GuideSafe testing for college students underway in Alabama

Updated: Aug. 4, 2020 at 6:39 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Tuesday was the first day of coronavirus testing for the nearly 200,000 students who will attend college in Alabama this fall.

Testing is mandatory for those students. It’s part of a re-entry program called GuideSafe, designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks on college campuses.

Thirteen testing sites opened Tuesday.

1. Alabama A&M University

2. Alabama State University

3. Auburn University

4. Auburn University at Montgomery

5. Hoover Met Complex

6. Jacksonville State University

7. Troy University

8. UAB

9. The University of Alabama

10. The University of Alabama in Huntsville

11. University of North Alabama

12. University of South Alabama

13. University of West Alabama

Zane Stinson is an upcoming freshman at UAH. He’s one of the thousands of students who must test negative for the virus before his first day on campus.

“For the safety of other students, you know? Not getting everyone sick and getting schools to shut down and stuff like that.”

Across the state, 5,000 to 10,000 students are expected to be tested each day before the start of the school year.

“He is going to have three other suite-mates so to know everyone going in should have a negative result before they can come to campus,” said Christy Stinson.

With more than a dozen testing sites scattered across the state, no one should have to travel farther than 60 miles to get a test. Brandon Kamil wasted no time getting his test so he could leave Huntsville to begin his sophomore year at Auburn.

“I am really for everyone getting tested. I’d rather not go there and get it and try to come back home and bring it to my family.”

Dr. Michael Saag with UAB said for the first day of GuideSafe testing, there were a few hiccups.

“We all suffer from this; I would call this email fatigue where we get so many emails and even though the information may be clearly listed there it may not be read carefully.”

He wants to emphasize students will get an individual email with specifics on when they should be tested before heading back to campus.

“They are not really understanding we have staggered the release of emails so there isn’t one single day where everyone is trying to get in at one time.”

Students are to isolate and not come near their campus until they receive a negative result.

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