Pitt students will be notified by email if they have been selected for testing.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

OAKLAND (KDKA) — The University of Pittsburgh is implementing its campus surveillance testing strategy for COVID-19 next week.

Starting August 12, incoming students will be tested at random by the university’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office. This will include undergraduate and graduate students as well as students who are living on or off campus and even those not expressing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Students will be notified that they have been selected for testing via email, along with instructions about where and when to show up for testing. These emails will be sent approximately 24 to 48 hours prior to the scheduled testing time. Those who are not exhibiting symptoms will wait in a socially distanced line to be tested in a covered outdoor testing site. Each student will pick up a testing kit, which has a scannable bar code, provide a test sample and give the kit back to testing staff.

Students will have to wear a face mask at all times and have student identification on their person. The university’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office estimates testing will take around 30 minutes.

Students will have to take the following steps for testing:

1. Sanitize your hands.
2. Open your test kit. Place the barcode labels on the sample tube and bag.
3. Insert the nasal swab in one nostril as directed by staff until you feel mild resistance—it should not hurt!
4. Rotate the swab and hold it in place for 10 seconds. Repeat in the other nostril with the same swab.
5. Snap off the end of the swab handle as directed by the testing staff helping you, and insert the swab, tip first, into the sample tube.
6. Screw the cap on tightly, place the tube in the bag and seal the bag as directed by the testing staff. Put the extra labels in the outside bag pocket.
7. Place the bag on the table.
8. Sanitize your hands once again.
9. Wait for the testing staff to receive your sample and prompt you to leave.

The university’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office says that students should receive the results of their test within two to three days from Pitt’s Student Health Service. If a student tests positive, Student Health Service will advise on what steps to take next.


This is among other measures the university is taking on to control the spread of the virus, including a phased arrival plan, shelter in place strategy and daily symptom screenings.

More information on the Coronavirus pandemic: