COVID test vial with swab
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COVID-19 testing: what staff and faculty need to know

  • Health and Wellness
  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Covid-19

The start of the fall 2021 term is here, and most Pitt employees have acclimated to the University’s health and safety rules without issue. One topic that’s getting a lot of attention, though, is COVID-19 testing — who needs to take tests, how can you get them and what happens once you have one? Here are the answers.

Who needs to do COVID-19 testing?

Staff and faculty must take a COVID-19 test if any of the following apply:

  • You haven’t shared your proof of vaccination and you’re required to participate in weekly testing.
  • You’ve been identified as a close contact through exposure to someone who has COVID-19. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet for 15 minutes regardless of whether you were wearing a mask.
  • You’ve travelled outside the area in which you reside for either University business or personal reasons and you want to be safe before returning to your on-campus office and colleagues.

If you’re symptomatic, see the last section below for testing protocols.

How do I get a test?

If any of the above describes your situation, you can order a self-collected PCR test to be sent directly to your home at no cost through Pitt’s partnership with Quest for faculty and staff. (Students: Order your tests via this website.)

First: Read all the instructions. You’ll be asked to create an account and prompted to provide your 2P number from your Pitt ID (that’s the first 11 characters on your card, including the characters 2P). From start to finish, it takes less than five minutes to order a test kit.

FedEx will deliver your kit within 2-4 days of placing your order.

Remember: If you’re doing weekly tests because you haven’t uploaded your proof of vaccination, you will need to submit a test every week ahead of the time your results are due. It is highly recommended that you order multiple tests at once so that you always have a test ready to be compliant for the next week. (If you’re ready for vaccine info or instructions on how to upload proof to Pitt, details are available.)

The test arrived at my house — now what?

Follow the instructions to take your test and return the sample to a Quest laboratory via FedEx. 

Helpful tips: Drop off your specimen at a FedEx collection site or one of the on-campus drop boxes before 3 p.m. and do not drop off on a Saturday or Sunday.

Once Quest receives your sample, the current turnaround time for processing results is 2-4 days.

This is important: The increased volume of testing means that it’s taking longer to process results. Plan ahead with plenty of time if you’re testing on a deadline.

Not feeling well and have symptoms of COVID?

If you’re symptomatic, do not order one of these Quest tests. Instead, contact your health care provider and/or Pitt’s MyHealth@Work. They can advise if your symptoms indicate that testing is needed and will direct you further.