Published on August 12, 2020  

Samford Students,

The beginning of the fall semester is just weeks away and we are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus.  As you prepare for your return, it is imperative that you remember you are required to do the following before entering campus, moving into residence halls or attending classes:

  1. Read Bring Back the Bulldogs: Your Guide for Returning to Campus
  2. Sign the Student Expectations and Assumption of Risks form
  3. Test negative for COVID-19 

Testing Details

We sincerely apologize for the challenges some of you have experienced with testing.  As you know, Samford and other universities across Alabama have partnered with GuideSafe to provide COVID-19 testing for students.  Unfortunately, GuideSafe and the test-kit providers have experienced delays beyond our control or influence.  We also understand the communication from GuideSafe has resulted in confusion, and we are sorry for this.  As a part of this statewide partnership, we are trying our best to keep up with this rapidly evolving situation so that we can provide you with accurate and timely information.  See below for an update.

Within 14 days prior to coming to campus, all students must undergo COVID-19 testing.  You may not return to campus, move into residence halls or attend classes (in person or online) until you have been tested.  Students who test negative will be permitted to return.  Those who test positive must isolate 10 days from the date of the positive test if asymptomatic, or for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to campus.

At this time, if you have not previously registered for a testing appointment or requested a test kit be mailed to you, you should immediately make arrangements for an in-person test.  The option to initiate an order for a mail-in test kit is no longer available.  We have provided multiple options for obtaining a test; you may: 

Register to be tested at one of the 14 GuideSafe testing locations in Alabama.  You will need to register for an appointment at least 48 hours prior to your planned arrival on campus.  The Birmingham locations are open 7 days a week and additional appointment times are being added.  You will make an appointment, go to the testing site at your appointed time and after a quick test (averaging under 10 minutes) you will receive your results within 48 hours.  This in-person testing option is available for ALL returning students, whether your home of residence is inside or outside the state of Alabama.  All students in Alabama under 19 years of age must have parental consent to be tested. Have your parent complete this consent form as soon as possible.  There is no cost for testing at a GuideSafe location.

Test with your health care provider.  If you are unable to test at a GuideSafe location, you may make arrangements with your health care provider for a PCR or Quidel antigen test.  You should then provide your results to  You will be responsible for any costs incurred with your provider. 

If for some reason you are unable to test at a GuideSafe location or arrange a test with your health care provider, please complete this form to request another option for testing.  You must complete this form as soon as possible in order for additional options to be provided.  Pharmacy students, and second- and third-year law students should refer to the email from your school’s dean for specific testing information.

If you are an out of state student who has previously provided a shipping address and have a tracking number for an at-home test kit, you have received or will receive an at-home test kit.  You do not need to take further steps, but you should complete and return the test promptly.

If you are enrolled in a fully online program and will not be on campus at any time during the fall semester, you are not required to test at this time.  Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 12 weeks should not retest.  Instead, please provide documentation of your positive test in order to affirm necessary time has passed for returning to campus.

We have added significant information to the coronavirus FAQs and testing page to help provide clarity around the testing process.  If you are experiencing problems making an appointment for a test at a GuideSafe location, you may email or call 866-839-5308 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.  If you have other questions about Samford’s testing requirements, please email

Thank you for your cooperation as we prepare for the fall semester.  We appreciate your partnership in our efforts to safeguard our campus community!

Take care… Buck Brock

Harry B. Brock III (Buck)
Executive Vice President
Samford University

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