COVID-19 Pre-Arrival & Screening Testing for Universities

Deploy integrated COVID-19 pre-arrival and population screening testing to prevent outbreaks and help students, staff, and faculty stay safe on campus.

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Scalable Infrastructure & Program

Mitigating COVID-19 outbreaks requires high-frequency testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Color’s automated infrastructure was designed for large-scale, distributed testing and our intuitive software simplifies sign-up, scheduling, and reviewing results. Color provides an integrated program including full program management, logistics, best practices, and effective communications strategies.

Fast, Accurate Testing

Color’s CLIA-certified, high-capacity lab provides fast, accurate results while processing tens of thousands of tests daily, averaging a 24-hour turnaround.1   We operate under FDA Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) to offer clinician-monitored and self-collection testing that can be done at home or on campus for increased scalability. Our cost-effective and easy-to-use test kits make them ideal for large population testing.

Population Health Screening

Many factors contribute to choosing an appropriate testing protocol, including the exposure risks specific to your community, setting, and population size. Color partners with experts in epidemiology like Carl Bergstrom from the University of Washington to provide tools for outbreak modeling and effective test protocols. We provide access to real-time population health data for rapid response to changing situations, and our system tracks and manages testing protocols for multiple cohorts, including notifications and reminders for repeat testing.

“Partnering with Color will expand our knowledge of prevalence and detection of asymptomatic cases at USC, so that we may make better-informed healthcare decisions.”

– Sarah Van Orman, Chief Health Officer of University of Southern California Student Health

Safely Welcome Students Back to Campus with Pre-Arrival Testing

Color provides a reliable and efficient way to ensure a safe return to campus. Our self-swab kits can be shipped or distributed on campus, activated online, and include a comfortable lower nasal swab. Test kits ship overnight, and results auto-release to participants, university health services and local health authorities. 90% of results are released within 36 hours of sample collection.1

Self-swab test kits, automated communications and reminders, and customizable reporting make Color’s program the simplest way for university teams to manage campus pre-arrival testing.

Color’s COVID-19 Testing FAQs


Color uses nucleic acid amplification techniques (RT-LAMP and RT-PCR) to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. Learn more about our testing and assay


The vast majority of our testing uses anterior nares (AN) swabs, a non-invasive swab that collects  specimens from the front part of both nostrils. Our unmonitored kits use dry AN swabs. Nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs must be administered by a clinician.

Getting tested takes about 10–15 minutes. Results typically take 24-72 hours, and in practice our average turnaround is 24 hours1 , though the actual time may vary. Turnaround time is the usual number of hours from the time a specimen is accessioned at the laboratory to when the result is released to the participant and ordering provider.

Depending on the type of program you have, Color will provide a unique URL or program code that allows participants to enroll in testing. They’ll be asked for basic information such as phone number and email address, and required CDC health information.


First, participants confirm some basic information to check-in at the Color testing site. Then they proceed to sample collection where they provide consent for the test, and provide the sample via nasal swab. They’ll also receive a handout with a sample-specific barcode for results release.


When test results become available, participants receive a text message and/or email notification that links them to a HIPAA-compliant portal to view their results.

For university, employer, and public entity programs, we provide administrative teams with a program dashboard to effectively monitor participant health. The participant and ordering physician receive results directly through Color’s participant and provider portals. Participants provide consent for testing and HIPAA authorization for results sharing as part of our scheduling system before being tested.


Color has created a framework to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, which can be found in our Return to On-Site Screening Strategies white paper.

As a clinical testing provider, Color adheres to the strictest privacy and security controls. Color is HIPAA-compliant and has worked with institutions ranging from the NIH to Fortune 500 employers. You may view our COVID terms of serviceNotice of Privacy Practices, COVID HIPAA authorization, and COVID informed consent to learn more.

Contact us

To learn more about testing for your campus community, fill out this form and a member of our team will get back to you.

Testing frequency, participants, etc.

Thanks for your submission.

Our team will be in touch soon. In the meantime, here are some helpful links:

1. Color Genomics, Inc. Turnaround time by Collection Batch (July 2020). Burlingame, CA: Color Data Science.