Health and Testing

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, body aches or loss of smell or taste) it is important that you immediately self-isolate and be tested for coronavirus.

If you have tested positive or have symptoms of COVID-19, please review this flowchart to determine next steps.

How to schedule your asymptomatic COVID-19 test

Asymptomatic COVID testing is available to students who require a negative test result for clinical rotation placements. These tests can be scheduled through MyChart. To complete scheduling, students need to ask their clinical coordinator for a password.

How to schedule your symptomatic COVID-19 test

Rush employees, students and volunteers living in Illinois have access to symptomatic COVID testing at Rush. To determine your eligibility and schedule an appointment, use the Employee/Student/Volunteer COVID-19 Testing process in MyChart or the My Rush app.

For symptomatic testing, follow the instructions below or watch this video.
  1. Download the My Rush app on the App Store (iOS) or from Google Play (Android) or go to
  2. In the app, navigate to Appointments > Future and Past Appointments > Schedule an Appointment. In MyChart, navigate to Visits > Schedule an Appointment.
  3. Select “Employee/Student COVID-19 Test”.
  4. Provide the requested information about symptoms, previous COVID results, department/POC test eligibility and preferred testing time/location. Please read all questions and notes carefully to be scheduled for the correct type of test.
  5. Complete eCheck-in within 24 hours of your testing appointment.
  6. Arrive at your appointment time, according to instructions in your appointment confirmation.

Because providers are licensed by state, students, faculty and staff living outside Illinois should contact their primary care provider or clinic by phone or virtual visit to schedule a test.

If you test positive for novel coronavirus, follow instructions from Infection Control and contact your program director or manager immediately.

Please review this document to learn about what your COVID-19 test result means and the protocols to follow after getting tested.


What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some coronaviruses cause illnesses in people, but many of them do not. Most of the coronaviruses that make people sick usually only cause mild respiratory disease, similar to the common cold.

The new coronavirus that is causing alarm officially is named SARS-CoV-2, but it also is known as 2019 novel coronavirus. It is called novel because it hasn’t been seen in human beings before. It first was identified in Wuhan, a city in China, in December 2019. Because the virus is new, the investigation of it is evolving rapidly and being updated frequently.

The disease the virus causes is known as coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19 for short.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms are similar to the flu or pneumonia and can include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, body aches, sore throat or loss of smell. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

COVID-19 typically causes mild symptoms, and the vast majority of people will recover fully from it. Some people with the virus are asymptomatic; they do not develop any symptoms. However, in some cases these symptoms may develop into more serious problems, such as severe breathlessness. 

The CDC recommends you call your doctor if you develop these symptoms or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or recently have traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

What should I do if I develop symptoms?

If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, body aches, sore throat or loss of smell, it is important that you immediately self-isolate and do not come to campus or go out in public to prevent further infection.

Students, faculty and staff can take advantage of testing using the MyRush app.

Watch this video for instructions on how to schedule a test.

How can I avoid getting sick?

The best defense against spreading this coronavirus is wearing a mask while in public, whether you are sick or not, and social distancing from others while in public.

Equally important is HANDWASHING. Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer when soap is not available. Additionally:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or face.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect household surfaces frequently.
  • Frequently clean your cell phone and other devices you use with your hands or that touches your face.
What if I was exposed to someone with COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms?

If you have been in close contact with a person (less than 6 feet away for more than 15 minutes) who tested positive for COVID-19, you are required to quarantine for 14 days per the CDC guidelines. 

In December 2020, the Chicago Department of Public Health provided guideance for two additional options for quarantine. If approved by your program director, Rush students may follow one of these options:

  1. Quarantine for 10 days from last exposure if you are asymptomatic.

  2. Quarantine for 7 days from last exposure if on days 5 or 6 you receive a negative COVID test, and you are asymptomatic.

    For these options, you must self-monitor for the remaining days, up to day 14, for signs and symptoms of illness. If you become symptomatic, you should be tested for COVID.

As of March 2021, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to isolate after experiencing an exposure to someone with COVID-19. The updated CDC guidelines advise that individuals are considered fully vaccinated two or more weeks after the second dose of a 2-dose vaccine or the first of a single dose vaccine.

What mental health or wellness resources are available?

See the Wellness page for more information and resources.

Am I eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. All adults are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

For more COVID-19 information visit