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University will no longer offer free COVID-19 tests, vaccinations

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Starting May 13, the university will return to some pre-pandemic policies, including no longer offering free COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, according to a Student Health and Wellness Center health alert.

The SHWC will also no longer offer any testing, vaccines or boosters to faculty and staff. The center started offering free testing sites across campus in January 2021 and later offered free COVID-19 vaccines to students, faculty and staff in March 2021.

Students will still be able to receive COVID-19 tests, vaccines and booster shots at the center, but these services will be treated as a non-COVID-19 healthcare appointment and could include an insurance co-pay, according to the newsletter. The university also said missing classes or work due to COVID-19 will now be treated as a typical health issue.

“Students, faculty and staff should handle COVID-19-related absences the same way they handle any other health-related absence,” the update stated.

The Curative COVID-19 test locations in the University Union and Gateway Center will also close on May 31. Other testing services will still be available for students through a healthcare appointment at the SHWC.

Additional plans to return to pre-COVID-19 policies include an end to contact tracing on campus starting April 29 and ending the weekly updates to the university COVID-19 dashboard, a resource showing the number of current cases from students or university employees. As of April 29, there are nine active cases from direct campus contact.

“Individuals who test positive for the virus should follow current [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines for quarantine/isolation and follow the treatment advice of their primary care physician,” the update stated.

Students, faculty and staff are all still encouraged to stay safe and get vaccinated, according to the update.

“Although infection rates have lessened on campus and locally, individuals should remain vigilant in protecting their personal health,” the update stated. “This includes self-monitoring for symptoms, making informed decisions about high-risk situations and self-isolating after a positive test.”

If COVID-19 infections drastically increase in the future, the university said it is prepared to restart some of the practices it is currently shutting down.

“University health officials will continue to monitor community spread of the virus and can return to its expanded COVID-19 offerings for the entire university community if a need arises,” the update stated.

Featured Image: Signs inside Chestnut Hall show students where to stand in line for rapid COVID-19 tests on Jan. 28, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

Article Originally Published by Alex Reece on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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