COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — An innovative way to test for the novel coronavirus has arrived on Texas A&M's campus.
Three kiosks have been placed around campus to provide anyone a free COVID-19 test and an opportunity to help stop the spread of the virus.
Those looking to receive a test can register on-site or online. After registration, you check in at a COVID-19 kiosk and are provided with a swab test.
The test is oral, meaning people swab the inside of their mouths rather than having a swab inserted into their nasal cavity. Attendants then take the sample for testing. Test results should arrive in one to two days.
"We have moved into a different part of the pandemic from a testing standpoint, and thankfully these tests are available to our community," Dr. Martha Dannenbaum, Director of Student Health Services at Texas A&M said. "So it's really... very nice and convenient."
Students, faculty and members of the public can find testing sights on campus at the Aggie Express Commons, the Mays Business School and the Memorial Student Center.
"Different people have different aspects of this pandemic that are impacting them and influencing their decision on whether or not they are going to go test somewhere," Dr. Dannenbaum said.
The director says the kiosks offer several advantages- they are outdoors, they offer an appointment or walk-up option and best of all, the tests are free.
"The tests being done at the kiosks are being funded by the Texas Department of Emergency Management, so those are open to anyone in the state. Obviously, most of them will be Texas A&M affiliated because of their location, but they are open to anyone who happens to be on the campus and who wants to have testing," Dr. Dannenbaum added.
The health care company Curative brought the testing sites to A&M's campus. Students also echo the convenience of having a quick and seamless testing site right in their backyard.
"It's pretty nice. It's free and it's here in the middle of campus. You don't have to go to a clinic or anything. It's just really convenient," said student Emanuel Diaz.
A few months ago, Aggie sophomore Jarod Compton wanted to get tested for COVID-19 out of precaution. He did, but his test was before the kiosks made their way to College Station.
"At that point we didn't have the booths, so it was like this whole process of like having to go to the Rec Center and go through a bunch of check-ins and a bunch of stuff, so the fact that we have kiosks now where you can just walk up and do it is really nice and convenient," Compton added.
Dr. Dannenbaum says when people have options that are available, they are more likely to get tested.
"I want people to know that testing is available across our community. If they perceive the need to be tested, this is a great option for them," Dr. Dannenbaum added.
The process is contactless and provides easy access to no-cost testing on campus, leading the Aggie fight against the coronavirus.