These past few weeks have been frightening for people worldwide. With the spike in Covid cases, seemingly everyone has been on the lookout for rapid tests. Thankfully, Bridgewater State University has been lending a helping hand to assist with testing.
On January 14, BSU announced that they would be distributing free rapid tests on Thursday, January 20 in the Burnell Parking Lot.
President Clark declared in an email to all BSU students his satisfaction with how smooth the process was. With the incredible turnout and the number of leftover tests, BSU extended the pickup date.
The test kits were available for pickup on the main level of RSU from January 24 through 28 between 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Dr. Chris Frazer, the executive director of the Wellness Center, spoke about the importance of distributing these tests to the BSU community.
“Before the start of the semester, as it became clear that there was a valuable place for rapid testing in our repertoire of COVID-19 responses, BSU began to investigate a reliable source for rapid tests to distribute to employees, residents, and commuters,” said Frazer. “The office of Procurement, led by Dr. Jennifer Pacheco, did a great job sourcing rapid tests that would arrive quickly. Once we were clear that we needed tests as soon as possible, we ordered the tests and expedited the shipping as best we could.”
According to Frazer, students having the ability to obtain tests is beneficial in detecting active Covid cases and stopping the spread of the virus in our community.
“At the Wellness Center, we were seeing several comments about the difficulty finding testing off campus, and the real lack of rapid testing in the community after the winter holidays,” said Frazer. “This was the same time that we saw the rise of Omicron, which has been much more transmitted, though also more of a mild illness for anyone properly vaccinated.”
“We knew that having rapid tests would be our best bet to measure whether or not someone is actively ill and transmissible, which was different than our PCR testing,” he said. “Having these rapid tests in a convenient 2-pack so that we can distribute them to students going home to isolate or to individuals not regularly on campus was particularly helpful.”
Frazer wants to remind students of the reliability of vaccinations and the importance of staying vigilant in these trying times.
“Masking and testing are important, but our best protection continues to be vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccines are incredible…..and we often see fully boosted COVID+ students experience no symptoms at all,” he said. “They do the job that they set out to do….which was never to fully prevent infection (much like a flu vaccine won’t ever keep you completely safe), but to keep people out of the hospitals and recovering quickly.”
According to Frazer, tests and masks will continue to be available until further notice on the main level of RSU.
For any further questions, visit the BSU website to find out the latest information regarding testing services and booster clinics on campus.