Texas A&M shares details about widespread COVID testing plan for spring semester
Thousands of people have already been tested, but most students aren’t back yet on campus.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Texas A&M is conducting COVID-19 testing to limit the spread of the virus as the Aggie community returns for a new semester.
Those testing efforts have been expanded. Many of the students coming back to campus and living in dorms as well as all faculty and staff are required to get a COVID test before school starts.
“We’ve actually tested approximately 6,000 people already,” said Shawn Gibbs, Ph.D., Dean of the Texas A&M School of Public Health. “Right now today the lines are fairly low and people can get out there. We’ve actually been able to move people through pretty quickly so we’ve not had long wait lines at any of our walk up locations or any of our drive-up locations.”
Gibbs emphasized the need for testing.
”The reason why were doing this testing is we’re anticipating that some people out there are positive. So the sooner that we can let people know that they’re positive the sooner that we can get them you know into isolation and quarantine,” Gibbs said.
The Brazos County Health District said public testing has been moved off campus for now so the focus there can be on Texas A&M. The university anticipates testing 10,000 on-campus students, 10,000 off-campus students and up to 20,000 staff.
“It makes sense,” said Rachel Wright, a Texas A&M Staff Member. “You know we’ve been everywhere. Coming back you don’t want this to be like a big Petri dish.”
“The on-campus students are required to test and the off-campus students are recommended to test,” said Gibbs.
”Options for the general public will probably be similar to what they were this fall. Maybe even a little bit expanded. The testing options for employees and students on the A&M campus will definitely be expanded,” said Gibbs.
So far this week they are seeing about a 3 percent positivity rate. Gibbs says these are people who were not displaying symptoms. He said Texas A&M now has the capacity to test 7,000 people per day.
Copyright 2021 KBTX. All rights reserved.