How to Get Tested for COVID-19, On or Off Campus

As classes have moved online and some students have moved back home, those living on or near campus can still get tested for COVID-19, but might have trouble finding available appointments. We spoke to senior director of Student Health Services, Mark Denys, about students concerned over not being able to schedule a test.

“For example, eight o’clock in the morning, we’ll open the schedule for tomorrow. And then, based on when that schedule fills up, we’ll open up the next day. So it depends, it usually opens a day ahead of time. But it really depends on how quickly it fills up,” Denys says.

Scheduling through the university is divided into two categories, asymptomatic and symptomatic. For asymptomatic testing, students can expect a saliva test with results returning in two to three days. For students with COVID-19 symptoms, they can expect a nasal swab test with results in twelve to thirty hours.

Denys wants students to know: “If people don’t see an appointment available online, specifically for the symptomatic people, they should call our office.”

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has also funded COVID-19 testing sites that are open to the public.

“I believe now we’re up over, we’re approaching sixty funded sites throughout the city and those are places where really anyone can come in,” said James Garrow, director of communications for the Department of Public Health.

These testing sites generally expect results back within one or two days. Locations supported by the city will bill your insurance, and some locations might require a copay. Testing through Student Health Services comes at no cost to students.

“It’s not anticipated that there will be any cost for those who have been exposed and have symptoms,” Denys told us. “We’re billing their insurance. If they don’t have insurance, there’s still no cost, that’s something Temple is covering.”

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