Surveillance Testing

UW–Madison is conducting surveillance testing among volunteer groups of students and employees. This will allow us to monitor for the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus, compare campus cases to cases in the broader Madison and Dane County community, and limit disease spread. It will allow us to quickly help identify potential cases for isolation and quarantine, including among individuals who may not exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

Working with a team led by Jonathan Temte, a physician, professor in the School of Medicine and Public Health, and SMPH associate dean for public health and community engagement, volunteer cohorts from across representative campus populations will provide regular samples for COVID-19 testing. The results will help inform campus and public health officials so they can make any necessary changes to operations.

Employee and graduate student volunteers

Sample self-collection

The volunteer employee and graduate student cohorts will self-collect their own samples and bring them to one of three campus locations at their selected, assigned times.

Directions for nasal swabbing are available via video or PDF.

Self-collection dropoff locations

To volunteer

The program is not accepting new volunteers at this time.

Off-campus student surveillance

Additionally, in an effort led by Collin Pitts, chief resident of preventive medicine at SMPH and a member of the University Health Services COVID-19 testing team, 500 undergraduate students who live off-campus will be selected at random each week and asked to make an appointment at a campus testing facility for a free COVID-19 test. Upon successful completion they will receive a $10 credit on their Wiscard. Students will receive more details if selected.


Email the UW–Madison Campus SARS-CoV-2 Incidence Surveillance Program team at or call 608-265-7277.