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Northern State to host mass testing for students and staff

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 6:40 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Partnering with Avera Health and the South Dakota Department of Health, Northern State University will be conducting mass testing of COVID-19 of its students and staff on Wednesday.

Testing will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, without having to make an appointment. The main goal of the testing is to identify students and staff who may have the virus but are not aware of it or may be asymptomatic.

Currently, NSU has eight active cases between students and faculty.

Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment Justin Fraase says although testing more students will affect how many cases the university has on paper, it’s an important step in continuing classes on campus.

“This is going to be a very long game. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And for us to be able to identify individuals who are asymptomatic right now is only going to allow us to throughout the semester,” Fraase says.

Currently, Wednesday’s testing will be a one-off event at Northern, and testing will not be available anyone outside of the university’s student body and staff. However, Fraase notes that it will help the university in controlling the spread of the virus on campus, and in-turn help prevent any more spread to the community.

“We all want to stay on campus here through the Thanksgiving holiday, and that’s our goal, we’re sticking to it. And this is just another one of the opportunities that we have from campus that will allow us to get through the semester.”

Testing will take place just outside the Avera Student Center, weather pending, between the hours of 9-5. Individuals can expect test results back in three to five days. More information about the testing event can be found here.

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