Florida A&M University (FAMU) plans to begin rapid COVID-19 testing of current students and employees next week.
The testing includes the use of about 7,000 rapid antigen tests supplied by the White House Initiative on HBCUs. Testing will be conducted 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the FAMU Employee Clubhouse, 2414 South Adams St.
“This new initiative is part of our strategy to keep our students, faculty and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson on Thursday. “Testing, combined with the other measures we have instituted throughout the campus will make a difference. However, we need to remain vigilant. This fight is far from over.”
The initiative comes as the university ramps up testing protocols for the spring semester. Staff, faculty and students are required to get tested within five days before returning to campus and every two weeks after their return. Employees and students are requested to submit their tests results through a portal on the FAMU app.
The new site will be separate from the Bragg Memorial Stadium community COVID-19 test site operated by the Florida Division of Emergency Management since April 25, 2020.
It gives FAMU students and employees a convenient alternative to the increasingly busy Bragg Stadium testing location, said Director of Student Health Services Tanya Tatum.
“If you look at the numbers, they are incredible. They did about 3,200 tests on Tuesday. The numbers are increasing,” Tatum said. “We’ve put in a testing protocol for our community for spring semester and we are asking everyone to get tested. This site will alleviate some of the pressure on Bragg. It doesn’t replace it.”
As part of its campaign to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the university will soon receive about 800 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The first doses are prioritized for health care workers, including students on clinical programs, and employees and students 65 years and older.