Student Testing

Testing Information and Sandwich board with text that says Covid Testing

Pilot Program: Saliva Testing

Interested in participating in an innovative, faster way to test for COVID-19? Visit the Saliva Testing page for details on a new screening program developed by Cal Poly faculty in coordination with Campus Health and Wellbeing.

Throughout Winter Quarter: Get Tested Twice a Week

Who is required to do this?

All currently enrolled students who meet any of the criteria for mandatory testing are required to participate in the Ongoing Testing Program. Please see "Who is Required to Test" below for additional information. 

What do they need to do?

  • During winter quarter, students must get tested twice per week, three days apart between tests. Schedule your tests today.
  • Please note: We plan to transition to a new testing program that uses saliva samples. The university will email you with additional information about the new testing procedure during winter quarter.

Schedule Your Winter Quarter Tests

Step #1: Testing Registration

If you are required to participate in Cal Poly’s ongoing testing program, you first need to register with Avellino Labs.

For a step-by-step guide on how to register with Avellino Labs please click here.

Once you have completed registration, you may schedule your testing appointments. Appointments take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. Walk-ins will not be allowed.

For technical issues please email

Important Update: If your insurance information changed after Jan. 1, go to you Avellino Labs registration account and update your information before testing.

Step #2: Scheduling Your Testing Dates

You are required to test twice per week. Please schedule weekly tests three days apart during winter quarter.

Location: Performing Arts Center Main Lobby (Bldg. 6) | Aliso Conference Room in Poly Canyon Village (171A)

Time: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with the last appointment at 3:45 p.m.)

Scheduling: Schedule Your Tests Here

Step #3: Day of Test Information

  • Go to: Your testing location.
  • Bring: Your Cal Poly ID card, green campus screening pass, and a pen.
  • Entrance requirement: Face covering, maintain physical distance of 6 feet from others, green daily symptom screener pass, and adhere to all public health guidelines throughout your appointment.
  • Parking: There are free, designated 30-minute zones in the Grand Avenue and Poly Canyon Village, Village Drive parking structures.

Who is Required to Test?

Required to Test

Currently enrolled students who meet any one or more of the criteria below are required to participate in the testing program.

  1. Lives in university housing
  2. Is enrolled in face-to-face courses
  3. Works on campus
  4. Participates in research on campus
  5. Uses any on-campus service (except the Health Center)
  6. Lives in the same household or congregate living facility (meaning a group housing facility, such as a dormitory or fraternity/sorority house) with a Cal Poly student who meets any of the criteria listed as 1 through 5 above.

Members of Fraternity and Sorority Life, student-athletes and Cal Poly Band members will be contacted directly by Campus Health and Wellbeing for group testing.

Not Required to Test

Students who do not meet the criteria for testing as defined in the amended Presidential Order. Students do not need to request an exemption as you will automatically be exempt from the testing program.

  • All students living outside of SLO County who are taking virtual courses and services.
  • Students who had COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
  • Students on county-mandated isolation, quarantine, or quarantine in place for the duration of their order.


How do I get my test result?

Avellino Labs will process the results within two to three days. You must click the "patient results" checkbox during registration to receive your results by email or text. You can also access your results through your Avellino patient portal.

Will I be charged for testing?

Testing is free, but you will be asked to enter health insurance information when scheduling your appointment. Register using the name that appears on your insurance card. You will not be charged if you don’t have health insurance, but you will be asked to provide personal information, including a driver’s license or social security number. If you do not have access to these documents, please see alternative testing options below.

If this test is free, why do I have to provide insurance?

At no time will an individual be billed for the COVID-19 tests taken during On-Campus Ongoing Testing.

While individual patients WILL NOT be billed for COVID-19 tests, health insurance companies will be. Insurance information is collected for Avellino to bill insurance, not patients.

For example:

  • A student/patient with Kaiser Health Insurance receives a test at the PAC and provides their insurance information to Avellino.
  • Avellino will send a bill to Kaiser(not to the student/patient) for the test the student/patient received.
  • Kaiser will pay Avellino for the test that the student/patient took and will not charge the student/patient for the test.

The patient may get an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) which is not a bill for the test.

In the event that you provide insurance and your insurance refuses to cover the cost of the test, you will not be responsible for the cost.

Should an asymptomatic student not feel comfortable involving insurance, they are able to schedule an appointment at a county testing site or schedule an appointment with Campus Health & Wellbeing by visiting the CHW COVID-19 testing page.

What if I choose not to participate?

Failure to comply with ongoing COVID-19 testing will result in loss of Cal Poly technology services, including portal access, email, and Canvas. Access will be restored once a student completes a COVID-19 test. Please read the COVID-19 Presidential Order regarding ongoing testing and safety protocols.

Are there exemptions for the ongoing testing requirement?

Students who do not meet the criteria for testing as defined in the amended Presidential Order are exempt from ongoing testing. Students do not need to request an exemption as they will automatically be exempt from the testing program.

All students are strongly encouraged to participate in ongoing testing, even if they do not meet the criteria for required testing. Regular testing is a step that each member of the Cal Poly community can take to promote greater public health in the campus community.

Do I need to continue doing my Daily Health Screening?

You will be required to participate in daily health screenings once winter quarter begins on Jan. 2. We strongly recommend that you continue with daily screenings for the duration of the academic break to monitor your daily symptoms and keep those around you healthy too by accessing the screener tool on your Cal Poly Portal.

What happens if I test positive during winter quarter?

Students will be contacted by a representative from CovidDx and county public health if they have a positive COVID-19 test. San Luis Obispo County public health will begin contact tracing with the student. Visit the county's contact tracing webpage for more information.

The county public health department will be notified by Avellino Labs through the state-required reporting system. If someone has tested positive for COVID-19, they will be given an order enforceable by law to isolate for at least 10 days by county health officials. Cal Poly is working closely with public health to support students impacted by COVID-19.

What happens if I’m required to get tested and I miss an appointment?

Students who fail to make a testing appointment or do not show up at their scheduled testing time will first receive a reminder email. Disciplinary warnings with possible future suspension and sanctions may follow should students not comply with ongoing testing requirements.

How do I make an appointment?

You'll first need to register with Avellino Labs, our third-party testing vendor. Once you've registered, please use the scheduling links under "Schedule Your Test."

Can I change my testing appointment?

To change your testing appointment, please email Ryan Gruss at with the time you would like to reschedule.

I have COVID-19 symptoms or feel unwell. Can I get still tested here?

Anyone who feels ill or has had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should not get tested via the Ongoing Testing Program. Employees should all your medical provider for further guidance. Students should call Campus Health and Wellbeing at 805-756-1211.

I’m coming to campus housing later this quarter. Do I need to follow the same testing requirements for the beginning of the quarter?

Yes, all students living on campus must comply with the testing requirements. That means:

  1. Pre-test: Get a COVID-19 test three days before you arrive at your local testing site and confirm that the results are negative before leaving your home. Hold onto your test results, as the university may request a copy later.
  2. On-arrival test: Get a test when you arrive on campus within 24 hours or as close to that as possible.
  3. Ongoing test: Get tested twice per week for the remaining academic year.

Do students who live outside SLO county and commute to Cal Poly to access campus need to participate in the campus testing program?

Per a Cal Poly Presidential Order, students who meet any one or more of the criteria below are required to participate in the ongoing twice-per-week testing program.

  • Lives in university housing
  • Is enrolled in in-person classes
  • Works on campus
  • Participates in research on campus
  • Uses any on-campus service (except the Health Center)
    Lives in the same household or congregate living facility (meaning a group housing facility, such as a dormitory or fraternity/sorority house) with a Cal Poly student who meets any of the criteria listed above.

Get more information on the Order and the Exemption Process.

Review the information about this and how to schedule COVID tests in the content at the top of this page.

How will Cal Poly let exempt students know they are automatically excluded from the policy?

Students will receive more information about the notification process in the coming weeks. Notifications will not be through the student portal but from a separate system that we have been using to manage testing and other COVID-support and responses. While you may be exempt from the university policy, we encourage you to get tested regularly in your local area.

I have submitted a request for an exemption. Am I required to test?

If you believe that you should be exempt or have submitted a request for an exemption, please review the Presidential Order for more information. All current requests are pending. To qualify for an exemption, a student must be enrolled in a completely virtual course schedule and meet an exemption listed below or as otherwise approved by Campus Health and Wellbeing. Reasons for exemptions include:  

  • Student has a documented condition that makes participating in testing not possible or contrary to medical recommendations. Documentation regarding the condition must be on file with the Disability Resource Center.  

  • Student has tested positive for the coronavirus within the last 90 days, as certified by Campus Health and Wellbeing. 

If your request does not meet these requirements, you should participate in the ongoing testing program until your request has been reviewed and accepted. 

Does testing have to be done on campus?

Students who wish to comply with the university’s requirement for ongoing testing by using off-campus services may do so. Only molecular COVID-19 tests are accepted for compliance with this policy (not antigen or antibody tests).

It is your responsibility to provide evidence of a negative test if you are opting not to use campus testing sites. Test results must be provided by uploading results to Qualtrics for medical provider review. Keep records of all your test results and wait for further instructions from the university.

Students participating in COVID-19 testing via off-campus testing sites should expect that a campus medical provider will validate results within three to five working days after receiving them. This can result in a student’s access to online services being restricted if the student falls into noncompliance status while result review is pending.

I’m only coming to campus twice a week. Can I test on those days to fulfill the twice weekly testing requirement?

Students who are required to test must do so twice a week. Students living on campus should space their tests out by three days. Off-campus students who are accessing campus less frequently can space their tests two days apart, instead of three, to reduce their number of trips to campus. Students should not test two days in a row.

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