Seattle University COVID-19 Testing Program for Students

July 29, 2020

Dear Students:

As we respond to the ongoing risk and threat of COVID-19, it is imperative that we all do our part to maintain the health, safety, and security of the Seattle University community. As we near the start of the Fall term, we write to follow up on President Sundborg’s message of last week, where he wrote to you informing you of our Fall Reopening plans, including required testing for students prior to your return to campus. We recognize that some of you will remain remote in Fall, but for those living on campus or planning to access campus in any regard, the following testing requirements are in place. 


  • The University will require tests prior to the start of fall classes for all undergraduate, graduate and law students, including those who live in SU housing, commuter students and those living in other non-SU housing.

  • The required test is a nasopharyngeal PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).  No other test will be accepted.

  • The nasopharyngeal PRC test must be administered within ten days prior to arrival on campus.  Results may take several days to obtain.

  • You are strongly advised to have this test done within the ten days prior to arrival on campus.  If your test is positive, you are required to stay home to recuperate and may not come to campus for at least 14 days if you have no symptoms.  If symptoms develop during that time, you should contact your health care provider and may not come to campus until your provider confirms you are no longer contagious.  You must provide that documentation from your provider to the appropriate party prior to your return to campus.

  • Students who become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 or are exposed to someone with COVID-19 shortly before they plan to arrive should delay their travel, contact their health care provider for evaluation, and not come to campus until they have completed their quarantine and are no longer contagious.

  • For students living on campus, prior to or during your scheduled move-in and prior to being granted access to your assigned building, you must present documentation of a negative result from a test performed during the preceding ten days, or if tested on campus, self-isolate in your room until test results are received.

  • The documentation must be a hard copy and include the results of the test, the date the test was administered, the name and address of the lab, and verification that the nasopharyngeal PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2 was performed. Students living on campus may also have the option of uploading documentation to the housing portal. More detailed information is forthcoming from Housing and Residence Life for students assigned to university-owned housing.

  • Students who present proper documentation of a negative result within the ten previous days will not be required to self-isolate upon coming to campus.

  • If a student is unable to be tested prior to arrival on campus, the student should contact the Student Health Center and the student will be given information about local testing facilities.  The student must self-isolate in the student’s room until test results are known to be negative, which could be several days.

  • In order to come to campus, commuters and students living in landlord or other non-SU housing must present documentation of a negative test result to the Student Health Center. Test results can be shared with the Student Health Center utilizing the online patient portal and your Seattle University login credentials.

  • Requirements for getting a COVID-19 tests vary by state and county.  You should check your state or local public health offices for guidance and resources about testing.

  • Most health insurance is required to cover this test, but you should verify coverage with your health insurance provider prior to testing.  The University is not responsible for any costs associated with tests ordered by a health care provider.  Some states offer free or low cost testing.   Be sure to ask about the type of test available.  It must be the required nasopharyngeal PCR test.

  • Plan ahead.  The state of the pandemic is rapidly evolving in different areas of the country and it may not be possible to obtain a test at the last minute. 

Together, we must continue to acknowledge that this is an unparalleled moment in history requiring diligence from each of us. At Seattle University, we will continue to prioritize the health, safety, and wellness of our campus community. The student testing program is but one example of how we are preparing for the return of students to campus and the resumption of fall classes, virtually and in-person. As the fall approaches, we pray you find some time for rest and rejuvenation in the coming weeks. 


Tara Hicks, ARNP
Director, Student Health Center

James Willette, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President & Dean of Students
Division of Student Development