COVID-19 tests required for students, faculty, staff returning to Lawrence campus this semester

Students and colleagues,

As we learned last semester, mandatory entry testing for our on-campus students, faculty, and staff was crucial to our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Given how these tests helped us identify people who may have been unaware of their COVID-19 status and take action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we will again be mandating COVID-19 tests for students, faculty, and staff who plan to be on campus any time before Feb. 12.

This message contains important information about our COVID-19 entry testing process. Please read it carefully.

Student Housing residents

Students who live in KU Student Housing have already received mail-in tests to complete before returning to campus and should complete those as directed. These tests will fulfill these students’ requirement to conduct entry testing.

All other students and employees

All other students, faculty, and staff must visit Protect KU to answer three questions that will determine whether you need to participate in spring entry testing for COVID-19 and receive information on how to schedule an appointment.

If you do not plan to be on campus before Feb. 12, or if you have tested positive for COVID-19 on or after Nov. 1, 2020, you will not need to participate in entry testing but still must visit Protect KU to confirm this. Those who have tested positive on or after Nov. 1 will be asked to upload documentation of their positive test using a secure, HIPAA-compliant form.

All those who tested positive before Nov. 1 will need to test again. Additionally, anyone who has received any doses of a COVID-19 vaccine must also still participate in entry testing. Staff at KU affiliate organizations (KU Endowment, KU Alumni Association, etc.) can sign up to receive a test using the same process with a KU online ID.

For additional details about testing, visit Protect KU.

Locations and appointments

Testing appointments will begin Jan. 19 and run daily through Jan. 30. Students, faculty, and staff have the option to either sign up for a drive-up testing site at the Mississippi Street parking garage at the Kansas Union or a walk-up site at the former KU Card Center location on the fourth floor of the Kansas Union near Alderson Auditorium.

Please note, these saliva-based tests that we are using for our mandatory entry process are intended for those who are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact the KU COVID-19 Call Center at 785-864-9000 to arrange for an appointment to receive a nasal swab test.

Edwards and KU Medical Center

Students, faculty, and staff at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park should participate in the testing in Lawrence if they are able. Additional information for that community will be communicated directly through future messaging.

KU Medical Center students and employees have a separate testing process for their campus.


We know you may have other questions about this process, and we have compiled additional information and FAQs at Protect KU. If you have a question, please review the website and if you’re unable to find the answer to your question, please email us.

Remaining vigilant

Thanks to all of you who have prioritized the health of our students and employees during this past year. It has been a trying one for all of us. We could not have had a semester like we did in the fall – with no known cases of transmission in our classrooms and no health department-declared outbreaks stemming from university events – without taking the global pandemic seriously.

Participation in this round of entry testing is another way all of us can demonstrate our responsibility to our community. We appreciate all of your hard work to get us through the past year and to prepare for the semester ahead while maintaining our focus on teaching, service and research.

We continue to partner with local and state authorities concerning COVID-19 vaccines, which will help contain the spread of the virus, and we will share additional information as appropriate. Until then, we should all continue the measures we know can help – especially masking, social distancing, and the use of the CVKey app – while continuing to support each other in the year to come.


Doug and Andrew

Douglas A. Girod

Andrew Foster
Emergency Management Coordinator