UW Medicine offers COVID-19 testing for UW employees and UW Medicine patients. UW Employees can contact the Environmental Health & Safety Department Employee Health Center to facilitate testing through UW Medicine. Hall Health Center also offers COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, staff and alumni. A list of free testing locations is available from Public Health — Seattle & King County.
If you have symptoms or questions about whether you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, talk with your health-care provider about what you can do to minimize risk for you and your loved ones.
COVID-19 testing is recommended for individuals who:
- Are experiencing even mild symptoms of COVID-19 infection, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, chills, loss of taste or smell, headache, muscle aches, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea
- Had close contact with a person who has COVID-19, such as being closer than 6 feet for at least 15 minutes, living with or caring for someone with COVID-19, or sharing utensils, kissing or being coughed or sneezed on by the person. If you’re a UW community member, you should contact the Employee Health Center as soon as you know that you’ve had a close contact. You’ll also need to self-isolate right away and be tested for COVID-19 5-7 days after the suspected date of your exposure.
Your health-care provider needs to order COVID-19 testing. There are two types of tests:
- PCR test (nasal swab): This test checks for a current COVID-19 infection.
- Antibody test (blood draw): This test checks for antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19, which your immune system produces in response to infection. If you have been ill, the test is administered at least two weeks after recovery from fever or other symptoms. Read the FAQ “What is an antibody test? for more information.
Multilingual information about COVID-19 testing is available on the Washington State Department of Health Testing for COVID-19 page. You can also contact the Washington COVID-19 Call Center at 1-800-525-0127 or texting 211-211.