Universities to mass test students as they return to campus

Kansas State, UCLA, and UCSD will offer COVID-19 testing, while the University of Arizona will offer antibody testing.

Major U.S. universities have plans to mass test students and faculty for COVID-19 as they return to campus.

Kansas State University has announced it will test students and faculty for coronavirus as they return to campus.

The university says that it currently has the capacity to test roughly 270  people each day.

Specifically, the test will be administered to any student, staff, or faculty member who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone known to have COVID-19.

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“The university is now able to test K-State students, faculty and staff who need testing either because they are ill and have COVID-19 symptoms or because they have been exposed to someone with the virus,” explains the university.

“The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has asked K-State to ramp up human testing and researchers are increasing their testing capacity.”

The university emphasized that the tests are currently only being offered to students and employees. However, the school noted that it will work to make these tests available to the general public in the future.

“The university currently is not able to do wide-scale testing, called surveillance testing, but researchers are working through logistics to make the testing available to a wider community beyond K-State students, faculty and staff.”

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The University of California-Los Angeles will also offer similar COVID-19 tests to its students and staff.

An article from the Daily Bruin explained that all UCLA faculty will be required to fill out and submit a survey outlining any health concerns that could relate to COVID-19.

UCLA will then determine whether or not each individual staff member will be allowed to work on that particular day based on their personal survey results.

Employees will be regularly expected to monitor themselves to ensure the health and safety of the campus.

Additionally, the University of California-San Diego plans to administer COVID-19 tests as well.

According to KFMB-TV, the university has established a phased approach of COVID testing that will be offered to the 5,000 students who currently reside on campus. Specifically, the test will be a nasal-swab and if successful, the tests will be made available for the remaining staff and students who will eventually return to campus.

If a student were to test positive, the university will encourage them to seek medical assistance as well as notify any person the infected individual has had close contact with.

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San Diego County Public Health will also be notified of the detection of COVID-19 in order to comply with federal and state regulations.

Finally, the University of Arizona will test students and staff to ascertain whether they have antibodies that indicate they once had COVID-19.

As reported by Tuscon.com, the test will be optional but it will help the university to determine if protective measures need to be taken. The other purpose of the test is to know that if someone has tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, then they are highly unlikely to contract the disease again.

This will then help professors decide if they feel comfortable teaching in front of a class as opposed to virtual classes, according to the article.

When asked if COVID-19 testing on campus would make her feel safer, University of Arizona student Sophie Krencik told Campus Reform that it would make her feel safer adding that, “any extra precautions make me feel better about the situation.”

“I don’t think we can get this under control without adequate testing,” Krencik added.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @matthewkeyess