Texas A&M will be selecting students to take part in the COVID-19 Random Testing Program.
According to Texas A&M, the program is part of the university's campus protection strategy.
Beginning Friday, students will be randomly selected and notified to set up their COVID-19 tests, the university said.
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Texas A&M asked students to schedule their test within 48 hours of receiving an email notification as the testing is a time-sensitive process.
The random testing program will be continue throughout the semester, and it aims to understand how SARS-CoV-2 is affecting the campus.
According to Texas A&M, the program also help to identify transmission hotspots and clusters of infections using analytic strategies and campus communications to students.
Students in the Bryan-College Station area are eligible for selection, and students living both on and off-campus at Texas A&M's College Station will be anonymously selected.
Testing will occur in the tent is located near Beutel Health Center, Texas A&M said. An additional location will soon open near the Rec Center.
According to Texas A&M, the process will take approximately five minutes once inside the testing area. Students will be instructed on how to self-administer the saliva-based test.
Wait times can be avoided by scheduling appointments in advance, and students will need to receive their tests during the time period assigned via email.
According to the university, the testing is necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible so the university can continue to offer in-person classes.
Texas A&M said that unlike testing programs that originate at clinical testing sites, the random testing program will allow students who may not be symptomatic to know their infection status and take part in containing the spread of the disease campus.
The random testing program will help to detect when individuals might have the virus but are unaware because they haven't developed symptoms, Texas A&M said.
According to Texas A&M, more than 5,000 students will be selected in the first round of testing, and testing will be free of charge.
If students have already been tested for COVID-19, they must still respond to the invitation email to find out if there is a reason that they do not need to be tested, the university said.
Students who test positive will receive an email with additional information and guidance, and they must also self-report to the university through the COVID-19 Reporting Portal.
Results from the random testing program, along with responses to the online portal, will be used Texas A&M's team of epidemiologists to learn where the virus is located on campus, understand factors that facilitate transmission among students, and locate geographic patterns of COVID-19, Texas A&M said.
According to Texas A&M, the online portal has HIPAA-level data security and is kept confidential within the COVID Operations Center. The names of students will never be made public or shared with the analytic team.
What if I do not receive an email to participate but still want to get tested?
Students who do not receive an email but want participate in the testing program may still register for a free test.
Additional questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.