Asymptomatic Surveillance Testing

Because we know that a person who is asymptomatic can spread the virus, regular sampling of the Georgia Tech community will help to identify people with Covid-19 early and isolate them so they can better care for themselves and protect the campus community.

The success of this coronavirus surveillance approach depends on asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff getting tested regularly. If you live or work on campus, we strongly encourage you to get tested weekly, even if you aren’t experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.

What’s the difference between “diagnostic” and “surveillance” testing?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines these kinds of tests this way:

  • Diagnostic testing is intended to identify occurrence at the individual level and is performed when there is a reason to suspect that an individual may be infected, such as having symptoms or suspected recent exposure, or to determine resolution of infection.
  • Surveillance testing is generally used to monitor for a community- or population-level occurrence, such as an infectious disease outbreak, or to characterize the occurrence once detected, such as looking at the incidence and prevalence of the occurrence. Surveillance testing is used to gain information at a population level, rather than an individual level.
     
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About Georgia Tech's Surveillance Testing Program

Georgia Tech faculty, who are top researchers in their field, created this simple, effective testing program to reduce transmission of Covid-19 among our campus community. 

The testing program relies on a pooled testing approach that combines samples from multiple individuals and tests them as a group. Pooled testing dramatically increases the number of community members that can be sampled with a single coronavirus test. 

The goal is to test as many as 1,500 students, faculty, and staff daily who do not have Covid-19 symptoms. 

How the Testing Process Works

Testing is done on a walk-up basis. No appointment is needed. The entire process is contactless, takes fewer than five minutes to complete, and is free of charge. The test only requires you to provide a small saliva sample. 

Screenshot of testing website

Before each visit, login to mytest.gatech.edu with your GT account, complete the survey, and save the tracking barcode to your phone. 

Two students in face shields check in a testing subject at the Curran Street Parking Deck testing site

Visit one of the on-campus Surveillance Testing sites: Covid-19 Testing Locations and Hours

A testing kit laid out on a table

You’ll be given a testing kit and instructions on how to use it.

Closeup of a student's hands using a pipette on a sample

Place a saliva sample into the plastic cup, draw a sample into the pipette, add saliva to the vial, and replace the cap.

Student dropping his sample package into a plastic bin at testing site

Write your initials on the vial, place it in the biohazard bag, and leave the sample in the bin. Samples will be delivered to the Georgia Tech lab for testing. About the labs.

Graphic of yes/no checkboxes and clock

You'll receive a notification email (typically within 48 hours) that you're either recommended or not recommended for a follow-up diagnostic test.

360º Experience: Georgia Tech Covid-19 Saliva Testing

Take a 360º walk-through of the surveillance testing process.

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​What Happens After You Get Tested?

The samples are sent to Georgia Tech’s testing lab. Processing is typically completed within 48 hours. Please add mytest@gatech.edu to your address book or email contacts list to avoid notifications being incorrectly filtered as spam.

If Your Testing Pool Results Are Negative

You will receive notification that you are not recommended for diagnostic testing.

If Your Testing Pool Results Are Positive

You will receive notification that you are recommended for diagnostic testing. Most of the time, the lab can use the original submitted sample for diagnostic testing. The lab will contact you if a new saliva sample is needed.

After the diagnostic test is processed by the lab, your results will be sent to Stamps Health Services, who will notify you of your results through one of two ways:

  1. Login to the Stamps Health Services Patient Portal with your GT username and password to see a message with your test results.
  2. For faculty and staff who are not in the Patient Portal database, a Stamps Health Services staff member will call with your test results.

If Your Follow-Up Test Is Positive:

If Your Testing Pool Results Are Inconclusive

This result means that the test could not conclusively determine whether you are infected with the SARS-CoV-2-virus (the virus that causes Covid-19). If your submitted specimen was inconclusive, please schedule another test.

If Your Testing Pool Results Are Rejected

This result means that something occurred with the specimen (i.e. the specimen collection tube was broken, compromised, or the specimen could not be tested by the laboratory). If your submitted specimen was rejected, please schedule another test.
 

Tracking Positive Results for the Campus Community

Visit the Covid-19 Exposure and Health Alerts page to see all campuswide reports of positive cases. The Exposure and Health Alerts page includes positive results from multiple sources. Cases are not added until patients are contacted and informed.

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More Information

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Georgia Tech is taking an aggressive, multi-pronged approach for limiting the spread of the coronavirus on campus, and testing and contact tracing are important tools. This strategy relies heavily on support and participation from all members of the campus community.