Last Updated: 2/25/2021

Spring Semester Testing

Thanks to our shared commitment to safety protocols and frequent testing, we've made it past critical clearance testing and are experiencing a continued decrease in positive cases and an incredibly low positivity rate.  

Our comprehensive, regular testing program is ongoing, and the University expects 100% compliance from campus-based students and employees.

Tracking Testing Compliance

Through a new testing compliance tracking system, we are monitoring each community member's scheduled test days, and are now comparing each individual's testing schedule to their actual testing participation on campus. 

If an individual does not complete a test within 24 hours of their scheduled test day, we now send text reminders notifying them that we have recorded their missed test day and urging them to test as soon as possible. For students who missed a scheduled test, if we do not see the test made up within 24 hours, we then refer their names to a newly created compliance team led by Sue Benevides in Student Life. These six staff members from Student Life are involved in outreach calls and are making great progress in contacting students and getting them back on track with testing. 

Students and employees who regularly don’t meet our testing expectations will face consequences. With students, those consequences include restrictions from campus facilities and events, as well as having students reimburse the University for the cost of tests missed.

Testing is Critical

It is essential to adhere to your regular testing schedule, whenever possible: Get tested on your usual testing days. Keep to the times you signed up for as much as you can, but make sure to get tested on your usual testing days regardless.

Remember, you need not arrive at the beginning of your assigned testing time slot. You can arrive at any point during your scheduled time.

And if for some reason you cannot keep your regular testing time slot, please make every effort to get tested that same day at whatever time you can.

Testing Times and Locations

Due to recent inclement weather, we have needed to adjust testing center hours occasionally. Check your email regularly for updates.  

The Bristol campus testing center is now located in the Upper Gymnasium. To access the testing center, use the main entrance of the Campus Recreation Center, walk down the ramp and then up a flight of stairs. The entrance to the Upper Gymnasium is directly across from the stairs.

As a reminder, all faculty, staff and students need to present their RWU ID or driver's license at each COVID testing appointment – simply hold it up near the plexiglass for testing center volunteers.

If you have questions about testing, please email covid19@rwu.edu.

Student Testing
  • Sundays: 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays: No Testing
Faculty and Staff Testing

In Bristol, faculty and staff testing is available: 

  • Mondays to Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In Providence, testing is on a walk-in basis, no appointment required:

  • Tuesdays: 7:30 to 10 a.m. 
  • Wednesdays: 3 to 6 p.m. 

RWU COVID-19 Testing Statistics: Fall 2020

graphic depicting RWU administered more than 95,000 COVID tests Fall 2020 semester
95,000+ Total Tests

Conducted Aug. 15 to Nov. 24

graphic depicting that RWU administered more than 7,000 tests weekly across both campuses
7,100 Tests Per Week

Across Both Campuses

graphic depicting the low 0.20 % overall positivity rate
0.20% Overall Positivity Rate

Thanks for Making Smart Choices!

Regular Weekly COVID-19 Testing

All full-time students taking in-person courses or coming to campus are  required to report for COVID-19 testing two days per week. Your testing days should be spaced 72 hours apart. If you can't test at night due to class, being a commuter, or a work conflict, please take your additional weekly test during the day hours instead. If you are not on campus during that day, you can make up the additional test the next day without a reservation.

Frequent Testing

Until vaccines are fully deployed, the simplest and safest path to operating the University is to establish a culture with an overall commitment to containing any spread of the virus to the extent possible. That is why an integral component of our university procedures will be frequent testing for COVID-19. 

The aim of our University testing is to identify infected individuals presenting with no or mild symptoms that still are positive viral carriers. With 60% of cases pre-symptomatic or among individuals who never may show symptoms (asymptomatic), RWU has committed to regular, frequent testing of the entire community and then isolating individuals to prevent them from transmitting disease to others. 

RWU partnership with the Broad Institute (Cambridge, MA) for PCR testing (gold-standard technology) 

  • Swab-based campus testing (an anterior swabbing just inside each nostril rather than the more uncomfortable nasopharyngeal swab deeper into the nose and upper throat).
  • Assured results turnaround time is around 24 hours
  • On-campus, self-administered, supervised collection protocol 

Testing Process

Wondering what to expect with the testing process? Check out this video explaining the easy procedure:

What happens next? Watch a behind-the-scenes video of our lab partner, the Broad Institute, sharing its process for analyzing COVID-19 tests that it receives from us and over 120 other universities and colleges around the region:


Positive results are communicated via phone call from RWU Health Services staff during business hours, to go over next steps. Anyone receiving a positive result is advised to contact their primary care physician. Negative results are communicated via email CareEvolve@LKNotification.com – check your inbox and junk folders for these emails. You must register an account with CareEvolve to receive your results. Results will be available at or under a 24-hour turnaround period.

Individuals who receive a “test not processed” or “invalid” test result should come in the following day for another test, regardless of the day on which your next regularly scheduled testing date falls. Complete a re-test on the following day of receiving such a result and keep to your scheduled testing dates that week and moving forward.

Surveillance Testing at RWU 

During the fall semester, the majority faculty, staff and students were being tested twice weekly with some exceptions based on the nature of their frequency of time on campus, the exposure risk at home, and other factors. We continue to review our testing frequency on a regular basis but will remain with twice weekly testing until further notice. Based on our contact tracing and campus circumstances, RWU may also employ "surge" testing to test various individuals as part of our tracing strategy. 


Testing data is a critical metric to guide our decision making related to campus operations. Testing results are also one of the only ways we can assess that social distancing, mask wearing, and other practices in the campus community are actually working and being followed. Any presence of positive cases is reported to the state of Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and RWU will work to share our internal campus testing results openly with the campus community while also following RIDOH reporting requirements. The relative presence of positive cases on campus will continue to inform our campus policies and procedures throughout the fall semester.

More in this section: Testing | Testing Q&A | Data HubContact Tracing | Quarantine and Isolation Procedures

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