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Troy University site to offer free testing to college students

A testing center will open Tuesday on the Troy University campus to assist with COVID-19 screening for college students.

Partnering with the Stay Safe Together program for the state of Alabama, the university is providing free coronavirus testing to all students prior to the start of the fall 2020 term. The testing center will be located at Elm Street Gym.

“We are one of 14 sites in the state providing this testing,” said Herb Reeves, dean of students at Troy University. “I think we’re the only site south of Montgomery and east of I65.

“I expect we’re going to be quite busy.”

The site will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, including weekends, and walk-in testing will be available for free to any college student in Alabama.

“That means a student from Auburn who lives in Troy can get tested here,” Reeves said, reiterating that Troy students also can be tested free of charge at the site.

Many colleges and universities are requiring students be screened for coronavirus before returning to campus. While the screening is not mandatory at Troy, officials are urging students to participate.

“While testing is not mandatory, we strongly recommend all students be tested prior to their return to campus,” Dr. Lance Tatum, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and head of the Coronavirus Task Force said in an email to students on Thursday.

“By testing and abiding by the ‘TROY Strong’ guidelines such as the wearing of face coverings, observing social distancing and practicing proper hygiene habits, you are doing your part to ensure your own safety, as well as the safety of your fellow TROY Trojans,” he wrote.

The state-run testing program seeks to test up to 15,000 students per day in an effort to test more than 200,000 college students before returning to classes this fall. More than 50 colleges and universities in the state are participating in the GuideSafe program developed by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Students, who will receive detailed instructions via email from Stay Safe Together, have three options for testing:

• At-Home Kit: Stay Safe Together Testing has contracted with providers for UPS Health to send self-administered at-home test kits. This test will require swabbing only just inside the nostril. The sample will be returned in the enclosed pre-paid packaging.

• On Site: There will be 14 locations throughout the state of Alabama to test in person, using a testing procedure similar to the at-home kit. In Troy, a testing location will open in the Elm Street Gym to begin testing on August 4.

• Private option: If preferred, students may undergo testing from a  physician, at their own expense, and share results with the Office of the Dean of Student Services

Students who test positive must isolate for at least 10 days, per CDC guidelines. They must have 24 hours fever-free with no fever-reducing medications and clearance from a health care provider before returning to campus.

“Should you test positive, contact the Office of the Dean of Students Services at (334) 670-3203 or by email at hhreeves@troy.edu so that we can provide you with additional information and assistance.”

Anyone who has tested positive within the last 12 weeks should not repeat the test but will need to provide clearance from a health care provider.