Students encouraged to take COVID-19 test before Thanksgiving break

Baylor offering free COVID-19 test prior to Thanksgiving Break, "to help keep your families, loved ones and local communities safe and well over the holidays," Baylor President Dr. Livingstone said in the presidential perspective email last week. Chase (Junyan) Li | Photographer

By Meredith Pratt | Staff Writer

Before Thanksgiving break arrives, Baylor will be offering COVID-19 rapid testing for all students, faculty and staff from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25 in the North Village Respiratory Clinic. The university is encouraging all students to take advantage of this testing opportunity, but especially those who plan to travel or gather with family or friends.

“While students should continue with their normal class routines, we urge everyone to be tested, limit your social interactions from now through Thanksgiving and be even more vigilant in your efforts to minimize viral spread through masking, distancing, avoiding crowds and hand-washing,” Baylor’s COVID-19 Health Management Team said in an email.

The tests are not 100% free — the cost of the test will be billed to students’ insurance providers and the university will cover the remaining balance. Students can schedule an appointment on the Health Services website. The results from the tests are expected to be available within an hour after testing.

Granite Bay, Calif., junior Molly Pirnik, a nursing student, said that if she were back on campus, she would likely go get tested.

With a background in health and nursing, Pirnik said she sees the opportunity to get tested as a “great offer.”

“It would be nice to know if you’re infected before traveling home. I think that it’s a great option for students,” Pirnik said. “They can see whether they need to quarantine or not in order to keep their families safe.”

Frisco senior Geneava Moore said she is getting tested for the sake of others back home.

“For me it’s important to get tested because I don’t want to potentially bring any illness to my family over break,” Moore said. “My dad just went back to work after being in a three-month recovery from a hospital stay, and I don’t want to jeopardize that if it can be avoided.”

Baylor announced it will be providing isolation housing and additional support for any on-campus residential students who will be in isolation or quarantine over Thanksgiving break so they can return home safely later.

Baylor President Linda Livingstone also urged students not to succumb to “pandemic fatigue” and to continue adhering to the university’s safety protocols in her presidential perspective message last week.

“We have been fortunate inside the ‘Baylor Bubble’ throughout most of the semester thanks to your dedication to mask wearing and social distancing and your cooperation with testing protocols and contact tracing,” Livingstone said. “However, we have experienced a steadying increase of cases since the end of October, including case counts of more than 100 over the past several days.”

On Monday, there were 138 active cases. The university has asked students to continue monitoring their Baylor email for additional information regarding testing through the end of the fall semester and plans for required testing before the spring 2021 semester.