COVID-19 Testing FAQ

Please note: the below information is about MICA’s weekly surveillance testing, which is intended for asymptomatic individuals only. Anyone presenting to the testing site with active COVID-like symptoms will be directed to either follow up with the Student Health Center or their Primary Care Physician.  Anyone who fails to complete surveillance testing may have campus access restricted. Any questions about MICA’s testing program can be directed to

Q: Who is required to get tested on campus?

Students, faculty and staff who will be on campus regularly, defined as once or more a week, will need to be part of MICA’s weekly testing program. Stopping by campus for curbside pickup, or a non-regular, brief visit to your office with no plans to interact with others is allowed without a test. All on-campus safety policies and protocols must be followed in all cases. 

Q: Do I need to get tested if I am coming to campus sporadically? If so, how do I do that?

Individuals coming to campus infrequently, meaning less than once a week, but who will engage other community members while on campus are required to schedule those engagements far enough in advance that they can be registered for testing during the week leading up to their campus visit. Please contact Dr. Judith Kinney, Associate Vice President for Student Health and Wellness, at to assist with your registration. We ask that you schedule these on-campus trips in advance to allow time for testing, but recognize that occasionally, there will be unexpected, last-minute changes that require your presence on campus. In this case, we ask that you get tested on the day you are on campus.  

Those individuals with infrequent or occasional access to campus, defined as less than once a week, and who will have no contact with other community members while on campus, are excluded from the mandatory weekly testing.

Q: When did COVID testing on campus begin? Where does COVID testing take place?

COVID testing began on January 19. All testing is being done in BBOX, which is on the first floor of Gateway and located at 1601 W. Mount Royal Ave. When arriving for testing, please enter the set of doors to the right, located off of Mount Royal Avenue. Once through the doors, please follow signs and enter BBOX. 

Q: When do I get COVID tested?

COVID testing in MICA’s BBOX takes place on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Please see Recap issue 07 for the schedule for when you should receive your test. Testing assignments are determined by a person’s last name.

Q: What if I have a conflict with my designated testing day and time?

 The testing team expects to encounter scheduling conflicts so we ask that everyone plan to attend as close to their designated day and time as possible. If you would be able to attend before or after your assigned time on the same day, that would be preferable. If not, you may attend on a different day and time but please note that there may be delays as the testing team works to accommodate all participants in a safe manner.

Under any scenario, individuals accessing campus weekly must be tested weekly.

Q: How are community members pre-registered for testing?

 Community members who signed the Social Agreement and who indicated on the Social Agreement their intent to engage campus on a regular basis, are automatically registered for testing. Those community members will receive an email from the University of Maryland School of Medicine Institute of Genome Sciences (IGS) providing the link to the MG Scanner App. If you do not see the email, please check your spam folder. You will use this App to register and document the collection of your sample each time you visit the testing site. Unfortunately, resources are not available to manage individual requests and the testing team respectfully asks that everyone follow this procedure for registration.

Q: What if my plans have changed since signing the Agreement?

 If your plans have changed since first completing the Social Agreement and you now expect to regularly engage campus, please submit another Social Agreement with your updated information. Please email to request a new Social Agreement and one will be sent to you. 

What should I expect when I arrive for COVID testing?

Upon arrival at BBOX, individuals will move through three different stations. At the first station,  you will be asked screening questions related to COVID-19 symptoms and receive a temperature scan. Please note: this symptom screening is not a replacement for daily self reporting using the #CampusClear app. If individuals are directed to stay home by the app due to symptoms, do not come to your testing appointment. If you are a student and are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please contact the MICA Student Health Center. If you are a MICA employee, please contact your primary care doctor. 

The second station is for where you will check-in and receive your specimen collection tube. Individuals will then move to the last station where they will be given a nasal swab and instructed on how to self-swab their noses while being observed by trained medical staff. The tests individuals are being asked to self perform are not invasive, and are not the deep swabs that go all the way back in the nasal passages that some individuals may have previously experienced. Instead, the swabs will only go into the nostril.

Is COVID testing free? Do I need insurance?

COVID testing on MICA’s campus is free, regardless of insurance coverage.

When will I receive my results?

Testing turnaround is expected to take 48 hours, and lab results will be sent to either the Student Health Center for students or a MICA designated administrator for staff.

Individuals will be able to access their test results via a secure patient health portal. However, the team at the University of Maryland had informed MICA that this feature will be available in roughly three weeks. Until such functionality has been implemented, we ask that MICA community members participating in the surveillance program understand that they will be personally contacted with positive results only. This is strictly to focus efforts on making sure all results are received and addressed in a timely manner for the safety of participants and the larger community.

What happens if I test negative?

Individuals with negative tests will have continued access to campus.

What happens if I test positive?

Individuals with positive tests will be contacted with further instructions for isolation, contact tracing, and care.