SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — There’s an extra item on the checklist for students moving onto Texas State’s campus for the fall 2021 semester — a negative COVID-19 test.
Before moving into campus housing, students checked in at a central location, where they were cleared for move-in Sunday.
“Not even a full 24 hours before we left, they sent an email that it was mandatory to get a test,” Freshman Cameron Thomas said. “And I was just like—’what?!’”
The university required students to have a negative test within the past four days, or proof of a positive COVID-19 test within the last 90 days, according to Texas State.
Luckily, Thomas—all the way from Florida–was able to get a COVID-19 test ahead of time. But, Freshman Ava Puente wasn’t as fortunate.
“I got tested Friday, and the results haven’t come in yet,” Puente said.
For students who weren’t able to get a negative test ahead of time, Texas State is offering rapid antigen COVID-19 tests from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, those tests are limited. The university did not say how many tests are available.
“It was a really quick test, you did it yourself… and they had you wait,” Puente said. “It was about 30 minutes.”
If students do test positive with the antigen tests provided on campus, the university said it instructs them to isolate immediately. From there, students are asked to get a PCR COVID-19 test to confirm the results — that test is considered more accurate.
Those assisting with move-in are not required to get tested for COVID-19.
Looking ahead, masks are still only recommended on campus, and COVID-19 vaccines are still available at the university’s health department too.
“It’s like do we wear a mask, do we not wear a mask?,” Thomas said. “I’m wearing a mask.”
According to Dr. Emilio Carranco, the director of the Student Health Center, they plan on doing random COVID-19 testing throughout the fall semester.
“Random sample of faculty, staff and students will be selected each week for free testing through Curative,” Carranco said. “The Student Health Center also provides COVID-19 PCR testing, including rapid PCR testing, as necessary for medical evaluations.”
The university tweeted out dates, reminding students when to get tested before moving to campus.
“Even though it was a hassle…now that we know our whole class is negative—at least for right now, it’s like OK nobody has cooties,” Thomas said.
Puente said she’s also glad the university is making those living on campus get tested for the virus.
“I definitely like that there’s testing,” Puente said. “I know I’ll be more comfortable with my roommate and everything.”