Student Entry Testing

Any student who is enrolled in face-to-face or blended courses with an on-campus component must provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test as part of the GuideSafe™ entry to the campus program.

Here are a few key things to know about Athens State's Campus Entry Testing:

  • Students who are enrolled in a face-to-face or blended course for the fall semester should have received an email from about accessing and scheduling a free COVID-19 test. The test involves a nasal swab just inside the nostril, which is easy to self-administer and less invasive than the nasopharyngeal swab you may have seen as another sample collection method.
  • Testing began the first week of August, but students should not test more than 14 days before returning to campus.
  • Students must have a negative test result before coming to Athens State's campus for class meetings.
  • You can go to your primary care provider or another testing site, but you will be responsible for any fee that may be charged. Please send your COVID-19 test results to
  • Those who test positive must have medical clearance from a healthcare provider after quarantine to enter campus. Please note: If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks, please do not re-test at this time. Instead, provide Athens State University a copy of your positive test results and medical clearance from a healthcare provider to return to campus. Submit any positive test results and medical clearance for return to campus to
  • Campus Entry Testing will supplement other strategies, such as appropriate safety training online, completion of the Athens-State Healthcheck daily self-screening app, social distancing, and usage of personal protective equipment.

If you have any issues or questions about student entry testing, the GuideSafe™ Call Center is available to assist you. Please call 866-839-5308 between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM daily for assistance.

What is the process for student entry testing?

  • Students will receive an email from GuideSafe™ Testing with a link to register online for testing. Please look for and promptly complete the instructions in the email.
  • After registration and system verification, each student will schedule an appointment at an approved testing site on the day and time of choosing. Click here for a full list of testing sites.
  • A confirmation email with the testing appointment and instructions on what to bring and information about what to expect with sample collection will be sent to each student.
  • Each student will receive an appointment reminder via email.
  • When the student arrives at the testing site, they will present the confirmation email and identification. The confirmation email can be shown via phone.
  • After identity verification, the student will complete the sample collection under observation at the testing site.
  • The sample is transported by the testing site to the testing lab and processed within 24 hours.
  • The testing lab reports the test result to the student, the student's state department of public health, GuideSafe™ Testing, and Athens State University.
  • If the student’s results are positive, they will need to contact the Student Return-to-Campus team at
  • If the student’s results are negative, they are clear to enter campus.

What should I expect during the COVID-19 test?

The test will be a self-administered swab in the nostril — though not the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab.

  • You will be handed a swab.
  • Hold the swab placing your thumb and forefinger in the middle of the swab shaft covering the scoreline or black line.
  • Do not touch, lay down, or drop the swab.
  • Insert the swab about 2 cm (less than 1 inch) into your nostril until you meet resistance.
  • Gently rotate the swab for 5 seconds pushing against the center of your nose.
  • Remove the swab from the first side of your nose and insert it into the other side of your nose.
  • Rotate the swab for 5 seconds pushing against the center of your nose on the second side.
  • Remove the swab from your nose and hold it out so your observer can take the swab from you without touching you.