University of Arizona rolls out takeaway COVID-19 testing

In hopes it will help aid testing already available
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 5:19 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - In an effort to get more people COVID-19 tested weekly, the University of Arizona is making it more convenient.

The new takeaway tests the university is rolling out this week may aid in testing efforts.

A modest white box and a container holding precious tests sits on a table marked “Cats TakeAway Testing.” Free COVID-19 saline tests are available for faculty, staff and students. Ten of these stations will be out around the UA campus as of Friday.

“We wanted to have even more people get tested, and we checked around the campus community and people said the more convenient it is, the more likely they are to test,” said Jane Hunter, VP for strategic initiatives at UArizona.

No appointment is required and samples can be dropped off at any of the locations. The idea may be working. Margaret Landon, a senior, turned in her first takeaway sample Thursday, Sept. 16.

“I just saw this, and it was super convenient,” said Landon. “I didn’t have to walk all the way to the north rec, and I heard about this‚ but I didn’t know it was next to my classes.”

She and her friends try to get tested often, but with busy schedules, it can get hard to get tested weekly.

“I try to do it once a week, but sometimes it’s hard with my schedule,” she said.

From locations like the student union, rec centers, integrated learning centers and more targeted locations like Eller and the facilities management office, the university is trying to space them out to get as many people tested as possible since it is not mandated this year.

“We’re trying to pick locations that are really in demand for testing,” said Hunter.

Out of about 1,100 tests Wednesday, around 75 were from the takeaway tests, which first popped up that day. The majority of stations are already out, but the 10th and final takeaway station will be up Friday.

The latest test results from Wednesday show the university with around a two percent positivity rate. Testing rates have increased about tenfold since August.

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