Pre-Arrival Testing

Pre-Arrival Testing

Pre-arrival testing is an important part of our multilayered strategy to reduce the risk and possible spread of COVID-19 in our campus community and our residential communities.

U-M is partnering with Quest Diagnostics to provide students moving into U-M Housing for Winter Term with a nasal swab testing kit to be completed before their arrival on campus. Pre-arrival testing is also being offered to those living in off campus congregate living environments (Fraternity and Sorority Life and Co-Ops). Eligible students have been emailed information, including how to register and request the test as well as instructions and key dates for administering their testing kit.

Students arriving from international destinations or military addresses, or who have failed to produce a negative test result prior to move-in into U-M Housing, will be required to be tested upon their arrival. Makeup testing will be available through University Health Service, and students will be required to stay in U-M quarantine housing while awaiting test results.

All undergraduate students moving into U-M Housing for winter also are required to get the flu vaccine. At check-in you will be asked by housing staff if you have received the vaccine, but will not be required to provide documentation. You have the option to submit your vaccine documentation to UHS and can submit this information to with your (1) full name, (2) UMID, (3) date of birth and (4) copy of the flu vaccine.

In addition, all U-M students are expected to practice enhanced social distancing for 14 days before arriving on campus or back to the Ann Arbor area. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has provided the following guidelines for returning to campus safely.

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How to get your test

All students moving into U-M Housing have been emailed detailed information on how to register for, request and self-administer their Quest Diagnostics testing kit.

If you've previously participated in the fall pre-arrival program, you will use the same username/password you previously created through the site. There is a username/password retrieval option on the site, if you forgot your login information. If you need assistance, contact the Quest Diagnostics customer service center at 855-6-BE-WELL, Monday-Friday: 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Central and Saturday: 7:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Central.

If you are required to get a COVID-19 test prior to move-in, but didn't get one, click here for your three testing options.

Important steps for all students to get their test:

  1. Check your email for information to register and request your test kit on Dec. 28-30. Do not take your test when it arrives.

  2. Begin enhanced social distancing Jan. 1.

  3. Complete your self collection and mail your sample to Quest Diagnostics on the same day using FedEx no later than 3:00 p.m. This must occur on a weekday.

  4. Results will be available in 72-96 hours. You must have a negative result in order to move into housing.

    **If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19 90 days prior to your move-in date, you do not need to take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test. For more details on how to report your previous positive to be excluded from testing, click here.

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When to take your test

Mark your calendar to take your test:

  • Undergraduate students: complete your test Thursday, Jan. 7 or at the latest Friday, Jan. 8.
  • Residential staff members moving in Jan. 13-14: complete your test Tuesday, Jan. 5 or at the latest Wednesday, Jan. 6.
  • Graduate students moving into U-M Housing: complete your swab seven (7) days prior to your move-in date. If you are moving in on a weekend, take your test and mail it on Friday (at least 7 days prior) before move-in.
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Completing the collection

The testing kit package will include detailed instructions for how to self-collect a shallow nasal swab and how to package and send it back to Quest Diagnostics for processing. Watch this helpful video that outlines important information for conducting the test and mailing your sample.

  • Be sure to put your name on your test tube and write the date and time on requisition form.
  • Tighten the lid to ensure your collection doesn't leak during shipping.
  • If you have questions regarding self-collection, please call Quest Diagnostics at 1.855.332.2533.
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Returning the specimen

After collecting the nasal specimen, the kit must be returned the same day in the provided packaging to the nearest FedEx location before 3:00 p.m.

Students can schedule a pick-up at their homes on a weekday morning. Next-day air priority shipping is provided for each test. If a drop box is used, please ensure the test is dropped off by 3:00 p.m. so specimens do not sit overnight and become potentially invalid.

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Results will be available to students in 72-96 hours. Students will receive an email when the test result is ready to be viewed online via their patient portal.

Students with a negative result are cleared to move-in to U-M Housing. At move-in, you must bring confirmation of your negative COVID-19 test result and complete the ResponsiBLUE screening check.

Students with a positive result are instructed NOT to come to campus. Connect with local resources for appropriate health care. Someone from UHS also will reach out to determine when it is safe for you to come to campus.