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Free COVID-19 testing available to UNL campus community

(AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 12:43 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has established a free, on-campus COVID-19 testing option for students, faculty and staff through a partnership with the University Health Center and Test Nebraska.

Beginning August 12, a walk-up COVID-19 testing site will be located in the 17th and R parking garage, behind the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Police Station, 300 N. 17th St. The testing site is near the reserved parking area, and public access to the area will be limited while tests are being conducted.

The site will offer free testing to students, faculty and staff and will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Appointments are required and can be made at https://covid19.unl.edu/unl-campus-covid-19-testing. After registering, same-day appointments will be confirmed via email, which will include an individual QR code. Individuals are asked to arrive five minutes before their appointment time, maintain social distancing while waiting and wear a facial covering. They must have the QR code and a government-issued ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.) with them to check in at the testing site. An NCard will not be accepted.

Jennifer Mize Nelson, who is overseeing the launch of the university testing site, said that regardless of where they get tested, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to check in with their health care provider to help determine if a test is needed and to get follow-up care in the event the test is positive.

“The Health Center is here to be that provider if they don’t have that provider locally,” said Nelson, interim director of the Nebraska Center for Virology and director of research strategy in the Office of Research and Economic Development. “We want to be clear that the Health Center is a resource for the campus for testing and care.”

Nelson said university leadership partnered with the state of Nebraska to open the 17th and R location to offer additional testing, and to offer testing past normal business hours.

“The state is helping provide free testing to the campus community through their contract with Test Nebraska,” Nelson said. “We’re able to scale up or scale down, depending on need.”

The site will be staffed by pre-health students who will check in individuals for their testing appointments, while a licensed health care professional affiliated with the University Health Center will administer the swab test.

Results are expected within 72 hours. Any person who has been exposed or is showing symptoms should self-quarantine. Further directions will be provided to those tested once results are known. Positive test results will be forwarded to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department for contact tracing.

In addition to the UNL Test Nebraska site, the University Health Center continues to offer testing by appointment during normal clinic hours. Payment may be required, and fees may apply. A telehealth visit through the Nebraska Medicine app must be completed prior to testing, or an appointment can be made by calling 402-472-5000.

All Husker employees and students are encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms by using the 1-Check COVID-19 Screening app for iOS and Android, developed by the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

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