Free COVID-19 Screenings to Be Offered to BSU and NTC Students
In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, Bemidji State University will host a free COVID-19 saliva testing clinic for Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College students in the Gillett Wellness Center on Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 9 AM to 3 PM.
To accommodate this event, the Gillett Wellness Center will be closed to regular activities. According to a release, no parking permits will be required to park outside of the center for students who wish to participate in the testing event.
Dr. Faith C. Hensrud, BSU and NTC president, said the testing event will be an important mitigation strategy as the college and university approach fall breaks.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, it is likely most students have been exposed to COVID-19 at some point in the past month. The free testing event is part of a broader strategy to help students learn if they are an asymptomatic carrier of the virus, which will help contain further spread.
Approximately 1,200 free tests will be administered to students, and MDH expects to have results in 24 to 48 hours. Students will be encouraged to self-report their results to BSU’s student COVID-19 hotline.
The testing method will be saliva tests, which gather approximately one tablespoon of saliva in a sample tube, which is returned to Minneapolis-based Vault Labs by overnight mail. Students who participate in the testing are asked to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Arrive with clean hands.
- No water should be consumed for at least 10 minutes prior to collection.
- Do not consume liquids or food and do not smoke, use nasal sprays or teeth cleaning products or chew gum for at least 30 minutes before sample collection.
Samples will be collected on-site by trained observers wearing personal protective equipment.