COVID testing site returns to Bragg

Covid testing site returned back to Bragg-Memorial Stadium.
Photo courtesy: Kimiya Watkins

Florida A&M University’s COVID-19 testing site was temporarily returned to Bragg-Memorial Stadium on Wednesday.

The COVID testing site at the university’s football stadium has been open since April 2020 and the beginning of the pandemic. The site was moved on Monday, Aug. 30, to 2507 Wahnish Way, a field just  north of the FAMU DRS campus.

FAMU notified students and staff the next day via email of the temporary return to Bragg; following the initial announcement made on Aug. 27 that the site would be transitioning away from Bragg. The release said that the move was in expectation of the forthcoming football season with the first home game scheduled for Sept. 11.

The return to Bragg came after the heavy rainfall that occurred on Monday and Tuesday of last week. The thunderstorms damaged the field where the COVID-19 testing site had been relocated. The school said it wanted to ensure everyone’s safety and prevent future issues, thus returning to Bragg.

“With the heavy rains Monday and Tuesday, the field was damaged,” Tanya Tatum, director of Student Health Services, said in an interview. “To prevent people from possibly getting injured, cars stuck in the mud, and people having to slog through puddles and inches of mud, we moved the testing site back to Bragg Stadium.  This is a temporary move until we can get the field repaired.”

The field restoration, which includes adding gravel and grading, is estimated to take about two weeks. Once the field has been restored, the testing site will be moved back to its prior site.

Covid testing site moved to 2507 Wahnish Way. Photo courtesy: Kimiya Watkins

“The COVID-19 testing site will return to 2507 Wahnish Way once the field has been repaired,” Tatum said. “Because of the weather, we anticipate that it will take about two weeks to repair.”

Next Saturday’s home game shouldn’t be affected by this move in any way, according to the email, and renovations at the stadium will continue. The COVID testing site, which is made up of tents, is located in its original location and is able to be moved quickly if any issues occur.

“We only moved tents back to Bragg Stadium and do not anticipate any disruption to the home football game,” Tatum said. She added that the move is temporary and will not impact the next phase of the stadium renovations.

The site is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday. It is closed on Sundays. The site offers rapid and PCR tests. Testing is free, and no physician referral is required.