To Students: Surveillance Testing Update

Author: John Slott


Dear Notre Dame undergraduate, graduate, and professional students,

Thank you for your shared commitment to our health and safety practices. Your vigilance is essential to helping us flatten the curve so we can resume in person instruction. We write to you today to provide an update on the University’s surveillance testing.

Surveillance testing involves testing a random selection of people from across campus to identify asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals and help avert potential outbreaks before they occur.

The University’s surveillance testing plan was developed in consultation with the St. Joseph County Department of Health. The pre-matriculation testing you completed prior to your return is a form of surveillance testing. As a way to expand our testing protocols, we will now use a statistical sampling approach to better understand how COVID-19 is affecting our community.

Starting tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 21, the University will launch surveillance testing, beginning with students. Once launched, faculty and staff will participate as well.

If you are selected for the random sample, you will receive a text message the day before your appointment providing you with the date and time you should report to the University Testing Center at Gate D of Notre Dame Stadium. Students must check-in using the link in the message to either confirm their testing time slot or indicate a conflict with a class schedule.

At your appointment, a separate line marked “Surveillance” will be available at the Stadium so your appointment process is as streamlined as possible. Your test will be conducted by obtaining throat or nose swabs and performing PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test procedures. The turnaround time on PCR tests is usually around two days. Our partner, LabCorp, will process all tests and has assured us it has the capacity to meet our demand.

You will receive an automatic email indicating that your test results are available through your University Health Services patient portalIf your results are positive, you must contact the COVID-19 Response Unit (CRU) at 574-634-1148 between 8 a.m. and midnight. A CRU staff member will also review the list of positive results each morning to ensure all positive students are contacted, enter isolation, and begin the contact tracing process.

As you know, our success as a community depends on our collective efforts. Participating in surveillance testing when you are selected is another way we can be responsible members of the Notre Dame community. Please help us keep our community as healthy as possible.

In Notre Dame,

Christine Caron Gebhardt
Assistant Vice President for Student Services

Tracy Skibins
Senior Director of Emergency Management

Originally published by John Slott at on August 20, 2020.