I’m a student at UWM. Can I get tested on campus?

January 25, 2021

UW System has set new testing requirements for the Spring 2021 semester. All students living in residence halls must be tested weekly. Students who come to campus at least once per week, whether it’s for a class or an on-campus job, must be tested every other week.

These requirements apply to students at all three UWM campuses. There is no charge to students for testing at UWM. See below for information on testing at your campus.


Students who have COVID-19 symptoms or primary exposure should call Norris Health Center at 414-229-4716, and the center will schedule a free PCR test for them.

Students who do not have COVID-19 symptoms should get tested in the UWM Student Union Ballroom from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. They must complete a screening form before going to the testing site. At the bottom of the screening form, there is a link to make an appointment. Health officials recommended completing the screening form no more than 48 hours before being tested.

Rapid-results antigen tests will be provided in the ballroom. Once students are tested, they should remain in the waiting area, and within about 15 minutes they will be verbally told their results. Students who test positive will be sent to Norris Health Center for a confirmatory PCR test.

Both antigen and PCR tests are done with nasal swabs. Antigen tests, which are relatively fast and inexpensive, look for proteins from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. PCR tests, which are more accurate but may take longer to process, look for genetic material from that virus.

Waukesha and Washington County

Rapid-results testing for students is being done at the UWM at Waukesha Field House and UWM at Washington County gymnasium on a rotating schedule. All students must make an appointment at www.doineedacovid19test.com. Students who develop COVID-19 symptoms should not wait for an appointment and should instead get tested as soon as possible, whether that is on campus, at a community site or with their personal health care provider.

Once registered for a test on campus, students will go to the testing site, show their UWM ID, self-administer a rapid-results antigen test under the supervision of medical professionals and wait about 15 minutes to retrieve their results by logging into the same website on their smartphone.

Confirmatory PCR tests will be provided to anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms but tests negative, and anyone who doesn’t have symptoms but tests positive.

COVID-19 Reporting Requirement

All students who test positive or are diagnosed with COVID-19 based on symptoms must self-report their illness with the Dean of Students Office.

Resuming Testing After Testing Positive

Students who receive a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 do not have to be tested again for 90 days because research shows reinfection is uncommon during that time and a positive test is more likely to represent pieces of the virus still in their system than a new infection. Anyone who tests positive again after 90 days must isolate for another 10-day period.

Students who receive a positive antigen test result for COVID-19 but do not get a confirmatory PCR test must continue to be tested because antigen results are considered probable, not confirmed.

See also: Video tour of UWM testing center in UWM Student Union