As the start of a new semester approaches and as Western Michigan University students return to campus, Sindecuse Health Center has announced a new mass COVID-19 testing event in an email to students, faculty and staff.
Drive-thru testing will be available on Jan. 15 and Jan. 19-21 from 8:15 a.m. to noon by appointment only. WMU students as well as benefits-eligible and temporary employees can make their appointment using the Sindecuse online patient portal.
“As we come together again, the key to that success will be continuing to maintain a safe, healthy and engaging learning environment,” the email said. “This mass testing will enable us to identify cases of COVID-19 and respond appropriately to mitigate spread at the start of the semester.”
Sindecuse also announced no-cost testing has been expanded for asymptomatic students and staff to include four no-cost tests rather than two. Anyone who took advantage of two no-cost tests during the fall now have a total of two tests left to use.
There will be no refunds for previous tests.
The email also mentioned vaccination efforts are up to the Kalamazoo County Health Department, not WMU.
“Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department is administering vaccines to those eligible for inoculation at this stage in the phased approach to vaccinating the population,” the email said. “University leaders remain in communication with health officials and will share more about vaccination planning and protocols for our campus community as new information becomes available. “
While the vaccine is being rolled up, Sindecuse is urging everyone to continue following safety guidelines which include:
Wear a mask. On campus, masks are required in indoor spaces and outdoors where physical distancing is not possible.
Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Watch your distance. Stay 6 feet away from others while in public spaces and also avoid large gatherings where it's difficult to maintain physical distance.
Monitor your symptoms and get tested. Even after being tested next week, if you develop symptoms of COVID-19, no-cost testing is available.