For the second time this semester, Minnesota State University, Mankato has teamed up with the state health department to offer students COVID-19 testing.
On Thursday Minnesota Department of Health officials administered nearly 400 free saliva tests in the Centennial Student Union.
The tests were primarily for asymptomatic students or faculty and staff at higher risk for contracting the virus from being around students. The university encourages students with COVID-19 symptoms to stay home and call Student Health Services to administer a test.
Daniel Benson, MNSU’s Director of Media Relations, said, “The November 5th salvia testing event was very successful, and we encourage all students to sign up for free testing on either November 12 or November 19 before students go home to their families over Thanksgiving.”
An email signed by President Richard Davenport was sent to students and faculty Nov. 9, explaining more about the future tests that will be available for free.
Interim Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Matt Cecil said, “We want students to be able to go home for Thanksgiving confident that they will not unknowingly spread Coronavirus to family and friends. This is a great opportunity for prevention.”
As noted in Davenport’s email, students should be aware that:
- You must not eat, drink, smoke or chew anything for at least 30 minutes before taking a saliva test.
- A health care professional will tell you how to take the test, but you will essentially take the test yourself.
- You will spit into a funnel attached to a tube. Producing the amount of salvia needed for a successful test usually takes about 10 minutes.
- You will get your results in about 48-72 hours; negative test results will be delivered via email and/or text message and a positive result will be delivered via phone call.
Benson also noted, “It’s important to note that these test sessions are open to students who are not currently experiencing symptoms. Our hope is that these tests help identify asymptomatic cases that could lead to the spread of the virus over the holidays. If you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, you should not come to campus; instead, schedule an appointment with Student Health Services or one of the local health care facilities.”
Header photo: A technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory March 11, 2020 in New York’s Long Island. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)