UNCW to start conducting COVID-19 virus surveillance testing on Feb. 8

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

This article was updated on Feb. 9 to include clarification questions The Seahawk asked OUR. 

Health officials on UNC Wilmington’s (UNCW) campus will soon begin conducting coronavirus (COVID-19) surveillance testing.

The Abrons Student Health Center on campus will test UNCW residents weekly and off-campus students in hybrid classes every other week by appointments starting on Feb 8. Students will be contacted via email to set up their appointments. 

Other off-campus students and faculty and staff are also encouraged to get tested, but will not be a part of the surveillance groups. Those who wish to voluntarily get tested must schedule an appointment. Those appointments will be available starting Feb. 5 and can be found on the Best for The Nest website. While faculty and staff are not required they are highly encouraged to get tested as well. 

Test will be conducted through a self-swab rapid antigen test and will be given free of charge. Students will not be required to wait after receiving their test. Instead, they will only be contacted by the student health center if their test comes back positive. 

Testing will be conducted at Warwick Center and the Mac Gym in the Student Recreation Center, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Students will swipe their one card once they arrive at their appointment. This will help the university keep track of who has and has not kept up with their testing requirements.

Students who are part of surveillance testing groups that fail to get tested will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for possible violation of the Code of Student Conduct. 

“UNCW will launch a COVID-19 [virus] surveillance testing program to supplement the robust health and safety measures already in place on campus to reduce the spread of the virus. The 3Ws, the physical spacing of furniture in campus buildings, limits on the size of gatherings and extensive campus cleaning regimens will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Please wear face coverings indoors and outdoors. As a reminder, North Carolina is currently under a stay-at-home order in effect between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily,” as stated in the email sent out to all students, faculty and staff.

This decision was made at the start of the semester to serve as another pertective measure.

“Surveillance testing is one more tool in the toolbox to help keep campus as safe as possible,” wrote Tricia Vance, from the Office of University Relations. “It will still be important to follow the 3 W’s (wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and was your hands frequently). In addition, we encourage people to get vaccinated when it is their turn. We must continue to be vigilant.”