COVID-19 Testing

Importance of Testing

Testing is crucial to help treat, isolate or hospitalize people who are infected. Testing also impacts our ability to slow the spread in the community. We are testing everyone who has COVID-19 symptoms. Please call your primary care provider (PCP) if you have any symptoms.

If you do not have symptoms

For faculty, staff, and graduate and professional students

If you do not have symptoms and you have a Yale netID, you can self schedule using the online Screening Program for Faculty, Staff, and Graduate and Professional Students. If you do not have a netID, have no symptoms and wish to be tested, please call the Campus COVID Resource Line, 203-432-6604.

For Yale undergraduate students

Visit the Screening Program for Undergraduate Students.


Types of Testing

Viral Testing – Testing for Current Infection

A viral test tells you if you currently have a COVID-19 infection. It is collected using a nasal swab. The test used at Yale Health is a PCR test for viral RNA. 

Antibody Testing – Testing for Past Infection

An antibody test tells you if you likely have had a COVID-19 infection. It is a blood test. Clinical data about the accuracy of antibody testing for COVID-19 and whether a positive test confers immune protection from the illness is currently limited. Until more data is available, routine antibody testing is not recommended. 
We are not currently performing COVID-19 antibody tests.

When You Get a COVID-19 Test

Test results are typically known in 1-5 days.

Negative result

A negative result means you most likely do not have an active COVID-19 infection. People who have persistent symptoms and test negative may need to have the test repeated.

Positive result 

A positive result means you most likely currently have an active COVID-19 infection and can give the virus to others. It may also indicate that you were recently infected with COVID-19 and virus is still detectable. If you test positive follow these guidelines.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is a disease control measure, a key strategy for preventing further spread of COVID-19. Trained Public and Employee Health workers assist patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in recalling everyone with whom they have had close contact during the infectious phase of their illness. Exposed individuals, “contacts”, are notified quickly and in a sensitive manner. They are guided through self-isolation protocols, self-monitoring, and when and how to seek medical attention. Patient privacy is maintained throughout this process.
Yale School of Public Health staff will perform contact tracing for members of the Yale community who test positive for COVID-19. This public health tool will help prevent disease transmission and limit the spread.