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Some universities mandate students get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus

Schools and students are preparing for the first day back with some institutions mandating students take mandatory coronavirus test before classes start.

HOUSTON — Many college students are getting ready to go back to school. But some campuses are requiring them to get tested for COVID-19.

One of those schools is St.Thomas University.

"We wanted those particular populations to be tested and to know when they move to the residence halls at that point of time they are free of COVID. We created almost a bubble for our students. We felt that was peace of mind," said Richard Ludwick, president of the University of St. Thomas.

The university partnered with United Memorial Medical Center and various other community members to provide mandatory tests for resident assistants, students living on campus and student-athletes. The president of the university was the first to get tested.

"It was not as bad as everyone necessarily said," Ludwick said.

But this is not the only university offering testing. Rice University has contracted for 60,000 tests between now and the end of the semester in November. They will be testing faculty staff and students before they come on campus. The university also notified parents and students that undergraduate students will be required to take a weekly test throughout the fall semester, regardless if they live on or off campus.

Monday, July 27, 2020 11:23 am Dear colleagues, In my July 20th update I described some things you could see on the campus as part of the preparations for the fall semester. Today I write to give you some information about COVID-19 testing, which I'm asked about more than any other topic.

Prairie View A&M students will have access to testing/screening on campus but will not be required to take a test before coming to campus.

If you have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), call Student Health Services at 936-261-1410 or the Coronavirus Hotline at 936-261-9000. You are not permitted on any of the university's campuses until you are cleared by your doctor and Student Health Services.

"As a mom of a college student, I wish every school would do this for their students. It does give the parents the peace of mind, and it allows the students to feel safe in their environments," said Letitia Plummer, Houston city councilwoman. 

About 900 tests are for available daily. Faculty and staff are welcome to register for a test. Students tests are free. All they need to do is register in the link below.

University of St. Thomas has partnered with United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) to provide mandatory COVID testing for its resident assistants, residence hall students and athletes before the semester starts beginning next week on Aug. 12 and 14 and continuing the following week on Aug. 19.