General information

 What is entry testing and why is JMU doing it?

Entry testing is universal screening, one-time testing (i.e. testing a campus population at one point in time, such as at the beginning of the semester).

Recent communication from the CDC indicates that a strategy of entry screening combined with regular serial testing might prevent or reduce transmission by increasing the timeliness of outbreak detection and response by rapidly identifying and isolating COVID-19 cases that would have otherwise gone undetected without testing. In a higher education setting, with frequent movement of faculty, staff and students between the university and the community, implementation of mitigation strategies (e.g., social distancing, masks, hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning and disinfection) should go along with any of the various testing strategies. 

 When and where is entry testing?

Entry testing will take place at the Convocation Center on campus (behind the University Recreation Center) on the following days:  

Friday, January 29 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, January 30 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday, January 31 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Students will receive specific driving directions in the days leading up to their chosen appointment. Students should report to the Convocation Center before moving into their residence hall. Directions to the Convocation Center. 

 Who participates in entry testing?

All students living on campus including Greek housing and Residence Life hall staff. The only exception is athletes since they already have a testing program in place. 

 Why is entry testing only for students who live on campus?

Due to the close contact of residence hall living – sharing a room, bathroom, other spaces – as well as having all meals through the dining halls, we are focusing our entry testing on students who live on campus. We continue to encourage all students to practice the safety precautions recommended by the CDC and to quarantine for 8 days before returning to campus. For students who live off campus and are concerned that a roommate may return with COVID-19, we have provided some prevention tips in the Stop the Spread FAQs.
Go to to log in to your online student ticket account.

If you have not yet registered your online student ticket account, click “Register” and then enter your nine-digit student ID number to activate your account. If you have previously registered your account, enter your log-in credentials to sign in.

Once logged in, click the COVID-19 Entry Testing Program option to view available dates.

Select the date and then select from the drop-down menu which time window you wish to arrive. Please note when you are selecting a time that you will be assigned a specific entrance to use.

Add to cart and then follow steps to complete your reservation.

If you need assistance scheduling your appointment or if you need to reschedule your appointment, you should call (540) 568-3853 or email

 Will I have to pay for the entry testing?

No, the university will cover all costs associated with this testing. 


 Who should I contact if I am having trouble signing up?

If a student needs to reschedule their testing time on the day-of their appointment or is having trouble with the ticketing system, they should call (540) 568-3853 or email

 What if I cannot make or if I miss my appointment time?

Students have the option to change their appointment via the ticketing link up to 10 a.m. the morning of their appointment. 

If a student is running late, they will need to call (540) 568-3853 or email athletic-ticket to reschedule their testing time on the day of their appointment, they should call (540) 568-3853 or email

 Who do I contact if I need to reschedule my appointment?

If students need to reschedule their appointment, they should call (540) 568-3853 or email between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. M-F.

 What if I do not schedule a testing appointment?

Students who do not schedule an appointment by 8 a.m. on Jan. 28 will have their JACard deactivated. Student will not be able to access their residence hall, meal plan, or UREC. Once students complete entry testing in the Convocation Center, they can show their results before they exit. Staff will be able to reactive JACard Access before they leave.

 What if I do not attend entry testing?

Entry testing is part of the student Stop the Spread Agreement. This agreement is signed by all students upon their arrival to campus. It is important for all students living on campus to be tested to help us identify any positive cases and help protect students, faculty and staff from COVID-19 infections and slow the spread of the virus. Therefore, any student who does not sign up for and complete entry testing will have their JACard deactivated so they will not be able to access their residence hall, meal plans or UREC until they complete the test.

Testing specifics

 What type of test is it?

We will perform entry testing with an Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card. The test is performed on self-collected nasal swab. You can view how to collect the specimen at this link then view module #3. 

The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card is a type of test called an antigen test. Antigen tests are designed to detect proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens, for example nasal swabs. It is a reliable, highly portable tool for detecting active coronavirus infections. 

Potential risks include possible discomfort or other complications that can happen during sample collection, which could include possible nosebleed.

 Can I opt out of testing?

No, it is important for all students living on campus to be tested to help us identify any positive cases and help protect students, faculty and staff from COVID-19 infections and slow the spread of the virus. 

 Do I have to quarantine after I take my entry test?

You do not need to quarantine after your entry test if you have no symptoms and have not had direct contact with someone who tested positive. If you have symptoms, you should follow general quarantine instructions. 

 What if I’ve received the vaccine?

Even students who have had one or two doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine will need to participate in COVID-19 Entry Testing. If they test positive during entry testing, they will consult with a medical professional on site. It will be helpful to bring the vaccine card for reference.

 How long will it take?

The whole testing process will take approximately one hour.

 Can my family come in with me?

In order for us to maintain proper distancing, only students will be permitted to enter the testing area. There will be an entrance designated for family members to use the restrooms if needed.

 How do I get my results?

You will receive your results within the hour at the Convocation Center. You will wait for your results inside the Convocation Center. Results will be delivered to you via the Navica App. You will present your Navica App results confirmation to your hall staff to check into your hall.

 What happens if I receive a positive result during entry testing?

Any student who receives a positive test through entry testing will be evaluated by a medical staff on site to determine if the test is likely to be a true positive or if there is sufficient reason to believe it could be a false positive. The staff member will consult with the student and may conduct additional testing to determine the best course of action.

Students with symptoms and a positive test will be presumed to have COVID-19 and will need to isolate for 10 days from onset of the symptoms. Students who have no symptoms and test positive will have a rapid PCR test performed to determine if the initial test is valid. Final decisions in this latter case will be made based on the PCR results. At that time, if the student is diagnosed as positive, it will be recommended that the student return home. There will be staff members from the Office of Residence Life on site to assist in this step of the process.

Testing at home, prior to arrival

 If I test at home before arrival, what are the requirements?

You may test at home prior to returning to campus. You must provide written verification of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test performed within 24 hours of arrival on campus OR a negative PCR test obtained within 48 hours of arriving on campus you will be excused from this testing.

 Do I need an appointment at the Convocation Center?

You will still need to sign up for a testing slot and report to the Convocation Center with verification upon your arrival to campus. A staff member will review your verification at the test site and provide you with documentation if accepted. It is possible that you will need to test at the Convocation Center if your test results do not meet specified guidelines.

 What do I need to bring to Convocation Center?

You should bring written verification of a completed test results. This test can be a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test performed within 24 hours of arrival on campus OR a negative PCR test obtained within 48 hours of arriving on campus you will be excused from this testing.

Your written verification of completed test results should include: date and time of test, name, type of test, and the result.

 Is the time requirements for performed test or completed test?

Both. You should have performed the test AND received results within the allotted time frames.

Moving In

 Can I move my stuff in before I go get tested?

No, you must report for testing and receive your result before you go to your Residence Hall.

 When do I move into my residence hall?

Entry testing is January 29 - 31. You can move in once your testing is complete so you may select the date and time that works best for you. You will receive your results from COVID-19 Entry Testing at the Convocation Center. It will take about 15-20 minutes from when you complete your test. If your test result is negative, you may proceed to your residence hall.

 I am a new student. Do I have a specific move-in time?

New students do not have a specific move-in date. They will sign up for entry testing at a time that fits their schedule. Upon completion, they will move-in to their residence hall. 

 How do I get my key and JACard?

You will receive information from Residence Life for room key pick up.

If you are arriving on Monday – Friday, you can pick up your JACard at the Card Services between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you are arriving Saturday or Sunday, you can use Mobile ID for meal plans. If you need a temporary JACard to enter your residence hall, contact Residence Life.

Specific Populations

 What if I recently tested positive for COVID-19?

All students living on campus are required to complete entry testing, even if they have previously tested positive. Prior COVID-19 infection does not prevent you from becoming infected again and possibly spreading the virus. For this reason, we are testing everyone who lives on campus. This test will not give a false positive result due to a prior COVID-19 infection.

We are using the BinaxNOW cards which is an antigen detecting test. Students should not test positive on this test if they have been previous in the past since it is a different type of test than the PCR. However, if you do test positive, we have a medical staff member on site who will meet with you to review your results. It is helpful if you bring documentation of your previous positive result. Our medical professional will walk through this with you and evaluate all the information provided before making a diagnosis.

 What about Resident Advisors (RAs)?

RAs will complete entry testing. RAs will follow the guidance of their Area Director and Hall Director. RAs will be tested on Jan. 28 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. and will follow the same process to sign up for a time slot. RAs should talk to their Hall Director and Area Director if there are any issues.

 Do athletes have to participate?

Athletes have specific testing requirements. They will not be expected to test with entry testing. If you need more information, please contact your coach.

 I am a new student, how does entry testing impact orientation?

We encourage student to schedule an appointment on Friday or early Saturday. There are events all weekend that the student can participate in. For more information about spring move-in, visit

 What if I am arriving to campus early?

If you have been approved by the Office of Residence Life to arrive and move in before January 15, you will receive specific information on an early arrival entry testing day.

 What if I am arriving to campus at a later date?

Please email for further guidance.

Preparing for your return to campus

 What steps should I take to be fully prepared for entry testing?

  1. Self-quarantine for 8 days prior to return to minimize the risk of getting COVID-19. 
  2. Download and sign in to the NAVICA APP, available for free in your APP store. 
  3. Watch the video on how to collect a self-obtained nasal swab specimen (Module 3 at this link). 
  4. To minimize risk of having to return home to isolate if you test positive, consider being tested shortly before leaving home. 
  5. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, be tested and have your results before leaving home. 
  6. Anyone who is in isolation or quarantine at home must complete this before returning to campus. 

 How do I download the app?

The Abbott Navica app is available from both the App Store® and Google Play™ store. Step by step instructions can be found here.

 Where can I find the instructional videos?

To best prepare for the entry testing experience, view Module 6 on this video.

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