Testing Protocols

This page presents NC State's COVID-19 testing protocols, which are helping to limit the spread of the coronavirus while also facilitating early diagnosis and rapid treatment.

Outdoor covid testing station

Guarding the Health of the Wolfpack

To help ensure a safe and successful summer, NC State is requiring regular testing for some members of our community, including students living on campus and select employees working in face-to-face roles. Ongoing weekly surveillance testing will help us identify cases earlier, quickly activate our contract tracing program, and isolate and quarantine individuals as needed to help prevent spread.

Note: Effective June 1, 2021, all those who have received vaccines on campus or who provide proof of vaccination status through the HealthyPack Portal will be exempt from any required surveillance testing.

Testing is available to all students, faculty and staff who work on, live on or come regularly to campus, and is limited to one test weekly.

If you test positive, you do not have to be retested for 90 days unless you are ill and ordered to do so by your healthcare provider. 

More information about summer 2021 testing is presented below.

Ongoing Surveillance Testing

Designated faculty and staff, residential students and select student employees are participating in required surveillance testing. Testing locations will be expanded as needed. Surveillance testing on campus is free for all faculty, staff and students. The process itself can be completed in five minutes or less, which we hope helps participants incorporate testing into their weekly routine.

Following are the steps for the surveillance testing process:

Step 1: Selected surveillance program participants will receive an email with details to conduct a test on specific days.

Step 2: On the day of the test, participants should visit one of the campus collection locations (information below).

Step 3: Participants should arrive at the test site with their NC State ID and phone. Participant ID information is required for check-in.

Daily Symptom Monitoring

All community members who access campus must conduct daily symptom checks regardless of whether they participate in testing, as part of NC State’s community standards. If you are feeling unwell, stay home.

Surveillance Testing Requirements


  • Undergraduate and graduate students living on campus; E.S. King or Western Manor.
  • Select undergraduate, graduate and professional students and postdoctoral fellows employed on campus or working in research.
  • Faculty and staff designated for surveillance testing because they have high levels of engagement with others (e.g., essential campus personnel, in-person engagement, first responders).

Note: Faculty and staff have been designated as required to receive weekly surveillance testing at the discretion of their respective units/colleges. Individuals assigned to surveillance testing will be emailed directly. All others are highly encouraged, but not required, to be tested weekly.

As required:

  • Student-athletes, in accordance with ACC and NCAA guidelines.

May be required weekly at direction of supervisor:

  • Faculty and staff working remotely and not accessing campus regularly.

Surveillance Testing Locations and Hours

  • Witherspoon Student Center, room 126: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wednesday, 6 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • 313 Research II (Centennial Campus): Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Magnolia Cottage at the Avent Ferry Complex: Tuesday only, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • ES King Village Community Center: Thursday only, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • College of Veterinary Medicine: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (CVM employees and students only)


COVID-19 testing is a requirement of the campus community standards. Participants who miss more than two cycles of required testing without an approved exemption can be subject to disciplinary action. To request a testing exemption, click here.

Students are required to complete surveillance testing on assigned days. Students who do not comply will be referred to University Housing or Fraternity and Sorority Life if they live on campus and to their supervisor if they are employed on campus.

Employees are required to complete surveillance testing on the dates when they are requested to do so. If an employee does not complete this requirement, their supervisor will be notified, and the matter may be escalated to University Human Resources for disciplinary action. Supervisors can monitor their employee’s COVID-related information in MyPack Portal. For supervisor guidance on how to access this information, read more here.

For more information on COVID-19 testing at NC State, please review the FAQs on the Protect the Pack and Student Health Services websites.

What type of testing will NC State provide over the summer?
NC State requires ongoing surveillance testing for certain designated groups on campus. Student Health Services provides COVID-19 testing for any student (symptomatic or asymptomatic) who requests a test. All travelers on approved university travel to out-of-state or international locations must submit proof of a COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus. For employees who cannot get a test elsewhere, testing will be available on campus to fulfill this requirement.

Can anyone who wants a COVID-19 test get tested on campus?
Any NC State student, faculty member or staff member with a valid NC State ID can get tested on campus. All testing is provided free of charge. For the latest updated information on testing locations and hours of operation, see the information above. 

What happens when I get a test on campus?
The test that will be used is a nasal swab of the inside front of both the left and right nostrils. You will perform your own swabbing and place the cotton swab in a tube. Staff will be available to assist. View this short video on testing for a demonstration.

Do I need to upload my test results each time I am tested?
If you receive a test at an off-campus location, you must upload your results each time you are tested. If you receive a test on campus, your results will automatically be uploaded into HealthyPack Portal, NC State’s online medical portal.

What type of test is required?
Tests must be PCR (molecular) tests. All tests provided on campus at NC State are PCR tests. If you receive a test off campus as part of surveillance testing, please check with the testing service you use to ensure the test is a molecular or PCR test.

Are faculty, staff and students in face-to-face classes part of the required weekly surveillance testing program?
No, unless your department has elected otherwise and has sent you specific instructions to be regularly tested. Department-specific testing expectations will not be tracked in MyPack Portal and will instead be managed at the department level. Students in face-to-face classes who fall into other testing categories (residence halls, Greek Village, some student employees) are required to be tested weekly.

I tested positive as part of the surveillance program. Am I now excluded from surveillance testing?
Yes, for a limited period of time. Following a positive test result and an isolation period, surveillance testing is not required for 90 days. 

I have been in contact with someone who has recently tested positive. What do I do?
As of June 1, 2021, if you received a vaccine on campus or if you provided proof of vaccination status through the HealthyPack Portal, you are exempt from mandatory quarantine, in most cases, as part of the contact tracing program. Otherwise, if you were in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with an individual who has tested positive, please self-report and begin a quarantine period. Get tested three to five days after your initial exposure and continue to quarantine until you receive your results. Getting tested before the three-day window may result in inaccurate test results. If you were not within 6 feet of the COVID-positive person for longer than 15 minutes, you are probably not at risk and should wait to hear from the contact tracing program for more guidance.

Where can students, faculty and staff go for surveillance testing off campus?
Testing locations are available across North Carolina. To find testing centers throughout the state, visit the NC DHHS Find My Testing Place resource page

Testing may also be available at local pharmacies, as well as urgent care centers or your doctor’s office. There may be a fee for testing or an office visit at these locations, and proof of insurance may be required. Testing on NC State’s campus is free for students, faculty and staff, and results are automatically uploaded into HealthyPack Portal, NC State’s online medical portal. 

If you are experiencing symptoms, do not go to a campus testing location.
For students experiencing symptoms or who believe they may have been exposed to COVID‑19:

  • Do not go to a campus testing location.
  • Immediately:
  • Isolate.
  • Self-report.
  • Contact Student Health for an appointment.

For employees who are experiencing symptoms or believe they may have been exposed to COVID‑19, immediately:

  • Isolate.
  • Self-report.
  • Get tested and/or contact your physician as appropriate.

What is HealthyPack Portal?
HealthyPack Portal is an online medical portal for campus students and employees that will be used for uploading COVID‑19 test results.

HealthyPack Portal complies with HIPAA and FERPA information privacy requirements. The system uses the latest industry-standard security protocol and protects patient data through ongoing security checks and audits of the system.

This information is subject to change. Last updated: July 19, 2021.