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Rutgers University COVID-19 Testing Strategy

Rutgers will continue SARS-CoV-2 PCR saliva testing based on the risk of transmission of COVID-19 within the university community.  Rutgers is requiring weekly testing of individuals for which no record of vaccination against COVID-19 has been submitted to the university, in addition to those with other risk factors that have been identified through evaluation.  Employees may be eligible to receive a testing waiver if they are on a university-approved leave of absence (including sabbatical leave), teaching in a fully remote program, or have been approved for a medical accommodation allowing temporary work from home. If any of the above circumstances apply, a testing waiver my be requested by accessing

SARS-CoV-2 testing will be recommended for strategic reasons based on risk assessments of individuals or groups to help mitigate the risk of transmission. The university Testing Protocol Action Group (TPAG) will determine which groups of students or employees should be recommended and/or required to complete testing through the Rutgers COVID-19 testing program. Testing will help detect asymptomatic occurrences of infection and prevent further transmission by enabling contact tracing and providing guidance about self-isolation and health precautions. The risk-assessment focus of our testing strategy means that testing will not be required or recommended for all employees or students.

Weekly Testing Requirement:

The university is only offering testing to individuals who are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, loss of sense of smell or taste, or stomach upset). Those who are experiencing symptoms should self-isolate and contact their health care provider. Students who utilize Student Health Services as their primary health care provider should contact the Student Health Services office designated for their campus.

This strategic approach is informed by the guidance put forth by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and will use a combination of testing methods to test students and employees at higher risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Testing in the health care workforce will be coordinated with Rutgers health care system partners to provide as much consistency as possible.

The university is utilizing Saliva PCR tests for this program and is offering the testing via clinics and/or departmental distribution, based upon the needs of the group to be tested and the availability of resources. Testing is available on each of the five Rutgers campuses: RBHS–Newark, Rutgers–Newark, RBHS–New Brunswick/Piscataway, Rutgers–New Brunswick, and Rutgers–Camden.

University SARS-CoV-2 testing protocols will be reviewed and updated regularly, under the authority of the university TPAG, which is chaired by the Chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences/Rutgers University Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. The strategy may change as public health guidance changes and as new scientific data is reported on the efficacy of various testing methods and other factors.

Testing strategy decisions will be based on risk assessments and other factors below, as well as case identification/outbreaks.

TPAG is informed by:

  • CDC and NJDOH Guidance
  • Health system partner requirements
  • Testing capacity/logistics

Risk assessments will be based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:

  • Regular presence on campus (at least once per week on average)
  • Vaccination rates
  • Ability to maintain physical distancing while completing activities on campus
  • Working and/or learning in a patient-care environment
  • Exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case
  • Congregate living environment (e.g. residence halls)
  • Working and/or learning in an environment where they may expose individuals who are at risk for severe illness
  • Other factors that may increase or decrease risk based on the evolving science and public health data

Additional testing may be recommended based on surveillance data, case identification, and contact tracing follow-up and strategy as the situation evolves on campus.

New scientific evidence or public health guidance may trigger a change in these recommendations.

Rutgers employees who feel a group should be tested should work with their supervisor to review instructions and complete the Testing Request form.


COVID-19 Testing Locations and Instructions
(In-Person Testing, Test Kit Vending Machines, and Drop Boxes)

View locations on google maps.

Testing is available on all campuses to any member of the Rutgers community authorized to receive COVID-19 testing. APPOINTMENTS ARE REQUIRED FOR IN-PERSON TESTING. Make an appointment through the Return to Rutgers page: Detailed instructions on how to schedule and perform testing are available on our COVID-19 Testing Instructions webpage.

Testing is available by appointment at the following locations. (Please review appropriate campus status information before traveling – especially during inclement weather – for updated hours of operation):

Testing Questions for Students

About the University’s Testing Strategy

Testing Details and Notification Information

Test Result Interpretation and Response