With more rapid testing kits in hand, UND is planning to increase its coronavirus testing capabilities this semester.
The university is planning to implement more testing locations that will use the Binax Now rapid antigen tests, Rosy Dub, director of UND’s COVID-19 medical response, said. Additionally, UND is planning to increase testing frequency for students in particular groups, such as students in the aviation school, as well as athletes.
There will be rapid testing locations at the UND medical school and the Chester Fritz Library.
“The goal is test, test, test and get people who are positive isolated,” Dub said.
Those rapid tests give results in as little as 15 minutes. The kits will be used to primarily test students who are asymptomatic, but students who are presenting symptoms will not be turned away, according to Dub.
If a symptomatic student’s test comes back negative, Dub says the student also will be able to get a PCR test as well.
Testing events will continue every Tuesday and every other Saturday at the High Performance Center as they had during the last semester. Those testing events have been, and will continue to be, open to the public.
If members of the public wish to get a rapid test alone, they should go to one of the testing events at the Columbia Mall or Grand Cities Mall. Those testing events are from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at the Columbia Mall and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays at the Grand Cities Mall.
Meloney Linder, vice president for marketing and communications at UND, said the university will be receiving 400 doses of the coronavirus vaccine next week, though it’s unknown whether it will be the Pfizer or Moderna version. The vaccines will be for student health care workers who fall under the first phase of the state’s vaccination rollout. Those who will be receiving the vaccine have already been notified. Additionally, certain UND employees who work with those students would fall under the first phase of the vaccine rollout, UND spokesman David Dodds said.
North Dakota State says it is continuing to encourage COVID-19 testing for all employees and students. Testing events will continue at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex each Thursday in January from 1 to 5 p.m. These are currently PCR test sampling events.
NDSU athletics has started using Binax testing, and Student Health Service is in the planning stages of adding this method, according to an email from NDSU spokeswoman Brynn Rawlings.
“NDSU is evaluating potential for further use of BINAX testing,” she said. “There are other opportunities in Fargo to receive this type of test if desired.”