September 11: Student testing opportunities

Michael Lauzardo, MD, MSc Director, UF Health Screen, Test & Protect

Dear faculty and staff,

Please see below to learn more about how we are expanding testing for students and adjusting to better address their transportation and housing needs. Also be on the lookout for more information soon about how the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect team is working hard to meet our broader university community’s needs in the coming days. 

It’s been inspiring to see how the campus community has pulled together amid this most unusual start to the academic year. The beginning of school is typically a fun and exciting time, and this year is no different, despite the unique challenges these historic times bring. We’re reconnecting with each other in creative ways. We’re making new discoveries and learning new things in the classroom. And each day we witness how students, faculty and staff — in ways big and small — are helping each other, demonstrating a true culture of caring and concern.

That’s more important than ever, as we address an anticipated rise in COVID-19 cases on campus that began last week. Our commitment to you has been to assess our plans and processes daily, and to fine-tune them when needed. Read on for new information about our expanded testing options for students.

I’m a student. How do I get tested for COVID-19, fast and easy? Visit to sign up.

Have symptoms? Or just want to get tested because you are worried you may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19? We have made scheduling testing easier and more straightforward.

Students should visit, fill out the short questionnaire and schedule a test. It’s that easy.

Locations will be available for next day or same-day testing until appointments fill. Results are back within 24 to 48 hours.

If your symptoms concern you and you think you need to see a doctor, just click the designated box on the questionnaire and you will be given instructions on how to be seen at the Student Health Care Center and be tested there.

Just before the Labor Day weekend, when a number of students were diagnosed with COVID-19, the demand for testing increased dramatically. But the system we had in place for students to get tested could not keep pace with the sudden increase in demand. We own that. We got your feedback, listened and accelerated the release of this simpler, faster way to get tested.

What’s next in testing on campus?

We have been increasing surveillance and symptomatic testing at various sites, including our Hull Road location across from the Southwest Recreation Center. We have introduced new campus neighborhood testing spots around campus, in and around various residence halls. Testing will now be available somewhere on campus seven days a week. We will be focusing our surveillance testing on the residence halls and Greek housing, so expect to get emails and other notifications about when we will be screening in your campus neighborhood.

Questions about student isolation or quarantine?

Visit the Screen, Test & Protect website to learn about what to expect if you are placed in isolation or quarantine.

How do I get from a residence hall to my temporary isolation or quarantine assignment?

If you have your own private means of transportation, you are encouraged to use it to get to your temporary isolation or quarantine assignment. If you do not have personal transportation available, the University of Florida will provide transportation. The GatorLift Express, operated by Transportation and Parking Services, stands ready seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (and later as may be needed) to transport students withheld from campus to designated isolation or quarantine sites.

If you are not cleared for campus and need to be relocated, Student Affairs staff will call you to coordinate and discuss your plans for isolation or quarantine. If you are in need of transportation, they will work with you to schedule a ride.

Students will receive a clearly defined pickup location and time. Student must wear a mask throughout their transport, use the rear entry door to vehicle and practice physical distancing from the driver. Students will be responsible for all handling of luggage and belongings.

Sanitation of high-touch areas will occur between rides and complete sanitation of the vehicle will be twice a day. The driver will not have air conditioning on recirculate.

We're all in this together.

We are seeing a lot of people doing their best to help us manage a difficult time by wearing their masks, physical distancing and, if they develop symptoms, self-isolating and getting tested. We appreciate all of your diligence as we support and look out for each other. And remember, as you continue to embrace these healthy habits, you are helping those of us in the medical community protect the most vulnerable.

As always, please visit the Screen, Test & Protect website for more information and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of any help at all.