UT Austin launches program to make COVID-19 testing more accessible

UT Austin Launches Program To Make COVID-19 Testing More Accessible

UT has introduced mobile test sites in areas where off-campus housing is most common.

With mobile testing units, the University of Texas at Austin aims to make testing more accessible to students studying at a distance in the Austin area.

“These test sites are important because they help us protect the campus and stay one step ahead of asymptomatic spread,” said Jessica Klima, program director of the UT Proactive Community Testing Program.

UT has introduced mobile test sites in areas where off-campus housing is most common. “We’re targeting populations and high-density areas where a lot of positive cases have been discovered. That’s why we want to meet these areas to make these close contacts and then be nimble with this process,” he said.

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According to Klima, UT can currently accommodate between 1,300 and 1,500 students at their test locations on campus. The university hopes that adding these mobile clinics to areas where students live will help further improve testing and limit the spread of COVID-19 in the Austin community.

“Because the students take courses online and remotely. We want to go to the neighborhood they are in and that way prevent their trip from actually having to come to campus,” said Klima.

The mobile test sites are only accessible and limited to UT students and staff only. The test is saliva-based and takes about one to three days to regain results.

The mobile sites are limited to the West Campus and the JJ Pickle Research Campus, but UT is working with the City of Austin to expand this initiative. “We are contracting with the Austin City Parks and Recreation Division to use a portion of their space in East Austin, East Riverside, so we can accommodate that neighborhood,” said Klima.

Click here to view the mobile testing session schedule.

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