Testing

Updated January 2022

Miami will continue to provide COVID-19 testing in accordance with recommendations and guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Faculty, staff, and students can receive a COVID-19 test if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or if they have had recent exposure. Testing is available at the Student Health Service and Employee Health Center. Call 513-529-3000 to make an appointment for testing.

Positive Test Result

Please report your result to Miami University if you test positive for COVID-19.

Illness & Absence Reporting

At-Home Testing

We know that there is great demand for at-home tests. Tests are available at the Armstrong Student Center, King Library, and the Recreation Center during regular business hours. You will be required to show a Miami ID and there is a limit of two tests/person/request.

  • The expiration dates on our supply of BinaxNow tests were recently extended by an additional 90 days.
  • Off-campus students: Please pick up one of the at-home tests on campus and test yourself before you attend your first class next week. Do your part to keep your peers and your faculty healthy.
  • Although we aspire to provide free at-home tests throughout the spring semester, we anticipate some delays in replenishing our supply based on the limited supply and high demand. We will keep you updated on test availability in these weekly messages.

In addition to the free at-home tests provided on campus, staff, faculty, and off-campus students can also request 4 free at-home tests from covidtests.gov.

Voluntary Antigen Testing Protocol Recommendations

General Information

The at-home BinaxNow antigen tests are intended for screening asymptomatic individuals for COVID-19. The tests are not intended for individuals with symptoms. Individuals with symptoms should stay home and contact their healthcare provider for a more accurate test (e.g. RT-PCR). The CDC has more information about the different types of COVID-19 tests.

Screening may be conducted for students living off-campus who want to monitor their infection status, those participating in club sport or other student organization activities, regardless of vaccination status and prior COVID-19 diagnosis.

Some groups, like theatre productions, may want to use the tests to monitor the health of participants. If one person in a program is invited to test, all people in the program must receive the same invitation; selective testing is not appropriate. The university does not permit any group to require the use of the test as a condition of participation nor is any person required to reveal their test results or vaccination status. 

In the event of a positive test result:

  • The individual should not attend any event, activity, or meeting.
  • They should remain physically distanced from others and wear a face mask when leaving their residence
  • Report their positive result to Miami through the Student Self-Report form
In the event of a negative test result:
  • A negative test does not necessarily mean that you do not have COVID-19. All COVID-19 tests, and particularly antigen tests, come with a risk of false negative test results. Continue to test regularly and follow guidelines and precautions.

Case 1: Planning for a Single Event

Participants should take two tests prior to the event. The first should be taken approximately one week before the event, and the second approximately three days before the event. Taking two tests will improve the chance of correctly identifying individuals with COVID-19. Testing three days prior to the event will allow contact tracers time to identify individuals who may need to take precautions before the event. Participants may also choose to take a third test in the 24 hours prior to the event, to improve the chances of identifying a COVID-19 infection.

Case 2: Sustained Activity Screening

Participants planning on engaging in a long-term activity (e.g. marching band, theatre production, club sports team, student organization, etc.), should consider the following guidance for setting up an effective individual testing program. Participants should test every three to four days, starting at least one week before the first face-to-face meeting or event. Participants should also take an additional test within 24 hours of the event.

Why 2 tests per week?

A single use of the antigen test among asymptomatic individuals has a sensitivity of about 30-35%. This means that if 10 individuals who have COVID-19 take the test, only about 3-4 will test positive, and the others will be false negatives. Taking two tests 3-4 days apart may improve the test sensitivity to 50-60%. Some individuals who are infected will test negative, and will be contagious. Screening testing programs are designed to help limit the spread of COVID-19, not completely prevent transmission. The take-home point is that a negative test does not necessarily mean you are free of COVID-19. However, regular testing can help limit transmission.


Miami University COVID-19 Testing Plan

Individual Testing

Diagnostic Testing (for those experiencing symptoms)

TriHealth will conduct diagnostic testing for symptomatic students, faculty, and staff at the Student Health Center & Employee Health Center.

Students who test positive will, in accordance with instructions given by the Butler County Health District and Ohio Department of Health, immediately isolate.

Employees who test positive will be asked to leave campus (if applicable). They must report their absence using the absence reporting form

Student Close Contacts

If you are an unvaccinated student and are identified as close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will receive a call from a contact tracer working on behalf of the Butler County General Health District and asked to quarantine for 5 days. If you are in quarantine and begin to display symptoms, you should contact Student Health Services (513-529-3000). 

Surveillance and Wide-Net Testing

During the spring semester 2022, we are offering a surveillance testing program, where asymptomatic faculty, staff, and students will be randomly selected to participate in free testing (using saliva samples). Participation is free and voluntary. Employees and students will receive direct emails inviting them to participate.