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McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres

McMaster students, staff and faculty members who are not fully vaccinated are required to take a rapid antigen COVID-19 test at one of McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres twice a week and receive a negative test result to attend campus, any McMaster facility or an off-site affiliate location.

Notice: The Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre on campus will close at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday beginning September 28th. 

  • No appointment is required.  
  • Do not attend McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19.  
  • Please bring your McMaster Student ID or Employee Badge (MacID) or health card to the centre.  
  • McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres are not available for those who need a test for travel or reasons other than attending a McMaster location.

Test results from McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres are confidentially added to your secure login on the MacCheck website.  

McMaster has three Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre locations.

1. Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre on Campus (Open starting September 7th)
Room 311, 3rd floor, McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC), 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario  

2. Ron Joyce Centre Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre (Open starting September 20th)
First Floor. Room 125, Ron Joyce Centre – Degroote School of Business, 4350 S Service Rd, Burlington, ON L7L 5R8

3. David Braley Health Sciences Centre Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre (Open starting September 21st)
Room 1016, 1st Floor, David Braley Health Sciences Centre, 100 Main St W, Hamilton, ON L8P 1H6)

More information about McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres process and how often a negative test is required to continuing access McMaster locations can be found in the Q&A below. 

Asymptomatic Testing Centre FAQs

The following groups must receive a negative COVID-19 test result from one of McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres twice per week to access campus, any McMaster location, or an off-site affiliate location. 

  • Unvaccinated students, staff and faculty members (have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccine) 
  • Partially vaccinated students, staff and faculty members (have a only received one dose of a two dose COVID-19 vaccine series or b. it has been less than 14 days since receiving your second dose of a two-dose series or c. it has been less than 14 days after receiving an approved single dose vaccine).  
  • Students, staff and faculty members who have received a valid COVID-19 vaccination exemption from McMaster University. 

McMaster University has three asymptomatic covid-19 testing centre locations including:

  1. McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre on Campus
    Room 311, Third Floor, McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC), Main Campus 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario.Hours:

    Monday from 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    *Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
    Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Thursday from 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    *Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.

    *Starting Tuesday, September 28th, this centre will close at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday.

  1. Ron Joyce Centre Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre
    Room 125 (also known as the Clinic at Degroote), First Floor. Ron Joyce Centre – Degroote School of Business, 4350 S Service Rd, Burlington, ON L7L 5R8Open starting September 20thHours:

    Monday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

  1. David Braley Health Sciences Centre Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre
    Room 1016, 1st Floor, David Braley Health Sciences Centre, 100 Main St W, Hamilton, ON L8P 1H6Open starting September 21stHours:
    Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

 

No. You do not need an appointment for a rapid antigen COVID-19 test at McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres.  

Starting September 7th, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated McMaster students, staff and faculty members who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 must attend one of McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres for a rapid antigen COVID-19 test.  
 
The first COVID-19 test with a negative result must be completed within 48 hours of first arriving on campus, any McMaster facility or an off-site affiliate location.  
 
To follow, a COVID-19 test with a negative result must occur every 48 to 72 hours to continue access.

  • You do not need an appointment for a rapid antigen COVID-19 test at McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre.  
  • Please complete COVID-19 screening daily on the MacCheck website before coming to a McMaster Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre.  
  • Upon arrival, students, staff and faculty members will be greeted by the centre staff for registration.  
  • Please bring your McMaster Student ID or Employee Badge (MacID) or health card to the centre. 
  • The centre staff will show you to a private area and will collect the specimen for the rapid antigen test. To do this, the staff member will swab the inside of your nose.  
  • You must wait for test results to be processed in the waiting area. Results are usually available within 15 minutes.  
  • Clinic staff will provide you with your results and instructions on will happen next, which depends on whether the test results are negative or positive. 
  • Test results are confidentially recorded by testing centre staff in the MacCheck website. 
  • After you have received your test result, you need to sign into MacCheck and complete the daily check in again in order to update your clearance.

If your rapid antigen COVID-19 test results are negative, you can leave the centre and access campus, any McMaster facility or an off-site affiliate location.  

You will be given information on follow up testing requirements and COVID-19 safety.

After you have received your test result, you need to sign into MacCheck and complete the daily check in again in order to update your clearance.

Students who live in residence:  

  • You must report your positive test result in Mosaic (Select “McMaster Asymptomatic Testing Centre”).  
  • You must also attend the Student Symptomatic Testing Centre on campus (Location: Les Prince Hall, Room 109) within 24 hours to receive a follow-up polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test (call ext. 27700 to book an appointment). 
  • On the weekend when the Symptomatic Testing Centre on campus is closed, please attend a COVID-19 testing site in the community by booking an appointment online. 
  • Contact your Residence Life Area Coordinator and follow all further instructions as part of your Residence Agreement.

Students who do not live residence:  

  • You must report your positive test result in Mosaic (Select “McMaster Asymptomatic Testing Centre ”).  
  • If you test positive, you need to attend the Student Symptomatic Testing Centre on campus (Location: Les Prince Hall, Room 109) within 24 hours in to receive a follow-up polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test (call ext. 27700 to book an appointment) and then will be asked to leave campus.  
  • On the weekend when the Symptomatic Testing Centre on campus is closed, please attend a COVID-19 testing site in the community by booking an appointment online. 
  • You must stay at home and self-isolate until you complete your PCR test and receive your results.  
  • 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 and faculty members:  

  • If you test positive, you will be asked to leave the McMaster location immediately.  
  • You must report your positive test result in Mosaic (Select “McMaster Asymptomatic Testing Centre”).  
  • You must follow all Public Health advice for people who test positive for COVID-19, including self-isolation requirements.  
  • Arrange a follow-up polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, usually provided by a healthcare provider at a testing centre in the community. In Hamilton you can book a test online. Check your local Public Health’s website for community testing information.  

Follow Public Health guidelines on how to self-isolate after testing positive. Hamilton Public Health provides details about how long you will need to self-isolate after a positive PCR test.   

After you report your positive PCR results on Mosaic: 

A rapid antigen testing kit will be used, which is a patient-friendly nasal collection test that can produce results in 15 minutes. Patients do not usually describe this test as painful. McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres will be using a type of rapid antigen test called the Abbott Panbio™ COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test, which is approved by Health Canada. To complete the test, a centre staff member will use a dry swab inside your nose to collect a specimen. If you could like more information or to watch a video on how the swab will be taken, please visit the Abbott Panbio™ COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test. 

Rapid antigen tests detect certain proteins in the virus to confirm if it is present.  

In a clinical study, the Panbio rapid antigen test produced by Abbott Laboratories demonstrated 93.8% sensitivity and 100.0% specificity in asymptomatic people with high viral loads. 
The government of Ontario has said “rapid antigen tests are not as accurate as lab-based PCR tests. A positive result on a rapid antigen screen is considered a preliminary positive.” This is why a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is required after a positive rapid antigen test to confirm the result.  

No. Do not come to McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, as listed by the government of Ontario. Do not attend McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Follow all Public Health advice. 

Students living in residence: Attend the Symptomatic Testing Centre on located in Les Prince Hall, Room 109 for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test. On the weekend when the Symptomatic Testing Centre on campus is closed, please attend a COVID-19 testing site in the community by booking an appointment onlineSelf-isolate until you complete your PCR test and receive your test results.   

Students not living in residence: Attend the Symptomatic Testing Centre on located in Les Prince Hall, Room 109 for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test. On the weekend when the Symptomatic Testing Centre on campus is closed, please attend a COVID-19 testing site in the community by booking an appointment online. Self-isolate until you complete your PCR test and receive your test results.   

Staff and faculty members: If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and arrange to be tested for COVID-19 at a Testing Centre in the community, using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, usually provided by a Public Health service or healthcare professional. In Hamilton, people with symptoms of COVID-19 can book a test onlineSelf-isolate until you complete your PCR  test and receive your test results. 

In addition to the existing safety measures at McMaster, including mandatory masks indoors and screening before attending campus, McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres will also have taken the following precautions: 

  • Appropriately distanced specimen collection area and waiting area. 
  • Standalone high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units.   
  • 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 Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres: 

  • All staff working at the McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres have signed a confidentiality agreement.  
  • Privacy barriers will separate individual specimen collection areas.  
  • All individuals leaving the testing site will be given a handout regardless of test result to help increase anonymity of anyone with a positive test result.    
  • All test results will be given behind a privacy screen set up beside the exit door.

Using McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres are part of the process to access campus because staff at the Centre will validate test results and then your test results will be updated in the MacCheck website which will provide clearance to attend a McMaster facility.

Certain on-site McMaster community members who are located at University Property outside of Hamilton and the surrounding area (e.g., those at the Waterloo Regional Campus, the Niagara Regional Campus and sites in Collingwood) will not be required to attend the on-campus testing centre, and will receive information about how to complete their rapid antigen testing.

McMaster has three Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres. One at our main campus, one at the Ron Joyce Centre in Burlington and another at the David Braley Health Science Centre in downtown Hamilton. See the side bar on this web page or a question above for hours and room location.

Certain on-site McMaster community members who are located at University Property outside of Hamilton and the surrounding area (e.g., those at the Waterloo Regional Campus, the Niagara Regional Campus and sites in Collingwood) will not be required to attend the on-campus testing centre, and will receive information about how to complete their rapid antigen testing.

If you are an unvaccinated or partially vaccinated McMaster student, staff or faculty member, you must have proof of a negative rapid antigen COVID-19 test from the Asymptomatic COVID019 Testing Centre on campus within 48 hours of first arriving on campus.   

Subsequent testing must continue to be completed at least 48 hours and not more than 72 hours from the previous test to remain valid, or your on-site access will expire.?  

If your on-site access expires, you will need to attend the testing centre immediately on arrival in order to renew your approval to remain on-site. 

No. McMaster staff will not be provided paid time to attend McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre for a rapid test. For employees, testing will be completed outside of scheduled work hours. Depending on wait times, employees or students participating in testing prior to work hours or class time should consider additional wait time that may be necessary. 

For the purposes of McMaster’s vaccine policies and guided by public health authorities, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after:

  • Receiving a full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada or any combination of such vaccines, or a full series of a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization (e.g. CoronaVac/Sinovac and Sinopharm/BBIBP), or
  • Receiving one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada (Moderna, Pfizer) after having received a partial series of a Covid19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada or
  • Receiving three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada (including Sputnik V and Covaxin)
  • Individuals who have received a full series of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization but not Health Canada can be safely offered one additional dose of a mRNA vaccine and this would be expected to optimize protection.

McMaster’s Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres are in a wheelchair accessible location. Please connect with Employee Health Services, if you have any other accessibility needs.  

McMaster experts have answered common questions about vaccination on the Back to Mac website 
 
The Student Wellness Centre has FAQs on COVID-19 vaccines. Students can reach out to Student Accessibility Services (sas@mcmaster.ca).  If staff or faculty have questions about vaccination or the testing centre  email occhealthnurse@mcmaster.ca 
 

The Back to Mac website includes more information about COVID-19 vaccination requirements at McMaster University. 

No. Rapid antigen tests are free at the Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centres for those who require it.  

No. Only McMaster students, faculty and staff who require a rapid antigen COVID-19 test can use the Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Centre on campus. Affiliate organizations on campus are responsible for meeting McMaster’s vaccination mandate. Please connect with your affiliate organization for more information.