Different tactics for COVID testing at FAMU, FSU


FAMU has been offering free COVID-19 tests at Bragg Stadium since April. Photo by Elaina Williams

Florida A&M and Florida State have taken different strategies for coronavirus testing on campus since classes began in August. FAMU has implemented self-checkers in addition to testing at the school’s Bragg Memorial Stadium. FSU has implemented testing  on campus at the school’s Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.

FAMU’s self-checkers have allowed people who want to visit the main campus, be able to do so with confirmation that they are not experiencing any coronavirus symptoms to the best of their knowledge.  FAMU’s Bragg Stadium does provide same-day testing.

However, FSU has implemented random coronavirus testing for students living on campus as part of their housing contract.

According to uhs.fsu.edu, “Students living on campus will be required to participate in testing on campus as part of the housing contract, and there may be other groups that have been identified as a high priority and required to undergo testing by their department. In those cases, the students will be notified directly by their department regarding expectations.”

FSU has implemented mandatory testing for on campus activities. For example, students are required to get tested the week before athletic events.  However, the university does not provide same-day testing at its on-campus facility. The test requires a 24-hour waiting period.

According to news.wfsu.org, the students had until today to put in their ticket requests for the game this Saturday.

“The new policy requires students to test negative for COVID-19 during the week prior to each football home game they plan to attend. The next home game for the Seminoles is against Jacksonville State on October 3,” said news.wfsu.org.

Last week FAMU received 175 boxes with nearly 7,000 test kits from the White House, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

According to the article, Mia Palmieri Heck, Director of External Affairs for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told USA Today about the tests named BinaxNOW that were sent to different HBCUs.

“The BinaxNOW test is simple to use, does not require an instrument, has results in 15 minutes and costs only $5 per test,” Heck said.

Both FAMU and FSU have reported positive coronavirus cases since school resumed in August. FAMU has had a small number of self-reported cases. Although FSU reported a higher number of cases, it has reported a low positivity rate.

“Since Aug, 2, FSU has conducted 19,426 tests, with 1,448 students testing positive and 31 employees. The total positivity rate is 7.61%, according to university reports,” according to the Tallahassee Democrat.