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McMaster Student Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre on campus

Starting September 7, all McMaster students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case can attend the Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre on campus

  • Appointments are recommended and can be booked by calling the Student Wellness Centre at  (905) 521-2100 ext. 27700.
  • Open starting Tuesday, September 7th.  
  • Please bring your McMaster Student ID and health card/UHIP card to the centre.
  • Students must self-isolate while waiting for their test results. Students will be able to get their test results from the  provincial COVID-19 test result website. 
  • Students who test positive must use the COVID-19 Reporting Tool in Mosaic. The reporting tile is on the home page of  Mosaic. Residence students are also required to notify their Residence Life Area Coordinator of their positive result. 

Student Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre  
Les Prince Hall, Room 109

More information about the Student Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre process can be found in the Q&A below. 

Student Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre FAQs

All McMaster students can attend the symptomatic testing centre to determine if they have contracted COVID-19. It is not required that McMaster students attend this centre for testing and students should only use this resource if it is convenient to them.  

Please note, this testing centre is not providing testing for travel purposes or any other non-symptomatic testing. 

Faculty, staff or students who require symptomatic COVID-19 testing should attend a COVID-19 testing centre local to them. 

McMaster’s Student Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre is located on McMaster University’s main campus (1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario) in Les Prince Hall in room 109.

McMaster’s Student Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre on campus will be open starting September 7th for the following hours:

Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closed 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m for cleaning. 

Appointments are highly recommended to attend the Student Symptomatic Testing Centre. Appointments are available same day and can be booked by calling the Student Wellness Centre at (905) 521-2100 ext. 27700. 

  • Please book an appointment before attending the Student Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre. 
  • Students are expected to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer before entering the testing centre. McMaster Student ID and provincial health card/UHIP card is required. 
  • Upon arrival, students will be greeted by the centre staff for registration and will be required to complete an informed consent form.
  • The centre staff will show students to a testing area and will conduct the COVID-19 test. To do this, the staff member will insert a swab into their nasal cavity. Temporary discomfort is normal during this test. 
  • Students will be asked to immediately return to their place of residence and self-isolate while awaiting results.  
  • Students will be able to get their test results from the provincial COVID-19 test result website.

Students who live in residence:

  • Must report their positive test result in Mosaic (Select Student Symptomatic Testing Centre – Les Prince 109).
  • They will be moved to a self-isolation room in residence for 10 days.
  • Follow all further instructions from their Residence Life Area Coordinator as part of their Residence Agreement.

Students who do not live in residence:

  • Must report your positive test result in Mosaic (Select Student Symptomatic Testing Centre – Les Prince 109). 
  • You must follow Public Health advice for people who test positive for COVID-19, including staying home and self-isolating for 10 days if you don’t have symptoms, or 10 days after symptoms have started. 

Staff at the Student Wellness Centre may contact you directly to review the date you can return to campus and any documentation that may be required. Please follow all McMaster COVID-19 student guidelines found here. 

The Student Symptomatic COVID-19 testing centres uses the PCR test. Also called a molecular test, this COVID-19 test detects genetic material of the virus using a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A fluid sample is collected by inserting a long nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) into your nostril and taking fluid from the back of your nose or by using a shorter nasal swab (mid-turbinate swab) to get a sample. 

The Student Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre uses what Ontario Public Health calls the “gold standard of testing for COVID-19″ called a PCR test. 

“In Ontario, we use PCR as the gold standard of testing for COVID-19 because it is able to successfully detect tiny amounts of the virus (sensitivity) with a low chance for error (accuracy) compared to other types of lab tests,” says Jonathan Gubbay, Medical Microbiologist, Public Health Ontario.  

PCR testing (also known as polymerase chain reaction testing) was developed over 35 years ago and is one of the most widely used lab tests for finding viruses (and other pathogens like bacteria, fungi and parasites) that cause diseases such as Ebola, SARS and now COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). 

In addition to the existing safety measures on McMaster’s campus, like mandatory masks indoors and screening before attending campus, McMaster’s Student Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre will also have taken the following precautions:

  • A one-way flow of traffic, meaning there is one door to come in the centre and another door to leave.
  • Appropriately distanced specimen collection area and waiting area.
  • Standalone high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units will be installed.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the entire centre will occur twice per day, once midday and once at closing. In addition, disinfecting of chairs and other equipment will be conducted between each person by the staff in the centre.

To protect the privacy of individuals attending McMaster’s Student Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre:

  • All staff working at the McMaster’s Student Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre follow the rules of the The Personal Health Information Privacy Act, 2004 
  • Privacy barriers will separate individual specimen collection areas and the waiting area.
  • Test results are available via the provincial COVID-19 test result website that only you can access.  
  • Test results are shared with SWC staff for follow-up.

McMaster’s symptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre on campus is in a wheelchair accessible location. Please contact the Student Wellness Centre directly, if you have any other accessibility needs. 

Student Wellness Centre nurses will be available to answer your questions at the testing centre.