The university has announced the return of a second COVID-19 testing center. Students, faculty and staff are eligible to receive testing weekly Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Testing is available Saturdays, with the exception of home game days, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays, on home game weekends, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
This is the first full week since the semester commenced that on campus COVID-19 testing will be offered. Testing will be offered at the University-Oxford Depot and are available to both symptomatic and asymptomatic students, faculty and staff. The university is offering PCR tests, and samples will be collected via nasopharyngeal swabbing.
Drive-thru rapid testing was offered during the previous academic year, as sophomore international studies major Paola Leon recalls.
“My test was negative but my experience was positive for the most part,” Leon said. “It was really convenient — it was within walking distance of my dorm. I got my results back very quickly.”
Director of University Health Services, Alex Langhart, said “Testing is an important strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Testing can help identify individuals who need to isolate themselves, which reduces the chances that they will infect others. It also allows them to seek treatment earlier, likely reducing the severity of the infection and the outcomes.”
Testing has already actively been offered on COVID-19, per the university’s campus plan for fall 2021.
“Symptomatic and asymptomatic testing will be available in Fall 2021 through the University Health Services,” reads the website. “If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms, you may schedule a test at the UM Health center.”
The new walk-in testing center expands the availability of testing across the campus and the greater Oxford area for university affiliated individuals.
“I think testing being offered this year is a helpful tool for students who may have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 or is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms themselves, or as someone who doesn’t want to put their loved ones at risk,” Leon said. “Everyone should take advantage of it.”
According to University of Mississippi Strategic Comminications Director Lisa Stone, the university community is utilizing the testing services.
“Since the university began testing at the University-Oxford Depot site on Sept. 22, we’ve seen an average of 19 people a day getting tested with the smallest number happening on the weekend,” she said.
University Health Services is also hosting symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in Fall 2021. They too also accept walk-ins, but it is encouraged to schedule an appointment beforehand.
Grace Strieker contributed reporting.