About Our Testing

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have continuously worked to effectively plan for, react to and mitigate its impact to our university community. At Nebraska, we've employed multiple approaches to testing for COVID-19.

Saliva-Based Testing

To create the safest possible environment for in-person classes and activities at Nebraska, we use minimally invasive, saliva-based testing for COVID-19, paired with the Safer Community app.

Testing for Athletics

Diagnostic antigen testing is required for our football student-athletes by the Big Ten Conference and is paid for by the conference. These tests provide quick results and can be a good approach for “point of care” repeated testing of a specific population in at-risk situations such as contact sports. But diagnostic antigen testing can be less accurate than PCR testing, which is why Big Ten protocols require that any positive antigen test result be confirmed with a PCR diagnostic test.

Basic Purposes of Testing

There are two basic purposes of testing:

  • diagnostic testing, which is the most common and provides an individual with a positive or negative test result and allows for contact tracing, and;
  • surveillance testing, which tests large numbers of people and can provide trend or hotspot data, but does not allow for an individual diagnosis and thus no contact tracing.