Testing & Tracing

Symptom monitoring and regular testing for on-campus students, faculty and staff will play a key role in ensuring a safe environment for members of the GW community who live and work on campus.

The university has established a CLIA-certified public health laboratory to support a large-scale, in-house testing program. In-house testing allows for the earliest possible identification and containment of all infected persons, including asymptomatic infections. It enables the university to monitor any changes in COVID-19 transmission over time and across our diverse campus facilities and activities, so that we plan and scale modifications to operations based on specific changes in metrics.

All persons authorized to be on campus must participate in asymptomatic surveillance testing. 

Symptomatic testing is available for members of the on-campus cohort who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case. Voluntary symptomatic testing is available for students outside of the on-campus cohort.

The university will cover the cost of all tests for students, faculty and staff conducted by the public health laboratory.

The Colonial Health Center (CHC) serves as the main health care resource for students. The GW Occupational Health program provides support for the ongoing health and safety of GW faculty and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.



Flu Vaccination Requirement


In January 2021 GW community members began swabbing their own noses for self-collected PCR asymptomatic tests. The move to self-collected testing from provider-collected testing reduces the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) required by providers and reduces possible exposure between workers and test takers.

Upon your arrival at the test site, you will receive a kit and instructions. Additional information is available through a step-by-step guide and video. You may request a provider-collected test if you are unable to perform a self-collection. 

Provider-collected tests will continue for symptomatic testing.

Scheduling a Test

Members of the on-campus cohort and all GW students may make an appointment for testing at the Foggy Bottom campus or the Virginia Science and Technology Campus by going to the My CHC Portal.

When you make an appointment, you will be asked if you are a student or an employee at the university. NOTE: if you are both a student and an employee, select your primary affiliation. Then select either a surveillance (asymptomatic) or sick (symptomatic) test. You will be provided with testing site and appointment time options. A portal instruction document (PDF) is available if needed.

At this time, individuals with symptoms can only be tested on the Foggy Bottom campus.

On the day of your test, please bring:

  1. The confirmation QR code that you receive after you have made an appointment, downloaded on to your phone or printed out on a piece of paper.
  2. A photo ID (GWorld card, driver’s license or passport).

Testing Locations

The Foggy Bottom and Virginia Science and Technology (VSTC) campuses offer testing. However, only the Foggy Bottom campus will provide testing for persons who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or persons who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

  • Foggy Bottom: Marvin Center Grand Ballroom at 800 21st St., NW, 3rd floor (asymptomatic testing); Lerner Health and Wellness Center at 2301 G Street, NW, entrance on 23rd Street (Varsity Place) next to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, ADA ramp available via St. Mary’s Way, next to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (symptomatic testing).
    • The testing sites on the Foggy Bottom Campus are open Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  On Friday the Marvin Center site is open from  8 a.m. to noon; the Lerner Health and Wellness Center site is open from 12:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Virginia Science and Technology Campus: Enterprise Hall, 44983 Knoll Square, Ashburn, VA.
    • VSTC ended daily testing for the spring semester on Monday, April 5. During the summer semester, testing is available on Thursdays only from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • The testing sites are closed on weekends and university holidays, and Friday, May 28 (the Friday before Memorial Day weekend).

Test Results

The GW Public Health Lab will process your test and provide results within 24 to 48 hours. Each individual will receive an email or text to review their test results in the My CHC Portal

  • If you receive a negative test result, it means the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your sample. You should continue to adhere to the policy, including guidelines on social distancing, symptom tracking, personal protective equipment (PPE), handwashing, etc. No additional actions are required.
  • If you have a positive test result, it is very likely that you have COVID-19. The Colonial Health Center (students) or the GW Occupational Health program (faculty and staff) will contact you to discuss your care plan. The provider will give you isolation instructions based on CDC guidelines and review how you will be cleared to return to on-campus classes or work. You should not come to campus during the isolation period. After your discussion with either the Colonial Health Center (students) or the GW Occupational Health program (faculty and staff), the Campus COVID Support Team (CCST) will call you to conduct a case investigation and contact tracing. CCST is the department at GW that follows up with anyone in the community who tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to COVID-19. During the call, a CCST member will ask about the people and places you were around before your positive test result. A flyer showing the process of what happens after a COVID-19 positive test (PDF) is available for download.

There’s a very small chance that your COVID-19 test results could be wrong (a false positive or false negative test result). Your best course of action is to adhere to the behaviors outlined in the policy and contact the Colonial Health Center (students), 202-994-5300, or the GW Occupational Health program (faculty and staff), if you develop symptoms and/or your symptoms escalate.

All test results, positive and negative, will be reported to D.C. Health, Virginia Department of Health or other state or county governmental entity as may be required by law. Your test results will be disclosed to the Colonial Health Center (students), the GW Occupational Health program (faculty and staff) and the Campus COVID Support Team (CCST). 

Daily Symptom Monitoring

Update your symptoms in the medical portal. The portal is mobile friendly and this daily tracking should take less than two minutes per day once you are in a regular routine.