AU Student Health Center administers free COVID-19 testing for students in the DC region
Students with and without symptoms are able to get tested
American University’s Student Health Center is administering free coronavirus testing for students with or without symptoms, during the fall, while the semester plays out with online classes and virtually no on-campus housing.
Students who are in the DMV area can either make a regular appointment during the health center’s operating hours or visit Bentley Lounge in Gray Hall. Students without symptoms can go during drop-in hours, between 10 a.m. and noon. Those with symptoms can stop by from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
“We are really going to be encouraging students to use the health center,” said Dr. David Reitman, medical director for the Student Health Center. “There’s a lot of stuff in terms of providing support that the health center can do that XYZ urgent care can’t do.”
Reitman said that the health center can help students who test positive for COVID-19 or who have other health issues contact the Dean of Students and their professors for accommodations, if necessary.
“I think it’s really good that they’re doing asymptomatic testing without trying to make you prove that you need it,” said Emmy Goyette, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences.
However, Goyette said that when she tried to make an appointment at the end of August, she struggled to get in contact with a representative from the health center.
“There wasn’t a single person that I could talk to,” Goyette said. “It was not ideal that they didn’t have a human being that I could speak to about it.”
According to Reitman, students who recently traveled, went to a protest or need clearance to start a new job should get tested, even if they don’t show any symptoms.
Ashley Bastin, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said receiving a COVID-19 test at the health center was convenient and lasted only about 15 minutes. She said she struggled to get a test in Florida, where she is from.
However, Bastin had an issue getting her results through the testing app,Tempus. She said her last name and birthday were entered into the system incorrectly, and she had to reach out again to get her results.
“I had to go through multiple channels in the health center to try to get in contact with someone, to open a case, to get my results,” Bastin said. “So it was a little bit of a fiasco, but it ended up working out great.”
Bastin said that she still got her results early and the tech support from Tempus said that they were working to fix the issue.
The health center has restructured its layout so that students with COVID-19 symptoms will be separated from any students using the health center for non-COVID-19 related appointments.
The center, which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., will also offer limited telemedicine services for those who are located within D.C.