Message from President Downs: On-campus mass testing for COVID-19

President Downs graphic

Please note: The Sept. 30 mass testing event  is moving indoors. The testing will now take place in the Avera Student Center Centennial Rooms.

 

Faculty, staff and students:

As we navigate through the fall semester, we continue to explore options that may slow the spread of COVID-19.

I’m pleased to announce that through the S.D. Department of Health and Avera Health, we are able to offer a one-day, mass testing event on campus. Avera Health has the capacity to conduct up to 500 tests during this one-day event. This is a voluntary event; individuals are not required to get tested. Thanks to the Department of Health, faculty, staff and students are able to be tested at no charge.

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 30

Time: 9 – 5 p.m. (no appointments needed)

Location: Walk-up testing inside the Student Center Centennial Rooms

Notifications: At this time, we expect individuals to be notified of their test results within 72-120 hours of testing

This one-day event is only for current Northern students, faculty and staff. Please bring proof of employment or enrollment to this event (such as a Northern student ID, faculty/staff ID or an employee health insurance card). Currently, we are unable to provide testing for non-Northern persons, such as family members or roommates.

The goal of this voluntary event is to help identify individuals with COVID-19 who don’t know it and could be unknowingly spreading the virus throughout the community. We fully expect to become aware of more COVID-19 cases as a result of this testing event.

Individuals with any current symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to immediately contact their health care provider and seek alternative testing options. Symptomatic students are able to get tested at the on-campus Student Health Services, located in room 240 of the Avera Student Center; please call 605-626-7694 to set up an appointment.

I’d like to thank the S.D. Department of Health, Avera Health and SDSU Accelerated Nursing for helping us put on this event. It remains our goal to finish this fall semester with on-campus instruction, and this mass testing event will help us slow the spread and remain on campus.

Please join me in getting tested for COVID-19, as we’re truly in this together. Also, please note the FAQ’s provided below.

Go Wolves!

President Downs

 

Mass testing FAQs:

Who can get tested? All current Northern students, faculty and staff.

How soon will we receive results? Within 72-120 hours of testing, however results may take longer to receive.

What type of test will be administered? Nasal swabs, similar to the type used for influenza testing. These tests are less invasive than a nasopharyngeal swab.  

Do we need to quarantine while waiting for results? Not unless you are symptomatic. Individuals who are asymptomatic and receive a positive result will need to isolate per CDC guidelines.

Do we need to wear masks while we wait in line? Northern and Avera Health strongly encourage all individuals to wear masks and socially distance while waiting in line to be tested. Per SD BOR policy, we remain at a Level 3 (face coverings required in all public indoor spaces on campus).

What if I can’t make it at this time? Will there be another chance to be tested? At this time, we expect this to be a one-time event. There may be additional opportunities for mass testing in the upcoming months.

What if I’m experiencing symptoms now? Individuals with any current symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to immediately contact their health care provider and seek alternative testing options. Symptomatic students are able to get tested at the on-campus Student Health Services, located in room 240 of the Avera Student Center; please call 605-626-7694 to set up an appointment.

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