COVID-19 Sampling & Tracking Program

The U-M COVID-19 Community Sampling and Tracking Program is a free, opt-in, voluntary surveillance testing program for those on the Ann Arbor campus.

This type of testing plays a critical role in the public health response to COVID-19 and adds to our understanding of how the virus is impacting our campus community. It will provide invaluable data to help identify increases in transmission of the virus and help inform U-M’s response to slow COVID-19 transmission.

Program registration is open to:

  • All U-M students who live in on-campus or off-campus housing.
  • Faculty and staff, including Michigan Medicine employees, who work on the Ann Arbor campus at least once per week.

To participate, sign up and complete a brief survey. Each week, a group of individuals will be selected and asked to register with Michigan Medicine and sign up for in-person COVID-19 testing at Palmer Commons.

The program is made possible with support from the School of Public Health, Michigan Medicine and University Health Service.

IMPORTANT: The program is not a replacement for symptomatic testing or medical care. Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 or a close contact exposure should contact Occupational Health Services (faculty and staff), or University Health Service (students).

Volunteer for the COVID-19 Sampling & Tracking Program

Read the University Record story on the launch of the sampling program.

Stone arches on the entrance to the Law Quad

About the Program

  • Sign-up for the COVID-19 Community Sampling and Tracking Program opens on September 3. The program will run through November 20.
  • A sample of participants will be selected and invited to test on a rolling basis, based on representativeness and development of the epidemic.
  • Testing begins the week of September 7 and will ramp up to approximately 3,000 participants weekly by the end of September.
  • Tests will be done as observed, self-collected nasal swabs taken at Palmer Commons. The testing site will be open Monday–Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.
  • Tests will be processed by Michigan Medicine and results will be available to participants through the MyUofMHealth online portal.

Details About Participation

This program is open to all U-M students, as well as faculty and staff who currently work on campus at least once per week. Michigan Medicine faculty and staff are eligible. Students must be 18 or older to consent to participation. Participants are required to be asymptomatic (have no symptoms) with no recent close-contact exposures at the time they complete their test.

Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (with a PCR test) in the last 90 days are not eligible to participate (tests can remain positive for up to 90 days after an initial infection, and would likely not represent a re-infection).

U-M community exhibiting behaviors related to Wolverine Culture of Care

"We need to make sure our actions reflect unity in all that we do." Ellie, Student


The main focus of the COVID-19 Community Sampling and Tracking Program is to systematically look for increases in COVID-19 that may be missed by other testing programs. We will do this through the testing of a representative sample of the U-M community each week. Early identification of changes in COVID-19 patterns can inform better interventions to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to the wider campus and Ann Arbor community.

U-M community exhibiting behaviors related to Wolverine Culture of Care

"I want others to feel safe and I want to keep my family and friends safe." Stephen, Michigan Medicine Staff

Monitoring & Testing at U-M

The COVID-19 Community Sampling and Tracking Program is the latest testing program to be added to the university's monitoring and testing efforts, which includes baseline testing of students before they moved into Michigan Housing, as well as testing of residents of affiliated fraternity and sorority facilities.

The university’s overall testing and monitoring strategy also includes symptomatic testing for students through University Health Service and testing of faculty and staff through Michigan Medicine; exposure testing of close contacts identified through contact tracing or workplace exposure investigations; antibody testing for Michigan Medicine faculty and staff involved with patient care; and daily symptom tracking through the ResponsiBLUE health screening tool.

For more information about COVID-19 monitoring and testing, view our FAQs.

Volunteer for the COVID-19 Sampling & Tracking Program

U-M community exhibiting behaviors related to Wolverine Culture of Care

"If we want to stay together on campus, we'll need to keep it safe and healthy." Alicia, Staff

Sampling & Tracking FAQs