The University of Mississippi’s Sentinel Testing Program offers free asymptomatic (i.e., without symptoms) COVID-19 testing for faculty, staff and students on campus. This testing and data collection involve asymptomatic testing of our population and adds to the current protections to keep our community safe. Invitations to register for an appointment time will be sent weekly. Managing COVID-19 is a shared responsibility. Please complete the survey and get tested if you receive an invitation. For more information, see this overview video from Provost Noel Wilkin, read this news story, or visit the Sentinel Testing Program dashboard.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the purpose of the Sentinel Testing Program?
This program is designed to track and understand the asymptomatic presence of coronavirus in our community. We understand that some people who are infected with the virus don’t ever show symptoms. Yet, they can spread illness to others. By identifying those who do not have symptoms, it adds another tool to help us protect our community. This testing program will also enable us to predict the number of asymptomatic carriers, better understand virus spread, and make decisions or adjust protocols in light of that base rate.
Does the CDC recommend asymptomatic testing?
In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission where resources allow, local health officials and institutions of higher education may consider testing some or all asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff who have no known exposure (e.g., students in congregate housing such as residence halls) to identify outbreaks and inform control measures. For more information, see the CDC site.
How will I know if I can get tested?
The university’s Sentinel Testing Program is for faculty, staff and students on campus. You will receive an email, including a link to complete a brief (less than 2-minute) eligibility survey, and will then receive further instructions on how to register for an appointment, via an app, to be tested.
What are the steps if I am selected to participate?
Upon completing the survey and being deemed eligible, you will be prompted to download the Gov2Go app. You will use this app to schedule your test.
- Answers to the eligibility survey questions will be kept confidential. Positive test results will be communicated to the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Contact Tracing Team, as required.
- The COVID-19 test is a rapid (antigen) test that requires swabbing both nostrils with a Qtip-like swab.
- Most test results will be received the same day through the Gov2Go
- Isolation will not be required unless you test positive.
If I participate in sentinel testing am I required to quarantine?
No, students, faculty and staff tested as part of this program are not required to quarantine.
What if I test positive?
Isolation will be required if you test positive. Students will need to report their positive to Student Health, and if they live in on-campus housing, report to the Office of Student Housing or the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. Faculty and staff will need to report to Employee Health and notify their supervisor.
When will I get my results?
Results of the test will be communicated to you through the app on your phone by the testing company as soon as a result is available – usually within hours.
Will you share the results of individual tests?
Answers to the eligibility survey questions will be kept confidential. Positive test results will be communicated to the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Contact Tracing Team, as required.
When and where does the testing occur?
Testing will take place twice a week in the Ford Center media parking lot, and you will be able to drive through or walk up to the testing area.
How long will the Sentinel Testing Program last?
Testing for the first group of students, faculty and staff took place the week of Sept.7. Invitations will continue through October 2020.
What if I have questions about the process or about my results?
You can email support at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with the company’s representatives.
How often will overall data and results from the Sentinel Testing Program be shared?
The university has created a dashboard to share data about the Sentinel Testing Program. The dashboard is housed on the same page as the COVID-19 dashboard and can be found by scrolling down the page. The Sentinel Testing Program dashboard will be updated weekly each Friday.
Do I have other options for asymptomatic testing?
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) offers universal testing in every county for college and university students, faculty and staff including symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. You can be tested free of charge at any county health department testing locations listed on this page, or daily at the free testing site in Jackson. Testing is offered at these locations only on scheduled days (see complete list of locations and testing days here) and you will need to make an appointment before you visit by filling out an online questionnaire.