplished by testing 15% of undergraduate students living on campus; 25% of undergraduates living off campus; and 15% of graduate students.
  • Using a custom testing model – A team of Quinnipiac faculty has built a custom testing model tailored to our QU community. This means each week’s sample will intentionally include students in the testing pool from every residence hall and QU-owned house; every campus; undergraduate and graduate; on campus and off campus. This produces a highly representative testing sample that maximizes our ability to look for early signals of COVID-19 in specific areas of our campuses and student populations.
  • Watch your email – Students who have been selected to participate in each week’s sample testing will receive an email from COVIDoncampustest@qu.edu They can participate in either of the two testing days offered. Testing is convenient, takes five minutes on average, and is held in Burt Kahn Court. Students may be selected more than once throughout the semester. 
  • Testing is mandatory – If you receive an appointment for the weekly testing, you must attend. Ignoring these testing clinics increases the risk of COVID-19 spreading undetected — and shortening our on-campus experience.

As a thank you, all students completing their testing each week will be entered into a raffle and 10 students a week will be awarded a $25 gift card.

Do your part to protect our community. Support our weekly COVID-19 testing and help us maintain a healthy and safe QU community.

Questions about the student testing plan should be emailed to our online Support Center at COVID19SupportCenter@qu.edu

Email Communications About COVID-19 Testing

Below is an archive of communications emailed to students regarding COVID-19 testing information.

3 Key Things:

  1. All residential students should take their Quest pre-test January 12–13, and commuters and law students on January 17; see the table below for your assigned date.
  2. If you have not yet ordered your test kit from Quest, do so immediately.
  3. Students choosing to get their own PCR test rather than using Quest must complete an opt-out form by January 11.

Dear students and families,

Happy New Year! We hope your holidays were healthy and relaxing. This email provides details on when students must take their COVID-19 pre-arrival test before returning for the spring semester. Residential students received a copy of this information, along with their assigned move-in date, in an email sent yesterday by Residential Life.

You should have already ordered and received your at-home test kit from Quest Diagnostics, based on the instructions we provided in our December 19 communication to you. If you have not ordered your test, please do so immediately, as it takes 3–4 days on average to receive the kit.

When to take your pre-arrival test

Student Cohort Return to Campus Date Date to Take Your Quest Test You Must Ship Your Test to Quest... Date of First On-Campus Test
Residential Students,
Group 1
Thursday, January 21 Tuesday, January 12 No more than 18 hours after taking test Thursday, January 21
Residential Students,
Group 2
Friday, January 22 Wednesday, January 13 No more than 18 hours after taking test Friday, January 22
Residential Students,
Group 3
Saturday, January 23 Wednesday, January 13 No more than 18 hours after taking test Saturday, January 23
Residential Students,
Group 4
Sunday, January 24 Wednesday, January 13 No more than 18 hours after taking test Sunday, January 24
Undergraduate and Graduate Commuters n/a Sunday, January 17 No more than 18 hours after taking test Saturday, January 23,
Sunday, January 24, or
Monday, January 25
Law Commuters Monday, January 25 (on-ground classes) Sunday, January 17 No more than 18 hours after taking test Saturday, January 23
  • Review the table above to determine when you should take your at-home COVID-19 test based upon your return-to-campus date. Note: first and second-year medical students (M1 and M2) will receive a separate communication from their school with information on testing times and requirements.
  • It is critical you follow these timelines to ensure sufficient time for your test to be received and analyzed, and for Quinnipiac to then approve your return to campus. Students who do not follow their assigned move-in and/or on-campus testing schedules likely will experience a delay in participating in on-ground classes and will be responsible for getting their own COVID-19 test to be cleared for in-person activities. Given the importance of testing to protecting our community, exceptions to the move-in and testing schedules will not be made.
  • Students choosing to get their own PCR test must complete an opt-out form by Jan. 11, but still must have their test taken on the date that aligns with their return-to-campus date.

On-campus testing upon students’ return

  • Upon returning to Quinnipiac, all students will be tested by the university through its on-campus testing program before attending in-person classes. Students will receive a separate email from QU with confirmation of their assigned on-campus testing dates.

Have questions about getting your COVID-19 pre-arrival test?

  • Review our Frequently Asked Questions for important information and deadlines about both the Quest pre-arrival test and submitting your own COVID-19 test if you choose not to use Quest.
  • Questions about the student testing plan should be emailed to COVIDPretest@qu.edu

Thank you in advance for your commitment to health and safety for yourself and all of our community members. We look forward to seeing you back on campus in a few weeks! 

3 Key Things:

  1. Order your test immediately from Quest Laboratories and hold onto it.
  2. Do not take your test until you receive an email from Quinnipiac instructing you to do so.
  3. Students can choose to get their own PCR test, but must complete an opt-out form in advance.

We look forward to welcoming students back to campus for the spring semester after a well-earned break. Our pre-arrival testing program helped us start the fall semester COVID-free on our campuses. Based on that success, we will again require students to be tested before returning to Quinnipiac for the spring.

This letter provides important details about the pre-arrival testing process, which will be very similar to the fall. However, we have changed lab partners and reduced the cost so we ask you to please review the instructions thoroughly.

Who needs a pre-arrival test?

  • All students — undergraduate and graduate — are required to be tested for COVID-19 before returning for the spring semester, with a few exceptions noted below.
  • Pre-arrival testing is NOT required for students who are enrolled in degree programs that are fully online or who have applied for and been approved for 100% remote study in the spring.
  • Pre-arrival testing is NOT required for students who have had a positive COVID-19 test after Oct. 15, 2020, and have reported that test result to Student Health Services.
  • International students and the basketball and ice hockey programs will use a separate testing protocol, which will be detailed in a separate communication.
  • Pre-arrival testing is required before a student can be cleared to move into their assigned housing, access our campuses, or engage in any in-person instruction.

Quest Diagnostics is handling the pre-arrival tests

  • The test is a non-invasive nasal swab, and you do not need to have someone observe you taking it.
  • Once you order a test kit, it will be mailed directly to you at the address you specify.
  • The pre-arrival test costs $95 and will be a pass-through charge assessed to your Bursar account.

Order your test kit NOW from Quest – but WAIT to take the test**

  • Order your test kit immediately.
  • DO NOT take the test until instructed to do so by Quinnipiac. You will receive an email from the university in January noting a specific timeframe to take the test before your return-to-campus date.
  • Residential Life will notify students in early January of their return-to-campus date.
  • **Students in the Schools of Engineering, Nursing, Health Sciences, Medicine and Law who have been approved to return to campus January 4—24 will receive an additional communication from their school regarding testing dates for their return.
  • Test results will be available online through Quest’s MyQuest portal, and QU Student Health Services will automatically receive a copy. Anyone testing positive will receive a call from a Quest physician.

If you choose to get your own test, here’s what you need to know

  • You must complete an Opt-out Form by Jan. 11, 2021, if you wish to get your own COVID-19 PCR test instead of using Quest.
  • Remember: It must be a PCR test (not a rapid test or antigen test) taken according to the testing timetable that the university will provide to you.
  • Test results must be uploaded at least 48 hours prior to your return to campus via the Patient Portal for review and approval. The test you upload must include: full name, date of test, type of test and test result. Tests missing this information will not be accepted.
  • Students cannot move back to campus — or if living off campus, cannot access campus or attend on-ground classes — without a negative test result meeting these requirements.

We will again perform on-campus testing in the spring

  • The university will test all returning students twice through our on-campus testing program by the end of the first week of on-ground classes.
  • Weekly sample testing will then be performed again throughout the semester.

For all students living in university housing, your card access to your residence will not be activated unless you have completed the Quest pre-arrival test or have uploaded your own PCR test. Questions about the student testing plan should be emailed to COVIDPretest@qu.edu.

Your commitment to following our COVID testing guidelines, and encouraging your peers to do so, will be critical to our success in keeping our campuses and classrooms open this spring. Thank you in advance for your commitment to health and safety for yourself and all of our community members.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is an important step in staying ahead of the spread of COVID-19. Time is of the essence for an effective contact tracing program because the primary focus is on finding those individuals who have been in contact with a positive or presumed positive (symptomatic but not yet tested positive) case of COVID-19. In addition to partnering with the Quinnipiack Valley Health District, Quinnipiac has assembled and trained its own team of on-campus contact tracers to ensure a rapid response to contact tracing needs. Our team includes faculty, staff and student volunteers, including individuals from our Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. These volunteers completed training from both the state of Connecticut and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and will be supported by a team of dedicated registered nurses through a partner organization, UST Global, which is augmenting our contact tracing services for the spring semester. Contact tracing is only effective with your support and participation if you’re contacted.

  1. How do we determine if you are a contact who may be at risk?
    To be considered a contact by the Quinnipiack Valley Health District and the CDC, a person needs to have been within 6 feet of the positive or presumed positive case for more than 15 minutes. Our contact tracing team then performs additional evaluation to confirm a true exposure, which is why it is important to practice the physical distancing and mask-wearing protocols we have established, and our classrooms and facilities have all been modified to space people apart from each other.

  2. Is contact tracing only used after a person tests positive for COVID-19?
    Quinnipiac is being extra cautious and will deploy contact tracing both when an individual is confirmed positive and if an individual has reported symptoms but their test result is not yet available. This includes symptoms reported through the QU symptom checking app. As a result, a call from a contact tracer does not necessarily mean you have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case. Given the abundance of caution we’re exercising, there will be situations in which a student ultimately is found to have a common cold or other illness, but we will ask those individuals and their contacts to quarantine until we have a confirmed negative COVID-19 test.

  3. What happens if I’m confirmed as a contact of a possible COVID-19 case?
    Residential students will be asked to move into the university’s designated quarantine housing and non-residential students will be asked to quarantine in their off-campus housing. Students also have the option to quarantine at home, if feasible. Student Health Services will assist with the transition into quarantine and provide more detailed information on the quarantine process and necessary health protocols. Students will be released from quarantine as soon as a confirmed negative test result is received from the presumed case. If a positive case is confirmed, contacts will be required to remain in quarantine for 14 days.

  4. Will professors be notified when students move into quarantine or isolation?
    Professors will not be notified. Following FERPA, best practices and advice from the local health department and CDC, we must limit personally identifying information about positive cases and contacts to protect individuals’ privacy and avoid potential stigma. Students should notify their professors that they will be attending class remotely if the class requires in-person attendance, but it is at their discretion whether they want to mention that they’ve been moved into quarantine housing. We have staff dedicated to assisting our students in quarantine and isolation, and those students will check in daily and be monitored for any changes in their health.

    If a student is too ill to participate in classes, Student Health Services will provide its standard notification excusing the student from classes for medical reasons. We are working with dean’s offices on notification processes for students in a clinical placement or lab course who need to quarantine, as well as documentation that will be used to confirm those students are cleared with a negative test to return to their clinical assignment.

  5. If a contact was in a classroom, does a professor need to request the room be cleaned?
    No, our facilities department is already integrated into our contact tracing processes and will be notified if a classroom needs to be disinfected. In addition, as part of our standard cleaning protocols this semester, classrooms are disinfected every weekday morning before the start of classes, and students and faculty are expected to spray and wipe down desks and surfaces at the end of each class using the disinfectant product provided in every classroom.

If you have more questions about contact tracing, please contact the leaders of Quinnipiac’s contact tracing team, Jason Burke (jason.burke@qu.edu) and Wendy Sewack (wendy.sewack@qu.edu).

You may also review the CDC’s extensive resources and information about contact tracing and how it helps slow the spread of the virus.

Additional Resources