Testing FAQ

The purpose of this testing is to detect asymptomatic students who have the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus that causes COVID-19.  Asymptomatic people with SARS-CoV-2 can transmit the virus to those around them.  By identifying asymptomatic students through testing, we can limit the spread of COVID-19.  Anyone who is asymptomatic and tests positive needs to isolate immediately from the time of notification. Isolation ends 10 days after the date of test collection if the person remains asymptomatic.

A student must submit a COVID-19 test result that is dated no earlier than Dec. 28.  If a student has tested positive for COVID on or after Oct. 5 2020, they should fill out the exemption request form and do not need to participate in back to school testing. If a student has an objection to being tested, they may fill out the exemption request form. A student who requests an exemption from testing, for a reason other than a COVID+ test on or after Oct. 5th, will be required to quarantine for 10 days.  Commuter students will quarantine at their place of residence.  Residential students may choose to quarantine at home or in their residential housing assignment.  Violation of quarantine will be processed as an accountability incident and will include a fine of $250.

To reserve a testing slot for a PCR test on our West Palm Beach campus, please sign up here.

At the time of the appointment, you will need to present your government identification and a copy of your health insurance coverage.  The doctor’s office will process the visit and cost of the test with your insurance company and will not charge a co-pay for this service.  Although the consent form states in paragraph 3 that you agree to be financially responsible for deductibles, coinsurance and uncovered services not covered by your insurance, if your insurance company denies payment for the testing, the provider has agreed not to pursue further collection from you.

Students will be physically distanced during this process, and it is important not to arrive at the testing area more than 20 minutes prior to the appointment time to maintain physical distancing. 

PBA will be using an PCR RNA test, which is administered by nasal swab.

There are two types of tests that detect fragments of the virus: PCR and Rapid Antigen Testing. Please make sure that you are taking a PCR or Antigen test — NOT an Antibody test.   Please submit your results to PBA through Medicat:

  1. Log on to the Medicat portal with your PBA login credentials.
  2. On the top right of the screen, click “Upload.”
  3. Scroll down, click the drop down box and select “COVID-19 Results.”
  4. Upload your test results.

If you tested positive on or before Oct. 5, 2020, then you will need to re-test.

If you tested positive or had a documented case of COVID-19 after Oct. 5, 2020, you do NOT need to re-test. You must upload your COVID-positive documentation to Medicat and fill out the testing exemption form.

Please submit your COVID+ test result to PBA through Medicat:

  1. Log on to the Medicat portal with your PBA login credentials.
  2. On the top right of the screen, click “Upload.”
  3. Scroll down, click the drop down box and select “COVID-19 Results.”
  4. Upload your test results.

  • Students who test positive and are symptomatic must 1) isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the date of the test collection 2) be fever-free for at least 24 hours and 3) experience a significant reduction in symptoms before leaving isolation. 
  • Students who test positive and are asymptomatic need to isolate immediately from the time of notification. Isolation ends 10 days after the date of test collection if the person remains asymptomatic.

All students who test positive will need to speak to a member of the Health Alert Team before they are cleared to return to University facilities.

If you have previously tested positive after Oct. 5, 2020 (within 90 days of Jan. 4), do not get re-tested.   According to the CDC (last updated Oct. 19), those who test positive with a viral RNA or antigen test may continue to test positive although they are no longer infectious for 90 days.

If you have tested positive after Oct. 6, 2020 (within 90 days of Jan. 4).  Please submit your positive test result to Medicat.

  1. Log on to the Medicat portal with your PBA login credentials.
  2. On the top right of the screen, click “Upload.”
  3. Scroll down, click the drop down box and select “COVID-19 Results.”
  4. Upload your test results.

Please also fill out a testing exemption request form and list prior positive test, as your reason for exemption.

Commuter students are expected to isolate at their place of residence.  Residential (on-campus) students will follow guidelines and directives of the Office of Residence Life and the Health Alert Team.

At this time, the CDC does not recommend using antibody testing in place of viral fragment testing.  Therefore, PBA recommends that even if you have antibodies, you should still be tested for viral RNA which detects the presence of potentially active infection with SARS-CoV-2.

There are two categories of tests for SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus.  There are multiple types of tests in each category.

  1. Molecular tests that look for the presence of viral fragments.  These fragments can be either genetic code (RNA) or proteins that the virus produces (antigen).  These tests can be nasopharyngeal, nasal swab, throat swab, or saliva.  Note that rapid tests are usually Antigen tests, but some rapid tests are PCR.
  2. Antibody tests that look for signs of an immune response to SARS-CoV-2.  These look for antibodies (immunoglobulins) against the virus. This is a blood test. Please note, PBA does not accept this kind of test as it is not a sign of potential active infection.

Although the term COVID-19 is often used interchangeably with SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus, COVID-19 actually refers to the symptoms caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus.  People can also be an asymptomatic carrier of SARS-CoV-2.  Asymptomatic carriers can spread the virus.  What is often referred to as a “COVID-19 test” is actually a test for the SARS-CoV-2. 

Please don’t forget to fill out the Spring Semester COVID Questionnaire no later than Jan. 1.