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UA students in off-campus housing can get free COVID-19 tests

UA students in off-campus housing can get free COVID-19 tests

University of Arizona, coronavirus pandemic

The UA has reported 37 confirmed virus cases among the 9,356 tests of its community between July 31 and Aug. 25.

In effort to prevent a shutdown of the University of Arizona campus due to the coronavirus outbreak, a local clinic is offering free testing targeted toward students living off campus.

A team from Rescue Me Wellness, an urgent-care facility with an in-house pharmacy, will offer the free two-day testing from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tests will be done in the Islamic Center of Tucson’s parking lot, 901 E. First St.

Visitors will take a saliva coronavirus test, instead of a nasal swab or blood tests. Individuals will spit into the test tube and return it to be tested.

Students can walk up to begin the testing process, which shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.

All results will be confirmed within 48 hours with a phone call from Rescue Me Wellness directly to the person being tested. The results will remain private.

Workers from Rescue Me Wellness will be at the site no later than 4:45 p.m. Students will likely see signs directing them to the appropriate spot in the parking lot. This initiative comes after Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik and UA’s associate director of athletics, reached out to the various off-campus student housing apartments in hopes of getting them to relay testing information to their residents.

“My concern is with around 2,000 students coming in from all over the country, none of them being tested, and living in such close quarters, this is a perfect storm for spreading the virus not only through those properties, but across campus and the community,” Kozachik said.

Kozachik said after reaching out to the different properties he found out their resident occupancies are nearly 80% or higher.

There have been ongoing free coronavirus tests at two sites within the main campus since Aug. 10 for off-campus students with another site, McKale Center, being added once school began Monday, Aug. 24.

So far, the UA has reported 37 confirmed coronavirus cases among the 9,356 tests of its community between July 31 and Aug. 25.

A part of the UA administration’s “Test, Trace, Treat” initiative is to extend diagnostic testing to all students.

However, they’ll have to take the time to sign up to take a test.

“We can’t force them to get tested, but making it free, and right outside their apartment is about as good as it gets. Let’s hope they do the responsible thing and take advantage of this,” Kozachik said.

“While our hope is to get all of your residents to take part, this is open to anyone who wants to be tested.”

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or sdavis@tucson.com

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1

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