COVID-19 test: what you need to know

Photo by Chieko Hara/University Relations

The mass screening clinic will be held outside the Union Mall and will be open to all members of the campus community, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., through February 18.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, identifying and isolating COVID-19 positive individuals remains one of the most important tools to mitigate ongoing transmission in our campus community.

The U of A strongly encourages anyone who may have COVID-like symptoms, or who has been in close contact with someone who tests positive, to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible and self-isolate or to self-quarantine accordingly.


Although the COVID-19 test is available to everyone, it is essential that you are tested if:

  • You have COVID-19-like symptoms.
  • Having been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Plan to travel or be around high-risk people.

If you think you need to be tested, it is recommended that you receive the test three to five days after your last exposure for accurate results.

If you are unsure whether you should be tested, please contact the Pat Walker Health Center to speak with a medical provider.

REMINDER – A negative COVID-19 test is NOT required for a student to return to class after a period of quarantine or isolation.


COVID-19 testing will be available at two locations on campus during the first month of the spring semester:

1. Pat Walker Health Center (by appointment only)

  • Call 479-575-4451 option 1 to speak with a medical planner or provider
  • Book an appointment online at using the patient web portal.
  • Results are usually returned within 48 hours for PCR and within 30 minutes for rapid antigen testing.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, PWHC medical staff will advise you of next steps and report your case to the university for you.

2. Arkansas Union Mall (walk-in asymptomatic testing)

  • This mass testing clinic will be held outside the Union Mall and will be open to all members of the campus community, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., through February 18.
  • No appointment is necessary, but people with symptoms should make an appointment at Pat Walker Health Center or an off-campus medical provider for evaluation, testing, and treatment.
  • If you have health insurance, please bring your health insurance card for payment. Uninsured patients are welcome and costs will be covered in accordance with contractor policies and procedures.

The Arkansas Union testing site is not affiliated with the Pat Walker Health Center and is operated by a third party under contract with the U of A. For questions regarding testing administered at this clinic, please call 479- 845-7000.


The tests are also available throughout the Northwest Arkansas community at local pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and various drive-through testing sites.

For a full breakdown of available off-campus testing sites and locations, visit the Northwest Arkansas Council’s COVID-19 testing resources page.


If you have been tested off-campus or used an at-home self-test and tested positive for COVID-19, you must self-report your case to U of A Emergency Management using the online self-declaration form.

If you were tested on campus, you do not need to self-report as information about your case is provided directly to emergency management by the university.


Additionally, the US federal government has launched a new website allowing individual households to request and order up to four rapid COVID-19 tests free of charge. They can be shipped directly, free of charge, and take between 7 and 12 days to arrive.

The university’s COVID-19 response site continues to be updated during the pandemic with the latest news and information for the campus community.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A offers an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to the Arkansas economy through teaching new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and employment development, discovery through research and creative activity while providing training in professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the U of A among the top 3% of colleges and universities in the United States with the highest level of research activity. US News and World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. Learn how the U of A is working to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.


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