Grant allows COVID-19 testing on SIU campus

By Sara Wangler, Staff Reporter

SIU is now offering COVID-19 testing on campus to students, staff and faculty. 

The university, SIH and the Jackson County Health Department worked together on getting the grant in the summer. The grant comes from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. 

The $2.8 million grant was divided among SIU, SIH and the Jackson County Health Department and allowed a broader testing program for the SIU campus. 

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Rosslind Rice, communications coordinator for SIH, said this makes testing more convenient for the university.

“The grant enabled us to test on campus,” Rice said. “We were already working with SIU to test athletes, and it’s much more convenient now.” 

Rice said SIH applied for the grant in accordance with the Jackson County Health Department.  

“With the grant, we can now provide COVID testing two days a week for students, faculty, and staff,” said Rosalind. 

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for SIU Rae Goldsmith said testing will be available on campus two days a week.

“Mondays at the Becker Pavilion by Campus Lake and Wednesdays at the southwest corner of Rinella Field across from the Student Health Center and near the Towers,” Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith said testing will be by required appointments. There is currently a website available with times as well as information about how to make an appointment.

“There is also currently drive-thru testing for faculty, staff, and students at 500 W. Main St. in Carbondale,” Goldsmith said. “Priority days for SIU students and staff are Wednesdays and Thursdays, although drive-through testing is also available on other days.”

Goldsmith said there is a phone number to call as well as online scheduling that is coming soon.

“Students with symptoms should still call the Student Health Center, but everyone else including those without symptoms can set up appointments for either on-campus or drive-through testing,” Goldsmith said. 

Goldsmith said work has been in progress since summer to provide more testing to campus but resources weren’t available. 

“For example, most students without symptoms have had to go off-site for testing,” Goldsmith said. “The grant makes it more convenient for everyone to get tested.”

Goldsmith also said people who are getting tested are asked to bring their insurance cards, but no student, faculty or staff member without coverage will be turned away. Testing is conducted by Southern Illinois Healthcare, which indicates that results will be available within 24 to 48 hours Goldsmith said.

“It is important for people to make their appointments using the phone number that will be specifically provided for SIU faculty, staff, and students,” Goldsmith said.

Staff reporter Sara Wangler can be reached at swangler@dailyegyptian.com or on Twitter at @sara_Wangler. To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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