Mandatory COVID-19 Testing

To protect the health and safety of the entire Towson University community, all students, faculty and staff must provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus. 

Required COVID-19 Testing

The University System of Maryland announced required COVID-19 testing for all USM on-campus students and employees returning in fall 2020. 

Students, faculty and staff returning to Towson University’s campus in person can meet the requirement for COVID-19 testing in the following ways:

  • provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 10 days prior to returning to campus
  • provide proof of a positive antibodies test
  • those who have tested positive for COVID must wait at least 10 days before returning to campus and be symptom-free in the last 24 hours

Tests can be completed at TU’s on-campus testing site, or at a facility near your home.

Free Testing on Campus

TU’s Health Center is offering free COVID testing at an outdoor testing site located across from the Health Center. On-campus testing is offered daily, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Weekend appointments are available August 15 and 16, from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Reserve an Appointment Time

To reduce wait times, there will be an express lane for those who bring the following documents printed and completed: 

The tests conducted on campus are administered via a gentle swab of the lower nasal passage, placed less than one inch into the nose. Results from the campus tests are returned in two to five business days.

If your test results are negative, you will receive an email stating that you are “Clear to return to campus.” University Health Services will contact you by phone if your result is positive. You should not come to campus while you await results. 

If you have not heard anything after five business days, you may call the Health Center at 410-704-2466 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to request your result.

Testing in Maryland and Out-of-State

Testing is also available at multiple sites around Maryland. Out-of-state residents are encouraged to check with their state government and health websites for conveniently located testing sites.

Submitting Test Results

If choosing to be tested at a location other than the Towson University Health Center, submitting evidence of negative COVID-19 PCR tests completed at off-campus sites will be secure, confidential and HIPAA-compliant.

  • Faculty and staff may forward results from a provider or attach an image of their test results and submit via email to . It’s important to also include the test date, work status (telework/on-campus), and anticipated date of return if known. 
  • Students who are tested off campus may submit their results using the Tiger Health Portal. Login to upload an image or scanned copy of your test results. 

COVID Testing Reimbursement Process

The university will bear the costs of the required COVID-19 PCR tests for all students, faculty and staff. Individuals who take an off-campus COVID-19 PCR test and are required to pay an out-of-pocket cost will be reimbursed via the COVID Test Reimbursement Form (login). Remember to attach a copy of your itemized receipt showing proof of payment, and redact any sensitive health information. For questions regarding reimbursement or completing the form, email


Frequently asked questions

What does a positive result mean?

A positive result means that you have COVID-19.

If you test positive but are not experiencing any symptoms, you should not come to campus. You should also contact your healthcare provider and self-isolate for at least 10 days, as long as you remain symptom free. You should continue to monitor for symptoms and if symptoms do develop, discuss these symptoms along with any treatment or other recommendations, with your healthcare provider.

What does a negative result mean?

A negative test result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your sample. In a person is experiencing illness symptoms at the time the sample was collected, this usually means that COVID-19 did not cause the illness.
It is possible for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect in some people with COVID-19. Your healthcare provider will consider the test result together with any symptoms and possible exposures in deciding how to best care for you.
It is also possible for this test to give a negative result when tested very early during the infection. If at any time you develop symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Keep in mind that a negative result does not mean that you cannot still acquire COVID-19 infection in the future.

How can I help to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
  • Keep a safe distance (at least 6 feet apart) from others
  • Avoid touching your mouth and eyes
  • Wash your hands often, using soap and water and washing for at least 20 seconds
  • Wear a mask when indoors and when in close contact with others
  • Always cover your cough
  • Stay home when you are feeling sick
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms and reply to daily university symptom tracking emails


guidance for Faculty & Staff

If I have been working on campus and was already tested for COVID-19, do I need to be tested again?

A previous negative test result meets the new testing requirement if you have been working regularly scheduled shifts on campus. If you have come to campus only sporadically, you must be tested (or tested again) if your test was more than 10 days prior to returning to work.

What is the deadline for getting my COVID test if I have already been coming to work regularly on campus? 

If you are already working on campus you must make an appointment to be tested as soon as possible. It is expected that you will have been tested prior to Friday, August 7.

Am I required to stay home pending test results? 

No. If you are working regularly on campus you may continue to work pending the results of the test. If you have not been working regularly on campus, you must wait until you receive a negative test result before you can come to campus.

What is the timeframe required to register my test results before I return to work? 

Anyone scheduled to resume work on campus or who plans to come to campus for any reason must register a negative test result no more than 10 days prior to the scheduled/planned date of return.