Testing

Students, faculty, and staff who have returned to live, study, and work at Miami University's campuses play important roles in tracking absences and COVID-19 illnesses.

Miami will conduct COVID-19 testing in compliance with recommendations and guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID-19 viral testing for faculty, staff, and students will be administered for those with symptoms or signs consistent with COVID-19. The University will also provide testing for asymptomatic faculty, staff, and students with recent known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 to control transmission. Testing is available at the Student Health Service and Employee Health Center. Call 513-529-3000 to make an appointment for testing.

Miami will take appropriate measures to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the protected health information of students, faculty, and staff.

Positive Test Result

Students, faculty, and staff by reporting your absence, you are contributing to our efforts to reduce the transmission of this virus.

Illness & Absence Reporting

At-Home Testing: Test Before You Go

Faculty, staff, students, and community members can get free Abbott BinaxNOW Antigen COVID-19 Home Tests from May 6 through May 17 at the following locations during their regular operating hours. 

  • Armstrong Student Center - Information desk
  • King Library - Circulation desk
  • Recreational Sports Center - Reception/ProShop desk
  • Residence Halls - Check with your Residence Hall Director
  • Regional Campuses Dean's Offices (Hamilton: 202 Mosler, Middletown: 135 Johnston)

Students living on campus can also pick up a test from their Residence Hall Director.

 There is a limit of 3 tests per person. No ID or appointment is required. 

At-Home Testing FAQs

Once I have the test, how do I get started? 

Do not open the box until you are instructed to do so. Scan the QR code and follow the instructions provided in the Navica app when you are ready to begin the testing process. 

What kind of test is it?

The tests are Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Home Tests, which are different from the PCR or saliva tests we’ve been using on campus this year. These are antigen tests provided at no cost to Miami from the Ohio Department of Health. 

When can I take the test? Will the test proctor be available any time? 

The test will expire on September 1, 2021, but before then you can take the test at any time, 24/7. You will need to meet a test proctor through your device, but no appointment is required. 

During busy times, you may experience a longer wait time. If that is the case, you can try again later or you can wait. Refreshing the page will reset your place in line. 

If I test positive, can I stay on campus? 

Use the COVID-19 self-report form to let us know you have tested positive. That will start the quarantine and isolation process. 

What if I have COVID-19 symptoms? 

If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, you should not take the at-home test. You should make an appointment with Student Health Services. Student Health Services is open throughout finals week. Call 513-529-3000 to make an appointment if you are symptomatic.

Is this truly free? Or are you going to bill my insurance?

These are antigen tests provided at no cost to Miami from the Ohio Department of Health. Your insurance will not be billed.

Who gets my results? 

Positive results will be reported to the Ohio Department of Health. You only need to report your positive result to Miami through the COVID-19 self-report form if you are still physically located in Oxford. 

Do you have to be an enrolled Miami student to use the test?

No. The tests are available for anyone in our local campus community to pick up and use as needed.

I have a question that isn’t answered here. 


Miami University COVID-19 Testing Plan

Individual Testing

Diagnostic Testing for Persons With Symptoms of COVID-19

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 General Health District, immediately isolate in:

  • their off-campus residence
  • an on-campus isolation space
  • a hospital if medically warranted

Employees who test positive will be asked to leave campus (if applicable), and directed to report their absence using the absence reporting form

After hours/weekend testing may be obtained at TriHealth Priority Care or McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital.

Student Close Contacts

If you are a student and have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be asked by either Miami University or the Butler County General Health District to quarantine for 10 days. Quarantined students may receive a COVID-19 test 5-7 days after exposure if they display symptoms of COVID-19 during their quarantine period. 

Student Wide-Net Testing

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, TriHealth staff will conduct wide-net testing of the student's congregate living cohort (e.g. all students who live in the same corridor/off-campus house, or fraternity house). Additional criteria for wide-net testing may include participation in student organizations, certain classes that involve group activities, or other congregate activities that may not meet the county’s threshold for high-risk contact.

  • Students will receive a notification from covidtesting@MiamiOH.edu informing them that they have been selected with instructions to make an appointment to be tested at the University’s COVID-19 testing facility (Harris Hall) within two days.
  • Students who then test positive will be sent to isolation and contact-tracing protocols will be initiated.
  • Students who fail to be tested as required will be tracked and contacted. Continued non-compliance may lead to suspension of class/organizational attendance or other disciplinary action.

Surveillance Testing

The University plans to regularly test strategic samples from three strata: on-campus students, fraternity houses, and off-campus student residences. Testing will be conducted by TriHealth. Students will be randomly sampled with non-equal probabilities based on the location of existing clusters and proportional to the size of their congregate living unit’s occupancy. For fraternity students, the unit is the fraternity house. For on-campus students, the unit is a residential hall zone determined by corridor and shared bathroom. For off-campus non-fraternity students, the unit will be their residence.

Students will receive a notification from the covidtesting@MiamiOH.edu informing them that they have been selected with instructions to make an appointment to be tested at the University’s COVID-19 testing facility (Harris Hall).

  • Students who test positive will be sent to isolation. Contact-tracing protocols will be initiated.
  • Students who fail to be tested as required will be contacted and directed to report for testing.
  • Continued non-compliance may lead to suspension of class/organizational attendance or other disciplinary action.

Types of Tests Used

Miami and TriHealth use three types of COVID-19 tests to strategically maximize our use of resources. 

Saliva Tests

These are PCR tests that directly test for viral genome in saliva. For surveillance testing, samples may be pooled in the lab to maximize resources.

Students provide a saliva sample (i.e. spitting in a tube) that may be tested in the same “pool” as other students. There are several benefits of this method, including:

  • much faster turnaround time for results (24-36 hours instead of 2-5 days)
  • earlier detection
  • significant cost savings

However, this test does not provide a final positive diagnostic result. If COVID-19 is detected in the pool of samples, a student will be asked to return to Harris for confirmatory diagnostic testing (with a 15-30 minute turnaround time for results using the Abbott ID Now test).

Thus, you will not be notified of your result unless COVID-19 is detected in your saliva test. If you have not heard from us within 72 hours of your saliva test, you can assume there are no concerns with your sample. If you are contacted following a saliva test, it is important to respond immediately.

Abbott Labs ID Now

TriHealth conducts genomic amplification tests using Abbott Labs ID Now testing machines. These tests include a self-collected nasal swab.

Test results will be available in approximately 15-30 minutes.

PCR Nasal or Throat Swabs

TriHealth uses a PCR test with a nasal or throat swab for diagnostic testing for students with symptoms through Student Health Services.

There may also be times when a throat or nasal swab for a PCR test will be used to confirm wide-net or surveillance testing results. 


Testing FAQs

Wide-Net and Surveillance Testing

How many times will I be tested this spring?

The testing strategy is based on a number of different factors that include taking into consideration others who may have tested positive and share facilities with you, density of congregate living environments, and shared activities. Some students will be asked to test more frequently than others.

If I haven’t received an invitation to receive a test and would like to be tested, can I ask for a test?

No, not through Miami's testing program. Surveillance and wide-net testing are not elective; they require an invitation. Unless you are symptomatic or have a confirmed close contact with someone who has tested positive, elective testing is also not currently offered at Student Health Services. Students can seek other testing resources at Ohio Dept of Health Testing Centers.

Will testing of asymptomatic individuals be conducted in a separate location from testing of symptomatic individuals?

Yes. Although wide-net,surveillance, and diagnostic testing will all be conducted in Harris Hall, diagnostic testing will occur in an entirely separate portion of Harris Hall.

Are faculty and staff included in wide-net and surveillance testing strategies?

Our wide-net and surveillance testing strategies are intended for those in congregate living spaces, such as student housing. At this time, we recommend that faculty and staff seek diagnostic testing when they are symptomatic, have come into close contact with a person who has tested positive, or have been advised to do so by BCGHD or a health care practitioner. 

Should I bring my quarantine "go bag" when I go to get tested?

You do not need to bring your quarantine bag, nor are you required to quarantine until your results are returned. It is advised that you limit contact with others if you are experiencing symptoms, have been in close contact with someone who has a positive diagnosis, or have been advised by the Butler County General Health District (BCGHD) to do so. 

Where can I park for COVID-19 testing in Harris Hall? 

You may park along Harris Drive and in the South Chiller Plant parking lot (across Harris Drive) without a parking permit for COVID testing. Unregistered vehicles left for extended periods may be subject to citation. 

What should I bring with me to the testing location?

Please bring your government-issued ID and health insurance card with you to your scheduled test.

Why was I selected for testing?

If you were selected for surveillance testing, your name was selected randomly by a computer program as part of an overall strategy to sample the Miami student population. If you were selected for wide-net testing, it is because someone who lives in close proximity to you has recently tested positive.

How quickly will I need to complete the test after I receive the email that I have been selected for wide-net or surveillance testing?

Students who receive the notification to participate in wide-net or surveillance testing will have 48 hours to complete the testing, though it is preferable to respond as quickly as possible.

Completing the testing during the designated time frame is essential to the strategy to identify potential asymptomatic carriers and outbreaks early. Following through with your designated time increases our ability to reduce the spread of the virus more effectively.

Costs

Will there be any out-of-pocket expenses for COVID-19 testing?

Diagnostic Testing: TriHealth will bill your insurance for the cost of the test.

Wide-Net or Surveillance Testing: There is no cost to you or your insurance for wide-net or surveillance tests.

 

Special Circumstances and Exemptions

What can I do if I can’t complete the test during my designated time?

Students may not be able to attend every testing invitation. There are no consequences until students miss two tests. You do not need to contact us to let us know you are going to miss a test. Continue to check your email daily for future testing notifications.

I already had COVID-19. Am I exempt from testing?

If you tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, you do not need to be tested again. We can accept PCR and Antigen tests for exemption, per direction from the Butler County General Health District.

You should report your positive test results through MedProctor by submitting your medical documentation. TriHealth will determine if your previous test results will exempt you from our testing program. If it has been more than 90 days since your positive test, you should be tested upon invitation from Miami University or at the recommendation of a medical provider. When 90 days have passed, you can anticipate being invited to participate in ongoing testing.

Positive antibody tests and recent negative results will not be considered reasons for exemption.

I've gotten the COVID-19 vaccination. Am I exempt from testing?

If you are vaccinated, you can be exempt from testing starting two weeks after your final dose. The exemption will last 90 days. You should provide your immunization record through MedProctor to request the exemption.

I am already in isolation or quarantine and got the invitation to participate in Miami's testing program. Do I still need to get a test?

No. Please do not leave your isolation or quarantine location until you are cleared to do so. Please email covidtesting@MiamiOH.edu so we know why you are not scheduling a test. 

Compliance 

What will happen if I refuse to participate in the testing program?

  • If you repeatedly (more than once) fail to schedule or take a test when invited, you will not be permitted to attend face-to-face classes, access in-person campus services, or enter your residence hall until you complete a COVID-19 test.
  • If you refuse to be tested, you will be required to withdraw from your face-to-face classes this term and complete remaining classes remotely.
  • Residential students will also be required to move out of their residence hall room for the remainder of the semester.

Will my test results be used in any disciplinary actions?

No. We will not use COVID-19 test results, nor data from the COVID-19 reporting form, to pursue conduct violations. If you test positive, you will need to enter isolation. It is important to know that this is a public health strategy and not a disciplinary action. 

Can the answers I give during contact tracing be used as evidence in any disciplinary actions I am or will be involved with?

Miami will not use information learned during contract tracing to pursue conduct violations. You should immediately respond to any and all requests by Butler County General Health District and provide them with honest answers. Your responses will be used to identify other people who might be at risk. Your honesty and openness are of utmost importance because it could allow others to get the medical attention they might need as early as possible, which could make a big difference in their health outcomes.

Symptomatic Testing

I am sick and have 2 or more COVID-19 symptoms. What should I do?

Please call Student Health Services (SHS) at 513-529-3000 to make an appointment. You will be assessed by a TriHealth medical care provider and tested if medically warranted. In some cases, students will be tested for and diagnosed with a different illness (e.g. strep throat, flu, etc.).

What happens if I am ill and need a test and Student Health Services is closed?

Consider visiting one of the following locations: