Student Surveillance Testing

What kind of test is it?
A PCR (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction) test looks for the presence of SARS-CoV-2.  PCR tests provide fast and highly accurate results.

What can I expect when I am tested?
You will be asked to confirm personal information. To run a PCR test, a specimen will be collected from the nose via nasal mid-turbinate collection, which is a little bit less invasive than nasopharyngeal (back of nose).

Who administers the test?
The test will be administered by OptiMed Health Partners.

What information about me will be shared with OptiMed by the College?
In order to streamline the testing process, the following information will be shared with OptiMed: name, mailing address, phone, K email address, date of birth, sex, race/ethnicity. OptiMed will store the information in compliance with privacy regulations and practices.

Should I need to bring anything with me to the test?
You should bring a picture ID.

How long will the test take?
The test will take approximately 5 minutes.

Will all students be included in the selection pool?
All students are automatically included in the testing pool. Students will need to opt out if they will NOT be coming to campus at any time for any amount of time during winter 2021. Note that completion of the opt-out form only applies to winter term. If students need to opt back in they should contact the Student Development Office (

How will students be selected?
Together in partnership with Information Services, a process has been established to randomly select from the pool of active students. A student will be returned to the surveillance testing pool after all students have been selected. A minimum of 40 people (students, faculty and staff) will be tested each week. Increased positivity rates may increase the number of faculty staff, and students tested.

How will students be notified that they have been selected?
The primary means of notification will be through the email address. 

When will students be notified that they have been selected?
Selections will be made on Friday for the upcoming week. The notification will include a link to schedule your test.

How long will students have to complete their test?
You will have until Wednesday of your selected week to complete your test.

What happens if I am not available on the day that I am selected?
Please be in contact with the Student Health Center about your situation. They will work with you to ensure that you are tested on the next available day.

Who pays for the test?
Kalamazoo College will pay for initial and surveillance testing.

Where will the testing take place?
The testing will occur in the banquet room located on the lower level of the Hicks 

Who will have access to the results?
Results of the test will be accessible by OptiMed Health Partners and the Student Health Center. Testing numbers with no identifying information will be included on the testing dashboard.

How will I learn of the results?
The results will be communicated by the Student Health Center.

What happens if I do not or cannot participate in the testing?
You are asked to refrain from coming to campus until an initial COVID test is complete. There are no known medical reasons why someone would not be able to tolerate a COVID test.

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