UL Lafayette begins random COVID testing

ul covid testing .jpg
Posted at 7:47 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 23:29:57-05

UL Lafayette has begun random COVID-19 testing on campus as part of the university's continued efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

The random testing is mandatory for faculty, staff, and student workers, but administrators are hoping others on campus will join the testing initiative. The university has started emailing other students on campus, inviting them to get tested.

As a student worker, UL junior Kelvin Drexler was surprised to find out he could be forced to take a COVID-19 test.

"Just to have it out of the blue, it's nice to have but they should've went about it a different way."

The university tracks COVID-19 cases per week on its COVID dashboard.

Looking at the graph, cases have declined since early January, when students returned to campus. Administrators are cautiously optimistic.

"This population of college students, particularly 18 to 22 years old, are high spreaders," explained Dean of Students Margarita Perez. "They participate in activities where they are frequently around other people, they engage a lot more than other age groups, and so through the random testing we're able to catch asymptomatic COVID positive students."

To keep numbers down, random students are being sent emails for testing. Over the last week, roughly 300 students were invited to be tested; 30 showed up.

The process for randomly getting tested is straightforward.

"We want to keep our COVID positive rate low and all of these different testing initiatives that we're implementing are meant to do that," Perez added.

Students are encouraged to check their emails weekly to see if they are selected for testing. It's voluntary for those who aren't student workers.

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