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Take-home COVID-19 test upon departure from Student Housing

Prior to returning to KU Student Housing for spring semester 2021, all on-campus housing residents must complete a COVID-19 saliva test and receive their results in order to return to housing. As residents leave KU for the fall semester they will be given a COVID-19 saliva testing kit to take home. Residents will be given specific instructions about when they should take the COVID-19 test in late January. Residents will then directly ship their completed saliva test via FedEx to the CRL testing laboratory using a prepaid label and envelope.

Residents with new spring 2021 contract

Residents new to KU Student Housing with contracts that begin in Spring 2021 will receive their COVID-19 test when arriving to Lawrence for the first time and will need to quarantine in their housing assignment while awaiting their test results.

Residents staying through winter break

Residents who are staying through winter break will be provided their COVID-19 saliva test for Spring 2021. Specific instructions for residents staying for winter break and how to complete their COVID-19 test will be received at a later time.

Residents who have cancelled housing contract

Residents who are permanently moving out of KU Student Housing at the end of fall semester and cancelling their KU Student Housing contract will NOT be provided a take-home COVID-19 test kit. Students who plan to continue with KU classes after having cancelled the housing contract should refer to the Protect KU website for further testing information.

Residents who lose or don’t complete the COVID-19 test before returning in Spring

Residents who lose or do not complete their COVID-19 saliva test during the required date ranges in January will be billed $72.50 for the kit’s replacement. Residents must complete a spring COVID-19 test to live in housing. If a resident does not complete the test before returning to campus, the resident may be reassigned to a quarantine room for up to a 14-day period until test results are verified.

Residents who have had COVID-19

Current CDC and KDHE guidance states that COVID-19 immunity is for up to 90 days from a previous positive test result. Using this guidance, residents who have tested positive before October 15, 2020, WILL need to test before return to KU for spring semester.

Students who have had a positive test on or after October 16, 2020, will NOT need to retest as long as their previous positive is verified by KU Student Housing and Watkins Health Service. If you are in this group and took home a COVID-19 saliva test, you should bring the unopened test kit back to KU when you arrive on campus.

Details for how to verify a previous positive result will be shared at a later time.

Deadlines for taking COVID test

The COVID-19 test kits that residents bring home with them need to be completed and sent to the CRL lab during specific date ranges in late January. Typically, the saliva test should be completed and shipped via FedEx to the lab 7-10 days BEFORE the resident’s move-back appointment in order to allow for processing. This means:

  1. Apartment residents may complete their COVID-19 test beginning January 15 and at least 7 days before your move-back appointment.
  2. Scholarship hall and residence hall residents may complete their COVID-19 test beginning January 19 and at least 7 days before your move-back appointment.

Residents who receive a Negative test result will be cleared to return to campus and check in to their building. If a resident receives a Positive result, they will be required to complete their isolation period at home and before returning to campus.  Residents who do not complete the COVID-19 test correctly and receive a Non-Negative or Inconclusive result will be required to re-test when arriving to KU and quarantine until their results are received. If a resident arrives to campus without being cleared to arrive, they will be required to complete the COVID-19 saliva test and quarantine until results are received by KU. Quarantine locations will be determined by Student Housing, and likely NOT be the original room assignment.

Move-Back appointment scheduling

All Student Housing residents will schedule a time period to move back to KU. (Details for end-of-semester move out are here.) The room scheduler will be available through the Housing portal in January. We will notify students when the room scheduler is available. If you are an out-of-state student who is coordinating long-distance travel, please feel free to contact Student Housing if you do not find an appropriate time available. The housing staff is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 785-864-4560.

At this time, KU Student Housing anticipates that we may need to restrict guests, including family members, from entering our buildings when residents return for spring semester. The current guest policy is here. Updates to this expectation will be shared by early January.



More than $200,000 in annual scholarships to returning residents
Academic success: More than 94 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen in student housing enroll for the next semester
5,100 residents choose student housing each year
Residence hall rates are almost $2,000 less per year than the national average for public schools
— College Board
$4 million alumni gift funded Krehbiel Scholarship Hall
Options include suites, private bedroom with shared bath, two-person rooms, scholarship halls, and apartments
Oswald and Self residence halls opened in 2015
One bill covers all costs: room, food, utilities, and wireless Internet
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities