What Do My Test Results Mean?

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

  • A medical provider from CHWS will contact you as soon as they receive your results. They will answer any immediate questions that you may have. Please note: On the Lookup Site (pugetsound.edu/testresults) your results will still show up as “Processing” to maintain confidentiality
  • A CHWS Contact Tracer will reach out to you to identify close contacts and help you understand the isolation guidelines.  
  • The CHWS Contact Tracer will answer your questions about isolation and help you determine where to isolate.  If you live on campus, you will move to Harrington Hall. If you live off campus, you may isolate in your residence as long as it is safe to do so, but if you have roommates it is recommended that you move to Harrington. 
  • Begin preparation for moving into Isolation
  • Begin your isolation period which is 10 full days and finishes on the 11th day.
  • Follow up with students who are in isolation is guided by a daily check-in form. Students use this form to report their symptoms, temperature, and pulse oximeter reading. They can also elect to receive a daily phone call with a nurse. Depending on their needs, students can also schedule a telehealth visit or in-person visit with a healthcare provider at the Satellite Respiratory Clinic by calling CHWS at 253.879.1555 or emailing chws@pugetsound.edu

 

“Detected” Message Information

The “Detected” Text Message

“Detected” means that someone in the pool of 24 samples has tested positive for COVID-19. It is possible that more than one person tested positive, but it is relatively unlikely. It is crucial that you follow campus safety precautions as if you are in quarantine after receiving this message.

I received the “detected” message, what do I do in the meantime?

It will be 12–24 hours before you receive another message stating that you are “not detected” or CHWS contacts you to continue to narrow down the pool results. This is the most important time to remain calm and cautious. During this time:

  • Remain in your room as much as possible
  • Use the GET app to acquire meals (more info below)
  • Limit contact and conversations with others
  • Wear a mask at all time
  • If you have a roommate, notify them

I received the “detected” message. Can I leave my room to get food? Can I go into the SUB? 

  • Yes, you can leave your room to get food
  • Yes, you may go into the SUB to pick up your food, but use the GET app to limit your time inside/around others
  • Be diligent about mask wearing and social distancing. If you can, wear a surgical mask or a cloth mask with multiple layers. 
  • Avoid initiating conversations with others

I received the “detected” message and I’m worried I have COVID-19. Should I go get retested?

No, please DO NOT get retested. The lab already has your saliva sample and is actively retesting your entire pool to determine which specific sample(s) tested positive for COVID-19. They will renotify each member of the pool in the 12–24 hours following when the initial “detected” message was received.

I received the “detected” message and I have a roommate. Should I move into quarantine while waiting for my results? 

No, statistically speaking you have a low chance of being the 1–2 people that tested positive. If you do end up testing positive, then your roommate has likely already been exposed. 

You both need to quarantine and remain in your room as much as possible until your results come through. If either or both of you do test positive, the positive case(s) will be moved to Isolation Housing (Harrington Hall) and the exposed case will be moved to Quarantine Housing (Todd/Phibbs Hall) to monitor for symptoms and prevent the spread of the virus to the rest of the dorm. 

  • Both roommates should try to remain in their room as much as possible. 
  • You and your roommate should wear a mask at all times (except when sleeping), to decrease opportunities for transmission 

What if my roommate gets a “detected” message?

Both you and your roommate need to quarantine as if you have both received the “detected” message. This may seem counterintuitive, but the likelihood that you have already been exposed to the virus is fairly high. If you avoid your roommate and your room, you may inadvertently spread the virus to others in your dorm or around campus. 

 

“Inconclusive” Message Information

The “Inconclusive” Text Message

“Inconclusive” means that for some reason the samples in your pool need to be retested before they can confirm if anybody has tested positive for COVID-19. 

I received an “inconclusive” message, what do I do in the meantime?

Because your pool’s results are unknown, you will need to quarantine until you receive your results. It will be 12–24 hours before you receive another message stating whether your pool is “detected” or “not detected." This is the most important time to remain calm and cautious. 

I received the “inconclusive” message. Can I leave my room to get food? Can I go into the SUB? 

  • Yes, you can leave your room to get food
  • You may go into the SUB to pick up your food, but use the GET app to limit your time inside/around others
  • Be diligent about mask wearing and social distancing. If you can, wear a surgical mask or a cloth mask with multiple layers. 
  • Avoid initiating conversations with others

I’ve received another text following the “inconclusive” message. What should I do next?

  • If the message says  “detected," see the "Detected Message Information” section above
  • If the messages says “not detected” message, see the “Not Detected Message Information” section below

 

"Invalid" Message Information

The “Invalid” Text Message

“Invalid” means that the lab was not able to process your sample because of a problem with the sample. This could be due to a variety of reasons, including: not enough saliva in the sample, food debris or phlegm in the sample, etc.

Your sample should fill the vial at least halfway and be completely clear. Remember not to eat, drink, or smoke anything 30 minutes prior to testing.

What should I do if I receive an “Invalid” message?

You need to return to the testing pavilion at your earliest convenience to repeat your test. ‚Äč

 

“Not Detected” Message Information

The “Not Detected” Text Message

No one in your pooled sample of 24 has tested positive for COVID-19. You may continue about your daily activities while adhering to campus safety guidelines


General Information

For more information on how COVID-19 pooled testing works or how to complete your sample, please visit the Spring 2021 COVID-19 Testing Plans page on the university’s website. 

Testing Pavilion Hours

Starting Jan. 29, the Testing Pavilion will close at 3 p.m. on Fridays. The purpose for this is to improve the time it takes to receive test results. Any samples received after 3 p.m. on Friday cannot not be mailed to the testing facility until Monday afternoon, so results will not be sent until Tuesday afternoon.

The Lookup Site

The Lookup Site for COVID-19 test results can be accessed at pugetsound.edu/testresults. The following points explain what information you will see on this site.

  • Test results will only show up as “Not detected” or “Processing” 
  • The “Processing” status can mean multiple things. Your results status will show as “Processing” from the moment your test is scanned at the testing pavilion and will continue until you receive your test results. A “Processing” status will also show up if you have a positive test result, but in that circumstance you will be contacted individually with an explanation of your results and what to do next. See the section “What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?” for more information
  • You will never see “Detected” as a result on the Lookup site. This is for confidentiality purposes.

Types of Text Messages You Will Receive

  • You will receive a text message for “not detected," “inconclusive," and “detected” results

 

How Can We Improve This Resource?

Please contact Alonna Mitz (student assistance coordinator) at amitz@pugetsound.edu with any questions or feedback about this page. We are learning about COVID-19 at the same pace as the rest of the world and would appreciate students bringing to our attention ways in which we can improve this overwhelming experience for everyone.