Process for Providing Your Saliva Sample
For anyone submitting a test for the first time, we recommend that you see Testing Support and Test Kit Pickup for more details on Zoom and in-person support options.
You do not need to have a negative test result before beginning or resuming on-campus work.
If you are symptomatic (a fever greater than 100F or 37.8 C, new cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell) do not make a special trip to campus to submit your test.
Undergraduate and graduate students who are experiencing symptoms and would like a symptomatic test can use a rapid antigen test or contact UHS by calling 609-258-3141. Faculty, staff, researchers, and affiliates with symptoms can use a rapid antigen test or should contact their primary health care provider to discuss possible symptomatic testing.
For New Employees:
You are not required to test on your first day of employment. However, we recommend testing during your first week of employment on campus.
Prior to Providing Your Sample
- Do not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum for 30 minutes prior to giving your saliva sample.
- Review this video to guide you through the process.
- Follow the guidelines for when and where to drop off your test sample.
- If you have not yet downloaded the Princeton Mobile or TigerSafe apps, please do so, as the app will be used to help you register test kits to your name. You can also access the test registration web portal directly.
- If you do not know or remember your Princeton NetID and/or password, please go to the CAS site and click “Get Help.”
- If you do not have a Princeton Net ID, speak with your supervisor about requesting one, as you will need it to register your test kit through the web app. For graduate dependents over the age of 18 who do not have a NetID, contact email@example.com.
- To use the web app to register your test kit, set up multi-factor authentication (DUO) prior to your arrival at the clinic.
- Bring your Princeton University ID card. If you do not yet have your card, please bring your PU ID Number.
If you do not have a mobile phone or smartphone, the staff at the clinic will work with you to find an alternative. If you have a laptop or iPad with a camera, please bring those with you to the clinic.
Before leaving the testing clinic after your first test, you will receive a supply of self-collection test kits to take home with you. Additional kits are available at these locations and times.
How to Supply Your Sample
Because there are multiple pieces to the test kit, you will want to collect your sample in a private place where you can set pieces of the kit down on a stable surface.
Do not plan on collecting your sample next to the drop box. Please do not drink, smoke, or chew gum for 30 minutes prior to offering your sample.
It is recommended that you watch the following video detailing the self-collection process:
How to Use the Kit Registration Web App
All saliva sample kits must be registered through the University’s Test Kit Registration Web Application. Registration happens through using your smartphone or tablet to take a picture of the barcode of the kit you will be submitting for analysis. Therefore, you will need a device that has a camera to scan a kit.
Without a kit being successfully scanned and registered, your sample cannot be tied back to you, and you should not expect a result from that sample.
You can access the web app used to register your test kits to your name in one of three ways:
- Through the TigerSafe App, by clicking on the “Testing Kit” icon.
- Through the Princeton Mobile app, by clicking on the “Covid Kit” icon.
- Going directly to the web app page
You will need to be able to log in to the University’s Central Authentication Service using a Princeton Net ID to register a kit. If you do not know your Princeton Net ID and password or do not have a Princeton Net ID, please refer to Technology Needs Prior to Arrival (under First-Time Testers).
COVID-19 Test Kit Self-Collection Steps
- Link your test kit to your name
- You can do this in 1 of 3 ways:
- Log in using your NetID and Password
- Use your smart device (e.g., mobile phone or tablet) to scan the test kit bar code
- Wait for the screen to display a message saying your test has been registered successfully and that your sample is “pending”.
- Open lab bag after washing your hands
- Remove name/identifier label and alcohol wipe and place to the side.
- Peel back seal on collection kit.
- Remove collection tube and tube cover (with liquid reagent).
- Begin sample collection
- Begin depositing saliva in collection tube, as you have done in the testing clinic for your first test.
- Fill the collection tube with saliva (not foam) until the volume reaches the black line. Do not overfill.
- Complete sample collection
- Remove funnel at top of tube and throw away.
- Apply cover (the piece that contains blue liquid) and twist onto top of collection tube until the liquid is released into the collection tube. Ensure cover is on straight.
- Wipe down collection tube
- Use alcohol wipe to wipe down collection tube and allow to dry completely.
- Apply name/identifier label to collection tube
- Write name and birthdate on identifier label with a ballpoint pen. Do not use not a gel pen.
- Place on collection tube horizontally (along the length of the tube, not around the width), alongside the bar code. Avoid covering any part of the bar code.
- Insert collection tube into clear lab bag
- Make sure the lab bag is sealed fully closed.
- Samples are collected as early as 7 a.m.
- Sanitize your hands.
- Link your test kit to your name
Important Reminders about Sample Collection
- Become familiar with the self-collection guidelines. Mistakes in the necessary steps may result in not getting your test results or failing to follow critical safety guidelines.
- Collect your sample in a private place, such as outside, in a private room with a door, at your home, or in your car. Supplying your saliva sample next to a drop box creates an unsafe environment for others.
- Register your test kit through the web app BEFORE putting it in the drop box. If you put a sample in the drop box without registering it, you will not receive results from that sample, and therefore, you will not be counted as having provided a sample on that date.
- Scan and register your kit one at a time. Though you are given multiple kits, do not scan and register them all at a time. Scan the barcode on the kit right before you supply your saliva sample and drop it off. The date you register your kit in the web app is expected to line up with the date you give your sample.
- Collect your sample (spit into your tube) as close as possible to the time that you drop off your sample. If you need to, you may collect your sample (spit into the tube) within the 12 to 24 hours prior to dropping your sample in the drop box. Make sure your sample is being stored at room temperature in the meantime. Extreme heat or cold can impact the viability of the sample you provide.
- Your collected sample vial must be put back into the biohazard bag and sealed before being dropped in the drop box. If the vial is submitted without being sealed in the bag, it cannot be handled by couriers and will not be taken for analysis.
- The Princeton testing lab can detect if a sample has been altered or improperly submitted (i.e. if water was substituted for saliva). If a sample sent for COVID-19 testing is determined to have been altered or adulterated, the individual who submitted the sample may face disciplinary action.
Web App User Instructions (from Knowledge Base)
Register a Test
- Access the app. The standard Princeton Central Authentication Service screen opens.
- Input netID and password, then, click Login. Await DUO notification on the device.
- In DUO, click Allow.
- In the app, the Register Test Kit screen opens.
- Select Scan Barcode. The device camera opens.
- Using the device camera, center the barcode in the window, focus the image, and take the picture.
- For best results:
- Set the camera zoom to 3x
- Hold the camera directly above the barcode (not at an angle)
- Ensure that there is enough light on the barcode without any glare
- Position the camera so that the barcode fills as much of the screen as possible
- Focus the camera so that the vertical barcode lines are crisp
- Hold still and take the picture
- For best results:
- Take the picture and verify image clarity.
- If the image is clear, select the check mark to submit the image.
- Review Confirmation message
- "Success": The Test kit is registered and can now be used.
- "Error Unable to read barcode": The barcode did not scan and the image must be captured again.
Test Registration Successful
If the barcode from the test kit was submitted successfully message, "Success Test Kit XX##### has been successfully registered..."
How to Troubleshoot the Web App
If you either cannot sign into the registration portal or you are unable to make the registration portal work for you, please read through the Knowledge Base article on the web app with options for troubleshooting or be in touch with the OIT Help Desk in one of the following ways:
- Visit the Princeton Service Portal and Request Help
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chat online at OIT Live Chat
- Call (609) 258-4357
If you do not have a device you can use the app on
If you do not have a device available to you for scanning your kit, you have multiple options:
- See Testing Support and Test Kit Pickup for more details on Zoom and in-person support.
- Use the smartphone or tablet of a friend or family member to scan a kit (though kits should be scanned one at a time, right before use, not all at once). The phone/device you use will not store any data. If they are also a Princeton staff/faculty/student, make sure they are logged out of the app before you scan the barcode on your test kit in the web app.