Updated: November 24, 2020 at 3:56PM

Surveillance Testing

Surveillance testing involves testing a random selection of people from across campus to identify asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals and help avert potential outbreaks before they occur.

Winter Break Surveillance Testing:

During Winter Break, your faculty, staff, and students who are working or residing on campus must complete a saliva test each week by the end of testing hours on your organization’s assigned testing day per the following schedule.

If a member of your organization is unable to complete a saliva test on your assigned day, that person should complete a test on another day of that week.

  • Monday: University Enterprises and Events, College of Arts and Letters, Keough School of Global Affairs
  • Tuesday: College of Science, Notre Dame Research, Mendoza College of Business, Hesburgh Libraries
  • Wednesday: Student Affairs, Students living in campus residences, Facilities Design and Operations, Other units/divisions not specifically listed
  • Thursday: College of Engineering, Holy Cross Religious, School of Architecture
  • Friday: Campus Safety and University Operations (including CRU), Law School

Note: Surveillance testing for in-season student-athletes and the staff working with them is scheduled independently.

Important: Avoid eating, drinking (including water), brushing teeth, using mouthwash, chewing gum and tobacco products for at least 60 minutes before submitting saliva.

Location: Joyce Center North Dome - Gate 2
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Closed on University holidays)

Surveillance Testing with Provost Marie Lynn Miranda

Surveillance Testing is available at the University Testing Center via Gate 2 of the Joyce Center North Dome. When selected, you will receive a text or email.

Every member of the Notre Dame campus community will be selected for surveillance testing frequently. Everyone’s willingness to participate is vital to a successful response to COVID-19.

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 PCR 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 in the University's frequent surveillance testing program. 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
  • Those who have tested positive in the last 3 months
  • Those who currently have a red or yellow pass from the daily health check
  • Those who are working entirely remotely. 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.


When selected, you will receive a text (students) or email (students, staff, faculty) that will include details, including an appointment time 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.


Surveillance tests will be administered at Gate 2 of the Joyce Center. Follow the signage to the Surveillance Testing check-in table.

One of two types of tests will be administered: nasal swab PCR or saliva-based PCR.

Nasal Swab Collection

Nasal swab will be obtained with the help of Testing Center personnel. Follow the instructions given by the person administering the test. 

Saliva Collection 

The saliva-based PCR test requires an individual to drool a small amount into a 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 process should require less than 10 minutes total.


  • 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.


Nasal Swab 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 7 p.m. (Monday through Friday). NOTE: Students receiving a positive result after 6 p.m. will be contacted by a UHS staff member to arrange isolation for you that evening; and your contact tracing will begin the following morning.

Saliva PCR

Note: 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 diagnostic test.

University Health Services will reach out to students if the non-diagnostic saliva-based test indicates that 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 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 and no further action is required.


For questions regarding test results, students should contact UHS at 574-631-7497. 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).