You are here: American University Coronavirus Community Resource COVID-19 Testing Procedure

AU's COVID-19 Testing Procedure

We are committed to doing everything we can to safeguard our community. This includes our requirement that all AU community members be vaccinated, included boosted, which is the most effective response to the virus.

In order to have a safe return to campus this semester, we are taking the following actions:

  • COVID-19 testing (PCR or antigen) is strongly recommended for all students, faculty, and staff 48 hours before you return to campus.
  • Upon your initial return to campus for any reason, you are required to have a PCR test within 48 hours of being on campus or in any affiliated building. This includes coming to campus to visit a facility, for work or study purposes, attend a meeting, or to live in the residence halls. It is preferred that faculty/staff/students use the on-campus testing facilities available.

This year unvaccinated community members with an approved exemption will be tested twice per week. Vaccinated students, faculty, and staff will be tested if they are exposed to someone who has tested positive, if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, or if they choose to be tested for safety precautions. Any person experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, must get a COVID-19 test. Testing will take place at Constitution Hall on East Campus and will be provided free of charge. Additional testing sites are located at 4100 Connecticut Avenue and Washington College of Law Testing at Capital Terrace CT02.

Vaccinated community members including symptomatic staff and faculty members, can test on campus or with their personal health care provider, and any external positive test must be reported via the AU Forward Self Reporting portal. 

The mandatory requirements of the testing plan, and how it applies to members of our community are summarized in the Health and Safety Directives and the Mandatory COVID-19 Testing for Unvaccinated Individuals.

About the Test

  • What: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) saliva test, which tests for active infection
  • Who: All students (asymptomatic and symptomatic); asymptomatic faculty and staff. 
  • How to prepare: You cannot have anything to eat, drink, or chew 60 minutes prior to testing. This includes brushing your teeth, chewing gum, taking medications, smoking or vaping.
  • What to bring to your appointment: If you have a smartphone or tablet, please bring your device to your appointment so that you can register to receive your test results. If you do not have a mobile device, there will be a device available for you to register onsite.
  • How/when you will receive results from AU-provided testing: They will be emailed by the provider to the address you’ve registered; results should come within 72 hours. Please monitor your email.

Vaccination Information

American University requires COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for all students, faculty, staff, and contractors with a presence on campus or on university-sanctioned study abroad or off-campus activities.

Unfortunately, District Urgent Care is no longer able to provide Covid-19 vaccinations to the AU Community on campus due to changes with the DC Department of Health vaccination protocols. Vaccinations are readily available at most local Walgreens and CVS locations.

The closest pharmacy is the Walgreens is located at 3301 New Mexico Avenue, NW. If you have questions about availability, they can be reached at 202-966-4900. Appointments can also be scheduled online.