UT University Health Services

General Proactive Community Testing FAQS

PCT is free for all UT students and employees. The University of Texas covers test costs.

You do not need insurance. PCT does not bill insurance or charge any fees

PCT is for those that are feeling 100% healthy. If you are feeling even a little sick, please call your healthcare provider. Students, please contact University Health Services. Employees, please contact UT Health Austin. It is important that employees, including student employees, and managers report symptoms and testing regardless of test results to the Occupational Health Program (OHP) as soon as possible. Contact 512-471-4647 or email the Occupational Health Program to report COVID-19 symptoms or tests regardless results.

Appointments are recommended and will guarantee your test for the day. We have updated our online scheduling process so that same day appointments are usually available. Scheduling an appointment helps maintain a steady clinic flow and reduce wait times at the clinic. Walk-ups are accepted at the testing sites though availability is not guaranteed.

Wait times vary, but you can expect to spend around 10 minutes or less at the testing site from start to finish. If you see a long line, know that it will move quickly.

While using the app provides a more touch-less experience, we also provide paper consent forms and symptom questionnaires at testing sites that you can fill out with a sanitized pen.

PCR saliva sample test results are available typically in 8 hours but may take as long as 36 hours.

Rapid Antigen nasal swab test results are given within 15-30 minutes.

Results are posted to your My UHS online portal. Click Medical Records and then the Labs tab. A secure message is also sent with your results. Make sure your contact information is correct in your portal, so we can reach you in a timely manner. You will receive a phone call from the contact tracing team if you test positive to begin the contact tracing process. Please anticipate and take this call as it is an important part of protecting our community.

PCT provides a quick and painless saliva or nasal-swab COVID-19 test. See the PCT website for a breakdown of the differences between the two tests.

Yes. Both the PCR and Rapid Antigen tests can be used for travel. However, before scheduling your testing appointment, please verify testing requirements with your destination and airline.

Go to the UT Austin COVID-19 Dashboard and view the second graph for a UT Austin Proactive Community Testing (PCT) Summary.

Invalid results can occur due to several factors, including one or more of the following:

  • You may not have been adequately hydrated prior to submitting a saliva sample.
  • Your sample was not clear/translucent or was too thick.
  • Your sample contained particles (e.g., food).
  • You used lip balm/product prior to submitting your sample.

Prior to giving your next sample, follow this guidance for 30 minutes before your test time:

  • Do NOT eat, drink, smoke/vape, use mouthwash, brush your teeth, chew gum, or use lip products.
  • Ensure that you are well-hydrated before the 30-minute cut-off period
  • Rinse your mouth well if you have eaten recently before the 30-minute cut-off period.

An “inconclusive” result means that our testing process was unable to make a clear conclusion regarding whether COVID-19 was detected or not detected. Please schedule an appointment to return and provide another sample for testing.

To take the PCR saliva sample test, you must not have had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 90 days.

To take the Rapid Antigen nasal swab test, you must not have had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 10 days.


Vaccination and Proactive Community Testing

Currently, the guidance is yes, please continue to participate in PCT. Saliva-based PCR testing is recommended weekly and Rapid Antigen testing is recommended twice per week while leaving at least 36 hours between tests.

The vaccine protects against but does not completely prevent COVID-19. It is possible to still become infected with COVID-19 after being vaccinated, and we are still learning the degree to which vaccinated individuals may be able to spread the virus to others if they become infected.

According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • twp weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If it has been less than two weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second dose, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking all prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated.

It is important to continue testing as part of our COVID-19 response whether or not you’re vaccinated.

The vaccine will not trigger a false positive result.


Protect Texas Together app, Activity Pass and Proactive Community Testing

The Campus Pass includes a symptom survey and will provide a daily pass for campus or testing.

The Activity Pass displays a “cleared” status to participate in on-campus and in-person events based on COVID-19 test results. Please see more information about the Activity Pass here.

Complete the Campus Pass on the Protect Texas Together app. Clearance will allow you to participate in events for one day – before you’re tested. After you’re tested through PCT and if you receive a not detected result, you can use the Activity Pass for participation.

Once the isolation period has ended and you are no longer able to spread COVID-19 to others, you can use the Campus Pass on the Protect Texas Together app.

You are also eligible to receive the Rapid Antigen test as long as you have not tested positive or had symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 10 days.

As of now, vaccination has no bearing on testing or clearance. Please still participate in PCT. After you’re tested through PCT and if you receive a not detected result, you can use the Activity Pass for participation.

The yellow flag indicates that you have been in close contact with an individual that is/suspected positive for COVID-19. You should participate in PCT, but it’s not recommended that you participate in any in-person events until the end of your isolation or quarantine period.

For questions about PCT not answered above, email pct@austin.utexas.edu.




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