Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Federal Government COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Update 12/13/21: A recent court ruling now prevents federal agencies from enforcing a vaccine requirement in all states and territories of the United States. That means that while we encourage everyone to consider vaccination when permitted by religious beliefs and medical conditions, it is not currently required of anyone in the university community.

Who needs to be tested?
All Durham undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and contractors living in campus housing or planning to be on the Durham campus. If you are a member of the Manchester or Law School community, follow the testing schedule you have been provided.

How often do I need to be tested?

Regular testing will continue. 

  • If you have not uploaded a vaccine card: two times a week for students, once a week for employees and contractors.
  • If you have uploaded your vaccine card and it is approved: once every other week or more frequently on a voluntary basis.
  • IMPORTANT CHANGE: If you have symptoms don’t wait to test. DO NOT use the drop boxes if you have symptoms; make an appointment at Health & Wellness for evaluation and testing. Your regular testing schedule—shown in Wildcat Pass—will automatically adjust to the appropriate next due date after your last test.

What if I won’t be on campus at all?
If you are not going to be on campus or in the Durham community at all, you may request to fully opt out of testing. If approved, your WCP will be in deny status.

What if I need to be away from campus unexpectedly for a period of time?
If you are going to be away from campus and unable to test on your schedule, please fill out the Testing Exemption Form at least 72 hours prior (or as soon as possible in the event of an emergency). Please note this does not guarantee your request will be approved. Each submission will be reviewed on an individual basis. You will receive a follow-up email once your request has been reviewed.

What if I’m not getting regular testing but I need to come to campus?
Go to MUB 213, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Do I still need to test if I get the vaccine?
Yes. You must continue with your regular testing schedule to have a valid Wildcat Pass to be on campus.

I missed a test drop off. How do I clear my Wildcat Pass?
First, drop off a sample as soon as possible. If your Wildcat Pass went invalid because you are 24 hours or more past your sample drop-off window and it is the first time you missed a test, then your Wildcat Pass will clear automatically when your sample is received by the COVID lab. If it is the second time your Wildcat Pass went invalid because you are 24 hours or more past your sample drop-off window, then your Wildcat Pass will not automatically reset. Check your email for instructions.

What if I am an employee but only going to be on campus intermittently?
Go to MUB 213, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

What happens if the test tube leaks when I flip it over to check the seal?
You need to complete a new testing sample. 

What is the absorbent pad for?
The absorbent pad is included to soak up spilled liquid in the event a sample leaks. This helps protects lab workers and prevents the contamination of other samples.

Where do I drop off my test kit?

    • A-Lot tunnel: This box has moved to the vestibule in Visitor Information & Parking Office by the bus stop.

    • Dimond Library: under front covered walkway (open overnight Mon 9 a.m.-Fri 4 p.m.)

    • Hamel Recreation Center: lobby

    • Health & Wellness: inside side entrance

    • Holloway Commons (HoCo): by turnstiles inside main door

    • Kingsbury: Albert's Cafe lobby

    • MUB 213 COVID Office

    • Philbrook Dining Hall: by turnstiles inside main door

    • Stillings Dining Hall: main entrance (locks Friday at noon) (When building reopens)

    • West Edge hut (open overnight Mon 9 a.m.-Fri 4 p.m.)

Look for the gray sample drop box and large flag at the following locations. Do not give your test kit to anyone else to handle.

  • Boxes will open by 9 a.m. Monday and be closed Fridays at 4 p.m.
  • Anything left in the box (Monday-Thursday) after 4 p.m. will be processed the following day
  • Any samples left on top of or around a locked box (Friday 4 p.m.-Monday 9 a.m.) will be taken to the lab and immediately rejected.
  • The lab and drop boxes will be closed on university holidays. All boxes will reopen by 9 a.m. the next morning.

What if I miss a test?
Please adjust your plans to ensure that you deposit your test on the expected day and in the expected time window. This is critical to managing workflow in the lab, and disruptions jeopardize the ability to return test information in a timely manner. If you are late, you will receive a text and email reminder to turn in your test within 24 hours.

What if I sabotage my test kit?
Any intentional attempts to jeopardize testing accuracy or processes (e.g. submitting someone else’s nasal swab as your own or providing invalid specimens) will result in severe disciplinary action.

How will I get more test kits? What if I run out? What if I lose my labels?
If you run out prior to the next testing kit distribution or lose your labels go to MUB 213.

What if I am unable to perform a self-swab due to a disability?
Faculty, staff and students with disabilities in need of assistance should contact UNH Health & Wellness at (603) 862-9355. UNH Health & Wellness can assist in arranging an appointment for testing/swabbing. 

Will Wildcat Pass tell me if I miss a test?
Click on “more info” to see the last submitted test on record as well as when your next test is due. 

What if I had COVID within the past 90 days?

A positive test exempts you from additional testing for 90 days from your time of illness unless you become ill. If you receive test results from an outside provider (e.g., local urgent care), please upload your positive result to this form.If you test positive on a COVID-19 test processed through UNH, you will be contacted by a member of the Health & Wellness staff.

How will I get my test results?
See above for instructions on how to access your test results. Results will be sent to you via your UNH email. Please update your contact information to ensure you receive your results.

What will happen after I test positive, or if someone close to me tests positive?

UNH adopted revised Centers for Disease Control and NH Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) recommendations Jan. 18, 2022. If you test positive or are identified as a household close contact requiring quarantine please review the guidance in its entirety. Changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19—regardless of vaccination status—can end isolation after day five (beginning day six or later) if they are fever free for at least 24 hours and their symptoms are improving.
    • ALL STUDENTS (undergraduate and graduate) must also have a negative rapid/antigen test; isolation continues until day 10 if the requirements are not met. Students must complete the online attestation form to reactivate their Wildcat Pass.
    • At this time the university will not be providing rapid/antigen tests; Health & Wellness is not able to provide rapid/antigen tests for the purpose of ending isolation early and the COVID Lab also cannot be used to test out of isolation.
  • Anyone who is unvaccinated or who is not up to date on receiving all recommended vaccine doses (this includes a booster) must quarantine if they are exposed to a household member with COVID-19 (Household Close Contact). Upload proof of booster if you have it.

A Household Close Contact (HCC) is defined by NH DHHS as any individual who lives and sleeps in the same indoor shared space as another person diagnosed.

On-campus quarantine/isolation housing is only available to students who 1) live in an on-campus residence hall or apartment and 2) live outside of the New England states and New York.

If I am required to stay in an isolation hall how will I eat?
UNH Dining will prepare boxed meals and deliver them to your door. They will take into consideration dietary needs. 

What are active cases?
Active cases are those individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently in isolation. Active case data is provided by UNH Health & Wellness in conjunction with the State of New Hampshire.

What does isolation mean?
Isolation is the separation of people who are ill or have tested positive from those who are not. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of their positive COVID-19 test. Once that 10 days is reached, the individual must be fever free for 24 hours with other symptoms improving to end isolation. The end date/time of isolation is determined by representatives of N.H. Department of Health and Human Services for each individual case.

What does quarantine mean?
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of anyone who is a close contact of someone with COVID-19. Close contacts are quarantined to see if they become sick during the 14 days after they were last exposed to someone with COVID-19.

A close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10-15 minutes during the infectious period, which begins two days before illness onset or two days prior to positive test collection and extends for at least 10 days from illness onset or a positive test. An individual who is in quarantine must continue to quarantine even if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result.

What does the Positive Daily Tests chart show?
This chart shows the number of daily positive COVID-19 tests for the most recent seven days based on the date of the COVID-19 test (when the specimen was collected). It is useful for seeing and comparing the number of new positives for COVID-19 tests that took place in the last seven days.

What does Average Daily Total Tests Conducted mean?
Average Daily Total Tests shows the average number of tests performed in the past seven-day period. All tests conducted are included in the calculation including those with positive, negative, inconclusive and no results. This data element is provided to show the average number of tests taking place per day within the UNH testing program.

What is the purpose of the Past 7 Days section on the dashboard?
This section is designed to provide insight into activity for the past seven days. This section shows the total number of negative and positive tests performed in the seven-day timeframe. This information is provided by population type and campus location. A positivity rate and prevalence rate of COVID-19 are also provided.

How is the positivity rate calculated?
The positivity rate is the number of positive tests divided by the sum of the positive and negative tests. Due to UNH’s testing protocol, which includes routine testing of individuals, the number of tests performed exceeds the number of individuals who are tested.

What is prevalence and how is it calculated?
Prevalence shows the occurrence of COVID-19 within the population that was tested. It is calculated by taking the number of positive tests divided by the number of people tested. 

What does People Tested show?
The People Tested data point shows the number of individuals tested.  It is available in two places on the dashboard and shows the number of people tested in the last 7 days as well as the number of individuals who have been tested since the start of the UNH testing program. 

The Positive Weekly Tests numbers look wrong. Why don’t the counts match other data on the dashboard?
The Positive Weekly Tests shows the number of new positive tests by week based on the date of the COVID-19 test. Weeks are defined as Monday through Sunday. The weeks presented in this chart differ from the Past 7 Days section which is based on a rolling week and shows the last seven days of activity. Counts for the most recent weeks may be incomplete and will be updated as results are available. 

The most up-to-date coronavirus health and safety information from UNH Health & Wellness

Policies for Isolation and Quarantine

Updated Facilities COVID Policies and Practices can be found here

COVID-19 Vaccination at UNH

For more information about the different COVID-19 vaccines, their efficacy and possible side effects visit the CDC website.

Who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at UNH? All UNH faculty, staff and students from all three campuses. 

What if I don’t want to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Do I have to get one? No. We encourage every eligible member of our community to be vaccinated. The more vaccinated people, the sooner the university can consider changes to its testing schedule and open more opportunities on its campuses.

Once I get both vaccines, do I still have to be in the university’s COVID testing program? Yes, you must continue to test as scheduled.

Do I have to continue testing? If I got the vaccine, won’t I test positive? Yes, you must continue to test as scheduled. Receiving the vaccine will not impact your test results as there is no live virus in the vaccine. The vaccine is not 100% effective; it is possible you can still contract and/or spread COVID-19 even after you have received the vaccine.

What if I already got my COVID-19 vaccine? Great, and thank you! Once you have completed your vaccine series, please upload proof of vaccination to MyHealth&WellnessLearn how here.

Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine

For more information about the different COVID-19 vaccines, their efficacy and possible side effects visit the CDC website.

How do I prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine?  Wear clothing that allows the clinician to easily access your upper arm. Consider wearing a short-sleeved shirt or wear a short-sleeved shirt under a sweater or jacket that can be easily removed.  

What happens right after I get the vaccine?  You will be asked to wait 15-30 minutes in an observation area to monitor for any reactions.  

What are common side effects after vaccination?  Common side effects from vaccination include pain, swelling or redness where the shot was given, a mild fever, chills, fatigue, headache, and muscle and joint aches.

Can I take pain medicine (e.g. acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) to manage the side effects of COVID-19 vaccination? The CDC has stated that patients can take pain medication after their vaccination if they feel side effects (e.g. pain, headache or fever that cannot be tolerated). It is not recommended for individuals to take pain medication in anticipation of potential side effects prior to their vaccine.

Can people who have had COVID-19 receive the COVID-19 vaccine? Yes. Vaccination is offered to all individuals, regardless of their history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, if you are at least 10 days from your diagnosis, have completed your isolation and no longer have a fever. 

Are there reasons to not get the vaccine?  

1.     If you were exposed to COVID-19, wait 14 days from your exposure. If you haven’t developed symptoms after 14 days, you may get the vaccine.

2.     Wait 90 days if you have received convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19.

3.     If you have already received a vaccine other than COVID-19, you should wait 14 days before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

4.     If you are due to receive a vaccine other than a COVID-19 vaccine, you should wait 14 days to get the other vaccine.

5.     For more information related to the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine please visit the Centers for Disease Control.


What is Wildcat Pass?

The university created the Wildcat Pass tool to help members of its community keep track of their ongoing compliance status. If you are compliant, your Wildcat Pass will show a colorful symbol that fits the full screen of your mobile phone, computer or other electronic device. If you are not in compliance, you will receive a small text message instead of a full-screen symbol. That message lets you know what you need to do to become compliant. 

How do I access Wildcat Pass?

You can access Wildcat Pass at, via the UNH Mobile app or by selecting it as a task at

How do I keep my Wildcat Pass valid?

  • Must not be in Isolation or Quarantine
  • Must have signed the Community Pledge (students only)
  • Must have updated MyProfile
  • Must have signed the consent form
  • Must complete scheduled testing

What if I am going out of town and will not be able to drop off a sample?

Request an exemption.

I did what the Wildcat Pass said, and it still shows invalid. What now?

Follow the instructions provided on your pass.

If you need to pick up more kits or labels, go to MUB 213 or email if you have questions regarding test kit pick-up.

If you are missing the update my profile form Update your profile now.

If you are missing the Wildcat Pledge compete the form now.

It may take up to two hours for your pass to clear after submitting these forms. Please plan accordingly.

My Wildcat Pass says that I am not in compliance with updating My Profile. What do I do?

Update your profile. Note that it may take up to two hours for an updated profile to be registered with the Wildcat Pass.

My Wildcat Pass says that I am not in compliance with the Wildcat Pledge. What do I do?

Read and sign the Wildcat Pledge. Note that it will take up to two hours for an updated pledge to be registered with the Wildcat Pass.

Employee and student travel is an integral part of fulfilling the university’s educational, research and service mission. Considering changes in health and safety related to COVID and changes in our financial budget projections, we are prepared to expand travel for Fall 2021, though not to levels prior to 2020. When making plans for travel, we encourage everyone to consider the importance of the travel, the health and safety risk, the expense, and the viability of remote options. Keep in mind that the health and safety of our community is paramount. Stricter travel guidance may be forthcoming if COVID conditions in or beyond our community warrant.

As of Aug. 30, 2021:

  • Employee day-trip travel and return by car without an overnight stay or use of any public transportation is not subject to additional restrictions.
  • For travel related to research and professional development, it is highly recommended to discuss a COVID plan with your supervisor, and, if appropriate, gain funding approval. Travel supported by research and gift funds will be prioritized over travel supported by our limited operational funds.
  • Domestic student travel related to education may continue and will require a Travel and COVID plan that is approved by the dean’s offices for curricular activity and the Memorial Union Building & Student Activities Office for Durham-based co-curricular activities (e.g., clubs).
  • International study abroad travel is limited to pre-approved locations or by petition.
  • Athletic travel will follow the stricter NCAA and Northeast Conference guidelines, as well as require testing upon return to campus.
  • Travel related to all other business operations will require funding approval and a brief COVID plan discussion with the supervisor is recommended.
  • A COVID test is recommended after any overnight travel. A COVID test and quarantine may be required as part of the Travel and COVID plan for student groups.

All travel must include compliance with UNH COVID Guidance and COVID requirements of the travel destination. All state and federal travel rules must be followed. Supervisors are asked to prioritize gift funding for travel expenditures that are not grant funded. 

Any questions on the feasibility of specific COVID plans should be directed to your supervisor.

COVID plan for Educational and Student Travel