UT-Austin will test 5,000 people a week for coronavirus

The university plans to test all of its campus residence hall students by the beginning of September.

Friday, August 7, 2020
What to know about coronavirus testing
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Here's a look at the difference between two types of coronavirus tests, a diagnostic test and an antibody test.

AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas at Austin, one of Texas' largest universities, will provide all students with tests at no charge and plans to proactively test 5,000 asymptomatic campus individuals a week in an effort to deter outbreaks.

SEE RELATED STORY: UT-Austin now leads US colleges in highest number of COVID-19 cases

This comes after the university earned the distinction from The New York Times as the leading U.S. college in the number of COVID-19 cases, which could be due to a lack of reporting from other schools. The University of Texas reported a total of 472 COVID-19 cases among students, faculty and staff as of Thursday. The university also found 22 positive cases in its proactive tests, with 823 coming back negative.

The proactive tests for asymptomatic individuals will be deployed by the university and will not be open for individual requests. The university plans to test all of its campus residence hall students by the beginning of September. It will continue to identify individuals or groups on campus strategically to test those at a higher risk of disease spread, as well as perform random testing. All testing will be voluntary.

The university can test hundreds of symptomatic students using in-house labs and has three rapid testing machines that can provide results in 15 minutes. The university will also continue to conduct voluntary contact tracing through a partnership with Dell Medical School and Austin Public Health.

SEE RELATED STORY: Baylor University requiring negative COVID-19 test for students returning to campus

The University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Texas at El Paso will also provide free on-campus testing. The Texas A&M System will provide free tests across its 11 universities.

SEE RELATED STORY: 2 Texas college towns face extra economic risk due to COVID-19, says study

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The video above is about the basics of a coronavirus test.