UTogether

At home rapid antigen screening

Rapid screening is for asymptomatic individuals only.

Everyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, difficulty breathing, etc.) should stay home, not work, self-isolate and complete a self-assessment using the UCheck web portal. See FAQ number 3.6 “What should I do if I have symptoms?"

 

Beginning this fall, rapid antigen screening will be mandatory for certain individuals who come to campus or live in residence. The following groups are required to participate in rapid screening:

  • Those who are not fully vaccinated (i.e., partially vaccinated but not yet 14 days past their second or final shot)
  • Those with a valid vaccination exemption that has been approved by the University

U of T community members who are fully vaccinated but would still like to participate in the rapid antigen screening program are encouraged to do so as well.

The Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health have advised that rapid screening cannot be used as an alternative to vaccination.

The University of Toronto is implementing an at-home rapid antigen screening program in support of our community. For fall 2021, a self-administered at home screening program will be launched across all three campuses in partnership with the Province of Ontario.

Rapid antigen screening is an examination tool to help detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus. Rapid screening is a convenient and effective way to detect the presence of COVID-19 in people who do not have any symptoms of the virus.

This screening does not replace the lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic testing administered through public health. A person that receives a positive result from a rapid screening test should not come to campus, must contact the Occupational Health Nurse at  ehs.occhealth@utoronto.ca, and must complete a PCR test.

 

A hand operates an antigen rapid test.

Learn how to how to self-administer by reviewing the step-by-step breakdown and how-to video below.

 

Overview of U of T's rapid screening initiative

 

You must participate in the University’s rapid screening program if you are not fully vaccinated (i.e., partially vaccinated but not yet 14 days past your second or final shot) or have a University-approved vaccination exemption.

Once you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to complete regular rapid tests.

Please note that the requirement to participate in rapid screening may change in accordance with public health guidance.

U of T community members who are fully vaccinated but would still like to participate in the rapid antigen screening program are encouraged to participate.

Screening kits to self-administer a front of nose swab will be used. These kits are currently provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health. BD Veritor is the type being supplied at this time.

Screening should take place at home, prior to coming to campus. Students in residence should complete the screen prior to leaving the residence. A monthly supply of screening kits will be provided and made available for quick pick-up on all campuses.

Screenings are required to be completed as close as possible prior to visiting campus. For example, if you typically visit campus every day or a few days between Monday and Friday, screen at a minimum of twice per week / 72 hours, e.g., on Monday and Thursday.

The self-screening process takes less than five minutes to administer and 15 minutes to obtain results.

All screening results must be self-reported using the UCheck application. You will be asked to indicate if the screen was positive or negative and to upload a photographic image of the completed test.

Student or employee personal information will not be disclosed or shared for any reason, except for Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) purposes in the event of a presumed positive case. A designated occupational health staff member will follow-up with the individual to ensure public health guidelines are being followed.

There is currently no direct cost for those participating in the rapid screening initiative. The rapid screening kits are currently provided by the provincial Ministry of Health.

BD Veritor tests need to be kept between 2 C and 30 C in accordance with the Provincial Antigen Screening Program

The rapid screening kits being provided have extended expiry dates by six months to dates listed on the labels of the kit items. 

How to participate in the rapid antigen screening process

 

Pick-up your home screening kit at any U of T campus starting Sept. 1

 

Mississauga campus

The Meeting Place 
(an open area/food court with seating and skylights), William G. Davis Building (off the Inner Circle Road)

Monday to Thursday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Scarborough campus

Library: Ground Floor Academic Resource Centre (ARC) 

Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Meeting Place: Science Wing (SW) 

Tuesday and Thursday: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Environmental Health and Safety Office: Science Wing, SW-300 (staff only)

Monday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Wednesday: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Health and Wellness: Student Centre, SL-270 

Closed daily between 12:50 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Monday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  

Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

St. George campus

Exam Centre, 255 McCaul St.

Sept. 20 to Sept. 30

Monday to Wednesday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Thursday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Please note that pick-up times will continue to be updated for late September and into October. Check back for the latest information.

 

To pick up your kits, please have ready:

  • Your UTORid
  • Utoronto email address
  • Full name
  • Preferred phone number

You will be registered and receive a one-month supply of screens. Once you have picked up your kit, visit the following link to get started.

 

Rapid screening UCheck app

 

Learn how to self-administer

 

Report your results once complete

 

Interpret your results

  • For a positive screening result: individual must contact the Occupational Health Nurse for further guidance. Students in residence must self-isolate and follow instructions provided by the residence in addition to the Occupational Health Nurse. The U of T rapid antigen screening case process is triggered.
  • For a negative screening result: individual may proceed to campus once UCheck health screening and rapid antigen screening with a negative result are complete.
  • If you are unsure of the result: please perform another screen. If still unsure of the result after the second attempt, please contact the Occupational Health Nurse.

 

Example of a negative rapid screening result with one red line (left) and positive rapid screening result with two red lines (right). Please note that the date should appear where the negative and positive red writing is displayed.

All results are kept confidential. The University will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these programs, as well as scientific evidence and best practices and will adapt this program as warranted.

 

Step-by-step breakdown of how to self-administer

Rapid screening is for asymptomatic individuals only.

Everyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, difficulty breathing, etc.) should stay home, not work, self-isolate and complete a self-assessment using the UCheck web portal. See FAQ number 3.6 “What should I do if I have symptoms?"

Follow the screening process as shown in the rapid screening how-to video and the provided step-by-step breakdown shown below or download the infographic.

heading Step 1 Insert swab into each nostril about one inch deep and swirl five times.
heading Step 2 Insert the swab into the prepared tube.
heading Step 3 Swirl the swab tip in the buffer fluid for 15 seconds.
headingStep 4 Remove the swab from the vial and replace swab in pacakaging.
headingStep 5 Place the lid attached to the vial on top of it to create a dropper.
headingStep 6 Invert dropper and put three drops into the testing device well.
headingStep 7 Set a timer for 15 minutes.
headingStep 8 After 15 minutes check the device for your test result.

One red line = negative
Two lines = presumed positive
headingStep 9 Take a photo of your test result and upload it to the UCheck app.
headingStep 10 Dispose of all used test materials (swab, viral and slide) in the garbage.
headingStep 11 Negative result: You may proceed to campus

Positive result: Do not come to campus. Contact EHS and book a PCR test.

Unsure result: Complete another screen. If still unsure, contact EHS.

Contact us

 

If you have any questions about rapid antigen screening not answered above, please contact us.