Frequently Asked Questions

What do you need to do?

1. Scan the QR code on the tube you have taken. The QR code will open a website for you to enter your own netid; hit SUBMIT when complete.

If your phone does not have a QR reader, or it does not recognize the QR code, please use the website printed on the tube, enter the barcode number on the lid, enter your own netid; hit SUBMIT when complete.

· This step can be done at any time.

Please perform steps 2-5 in your own room, away from other people. If possible, the sample should be taken just after you wake up, before you brush your teeth. If you forget before you eat or brush your teeth, wait 30 minutes after eating or drinking or brushing your teeth. We would rather have a less than ideal sample than no sample at all.

2. Break the sticker seal on the tube and pop open the lid.

3. Gargle all of the solution for 10 seconds – tilt your head back and say “ahhhhhh” without swallowing.

4. Spit all of the liquid back in the tube.

5. Close the tube by pressing the lid down until you hear the cap “click”.

6. Take the closed tube to the main entrance of your building and place in the BLUE BUCKET (white lid) labelled “Gargle Collection Tubes”.

If you are symptomatic or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for SARS-COV2, do not participate in this screening. Call SHaW for clinical support.

What if I feel ill or I experience COVID-19 symptoms?

If you feel ill or are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, for residential and non-residential, graduate and undergraduate students on the Storrs campus, call Student Health and Wellness at 860-486-4700 to obtain a screening and instructions on next steps.

What are symptoms of COVID-19?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and can include:

· Fever
· Cough
· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
· Chills
· Repeated shaking with chills
· Muscle pain
· Headache
· Sore throat
· New loss of taste or smell

Use the CDC Self-Checker for an up-to-date list of symptoms and to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.

What is in the tube?

Sterile water. The water does not contain any other additives, compounds, or chemicals. The water was put into the tube in a sterile, food preparation environment and the tube sealed for your protection.

Is there any risk in gargling the liquid?

The only potential risk is that your gargle might produce an aspirate spray or you might cough or hiccup. To avoid exposing others to your gargle and saliva, please gargle in private and away from other individuals.

What is the Surveillance Screening Program SARS-COV2?

Pooled surveillance screening is a method for the university to stay safe and open; by screening pools of samples from members of the UConn community, we gain a better understanding of who may develop COVID-19 to control the spread of SARS-COV2, the virus that leads to COVID-19. The university’s pooled screening approach is to gather samples from small groups of UConn students and to check the ‘pools’ to determine if the SARS-COV2 virus is prevalent on our campus. The screening approach is mostly random, but sometimes we will more often screen a particular set of students, a floor, or a shared living area to identify and support asymptomatic individuals before symptoms develop.

How does this screening work?

The screening is performed on a collection of samples, called a “pool”. By pooling multiple samples into one screening “lab measurement”, a higher number of samples can be screened at one time. The pooled screening approach is a self-sampling, broad surveillance approach for campus. The lab will screen for the presence or absence of the virus using the same method that was used on the nasal swab you provided when you returned to campus but instead of looking for the virus in one sample at a time, we mix samples from multiple people. Mixing samples, otherwise known as pooling, is not a new method. Pooled sampling is used by public health and other laboratories for screening large groups of people.

I tested positive for SARS-COV2 within the last 3 months, should I submit a sample?

No, please do not submit a sample at this time.

I am no longer living in the building but received email instructions. Do I need to return to campus to submit a sample?

No, please do not submit a sample at this time.

Will I be contacted with results?

The laboratory results from these pooled samples are only for monitoring the prevalence of SARS-COV2 on campus and are not part of your medical record; we will not report laboratory results from the pooled sample measurement back to you or your RA directly. Bar coded laboratory results from pooled samples are reported only to Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) Services as positive or negative for the virus. If the laboratory result for a pooled sample is positive, clinical staff from Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) Services will contact you for a follow-up clinical test.

The pooled screening for the presence of SARS-COV2 is completely confidential and voluntary. As soon as your bar-coded sample gets to the lab, it will be combined with other samples; we will never process a sample for a single person nor have any identifying information for the person who gargled into the tube. Bar-coded information is not decodable by the laboratory nor your RA. Each individual and pooled sample is destroyed immediately
after screening for SARS-COV2. No other tests nor screenings will be performed on individual or pooled samples.

I am concerned about symptoms and COVID-19 on campus. Where do I go for more information?

Please visit:

For more information, ask the Student Health and Wellness Advice Nurse. During our regular business hours, call 860-486-4700 and select option 1, then option 2.