All N.C. Central University students coming back from Winter break who are living on campus for the Spring semester were required to take two COVID-19 tests before they could return to their residential hall last week.
Upon arrival to campus, cars were lined up at the Latham Parking Deck for students to take the COVID-19 rapid test and a PCR test, which is a lab test for the coronavirus.
“The health and safety of our students remain two of our highest priorities, along with student success,” NCCU Associate Vice Chancellor of the Office of Communications and Marketing said in an email.
“The use of both tests confirms students’ exposure to the COVID-19 virus and allows us to quickly identify, isolate, and quarantine those individuals who test positive.”
There have been 29 confirmed cases among students and 10 cases from employees since January 1st according to the NCCU COVID-19 dashboard.
Some students said that the test was uncomfortable and that they were shocked when they had to get swabbed again after taking the COVID-19 rapid test.
For some students, it was their first time receiving a COVID-19 test.
“I have never received a Covid-19 test before,” senior Criminal Justice student Jalen Spooner said. “It was a new experience for me.”
“The first Covid-19 test only made my eyes water and nose to feel itchy. The second Covid-19 test was by far the worst between the two. It felt like she was poking the back of my brain.”
After students were tested, they were told to wait in the parking deck for their test results. If they tested negative, they were given a wrist band to return to their dorm. However, if they tested positive, they were sent to quarantine housing on campus where they would remain in isolation for 14 days.
Most students were notified of their test results within ten to fifteen minutes through a text message or the mobile app for COVID-19 test results NAVICA but some students had to wait longer to receive their results because of internet connection issues.
“I took my COVID test and had to wait an hour and fifteen minutes for my results,” Senior Nutrition and Dietetics student Essence Edwards said. “One lady explained that it may be because of the bad connection, however, I still did not get a text or updated results using the NAVICA app they had students to download.”
Edwards said that she was “verbally told her results were negative by a representative.”
NCCU has “conducted more than 1,400 COVID-19 cases” as of Jan. 12 among students and staff, Hernandez said.
“At this time, the university is taking all the necessary precautions to limit to spread and exposure to COVID-19,” Hernandez said. “We are continually making assessments and will update our protocols as health and safety guidelines as necessary and local health guidance allows.”
Based on the low number of cases on campus from last semester, NCCU will continue to enforce strict social distancing measures on campus for the Spring semester, and offer free testing for students and distribute Personal Protective Equipment to faculty and staff.
COVID-19 testing is offered at the Walker Complex Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. in room B101.
Students can make an appointment through the Medicat tab under myEOL on NCCU’s website.