Updated: September 18, 2020 at 12:31PM

The University's plan is subject to change. Check this website often for the latest information.

Surveillance Testing

Surveillance Testing with Provost Marie Lynn Miranda

Surveillance testing helps the University determine the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus in asymptomatic individuals and aids in mitigating outbreaks when they occur.

The University’s initial surveillance testing (pre-matriculation testing) was done by mail with students before they arrived on campus for the 2020 fall semester. On August 21, the next phase of surveillance testing started with students coming to the testing center for swab-collected PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests. In early September, the University also started saliva-based surveillance testing—which involves collecting and testing saliva samples through a recently developed University lab.

We are following a Bayesian stratified and staggered-entry rotating cohort design.

Students, faculty, and staff are included as part of the University surveillance testing. If you are selected to participate, you are obligated to make yourself available (unless you are working entirely remotely).

Being identified for random surveillance testing does not mean that you have been exposed to the virus or are suspected of being positive. It only means that you have been chosen at random for the test—a proven strategy for monitoring the health of a community.

Exceptions for participating in surveillance testing are made for class schedule conflicts (these will be rescheduled for the following day), those who are currently in quarantine or isolation, have tested positive in the last 30 days, or currently have a red or yellow pass from the daily health check.

If you are working entirely remotely, you need not participate if you are invited. Please choose the option that states you are not on campus this semester.

Supervisors are encouraged to allow staff to participate during working hours. For non-exempt employees time for testing will be considered paid time.

Every member of the Notre Dame campus community can expect to be scheduled to participate during the fall semester. Everyone’s willingness to participate is vital to a successful response to COVID-19.


When selected, you will receive a text (students) or email (students, staff, faculty) that will include details, including an appointment time, appointment location, and a link to confirm your appointment. You are expected to make yourself available for testing.

Confirm your appointment using the link in the text message or email.


The communication you receive will include instructions on where your test will be administered.

Swab-based PCR test at University Testing Center

Swab-based PCR tests are administered at the University Testing Center at Gate D of Notre Dame Stadium.

Upon arrival at the testing center, find the line marked “Surveillance”. The test will be conducted by obtaining throat or nasal swabs as part of the PCR test procedures. The turnaround time on PCR tests is about two days.

Learn More about the University Testing Center

Saliva Collection Tent at East Quad

Surveillance Testing Tent Introduction

Samples for saliva-based testing are being collected at a tent on East Quad. 


  • Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • No collection on home football Saturdays.

The saliva test requires an individual to drool a small amount into a sterile test tube. The saliva sample collection is self-administered so no contact with the saliva or collection tube is required by workers at the collection site. The sample is then treated in a way that inactivates any virus present without opening any tubes. The testing process should require less than 10 minutes total.

At this time, due to federal regulations, the Notre Dame saliva lab produces a non-diagnostic screening. When these screenings warrant follow-up, individuals will be promptly contacted by University Health Services or the Notre Dame Wellness Center and directed to the University Testing Center for a confirmatory diagnostic test.


  • Bring your Notre Dame ID card with you.
  • Avoid eating, drinking (including water), tooth brushing, mouth washing, gum chewing and tobacco for at least 60 minutes before submitting your saliva.


Swab-collected PCR

Test results for students will be available through the University Health Services patient portal. An email will be sent when the test results are available.

Faculty and staff results will be available on the LabCorp portal.

If your results are positive, you must contact the COVID-19 Response Unit (CRU) at 574-634-3628 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. If you are positive and your results arrive after 6 p.m., a UHS staff member will contact you to arrange isolation and contact tracing will begin the following morning.

A CRU staff member will review the list of positive results each morning to ensure all positive students are contacted, enter isolation, and begin the contact tracing process.

Saliva-based test

University Health Services will reach out to students if the non-diagnostic saliva-based test indicates that further diagnostic testing is warranted. If no further action is warranted you will receive an email that your test has been successfully processed by the surveillance lab.

The Notre Dame Wellness Center will reach out to faculty and staff if the non-diagnostic saliva-based test indicates that further diagnostic testing is warranted. If no further action is warranted you will receive an email that your test has been successfully processed by the surveillance lab.

Quarantine and isolation

If quarantine or isolation is required, you will be notified and put in touch with CRU and/or the contact tracing team to be guided through the process.

Learn more about quaratine and isolation


For questions regarding test results, students should contact UHS at 634-1148. Faculty and staff should contact the Notre Dame Wellness Center at 634-WELL (9355).

Questions regarding surveillance testing can be directed to the COVID Hotline: 574-634-HERE (4373).