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FAMU urges staff, faculty, students get tested in push to slow pandemic

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Posted at 5:27 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 17:27:57-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida A&M University is stepping up efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in the community, starting with testing the Senior Leadership Team members who serve as the President’s Cabinet.

“We wanted to set an example for the rest of the campus regarding our guidelines for how we are going to operate for this spring semester,” said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., who was one of the 3,794 people tested at the Bragg Memorial Stadium community testing site on Monday.

As part of its spring 2021 return plan, the University expects all faculty, staff and students will get tested for COVID-19 within five days of returning to campus for work or class.

“The process is quick. Within 15 minutes I had my test results,” Robinson added. “We are trying to get more people to get tested to get a better feel for the positivity rate.”

As part of the return plan, faculty, staff and students are asked to email their confidential test results to studenthealthcenter@famu.edu.

Students began returning to residence halls on Monday. Testing for residential students will be coordinated according to residence hall/apartment by building on designated days through coordination with operators at the Bragg Memorial Stadium testing site, which is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Students attending classes in-person will also be tested in pre-determined phased groupings.

Faculty, staff, and students returning to campuses will be placed on a biweekly testing schedule provided by Student Health Services.

Students residing off-campus can pick up PPE kits at the Lawson Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

Students living in residence halls will receive their kits from the Office of University Housing during check-in.

Only one kit per student will be issued. Face masks are required in public settings on campus.

To help with monitoring, Student Health Services will be using the FAMU Mobile App to monitor testing compliance. The app will provide a unique QR code that will be scanned at main campus testing locations.

The University also plans to install digital scanners to record information. Testing and adhering to health protocols are crucial to curbing the spread of pandemics, said Tanya Tatum, director of Student Health Services,.

“We are appealing to everyone’s sense of community and self-care. Get tested and stay safe,” Tatum said. “We’ve been battling the coronavirus for more than nine months. We can’t afford to let down our guard.”