“Ensuring the health and safety of our students is our top priority,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. “Facilitating increased accessibility and availability of COVID-19 testing will help us mitigate the spread and help to protect each other by taking preventative and proactive measures.”
Approximately 15,000 test kits will be sent to system campuses each month. Each campus will set up a central location for the testing, which will consist of a simple, painless mouth swab. Testing could start as early as late this week.
The testing is possible thanks to an agreement Chancellor Sharp negotiated with Curative Inc., a national testing company based in California. Curative has committed to turning around lab results within 30 hours from when the sample arrives at their lab.
To date, Curative has released more than 1.2 million test results and is processing 55 to 60 thousand test kits per day with plenty of capacity. A major benefit of the Curative testing system is it is a turn-key operation, offering tests, shipping, processing and a software system that collects and reports results.
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to get tested if they experience COVID-19 symptoms, or suspect they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Close contact is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes at any time, beginning 48 hours before the individual had symptoms, regardless of wearing a face mask.
While the tests are free, those who have insurance are encouraged to use their primary care physician to access the test so that their test can be paid for by insurance. The on-campus tests will not be available to the general public.
Each campus will establish an on-line test registration, and anyone wishing to be tested must first sign up there. Trained personnel will monitor the self-administered oral swabbing required.
Curative Inc. was founded to develop tests for sepsis in January 2020 and pivoted to COVID-19 in early March 2020 upon realizing the urgent need for test development and production in the United States. Founded by Fred Turner and comprised of a team of doctors, scientists, engineers and health industry experts, the Curative test is a simple-to-use oral fluid COVID-19 test that can be rapidly scaled to enable widespread access to testing to keep our communities. For more details on Curative, please visit www.curativeinc.com.
About Texas A&M University-Commerce–A&M-Commerce serves rural and metropolitan East Texas with distinction, consistently delivering on a promise that our founder, Professor William Leonidas Mayo, made more than a century ago: “No industrious, ambitious youth shall be denied an education if I can prevent it.” We are committed to our university’s mission: Educate. Discover. Achieve.
Programs are delivered on site at the Commerce campus as well as in Corsicana, Dallas, McKinney, Frisco and Mesquite. Many courses are also available online. Students may choose from more than 135 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. A vibrant student life experience includes 14 NCAA Division II athletic teams, a thriving Greek system and more than 120 student organizations.