The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith’s Powell Student Health Center will begin COVID-19 testing on campus Tuesday, October 6, after receiving an Abbott Testing Machine and testing kits from the Arkansas Department of Health this week.
On-campus testing will be open to all UAFS students, faculty, and staff at no cost, and tests will be administered in a drive-through fashion to limit possible spread, exposure or contamination.
Any UAFS student or employee who feels sick and has symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or is concerned about COVID-19 exposure, is strongly encouraged to stay home and contact the Powell student health clinic at 479-788-7435 for an evaluation. During the evaluation call, students will be pre-screened for COVID-19 testing, and if testing is determined to be the appropriate response, the student will be given detailed directions.
The UAFS Powell Student Health Center will conduct testing Tuesdays from 1-3 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m. at a separate campus location with ample room for through-traffic, in an effort to reduce contact between visitors to the clinic and patients who need COVID-19 testing, and to create a convenient flow of testing.
A trained clinician will administer the nasal swab test, and will alert the student to the timeframe in which they can expect results, which may vary depending upon symptoms and exposure risk. Result times from the Abbott machines may be ready in just a few minutes, while tests that must be sent off for review may take up to 2-3 days.
Once results are available, students will be required to enter an isolation if they have a positive result and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, along with the ADH will initiate the contact tracing process.
Students were advised to add contact tracer phone numbers to their mobile phone’s contact list for easier reach. Those numbers are:
UAFS Dean of Students Dave Stevens said it is important that students are aware of the university’s testing capabilities, especially as the cool weather brings about seasonal allergies, seasonal colds and the influenza virus which can create anxiety over symptoms. “We care deeply for our students and we are very concerned with their health and safety,” he said.
The UAFS Powell Student Health clinic is also providing flu shots at no cost to students, and the university will host a flu-shot clinic for faculty and staff on campus next week.