YSU offers students, staff free COVID-19 testing before holiday break

Coronavirus

It's an effort to make sure everyone is COVID-free before heading home

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The number of people getting tested for COVID-19 continues to go up. On Tuesday, Youngstown State University offered free testing for its students, faculty and staff at the WATTS Center.

“We went in, they handed us the Q-Tip and the paper, 15 seconds in each nostril,” said junior Lauren Batcho.

And just like that, you were done.

With in-house machines, in about 30 to 90 minutes, students, faculty and staff got their results: positive or negative for COVID-19.

“Especially in the college age range, a lot of times, those people don’t show symptoms,” said Julie Gentile, director of environmental and occupational health and safety.

Knowing whether or not they are positive is especially important around the holidays. Students are traveling to and from home while coming into contact with their families, on top of their friends and classmates.

“This is more so for my family when I go home on Christmas so I don’t get anybody that I love sick. Just because I know students on campus, they are partying and I live at The Edge so I can’t avoid what other people are doing,” Batcho said.

To put it on, YSU teamed up with CVS.

“It’s a big undertaking. A lot of people, a lot of equipment, a lot of supplies and we just quite frankly don’t have those resources right now,” Gentile said.

They expected a few hundred people to show up. Those who came did have to pre-register but students and organizers said the signup process made it simple.

“We sent a registration email to campus with a link to CVS’ website. There’s a little bit of information that they need to provide,” Gentile said.

“It was very easy, especially when you sign up. You do everything online plus it’s free, so why not take advantage of that?” said junior Nyla Bass.

Even with the ease of it, organizers said this doesn’t completely put you in the clear to head home for the holidays.

“It’s important to understand this is just a snapshot. So if you have recently been exposed to somebody that has tested positive, you may not be detectable at this point,” Gentile said.

The students we talked to said they mostly wanted to get the test because of their older family members they’ll be seeing in the next few weeks.

But as Gentile pointed out, they could still come into contact before or during their travel.

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