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What is Be SAFE?

To help keep our classes in-person, and to help keep our community safe, prevalence screening will be part of health and safety protocols at UVA. Our quick and easy coronavirus screening program relies on saliva samples to detect the virus, with the goal of identifying silent carriers before they have the opportunity to infect others. The saliva screenings will be mandatory for students and are free of charge. Screening usually takes less than 10 minutes.  

For more information on the University of Virginia's current health and safety plans, please see the Return to Grounds  Site

Confused about the requirements and differences between nasal swab tests and saliva screenings? See this handy side-by-side comparison of the tests UVA is offering.

Questions? Email us at [email protected]

*For the UVA Health System's Be Safe program, go to:

Employee Testing Notice

Student Testing Notice

Printable detailed description of UVA saliva testing

Before Getting Tested

You should refrain from eating, drinking (including water), brushing your teeth, using mouth wash, chewing gum, or using tobacco for at least 30 minutes before submitting your saliva sample at the test location.

Please note: If you are well hydrated, giving a saliva sample is much easier. Just refrain from drinking anything 30 minutes before doing the screening.

You will need to bring your UVA ID card with you.

Having your ID will ensure less wait time and accuracy in returning your results. If you have lost or misplaced your UVA Academic ID, you can schedule an appointment to obtain a replacement by submitting the ID Replacement Request Form online.  Questions on the Academic ID process can be directed to [email protected] or 434-924-4508. For questions on a replacement UVA Health ID, call 434-982-4009 or email [email protected] .

A photo of your ID card barcode can be scanned from your phone.

Locations and times may change. Please check for available times and locations on the day you plan to get screened.

While lining up outside a testing location, please wear a face covering and practice social distancing.

Please note: This COVID screening is available for enrolled students and current employees only. Unauthorized use may result in civil or criminal penalties.

Getting Screened

Getting screened is quick and easy. Giving a saliva sample should take only 10 minutes.


The saliva screening is only available to current students and employees at the University of Virginia with valid ID cards.


The screening is free of charge.

The Test Itself  

You will be asked to provide a 5 ml saliva sample. The sample collection only takes a few minutes.

The University of Virginia saliva screening is a diagnostic PCR test. Like nasal swab tests, the saliva tests are based on PCR technology, which amplifies small amounts of viral genetic material to facilitate detection. 

Steps for Be SAFE Saliva Screenings:

  • Get ID scanned.
  • Take container with printed barcode label.
  • Unscrew lid on container.
  • Drool into container (not spit). Need 5 ml of saliva in the container.
  • Screw on lid tightly and securely.
  • Take to staff member and drop container into bag they are holding
  • Done. You will be notified within the next 48-72 hours


Results and Notifications

Outcomes will be available in 48-72 hours. You will receive an email from Be Safe with a link to follow for negative and inconclusive results. Students and employees with positive results will be contacted by phone (by Student Health and Wellness or Employee Health). You will receive a second email from My Chart when your medical record has been updated. If you need to print your outcome, please access MyChart. If you have any issues with MyChart, please call 434-243-2500.


Where are my test results

Please ensure you use your ID card when checking-in at a testing site. Your test results are matched to your medical record using your student ID number, so it’s important for this number to be correct on your saliva sample. A typo in the number means you won’t get your test result or credit for your weekly test, and if you use someone else’s ID to check in, your results will be attributed to them. Be sure to bring your ID with you and keep a copy of your student ID number in your phone. Taking a picture of the back of your ID is fine.


UVA Saliva Testing Lab

UVA’s saliva testing lab is called “Be Safe.” The test is a PCR-based test. Saliva screenings have an 88.6% percent sensitivity rate, meaning that if 100 people positive for COVID-19 do the saliva screening, it will only detect 85 of those cases. This is very similar to the sensitivity for mid-nasal swab test. Our saliva screening is 97.2% accurate.This means that if we did the saliva screening, and then tested the same person with a mid-nasal swab tests, the results would match 97.2% of the time.

Samples are not stored. After testing is complete sample is treated as biohazard waste and is disposed of.

Printable detailed description of UVA Saliva Testing

Data Tracking and Storage

When you check in to take a saliva test, we scan your ID card. This pulls your university ID number into our system. We add to it your computing ID and the date, time and location that you checked in forming a barcode. This information is stored on a secure, internal UVA server and used to track who has given a sample.

Once the sample arrives in the lab, it is scanned into an internal, secure log for processing. When results are generated and associated with a barcode that is then reported securely to the IVY HPC secure server. This is a high security server which is used for highly sensitive information and is approved for HIPPA and other high security uses.


  • Results are reported at 2:30am to the Virginia Department of Health via secure FTP transfer
  • Results are paired with random codes to tie computing IDs to results page. Email notification is sent to login in through Netbadge to see your results page.
  • Results are sent at intervals through the day to UVA Data Warehouse for secure transfer into EPIC (UVA Medical records). Doctors can see results.
    • 24 hours later it is released into MyChart (where patient can see results) and email notification is sent.

No data from the saliva is being used for research or any other purpose other than reporting results to the patient.


Check out our FAQs page or email us at [email protected]