Via a campus-wide postmaster, Midwestern State University announced that June 30, the state of Texas will turn the D.L. Ligon Colesium and Nocona Trail into a free COVID-19 testing site from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
“We’re a test site; the state is coming in to do testing. It’s not just for the campus; it’s for anyone. It’s a voluntary measure,” Julie Gaynor, director of marketing and public information, said.
Tests are conducted by appointment only and patients will be screened for one or more of the following symptoms:
Fever and/or chills;
Cough (dry or productive);
Body aches/muscle or joint pain;
Shortness of breath;
Nasal congestion; and
Loss of taste and/or smell
According to Medical Director Keith Williamson, the test conducted will be the nasal swab or “the molecular test for viral RNA,” the antibody test will not be used at MSU’s site.
Due to the increase in testing across the state, there are delays in phone and website registrations. If unable to complete registration before Tuesday, June 30, on-the-day registration is available with a driver’s license. Williamson ensures that anyone in the community without a driver’s license will not be turned away.
“They [the state of Texas] changed the software for registration last night [June 28] at 5 p.m.,” Williamson said. “We get to be the first group to get registered on that new software. We will probably be doing online [registration] while in line if you have a phone, iPad or something like that. Mike Farris said it took him 15 seconds to register online.”
Testing will be free, however, Texas Governor Greg Abbott encourages those with health insurance to also bring this information for survey purposes.
“All you have to know is if you do or don’t have private health insurance and, if you do have private insurance, what the company is. This is something the governor requested,” Williamson said.
In addition to mobile testing, walk-through testing will be available for those who don’t have a car.
“Students [and community members] can go through the Don Flat gym,” Williamson said. “Our plan is to enter on the east side entrance to the gym, and they will progress along the side of the gym and get registered and swabbed and be given instructions and will then exit out the west side of the gym.”
Social distancing and face masks will be required, and masks will be offered to those who don’t have one.
“[Those getting tested] need to maintain social distancing in line. They [the state of Texas] said at one point they would be [providing masks in line],” Williamson said.
Regarding the test itself, Williamson said the pain is similar to that of the flu test.
“It’s irritating to be sure. In terms of pain, I think if you don’t panic about it, it’s not a big deal,” Williamson said.