Randomized Mitigation Diagnostic Testing

To help keep our campus community safe during the pandemic, UNL is conducting ongoing COVID-19 testing of a randomized sample of students, faculty, and staff each week.

Randomized mitigation diagnostic testing is an important part of UNL's enhanced COVID-19 testing strategy, all with the goal to protect the health of our UNL and Lincoln communities while offering safe in-person education. Results of this testing will help develop a better understanding of the prevalence and spread of the virus in our Husker community, including aiding in identification of asymptomatic cases, so mitigation actions can be taken to reduce risks.

You'll be notified via email if you're chosen for voluntary randomized mitigation diagnostic testing

If you are selected for testing, you will receive an email to your official campus email address late in the week instructing you how to schedule a mitigation test during the following week.

Your voluntary participation is very important to ensure our enhanced testing is most representative of our campus community. As the Cornhusker Commitment outlines, each of us must take the necessary steps to stay well and protect each other. Participating in this voluntary testing demonstrates that you care about protecting our Husker community.

There are only a few circumstances in which you should not sign up for our randomized mitigation test process:

  • You have not been and do not plan to be in the Lincoln community this semester.
  • You have previously tested positive for COVID-19 during the past 90 days.
  • You are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • You are currently self-quarantining due to close contact with an individual who tested positive.

If you are experiencing symptoms or are self-quarantining, you should instead get tested at the UNL on-campus TestNebraska site, which is different than the site for randomized mitigation testing.

The process if you're selected

You will receive an email invitation with a registration link that you can use to select a day and time on weekday afternoons that works for you. Appointments each day are limited to minimize wait time for participants, and scheduling is first come, first served after the email invitations are distributed each week. You can select walk up or drive up testing.

Bring a legal government ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.) to your appointment for registration purposes. An NCard is NOT sufficient.

Testing will be a nasal swab with results back in 24-72 hours.

Testing is provided at no cost to you.

Individuals participating in randomized mitigation testing do NOT need to self-quarantine while awaiting test results, unlike those tested due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to an individual who tested positive.

How the results will be shared

You will receive your individual results via email.

The results of all COVID-19 tests conducted in Lancaster County during the pandemic are shared with Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD), for the purposes of contact tracing.

Results of randomized mitigation testing will be combined in de-identified, aggregate form with all other COVID-19 tests in the UNL community totaled on our public COVID-19 Dashboard.

Where is the Randomized Mitigation Testing site? 
Exterior photo of testing site south of Coliseum

The UNL randomized mitigation testing site is located in the East Stadium Loop parking lot outside the Coliseum (1350 Vine Street) on City Campus. Those being tested can walk up or choose to use the drive-through option, which allows the person to remain in their vehicle.

Driving Directions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is randomized mitigation testing? Randomized mitigation testing involves conducting COVID-19 testing of a randomized sample of hundreds of UNL students, faculty, and staff each week. Those selected will receive an email late in the week instructing them how to schedule a mitigation test during the following week. Results will help develop a better understanding of the prevalence and spread of the virus in our Husker community. This testing will help identify members of the UNL community who have COVID-19, but are not showing any symptoms, so mitigation actions can be taken to reduce risks.
Why is randomized mitigation testing important? Randomized mitigation testing is an important part of UNL’s enhanced COVID-19 testing strategy aiming to protect the health of our UNL and Lincoln communities while offering safe in-person education. Participation is very important to ensure our enhanced testing is most representative of our campus community, and to maximize this opportunity to identify asymptomatic cases before they spread the virus to others. As the Cornhusker Commitment outlines, each of us must take the necessary steps to stay well and protect each other. Participating in this voluntary testing demonstrates that you care about protecting our Husker community.
What is the selection process for mitigation testing? Is it random? The randomized mitigation testing selection process is a random sampling of students, faculty and staff each week.
How do I schedule my mitigation test? Those selected for randomized mitigation testing will receive an email instructing them how to schedule their testing appointment.
How long will my mitigation test take? The time required on site to actively register for and take the test is less than 5 minutes. Appointments are offered in 15-minute windows, and participants are encouraged to arrive no earlier than 5 minutes prior to their appointment window. Any wait time should typically not exceed 15 minutes.
Where do I go to get a test if I am contacted for randomized mitigation testing? The UNL randomized mitigation testing site is located in the East Stadium Loop parking lot outside the Coliseum (1350 Vine Street) on City Campus. You can walk up for your test or choose to use the drive- through option, which allows you to remain in your vehicle.
Is it okay to schedule my mitigation test during my working hours? Should I notify my supervisor? Will my supervisor know I was randomly selected participate? It is appropriate for employees to sign up for their mitigation test on University time during their working hours. Employees are free to share their randomized mitigation testing invitation email with their supervisor, if they wish. Supervisors will not be made aware when supervisees are selected. It is up to the employee to share if they wish.
What type of test will be used? Randomized mitigation tests are conducted using a nasopharyngeal swab. The sample is then sent to a lab to determine whether the virus is present.
I’ve been selected for randomized mitigation testing. Do I need to self-quarantine prior to taking the test or while I am waiting for the results? No. You do not need to self-quarantine as long as you are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or do not become aware you were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
How will I receive my randomized mitigation test results when they are ready? You will receive an email with your test result within 24-72 hours.
What happens if I test negative as part of randomized mitigation testing? If 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 using the 1-Check COVID-19 screening app (iOS, Android, web version) to protect yourself and others.
What happens if I test positive as part of randomized mitigation testing? If you test positive for COVID-19, you will need to isolate yourself for at least 10 days, beginning the day after your positive test was conducted. You should not go to classes, work or social gatherings for any reason. You should promptly notify the UNL Public Health Advocacy Team of your positive test. We are here to help you navigate school and work. Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department will be contacting you for contact tracing purposes. Make sure to answer your phone.
Who has access to test results? How are you protecting that information? You will be contacted via email with your test results within 24-72 hours by the laboratory that runs your test. The information will be sent to the email address you provide upon registration at the test site. Your test results and any associated information you provide at the time of registration at the test site 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.
I tested positive for COVID-19 during the past 90 days. Should I sign up for a mitigation test? No. Anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 during the past 90 days should not sign up for a randomized mitigation test, given current CDC guidance indicates expected immunity during this time period. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms during these 90 days, you should get tested at the Free On-Campus TestNebraska COVID-19 Testing site, or another testing location in Lincoln. 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 during this 90-day period.
I’ve started having symptoms of COVID-19 since scheduling my randomized mitigation test. Should I still get tested? If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including new fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, or loss of taste or smell, please get tested as soon as possible at the Free On-Campus TestNebraska COVID-19 Testing site, or another testing location in Lincoln. You should cancel your scheduled randomized mitigation test.
I scheduled my randomized mitigation test, but was just informed of being a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and was instructed to self-quarantine. Should I still get tested? No, you should cancel your scheduled randomized mitigation test. As a close contact, you should quarantine for 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the individual who tested positive, and you should seek to be tested at the Free On-Campus TestNebraska COVID-19 Testing site, or another testing location in Lincoln, on day 5 or 6 of your 14-day quarantine period.
I already participated in randomized mitigation testing this semester, but I received another invitation to participate. Should I participate again? It is possible that you may be selected multiple times for randomized mitigation testing, given the random nature of the sampling. Please sign up to take a test even if you have previously been selected to receive a mitigation test.
What do I do if I missed my scheduled mitigation testing date/time? If you missed your mitigation test and it is still the same week you were selected to have the test, then you should schedule another appointment.
Who do I contact if I have a question about randomized mitigation testing? For questions about mitigation testing, please email the UNL Public Health Advocacy Team at covid19@unl.edu.