Free COVID testing kicked off for Alabama college students

COVID-19 testing for college students

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Testing kicked off for college students across the state as many Alabama Universities are requiring students to get tested before returning to campus.

More than 100 college students were tested at UAB today for COVID 19. The test is free for students. UAB and University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa were the first of 13 total locations to open for testing.

“I’m a lot more comfortable going back to college with everybody being tested,” Auburn sophomore Megan Baker said. “You don’t know if the person sitting next to you in class is going to have it or not and I would feel a lot more comfortable not having to worry if they are going to infect me or not.”

Baker attends Auburn, but got tested at UAB. It doesn’t matter where students go to school, they can be tested at any location.

“They don’t have to go to school at that university to be tested there, it’s whatever is most convenient for them,” Gene Hallman, CEO of Bruno Event team said.

University of Alabama Birmingham teamed up with Bruno Events to offer statewide student testing for free.

“More than 200,000 students are being tested prior to arriving to campus,” Hallman said. “The whole point of this plan is to help control this virus, to make sure that a lot of students don’t arrive at the same time to these campuses and be positive.”

Hallman said it is a 30 million dollar project paid for by the economic relief CARES Act.

“It just feels good to have confirmation that okay, this person is negative, that I am putting myself at risk around,” Auburn sophomore Lexi Wood said.

It’s a 30 million dollar project paid for by the CARES Act.

“They let me swab myself,” Baker said.” I tilted my nose back,put the swab in, rotate it around for about 10 seconds, and then took it out. I sealed it and gave it to the person.”

Not every Alabama college student can get tested right now. Until August 3rd, testing is only for specific students who are asked to get tested by their University. It’s for students who are coming back to campus early, like athletes or resident hall assistants.

Hallman said August 4th will be the first day that testing is open to all college students. On August 4th, 11 more testing sites will open across the state.

“If we can catch the positive cases before they arrive on campus, they can quarantine in place and then come to campus after they have been medically cleared to return to campus,” Hallman said.

Hallman said students should get results in one to two days. He said the results will be sent to the student and the University. Hallman said if a student tests positive, the University will give them quarantine guidelines.

The program is set to run until the end of August.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.