A guide to testing

Use this information to determine your next steps for testing and what to do after getting your results. Flowcharts have been created to help guide you through the steps for each testing process described on this webpage.

Antigen Testing for UW–Madison Students and Employees

For those who want a rapid result, those who have symptoms and/or those who are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

Students in residence halls: Continue to follow instructions from University Housing about quarantine and isolation in addition to the guidance below.

If your antigen test is negative

  • If you are not having symptoms, no additional testing is needed. You most likely do not have COVID-19 at this time. Continue to monitor for symptoms and test as needed.
  • If you are having symptoms, continue to isolate. Take a PCR test if available. If no PCR test is available, repeat antigen test 24 hours later.
      • If the second test is positive, isolate for at least 5 days AND until you have been at least 24 hours without a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) and your other symptoms are resolving. Isolate longer if you are instructed to do so by a contact tracer or medical professional. Wear a mask around others for 10 days. (Note: If you are not fully vaccinated and your second test was an antigen test, follow-up with a PCR test is required to be exempt from weekly testing for 90 days.)
      • If the second test is negative, no additional testing is needed. You most likely do not have COVID-19 at this time. Limit contact with others while you are sick. Consult a health care provider if you have questions.

If your antigen test is positive

  • Isolate for at least 5 days AND until you have been at least 24 hours without a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) and your other symptoms are resolving. Isolate longer if you are instructed to do so by a contact tracer or medical professional. Wear a mask around others for 10 days. (Note: If you are not fully vaccinated, follow-up with a PCR test is required to be exempt from weekly testing for 90 days.)

PCR Testing

For those who are a close contact or are having symptoms.

Students in residence halls: Continue to follow instructions from University Housing about quarantine and isolation in addition to the guidance below.

If your PCR test is negative

  • If you are not having symptoms, no additional testing is needed. You most likely do not have COVID-19 at this time. Continue to monitor for symptoms and test as needed.
  • If you are having symptoms, no additional testing is needed. You most likely do not have COVID-19 at this time. Limit contact with others while you are sick. Consult a health care provider if you have questions.

If your PCR test is positive

  • Isolate for at least 5 days AND until you have been at least 24 hours without a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) and your other symptoms are resolving. Isolate longer if you are instructed to do so by a contact tracer or medical professional. Wear a mask around others for 10 days.

Reporting Results

In keeping with the state’s COVID-19 reporting practices, you are not required to submit results from self-administered antigen tests to the MyUHS app or website. Currently the state requirement for reporting is a positive PCR test or a positive antigen test administered by a trained individual at a testing site.

PCR tests performed on campus are automatically shared via the MyUHS app and website. If you receive a positive PCR test result off-campus, upload the result via the MyUHS app or website.