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Testing Protocol

Upcoming Changes to Testing Hours

PCR: Looking ahead, beginning the Week of June 19, 2023 Color PCR test kits and drop off bin will be available in the Benson Memorial Center ONLY, with pick up Tuesday and Friday only at 10:00AM during the summer months.  Important Note: Samples should be collected and dropped off a pick up location no more than 24 hours before scheduled pick up.

Rapid Tests: The Health Ambassador table will have modified hours during finals week, June 12-15, from 12-2PM. Last day for HA table will be Thursday, June 15.

Beginning Tuesday June 20 rapid antigen test kits will be available, for SCU students and employees only, at the Test Forms and More vending machine located in the Learning Commons. 

Testing Availability 

PCR Testing 

Color PCR testing is available for SCU students, faculty, and staff ONLY

Color PCR testing will be available Monday - Friday. Tests are picked up at 3pm from the following locations:

  • Benson Memorial Center, Charney Hall, Lucas Hall, and SCDI. 

Friday, June 16 is the last day for Color PCR test collection for the academic year. Summer Testing Availability will be updated June 19. 

Don’t let your Color PCR sample expire! Activated kits expire after 24 hours, so make sure you only activate a new kit on collection days.

Rapid Antigen Tests

Rapid antigen tests will be available at the Health Ambassadors table, located outside of the Learning Commons, Monday - Friday 11am - 3pm. We will say goodbye to our HAs on Friday, June 16. Thank you for all you have done to keep our campus healthy with testing, information, and support for over two years. Fifteen HAs have tabled over 1400 hours, distributed 500 care packages and over 1000 vaccine-info cards, shared 72 Instagram posts, staffed 10 campus events, and provided 70 weeks of snacks, swag and encouragement. Thank you for all of your hard work!

If you would like to request rapid antigen tests for an event, please email

Rapid antigen tests are available at the front desk of JST

Information on the FDA’s shelf-life extension of Flowflex brand tests can be found here and here. Faculty and staff can also obtain rapid antigen tests through their health insurance providers. As of December 15, 2022, the U.S. government is also offering 4 free rapid antigen tests per household through the mail here.

Please take a test when:

  • You have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 (e.g. sore throat, runny nose/congestion, cough, fever, headache, body aches, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea). Anyone with COVID symptoms must test before attending class or work. Rapid antigen tests are most accurate 24 hours after symptoms begin.
  • You have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Please get tested 3-5 days after exposure. Keep in mind that it can take from 2-5 days after exposure to test positive.
  • You have been traveling. Test when you get back to campus.
  • Before you see family members or people who are vulnerable.
  • After you attend an event, if you learn that other attendees were diagnosed with COVID-19.

If you test positive, report your positive test result and observe all isolation protocols and precautions.

For questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 testing, please contact the COVID-19 Operations team at

Self-Administered Testing from Color

On-campus PCR testing is done exclusively by a no-cost, self-administered nasal swab from Color. Here’s how it works: 

  1. Create an account with Color.
  2. Pick up a testing kit in your residence hall, Benson Memorial Center, or in other buildings around campus.
  3. Activate your testing kit and collect your sample.
  4. Drop off your test at a collection bin.
  5. Receive your results within 24-36 hours through your Color account.

If You Test Positive During the Quarter 

When the University becomes aware that an individual has received a positive COVID-19 test result, the SCU COVID Support Team works to support the individual through the isolation period.

Individuals who test positive through Color will receive a short survey from the COVID Support Team, COVID-19 Case Self-Report (Qualtrics), requesting information pertaining to which campus buildings the individual visited during the 48 hours prior to the test date.

Individuals who have a positive test result from a rapid test or an off-campus testing facility must complete the COVID-19 Case Self-Report (Qualtrics) survey in order to notify the SCU COVID Support Team.

The CDC recommends that people not take a PCR test for 90 days after a positive test, as it is possible to continue to test positive despite being non-infectious after the isolation period. In these cases, please take a rapid antigen test instead.

For more information, please read the University’s isolation and quarantine guidelines.


Testing FAQs

Students, faculty, and staff can access Color tests or rapid antigen tests on campus. 

Rapid antigen tests will be available for students, faculty, and staff who may be symptomatic, or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Anyone with COVID symptoms must test before attending class or work. Rapid tests will be available primarily from the Health Ambassadors on campus. If you test positive, complete the COVID-19 Case Self-Report (Qualtrics) survey in order to notify the SCU COVID Support Team.

Color test kits can be picked up in residence halls, Benson Memorial Center, or the lobbies of the following academic buildings: Charney, Lucas, and SCDI. Completed samples can be dropped off at Benson Memorial Center or in the lobbies of the academic buildings. Tests are picked up for delivery to the lab by 3PM Monday thru Friday.

Students who have been exposed to COVID-19 or who have COVID-like symptoms may now use a rapid antigen test to achieve faster results. Students can obtain rapid antigen tests and KN-95 masks at the Health Ambassador table outside of the Learning Commons.

If an individual receives a positive test result from an off-campus testing facility, they must complete the COVID-19 Case Self-Report (Qualtrics) survey in order to notify the SCU COVID Support Team.

  • If you are fully vaccinated and boosted, you do not need to quarantine. But please take extra care to prevent transmission.
  • Visit the Health Ambassadors table outside of the learning commons to take a rapid antigen test 3-5 days after exposure. 
  • Wear a KN-95 or N95 mask 10 days after exposure whenever you are around other individuals.
  • Monitor for any of the following symptoms
  • Go home if you would like to.

The university has COVID testing set up on campus for all students, faculty, and staff. 

Students may call to make an appointment to see a practitioner or go to the SCU Student Health Portal to make an appointment online. 

SCU collects wastewater samples at two locations on campus: Accolti Mall and University Villas. Samples are processed by Verily, using the methodology developed for the nationwide Sewer Coronavirus Alert Network (SCAN) project. The results shown on SCU's COVID Dashboard are measurement of the SARS-CoV-2 S gene, normalized against a common fecal indicator virus. Wastewater samples tend to have some variability simply due to the nature of environmental samples, but the general trends over time have proven accurate and consistent with our clinical case trends. We also want to note that we do not collect data for Swig, Dunne, McLaughlin-Walsh, Graham, Finn, Nobili, or academic buildings.

COVID-19 treatments are available! Talk with your primary care provider, an urgent care center, or a free telehealth provider today by visiting or calling (833) 686-5051. 


Tips for Taking Care

You've got this. SCU can help. If you live on campus please respond to SCU's COVID-19 support emails or calls to receive isolation details and get help.

number one Isolate for at least 5 days

Even if you have no COVID-19 symptoms, you must isolate to prevent spreading the virus. If you live on campus, SCU’s COVID-19 support team will reach out to arrange isolation. If you live off-campus, talk with your housemates. Have roommates bring you food or get delivery, make sure everyone masks up when you are out of your room, and open windows for better ventilation. Even if you are vaccinated, you can still spread COVID-19.

Follow the test out instructions regarding isolation and quarantine.

number two Take care of yourself

Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines to help you feel better. Call Cowell at 408-554-4501 or your doctor if your symptoms worsen or if you need medical advice.

number three Take care of your friends 

Contact the people you’ve been hanging out with in the past couple of days (even if you all were wearing masks), tell them you tested positive and encourage them to get tested too (preferably 3-5 days after they last saw you). They should minimize interactions with others until they receive a negative test.

number four Take care of your mental health

Video chat with friends & family to stay connected! Get productive—apply for jobs, internships, grad programs, or just catch up on studying. If you feel overwhelmed, take a break to meditate or try an online yoga class. Treat yourself to a sweet treat or decadent meal and watch movies.

number five Take care of your academics

Reach out to your professors for extensions/help as needed. Let your professors know that you won’t be in class, and make sure you can access class recordings or live streams. They are here to help, they expect students to miss class for isolation.

Report Your Positive Test


Rapid Antigen Tests

Students, faculty, and staff who suspect that they have been recently exposed to COVID-19 or who have COVID-like symptoms may now use a rapid antigen test to achieve faster results.


Self-Administered Testing from Color