The University of Pittsburgh has partnered with Quest to offer unobserved self-collected PCR tests to all students traveling to Pitt campuses for the spring 2021 term. Pitt will cover the cost of one SARS-CoV-2 PCR test per student, if ordered between Jan. 13 – Jan. 27, 2021.

Pittsburgh campus students residing in University Housing are required to submit a negative test result before moving into housing on their assigned move-in date. Read more about testing for Pittsburgh campus residential students.

Create MyQuest Account

Here’s What to Expect

After students click the link above to create a MyQuest account, they will be able toorder a test kit at no cost to them to be delivered to their preferred home address.

FedEx will deliver test kits to students within 2-4 days.

Students should plan to use their test kit to self-collect a sample on the first day of the seven-day shelter in place prior to travel, and then complete the remainder of their shelter-in-place requirements..

Watch this demo video for self-collection

After using the test kit, students will send their sample to a Quest laboratory via FedEx. Drop off your specimen at a FedEx collection site before 3 p.m. and do not drop off on a Saturday or Sunday.

Once Quest receives a sample, the current turnaround time for results is 2-4 days. Increased testing volume may extend this wait. 

Students will be notified when their results are available through their MyQuest account. Pitt’s Student Health Service will also receive the results and will share with regional campus student health offices as necessary.

If a student tests negative for COVID-19, it is not sufficient evidence to end a shelter-in-place period early.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they should immediately isolate from anyone in their household and seek medical care as appropriate. Pitt’s Student Health Service and the local county health department may contact each of these students to learn more about close contacts and inform them of potential exposure.  

Rationale

All students—regardless of their test results from Quest—must complete their full shelter in place.

While a positive COVID-19 test indicates that that a person is definitely infected, a negative test does not mean a person is not infected.

Testing is a useful tool for identifying asymptomatic positive cases. On the other hand, it also creates a dangerous false sense of security. A negative result indicates that, at the moment a student collected their sample, SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in their system. It is still possible that this individual was—and still is—carrying the virus at lower levels and could be at risk of spreading it to others. This window of false negative testing usually occurs for 4-5 days after a person becomes infected.

In reality, test results are a snapshot of one brief moment in time. Sheltering in place is the safest way to prevent spreading the virus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I get my results? How does Pitt get my results?

A: The student and Student Health Service on the Pittsburgh campus will receive all test results from Quest. Student Health Service will share with regional campus health services as needed.

Q: What if my results are positive?

A: Student Health Service will reach out to you if the COVID-19 test result is positive. You must isolate at home for at least ten days. Student Health Service will clear you to travel based on your symptoms.

Q: If my test result is negative, do I still need to shelter in place?

A: Yes, a negative result indicates that, at the moment a student collected their sample, SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in their system. It is still possible that this individual was—and still is—carrying the virus at lower levels and could be at risk of spreading it to others.

Q: When should I take the Quest test?

A: On the first day of your seven-day shelter in place at home, unless that is a Saturday or Sunday. In that case, take the test on Friday and send it to Quest before 3 p.m.

Q: I ordered a test at the end of the fall term and never used it. Can I use that test?

A: No, all data has been purged from Quest for the fall term. You must order a new test kit.

Q: How long do I have to use the Quest test kit?

A: You must use the Quest test kit by Friday, Jan. 29.

Q: Do I have to use a Quest test or can I provide a test result from a different company?

A: We are requesting that all students use a Quest test due to the automatic submission of results.

Q: Am I required to use my Quest kit if I am not traveling?

A: Do not order a Quest test kit unless you intend to use it. Unused test kits put additional burden on an already-stressed COVID-19 testing system.

Q: Why is the COVID-19 test required for the Pittsburgh campus students in University housing, but not for the regional campus students in University housing?

A: Due to the size and space at the Pittsburgh campus, there are many more students living on campus. The regional campus on-campus housing population is much less dense than the Pittsburgh campus.