Voluntary COVID-19 Testing
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In an effort to continue to protect the health and well-being of our campus community, the University is offering voluntary weekly COVID-19 testing (at no cost) for students, faculty and staff who have been approved to be on campus during the fall 2020 semester and/or the month of January.
What is the process when I arrive for testing?
- Plan to arrive at the northwest entrance to the Save Mart Center.
- A Fresno State Public Safety staff member will confirm that you have completed the Daily Health-Screening Tool, take your temperature and ensure you are included on the Fall 2020 repopulation list. (A device will be available at the site, if you do not have a cell phone or are not able to access the Daily Health-Screening Tool.)
- You are required to wear a facial covering to enter the Save Mart Center for testing.
- You will be checked-in by a Valley Children’s Healthcare registrar who will help you complete your registration and sign a consent form.
- After you are registered, you will see the first available nurse to complete your test.
- Please note that there may be some wait time.
How does COVID-19 testing work? What actually happens during a COVID-19 nasal swab test?
Valley Children’s Healthcare staff, who will conduct the test, will insert a long stick with a very soft brush on the end — kind of like a Q-Tip — up the nose and twirl it around for a few seconds. The soft bristles will collect a sample of secretions for analysis. The swab has to go fairly far back, because cells and fluids must be collected from along the entire passageway that connects the base of the nose to the back of the throat to obtain a good specimen.
The body is not used to having an object in that area, though, so it creates many odd sensations. For one thing, it activates the lachrymal reflex, which means it may bring tears to your eyes. It does not hurt, but it may be uncomfortable. The swab is then inserted into a container and sent to the Valley Children’s lab for testing.
When will my results be available?
Your test results should be available within 72 hours from the date of your test. At the time you are registered for your test, the Valley Children’s Healthcare registrar will sign you up for a MyChart account, which allows you to see your test results as soon as they are available. It will be important that you activate your MyChart account via an automated email from the MyChart team. Please remember to check your email after you complete the test, so you can activate your account.
What if my results are positive?
Students: Should your test results be positive for COVID-19, you will receive a phone call from the University’s Student Health and Counseling Center. (The Center is also required to report any positive cases to the Fresno County Department of Public Health.) In the unlikely case that your results are uncertain, we suggest you have the test re-done.
Employees: Should your test results be positive for COVID-19, you will receive a phone call from Valley Children’s Healthcare. (The hospital is also required to report any positive cases to the Fresno County Department of Public Health.) In the unlikely case that your results are uncertain, we suggest you have the test re-done.
Please do NOT call Valley Children’s Healthcare for the results.
In addition, you are asked to fill out the Fresno State online COVID-19 reporting form found here.
What are the chances that I might have a false-negative test result?
The chances of a false negative at Valley Children’s Healthcare in a symptomatic patient due to a COVID-19 infection are very low. Valley Children’s takes several measures to ensure a low false-negative rate. The test used in their laboratory has undergone a verification process to validate results. It is important to note that a negative test result may occur in a patient who is in the early stages of infection and shows no symptoms. A repeat test for this individual may well be positive, as the amount of virus in the body increases to detectable levels.