Mandatory COVID-19 Student Testing Program Begins March 23
March 15, 2021
Dear Aggie Students:
A mandatory student testing program in the Bryan-College Station (B-CS) area will take place beginning Tuesday, March 23. This impacts the following three groups:
- All students residing in university housing on the B-CS campus to test for COVID-19 March 23-24;
- All student employees working on the B-CS campus and nearby university Health Science Center buildings to test for COVID-19 March 25-29;
- All students in courses which are only offered face-to-face at the campus to test for COVID-19 March 29-April 2.
These students should consult the COVID-19 Testing Locations Page for extended hours and drive-thru options to be added for those dates.
National and local epidemiologists have advised us to conduct a round of testing to identify any and all SARS-CoV-2 infections in order to quickly isolate cases, including those people who are asymptomatic and have not yet started to show signs of illness.
“We are seeing a dramatic uptick at some campuses nationally and want to do all we can to reduce risk of similar spread here,” said Shawn Gibbs, dean of the School of Public Health at Texas A&M and COVID-19 lead for the university. “One more round of mandatory testing this semester will help us quickly isolate students, slow spread, increase our odds for in-person athletic events, The Big Event, graduation ceremonies, and other student activities.”
This strategy proved very effective following a Halloween uptick and in managing return-to-spring health and safety. St. Patrick’s Day is followed almost immediately by a three-day holiday weekend for A&M faculty, students and staff – a time when events known to have behaviors that contribute to the spread of the virus can take place. This also helps to reduce burden on area hospitals by slowing spread.
- Students should access their individual Testing Portal through Howdy before testing. On the day of testing, students must complete a brief online survey before going to the test site.
- COVID-19 testing locations are identified on our testing website.
- Students shall take the Texas A&M Test (the “spit” test), except those who have symptoms, feel ill, or may have been exposed to COVID-19, who should test with Curative kiosks (the “swab” test) or at the A.P. Beutel Health Center.
- Students who can document that they tested positive for COVID-19 on or after Jan. 1, 2021 are not required to take the test.
- A student who falls into more than one of the three testing groups (such as if you live on campus and work on campus) should test during the earliest available testing window.
- Students meeting the criteria set above who fail to test may be referred to the student conduct office.
- Students not in these populations are not required to test at this time. However, we strongly encourage and ask them to do so.
Students at other campuses/sites beyond the Bryan-College Station campus will receive guidance from site leadership regarding site-specific protocols and testing guidance.
Thank you for working together and displaying respect and selfless service while promoting the health and safety of every member of our university and local communities. Your actions are selfless service at its best in our important fight against COVID-19.