USD offers free COVID-19 tests ahead of spring break

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VERMILLION, (S.D.) – COVID-19 tests are being offered all week at USD for both students and staff.

“Although our case rate of COVID-19 in South Dakota is declining, it’s not gone yet and we want to make sure our students don’t take a positive case of COVID-19 back with them to their family,” Assistant Vice President for Research Kevin O’Kelley said.

Helen Falda is headed back to her family for this spring break.

“I’m going back to Italy and Italy requires a negative test to enter the country. I have my parents and my niece that I’m going to see and it’s important to me to be healthy to see them,” student Helen Falda said.

“When it’s time to go on and have as much fun as we possibly can during spring break I want to keep family safe and I want to keep my loved ones in other areas safe as well so want to get tested. So I make sure that I’m good so that they’re good,” student Marcus Destin said.

The South Dakota Department of Health provided the the school with 4,600 tests.

The tests are non-invasive and work by collecting a sample of the student’s saliva.

The sample is mailed off and results are sent directly to the student with in a few days..

“We have to get through these last few months, knowledge is power. So knowing if you’re sick or not is the most important thing you can do right now, particularly for students before they go home for spring break before they disburse across the country,” O’Kelley said.

O’Kelley said the university will also provide testing for students and staff once they return from spring break.

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