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University of Utah students take COVID-19 tests to prepare for Thanksgiving break

Posted at 6:58 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 21:02:04-05

SALT LAKE CITY — University students are preparing to leave for the Thanksgiving holiday next week and some are asking students to be tested for COVID19.

University of Utah students who get tested at the Rice Eccles Stadium take two tests.

The first test is the COVID19 rapid results test.

The second test is sent to AARP for processing.

Read: Utah begins dramatic increase in COVID-19 testing

Instead of sticking the swab far back into their nose, students are instructed to push the swab in about an inch for both tests.

Ethan Lame, a sophomore at the U, called the process “unnatural,” especially because it’s a self-administered test.

“Leaning forward and sticking something up your nose is a strange feeling,” said Lame. “There’s no pain, there’s no pressure. It made my eyes tear up a little bit, but overall it was painless, quick and easy.”

Lorie McDonald, vice president of student affairs, said they have had 3,800 students complete the rapid test as of Tuesday.

8,800 students have signed up.

Read: U of U Health moving COVID-19 testing indoors for winter

“This has been difficult and I’m just in awe at how adaptable our students are,” said McDonald.

Testing will happen at the Rice Eccles Stadium through Monday.

One intern, paid $15 an hour to help administer the test, said he helps around one to two hundred students take the test each day.

Read: U of U Health moves to appointment-only COVID-19 testing

All students have a QR code that matches the code on their test.

The codes are linked to an app that will let students know their results.

But knowing the results, said McDonald, should not change student behavior.

“A test is a snapshot in time and you can be exposed at any time,” said McDonald.

The stadium is for rapid testing only.

For students experiencing any symptoms, the U is referring them to other testing sites in the community.