COVID-19 Evaluation and Testing

Student Health Services provides guidance, evaluation, diagnostic testing, and healthcare for students who experience symptoms of COVID-like illness or who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

If you have symptoms or are a close contact

  1. Stay home or in your residence hall room. Separate yourself from others.
  2. Complete your Mason COVID Health Check and call Student Health at 703-993-2831. After-hours, follow phone prompts to connect to the free nurse advice phone service.
  3. Talk with Student Health about symptoms and/or exposure. Schedule an appointment for an evaluation with a provider and for COVID testing as directed.

Even if you are fully vaccinated, talk with a healthcare professional if you experience symptoms of COVID-19 and get testing as directed.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Sore throat
Congestion or runny nose

If you are showing any of these emergency warning signs of COVID-19, seek emergency medical care immediately:
Trouble breathing
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion
Inability to wake or stay awake
Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

This list does not include every emergency symptom. Call your health care provider to discuss any other severe or concerning symptoms.

Steps to take if you experience symptoms or are a close contact

Student Health Services COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Student Health provides rapid point-of-care and PCR testing for current COVID-19 infection.  Testing is provided at the on-campus Diagnostic Testing Site by appointment only. Tests are conducted using a nasal swab.

Diagnostic testing is for students who are symptomatic or who are identified as close contacts of someone with COVID-19. Call 703-993-2831 for appointment scheduling. A healthcare provider will evaluate your condition and, when appropriate, order a test for COVID-19.

There is no out-of-pocket cost for COVID testing for students who do not have health insurance. Students can use health insurance for COVID testing; many insurance plans cover the cost of testing.

Not near campus? Your provider can refer you to a local testing location.

George Mason Courtesy Testing for Asymptomatic Potential Exposures

Asymptomatic students (students who do not have symptoms of illness) that are notified by Mason of a potential exposure in a university classroom, while at work, or while participating in an extracurricular university event are eligible to receive a courtesy COVID test at one of the on-campus surveillance testing sites. Vaccinated close contacts are also eligible to be tested at the sites. These sites are not managed by Student Health Services. Visit the Safe Return to Campus website for more details about surveillance and courtesy testing.

Asymptomatic students do not need to call Student Health Services to seek this courtesy testing. Follow the instructions in the email you received for testing guidance or refer to guidance on the Safe Return to Campus website.

Positive Test Results

If you test positive for COVID-19, Student Health Services will contact you to provide guidance for isolation and self-care.

Contact Tracing

Learn more about the Fairfax County contact tracing process.

Isolation and Quarantine

Video explains the terms isolation and quarantine.

SARA Alert

Information about the Fairfax County SARA Alert System if you test positive.

Viral COVID-19 Tests

Basic info on viral COVID-19 testing.

COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments in the U.S.

COVID-19 vaccines are free and available to all individuals age 12 and older. Visit for upcoming vaccination clinics at George Mason University.