Randomized Testing Concludes

Randomized+Testing+Concludes

Isabel Garrison, Staff Writer

Round two of COVID-19 testing ended during the last week of October. Now, only those with symptoms of COVID-19 or those exposed to a confirmed case can receive a test. Anyone on campus or in the community can still receive a free test as long as they meet these criteria. For everyone else, free testing is no longer available. Asymptomatic and non-exposed students who want a test will need to contact Health Services and likely need a physician referral. PCR test availability is dwindling in Grayson County and across the country, so those exposed or showing symptoms will be prioritized. Other forms of testing may be available through healthcare providers.

Since mandatory testing began on September 15, there have been 21 positive cases overall. During that time, 3,126 test have been administered to employees and students. The President’s COVID-19 Health Task Force asks to continue staying safe and practicing behaviors that limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus. This includes wearing masks, washing hands regularly, using hand sanitizer, social distancing, and completing Daily Health Screens.

Without widely available testing, it is important to follow all CDC guidelines to limit your chances of getting the virus. Social distance as much as possible and wear masks properly. If you tested negative in October, do not assume you have not been exposed since then. Make sure to get a flu shot. Adams Health Center offers them for $30, but those on Austin College’s health insurance can receive one for free. The best hours to go are 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Many grocery stores and pharmacies also offer flu shots, and some insurance plans will cover them there.

The Health Task Force asks students to try and limit interaction with others on campus for fourteen days before leaving for Thanksgiving break to prevent accidentally exposing the virus to family members. Students may be exposed to the virus while traveling and it’s recommended to quarantine for 14 days afterward.