Skip to main content

Testing, screening, and contact tracing

The university’s program includes testing of symptomatic students and asymptomatic close contacts, self-screenings, regular surveillance testing, and contact tracing.

Updated: July 24, 2020

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The university will provide testing for symptomatic students and for asymptomatic students who are close contacts of a COVID-19 case.
  • To identify potential outbreaks, the university will have interval surveillance testing of wastewater and pooled testing of asymptomatic students and employees.
  • Daily temperature checks and health self-screening are required for students and employees.
  • Students and employees are asked to respond promptly to communications from the university’s contact tracing and campus health surveillance programs.

The campus COVID-19 testing program is fully compliant with all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College Health Association (ACHA), the State of Tennessee, the UT System Task Force, and the UT Knoxville Re-Imagining Fall Task Force.

Testing before coming to campus

Students and employees are encouraged, but not required, to be tested for COVID-19 by their health care provider or local health department before they return to campus.

Students should complete the student daily health self-screening form no more than two hours before arriving on campus on their scheduled move-in day. The form is available online at selfscreen.utk.edu or through the Tennessee app.

Faculty and staff should also complete the employee daily health self-screening form before coming to campus.

Learn more about daily health self-screening.

Testing after returning to campus

The Student Health Center will provide testing for symptomatic students and for asymptomatic students who are close contacts of a COVID-19 case.

Through special arrangements with regional reference labs and the Tennessee Department of Health, students can obtain COVID-19 testing through the Student Health Center. COVID-19 test charges will be billed to third-party insurers or the Tennessee Department of Health as applicable.

Employees should obtain testing from their local health department or health care provider. The Knox County Health Department has a map of COVID-19 testing sites in the area.

While awaiting COVID-19 test results, students and employees should self-isolate and avoid close contact with others. They should also promptly respond to any communication from the university’s contact tracing team.

After the test results are back, students and employees should follow guidance from the university and their health care provider regarding when they are no longer required to isolate or quarantine.

When being tested, it is imperative that students list their Knoxville address. Using an address that is outside of Knox County will delay when the Knox County Health Department receives results.

Daily health self-screening

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, daily temperature checks and health self-screening are required for students and employees. The daily health self-screening form is available at selfscreen.utk.edu or through the Tennessee app.

Learn more about required daily health self-screening.

Surveillance testing

A newly formed on-campus surveillance laboratory will conduct interval surveillance testing of wastewater and pooled testing of asymptomatic students and employees. The surveillance testing program will identify potential outbreaks for targeted follow-up COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

Pooled testing is a way to efficiently test large groups of people. Rather than run a test on each individual sample, samples are combined into one pool, which is tested. If the combined sample is negative, the test is complete. If the combined test is positive, follow-up testing can be performed to determine those who are positive.

Contact Tracing

The university will work in coordination with the Knox County Health Department to perform contact tracing.

The contact tracing team’s role is to check on a student or employee’s situation, help connect them to support resources, provide guidance, and help contact others who may need to take precautions.

Anyone who submits a self-isolation form will be contacted by the university contact tracing staff within 24 hours.

Students and employees are asked to promptly respond to communications (text, call, or email) from local health authorities and the university’s contact tracing team.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
865-974-1000


The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.