Free On-Campus COVID-19 Testing

Expanded On-Campus Testing Nov. 16-Dec. 6

Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Your Community

UNL is offering expanded free on-campus COVID-19 testing before and after Thanksgiving at two sites for students, faculty and staff. Registration is required for both test sites.

17th & R Street TestNebraska Site 

Walk-Up Only | Monday-Friday
Site Closed Thurs. Nov. 26 and Fri. Nov. 27.
Appointments available at UHC on Fri. Nov. 27.

300 N 17th St, on City Campus - Entrance near 17th & R Streets
Inside the parking garage adjacent to the UNL Police Department

Note: Please use your local (Lincoln or on-campus) address when registering for a test.

Register for a Test

Appointments can be scheduled up to 7 days ahead at this location

East Stadium Loop Testing Site 

Walk-Up and Drive-Through (map) | Sunday-Saturday
Site Closed Thurs. Nov. 26 and Fri. Nov. 27.
Appointments available at UHC on Fri. Nov. 27.

1350 Vine Street, on City Campus.
East Stadium Loop parking lot outside the Coliseum

Note: Please use your local (Lincoln or on-campus) address when registering for a test.

Register for a Test

Appointments can be scheduled through Dec. 6 at this location

If a test at the UNL on-campus COVID-19 testing site does not fit your schedule you can:

When should you get tested?

  • A COVID-19 self-assessment screening or screening app prompts you to have a COVID-19 test taken.
  • You begin to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
  • You have been exposed to another individual with COVID-19.
    • Close contact exposure occurs when an individual was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. As long as face masks are worn and six feet of physical distancing is maintained, being in the same classroom as someone who tests positive for COVID-19 does not constitute close contact.
  • You wish to be tested as a precaution, even if you have no current symptoms or high-risk exposure.

Why should you get tested?

  • In addition to wearing a face covering, social distancing and washing our hands, widespread testing is a proven, effective way to combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • Testing provides crucial data needed to track the spread of the disease, contain it and help find a cure or treatment.
  • To keep your family and community safe when you return home after the end of the semester.

How to prepare for getting tested

  • If testing as a precaution, continue to wear a face mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly, limit your interactions with others as much as possible. 
  • If symptomatic or due to exposure, you should self-quarantine and limit contact with others before your test and during the period you are awaiting your results.
  • 17th & R Street TestNebraska Site
    • After registering, check your email and bring your QR code to your testing location. If you are unable to print it, please bring your phone or other device to show the health care staff your QR code upon arrival. This QR is emailed directly to you from TestNebraska.
    • Bring a legal government ID (driver's license, passport, etc.). An NCard is NOT sufficient.
    • Enter on foot on the R Street side of the facility. Cars are not permitted to drive through for testing. Parking is available in the UNL parking garage at 17th & R. On-street parking is also available in the surrounding area and during the duration of your test, limited parking is available in the loop directly in front of University Suites City Campus, 1780 R St, Lincoln, NE 68508-6106. UNL PD visitor parking is not available for those being tested.
    • Arrive 5 minutes prior to your scheduled test.
    • Once you arrive, continue to wear a mask and maintain social distancing (six feet while on-site). The testing site is partially located outdoors, so please dress appropriately for the weather.
  • East Stadium Loop Site 
    • Check your email and bring the confirmation email with you on your mobile device or print it.

    • Bring a legal government ID (driver's license, passport, etc.). An NCard is NOT sufficient.

    • Arrive five minutes prior to your scheduled test.

    • You may arrive on foot or in your vehicle for the drive-through option, follow the signs on-site to get in line. 

    • Once you arrive, continue to wear a mask and maintain social distancing (six feet while on-site). The testing site is partially located outdoors, so please dress appropriately for the weather.

What to do while waiting for your test results

  • If testing as a precaution, continue to wear a face mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and limit your interactions with others as much as possible. The fewer interactions you have, the less likely you are to contract COVID-19 and bring it home with you.
  • If symptomatic or due to exposure,

    • Self-quarantine by staying at home, away from other people, until you get your test results. Let those you live with know that you are self-quarantining. When you get your test results, you will be told if you need to isolate at your home and if so, for how long.

    • Contact your instructor(s)/supervisor to make sure they know you are self-quarantining and discuss any needs you may have during this time period.

  • Check your email. The lab will send your test results within about 72 hours to the email address you provided when registering for the test.
  • Answer your phone. If you test positive, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department will need to contact you for contact tracing purposes.
  • Next steps if your test is positive. Self-report to covid19@unl.edu or text 402-266-6865 to learn about isolation options and support resources.
  • Review the FAQ section regarding what to do if you test positive or test negative.
How long will it take to get my results?

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I test positive?

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will need to isolate yourself for at least 10 days, beginning the day your symptoms began (if symptomatic) or the day your positive test was conducted (if asymptomatic). Your health provider, the UNL Public Health Advocacy Team, and Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) can provide additional details regarding how to determine the length of your isolation.

UNL strongly encourages you to promptly disclose your positive test result to the UNL Public Health Advocacy Team at covid19@unl.edu or via text message at 402-266-6865. We are here to help you navigate school and work during this time, including providing information about student isolation options and support resources.

  • This small team of designated UNL staff will use the information provided to work with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) to confidentially notify those within the UNL community with whom you recently had close contact, such as if living in University Housing, attending in-person classes, or working in a shared office or laboratory space. Your identity will not be released in making these contacts, unless you indicate a preference that it be shared. Your identity need not be shared to successfully notify close contacts.

Anyone who tests positive should plan to answer their phone as much as possible because this is how the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) will communicate with you regarding contact tracing. Their phone number is 402-441-8006.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) will also be asking questions to make sure to notify the people you were in close contact with in the 2-3 days prior to the onset of symptoms so they can go into quarantine and, when appropriate, get tested. They will also be checking in with you during the illness to make sure of your recovery.

What happens if I test negative?

If testing as a precaution, and your test is negative, you can continue with your normal routine. You should still wear a face mask, keep at least six feet from others, wash your hands, avoid large gatherings, and continually self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. The fewer interactions you have with others after your test, the higher likelihood you can rely on the negative result as some reassurance you are not bringing COVID-19 home with you.

If you were tested due to your own symptoms, but not close contact exposure, it is likely your symptoms are due to other common self-limited viral infections (rhinovirus, adenovirus, minor coronavirus, etc.). These generally resolve in 7-10 days on their own. You may return to work and/or school after no fever for 24 hours and improvement of your symptoms.

If you were tested due to close contact exposure with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 (with or without symptoms yourself), then current guidelines indicate you should still remain in quarantine for at least 14 days from the last time of the exposure due to the higher risk of it possibly being too early to detect yet. Stay at home except to get medical care. Separate from other people and animals in your home. If the exposure contact was in the same household, try to separate or move elsewhere to avoid prolonging this quarantine time frame.

Even if the test comes back negative, continue to closely monitor your health and symptoms and contact your health provider or the University Health Center if something does develop or worsen.

All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to continually self-monitor for and report symptoms of COVID-19 by using the 1-Check COVID-19 screening app (iOS, Android, or web version) developed by the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Who has access to test results? How are you protecting that information?

You will be contacted via email with your test results within 72 hours by the laboratory that runs your test. The information will be sent to the email address you provide upon registration for your test. Your test results and any associated information you provide at the time of registration are protected by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Your information and results will be reported by the laboratory that runs your test to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD), where it remains protected by HIPAA. All positive test results are shared with LLCHD during the COVID-19 pandemic so the county can conduct contact tracing. LLCHD may report your results to the UNL Public Health Advocacy Team to ensure detailed contact tracing within the UNL community and that you are aware of support and resources available on campus.

Who will pay for this test? Does my insurance cover it? Is it free? 
  • Testing is free to UNL students, faculty and staff. No insurance is needed to register and have the test administered. 
How is the test performed? The test is performed using a nasal swab, similar to a flu test. The sample is then sent to a lab to determine whether the virus is present.
Can I get tested somewhere else? 
  • If you are unable to use the free UNL on-campus COVID-19 testing site, there are additional testing sites in the Lincoln area. Each site varies and appointments and payment may be required. You are encouraged to contact the testing site to confirm what you will need to do prior to receiving a test. 
  • Same-day appointments are available at the University Health Center. Contact the University Health Center for details to schedule your appointment on the University Health Center website or call 402-472-5000.
  • The University Health Center maintains a list of after-hours testing sites in Lincoln.
Do I get a certificate or documentation that I was tested and was negative to share?
  • You will be contacted via email with your test results within 72 hours. The information will be sent to the email address you provided when registering. It is your responsibility to communicate your test results with your physician/healthcare worker. It’s recommended you contact them as soon as you know about your test results to discuss your situation.
Who do I contact if I have a question about testing?
  • The UNL Public Health Advocacy Team can assist you with any questions. Please email covid19@unl.edu.
  • If you have a medical question and do not have a primary care provider, you are encouraged to contact the University Health Center with your health-related questions via their website or call 402-472-5000.