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COVID-19 Testing at WCU Health Services

Free Surveillance Testing

Help slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus by participating in surveillance testing. Open to all current WCU students, faculty and staff.

Scientific research suggests that COVID-19 can be spread by individuals with no known contact to positive COVID-19 and are not experiencing any symptoms. Surveillance testing helps identify those cases.

Hours: Monday - Friday afternoons from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Location:  Madison Residential Hall. Schedule online though the Health Services Patient Portal.

If you need testing because you are feeling sick or concerned about a recent exposure call Health Services at 828-227-7640 to discuss your situation with the COVID-19 Triage Nurse.

You should be tested if:

You have symptoms that could be attributed to COVID-19, including any of the following:

  • Fever or Chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

OR

You have had close contact with someone positive for COVID-19, defined as:

  • You were within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes
  • You Provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • That person sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Rapid Antigen VS PCR testing:

Two types of testing is used to diagnosis current COVID-19 infections. WCU Health Services offers both types of testing.  Rapid antigen testing allows for quick identification of positive cases, helping start the contact trace process quickly. Negative rapid tests are confirmed by a PCR test for anyone experiencing symptoms.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), each test looks for something different to determine if someone is infected: a PCR test looks for the virus’s genetic material, while an antigen test looks for specific proteins on the surface of the virus. PCR tests are processed in a laboratory, which can take a few days; antigen tests are often processed at the point of care, such as in a health care provider’s office, in about 15 minutes.

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