"These testing sites are important because it helps us protect the campus and it helps us get ahead of asymptomatic spread," said Jessica Klima, Program Director of the UT Proactive Community Testing Program.
UT rolled out mobile testing sites to areas where off-campus housing is most prevalent. "We are targeting populations and high-density areas where there have been a lot of positive cases that have been discovered, and so we want to hit those areas to kind of catch those close contacts, and then be nimble with that process," said Klima.
Currently, Klima says UT is able to accommodate between 1300-1500 students at their on-campus testing sites. The university hopes adding these mobile clinics to areas where students live will help increase testing further and limit the spread of COVID-19 in the Austin community.
"As students are participating in classes online and remotely. We want to go into their neighborhoods where they are, and that way prevents their trip from having to actually come onto campus," said Klima.
The mobile testing sites are walk-up only and limited to only UT students and staff. The test is saliva-based and takes about one to three days to get results back.
The mobile sites are limited to West Campus and JJ Pickle Research Campus, but UT is working with the City of Austin to expand this initiative. "We're finalizing contracts with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department to utilize some of their space in East Austin, East Riverside area so that we can accommodate that neighborhood as well," said Klima.