SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Thousands of students and staff can expect to be asked to randomly test for COVID-19 on Texas State’s campus this semester.
The university is relying heavily on its community to help with prevention, as COVID-19 cases rise.
But with testing being voluntarily — are random testing efforts effective?
Campus is starting to somewhat look and feel like pre-pandemic times. However, freshman Piper Cotton knows there’s still a high risk for people to get infected.
Piper said she just recently got tested because she had to move onto campus.
“Yeah, I was a little nervous,” Cotton said.
She’s not sure if she’ll do it on her own again, but she does think it’s smart for Texas State to randomly select people on campus for testing.
“Random testing encourages accountability,” Cotton said.
According to Texas State, it’ll test about 6,500 faculty, staff and students who agree to be randomly tested during the fall semester.
“We’ve been doing proactive random testing for a year now, and it has been a really helpful tool,” Director of the Student Health Center, Dr. Emilio Carranco said. “What we have found is that many faculty, staff and students that get the notice, will go get the testing done.”
The university tracks positive cases weekly, which includes random testing selection. The university said since last school year that a majority of those selected did go through with the testing.
“We can use that information to access the incidents of COVID-19 on our campuses, and we can use that information to help inform our operational decisions,” Carranco said.
From last month through Aug. 9, about 2,000 COVID-19 tests were administered with 78 positives.
Cotton still plans on being mindful, trying to stay as safe as possible.
“I don’t plan on going to any parties or anything where I’ll be exposed to a lot of people,” Cotton said.
Texas State said there’s no consequence for not getting tested if you’re randomly selected. In addition to weekly testing, Carranco said they’ll also be doing mass vaccine clinics.