UT: Student testing numbers for COVID-19 remain steady since start of fall semester

Education

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Concerns about how college students in the area may be handling COVID-19 symptoms were voiced Tuesday to Travis County commissioners.

Several people called into the commissioners’ meeting to report University of Texas at Austin students who are experiencing symptoms are refusing to get tested, because they don’t want to go to an isolation facility.

Some UT students say they’re not surprised with those accounts.

“I have a friend whose roommate is rushing a fraternity, and supposedly, fraternities just… kids knowingly have it and still go parties. And his roommate actually got it and brought it back to the dorm until he got symptoms, and then he got tested and had to go into quarantine,” said UT freshman Justin Droaefoot.

KXAN reached out to the university about some of the concerns.

A spokesperson said “While young people may engage in this behavior, we don’t see evidence of a trend or a growing number in our data. The number of tests we administer each week, which is posted on our COVID-19 dashboard, has held fairly steady since the start of the semester, except for a spike during the week of the first home football game, when we tested an additional 1,200 students who wanted to attend…. There’s no indication in this data of a growing number of students refusing to get tested.”

The university said it plans to test student ticket holders again this week. A UT spokesperson said the school wants to test even more students and has rolled out several measures to do so, including one-stop testing, more walk-up testing, a new mobile testing set-up, more efficient forms, and new incentives.

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