COVID-19 Testing

Mason’s COVID Testing

Due to the ongoing risk of COVID-19 transmission and illness, Mason strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff (vaccinated and unvaccinated) to participate in routine COVID testing. Some students may be required to participate in testing on a routine basis.

Unvaccinated students in high-contact roles must participate in mandatory testing once per week. Vaccinated students  in high-contact roles are encouraged to participate in testing.  Unvaccinated employees and employees in high-contact roles are strongly encouraged to test once per week. 

Vaccinated students and employees will be randomly selected for surveillance testing; testing is optional but strongly encouraged. You will receive an email informing you of the frequency of your required or recommended testing and how to make an appointment. 

You are strongly encouraged to utilize Mason’s COVID test sites for testing. All on-campus testing is free, and Mason is offering extended hours to accommodate diverse schedules; see schedule below. 

If you elect to use non-Mason testing to meet your testing requirement, instructions on how to upload testing documentation are provided in the email you will receive regarding testing.

Students who are non-compliant with Mason’s testing requirement will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and may be unenrolled from in-person classes, expelled from their on-campus residence, and prohibited from participating in on- and off-campus events and extracurricular activities

Testing is prioritized for: 

  • Students and employees experiencing COVID symptoms. 
  • Unvaccinated members of the Mason community. 
  • Vaccinated individuals in high-contact roles and/or activities, such as athletics, dance, clinical settings, registered student organizations, and student support.
  • Vaccinated students and employees who are determined to be close contacts of COVID positive individuals.
  • Asymptomatic students and employees who are concerned about a potential exposure.

Diagnostic Testing (Testing While You Have Symptoms)

Anyone with COVID symptoms should be tested, whether you’ve been vaccinated or not.  

Mason's surveillance test sites are not designed to handle symptomatic individuals; please do not attempt to get a COVID test at Mason’s surveillance test sites if you feel unwell or have symptoms.

Surveillance Testing

To help track the virus spreading via carriers who display no symptoms, Mason has developed a COVID testing strategy based on risk

  • Unvaccinated residential students and students in high-contact roles such as dance and athletics will be required to participate required to participate in mandatory routine testing (once or more per week).  Unvaccinated faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to participate in testing once per week.
  • Vaccinated residential students are encouraged to participate in testing.
  • Students in high-contact roles such as dance and athletics will be required to participate in periodic surveillance testing.
  • Employee high-contact roles such as university police, clinic staff, and some student/employee support roles will be selected to participate in periodic testing; testing is not mandatory but strongly encouraged.
  • Vaccinated non-high-contact students, faculty, and staff will receive an invitation to participate in testing; testing is optional but strongly encouraged to help Mason understand the prevalence of COVID within our community and mitigate COVID transmission and outbreaks.

Courtesy Testing for Potential Exposures

Mason is notifying classes, work areas, registered student organizations, and internal event participants via email of positive cases that are reported in these settings. Students, faculty, and staff that are notified by Mason of a potential exposure in a university classroom, while at work, or while participating in an extracurricular university event are eligible to receive a courtesy COVID test at one of Mason’s COVID test sites. If you have COVID symptoms please do not visit Mason’s test sites and quarantine until you have discussed your condition with a health care provider.

Close Contact Testing

If you are notified by the Health Department that you are a close contact, Mason COVID Health Check will provide instructions regarding where and how to schedule a COVID test on or off campus. Vaccinated students, faculty, and staff who are identified as close contacts can be tested at Mason’s testing sites. Unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff will need to schedule a diagnostic test.  See graphic below for more information about testing for potential exposure and close contact exposures. Complete Mason COVID Health Check for more information.

Self-Selected On-Demand Testing

Mason is offering free COVID testing for asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff who are concerned about a possible exposure on campus. If you are asymptomatic (do not have symptoms) and want to receive a COVID test, even if you were not notified by Mason or the local health department of a close contact, you may take at test at Fenwick Library A Wing  on the Fairfax Campus and regional campuses during scheduled test site hours (see below).  Tests are limited and available on a first come first serve basis

If you feel unwell, have symptoms, or diagnosed/tested positive for COVID please do not attempt to take a test on campus; instead, contact your primary health care provider for guidance and/or testing.

Mason’s COVID Test Sites

Mason maintains test sites and hours for residential students, non-residential students, faculty, and staff.  

Fairfax Campus  
Fenwick Library A Wing (formerly MIX)

M, Th; 11a.m - 7 p.m.
T, W, F; 9 a.m. - 5p.m.

Peterson Health Clinic Drive-up Station (diagnostic testing for Mason faculty/staff only, by appointment only)

M, W, Th - 1 - 4p.m.;  T, F - 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Schedule your appointment.

Mason Square in Arlington  
Hazel Hall, Rooms B1-13                                     T, W: 11a.m.- 7p.m. 
Sci-Tech Campus  
Colgan Hall, Room 413                                        M, Th: 9a.m. - 5p.m.

Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation (SMSC) Testing

SMSC requires pre-move-in testing for residential students. Unvaccinated students will be tested at least weekly, and vaccinated students will be tested every other week for at least the first four weeks of the semester. Vault Health test kits will be used. 

International Traveler Surveillance Testing

International students, domestic students, and Mason employees who have traveled internationally and have not received an approved CDC or World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine must quarantine upon arrival in the U.S. and have a COVID test within three to five days after arriving in the United States.  After their initial test, international students will follow the same testing protocols as the rest of Mason’s student population, dependent on their housing status. 

Vaccinated international travelers are not required to quarantine or receive testing upon their return to the United States.  All travelers are encouraged to monitor for COVID symptoms. If symptoms occur, self-isolate and contact your primary care provider to discuss your health conditions.

When a Test is Positive

Any positive COVID-19 test obtained or collected on campus will trigger: 

  • Notification of results. 
  • Referral to care, isolation instructions, and connection to support. 
  • Health department notification. 
  • Identification of and follow-up with close contacts. 
  • Notification of classes, work areas, and groups as determined by contract tracing and in accordance with Virginia Law (PDF). 
  • Documentation of positive results in the university’s secure and confidential Master Positive Case Log.