Registration Steps for Mandatory COVID-19 Testing Program

September 9, 2020

To: Students Living in Residence Halls
From: Richard Mason, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life, and Dr. Richard McDonough, Senior Medical Director for Student Health
Subject: Registration Steps for Mandatory COVID-19 Testing Program
Date: September 9, 2020

As a student living in the residence halls this Autumn Quarter, you are receiving important information regarding your participation in the University’s Mandatory Surveillance Testing Program for COVID-19.

The University is committed to the well-being and safety of our community and is implementing a robust testing and contact tracing program. Systematic, ongoing testing of asymptomatic individuals is designed to help the University understand the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus, isolate those who are positive, and trace close contacts, all of which is intended to help minimize the spread of infection on campus. COVID-19 testing at the University includes three components: (1) mandatory, weekly testing for students and staff who live in the residence halls as well as student athletes, (2) an ongoing voluntary surveillance program of up to 5,000 other asymptomatic members of the campus community, and (3) individual testing for those who have symptoms or who have had a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Your participation in the Mandatory Surveillance Testing Program for on-campus residents a condition of living in the residence halls, in order to help limit the risk of spreading the virus in large communal living settings on campus.

You will first be tested on the day of your arrival to campus as part of the move-in process. You must report to the Ratner Athletics Center (5500 S. Ellis Ave.) before checking into your assigned residence hall for move-in.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms on your scheduled move-in date, please do not come to campus, and follow these steps:

  • Reschedule your arrival date and time by contacting
  • Contact your healthcare provider or UChicago Student Wellness at 773-834-WELL to be screened for COVID-19. 
  • Any member of the University community who has a confirmed case, symptoms, or exposure to COVID-19 must promptly self-report by contacting

The Mandatory Surveillance Testing Program will be administered by the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) at no expense to you, your family, or your insurance. After your first test on your move-in day, weekly testing will occur in your residence hall on a preassigned day and will continue through the academic year.

The test will require a simple nasal swab conducted by a trained medical assistant and should take less than 10 minutes to collect. This is less invasive than a nasopharyngeal test; it requires a light swabbing of the inside of the nose. UCM will test the samples, and participants will receive their results – positive or negative – on their MyChart medical patient portal (more information below) typically within 48 hours. Students with a positive test will also receive a phone call from UChicago Student Wellness with the results and information about next steps.

You must register for the testing program by signing up for MyChart and digitally signing a consent form and a HIPAA Authorization by September 16, 2020. Signing the consent form and HIPAA authorization is required. These materials will also describe how your results will be used and disclosed by UCM and the University.

To register for the testing program, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Go to this page to digitally sign a consent form and a HIPAA Authorization. You will need your eight-digit UChicago ID number for this process.
  • Step 2: Once registered, students will receive a copy of their signed consent form and HIPAA Authorization immediately.
  • Step 3: Within the next week, participants will also receive an email to register for MyChart, a medical patient portal. Students must register for their MyChart account to be scheduled for testing.
  • Step 4: Once you have registered for MyChart, you will receive additional communications with your testing location, day, and other details. Students may arrive any time between 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on their designated day for their test.  
  • Step 5: Students should arrive at the testing site with their UChicago ID. You will not need your insurance information. The test is free to participants and all costs will be covered by the University.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should not attend your regularly scheduled Mandatory Surveillance Testing Program appointment. Instead, you should call UChicago Student Wellness at 773.834.WELL.

Students under the age of 18 will need to have their legal guardian sign their consent form and HIPAA Authorization to complete registration.

If you do not receive an email to register for MyChart, or if you have questions related to registration or the testing program, contact For housing-related questions, contact More information and frequently asked questions about the University’s COVID-19 testing program are available on the UChicago Forward website.

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