With worldwide demand for at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits, UNF is no exception. UNF’s Student Health Services warned that the testing kits were available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and were of limited supply. UNF now has no more at-home test kits for students, faculty, and staff at this time.
According to UNF Student Health Services Director Dr. Valerie Morrison, “The COVID-19 Task Force is in contact with the Florida Department of Health [FDOH] who replied that the state would not be sending any further shipments to the FDOH.”
Fortunately, there are other opportunities to acquire these very convenient test kits, as the U.S. government is offering them for free at www.covidtests.gov.
“Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order #4 free at-home COVID-19 tests,” reads the website. “The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days.”
People can also order them by calling their hotline: 800-232-0233. And since the tests would probably take at least a week to arrive, you may want to order them to have them as a safety cushion, rather than waiting to order when you experience symptoms.
But if you need to get tested as soon as possible, remember that on-campus rapid testing is still available.
“Students are first encouraged to get tested at the COVID Testing Clinic when it is open,” says Dr. Valerie Morrison. The testing is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. in Bldg. 62/Lot 17.
Purchasing a COVID is also an option, but can be challenging with everyone trying to get their hands on one. Check your local and online retailers and pharmacies to see if they have some in stock. Stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart sell the tests both in-store and online.
Dr. Morrison says that there is some important information to know for at-home testing kits and COVID testing in general:
COVID-19 like symptoms can include any combination of the following:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Individuals with Symptoms and Risk Factors
Those who are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and have COVID-19 symptoms should get tested for the virus soon after developing symptoms. If you test positive, you should isolate for five days from the start of symptoms followed by five days of mask-wearing while indoors or around others.
They should also “seek early monoclonal antibody or antiviral drug treatment and seek other medical treatment as necessary,” Dr. Morrison says.
Individuals with Symptoms and No Risk Factors
Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are not at an increased risk for severe illness should still consider getting tested for the virus soon after developing symptoms. If you test positive, you should still isolate for five days from the start of symptoms, followed by five more days of mask-wearing while indoors or around others.
Individuals with No Symptoms
If you may have been exposed to COVID-19, but have no symptoms, COVID-19 testing is unlikely to have any clinical benefits. Consider getting tested for COVID-19 after symptom onset.
“Per the CDC, if you desire COVID testing following exposure, you should wait until Day 5 following exposure to be tested,” Dr. Morrison explains.
People who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, including the booster vaccination when eligible, should quarantine for five days following exposure, and five more days of mask-wearing while indoors or around others.
Those who are up to date with their vaccines don’t need to quarantine but should still wear a mask for ten days following exposure.
For additional information and updates about UNF Coronavirus protocols, visit the Student Health Services website, or here.
The pandemic isn’t over yet, so stay safe, Ospreys!
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