FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Students, faculty and staff at all 11 Texas A&M System universities across the state soon will have quick and easy access to free testing for COVID-19.
“Ensuring the health and safety of our students is our top priority,” said A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp. “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.”
As part of the A&M System, Tarleton will receive approximately 1,300 test kits monthly. The free testing is expected to be available in August for Tarleton students, faculty and staff who experience symptoms or suspect they have been exposed to COVID-19.
The testing — a simple, painless mouth swab — is possible thanks to an agreement Sharp negotiated with Curative Inc., a national testing company based in California. Curative has committed to giving lab results within 30 hours from when the sample arrives at its lab.
To date, Curative has released more than 1.2 million test results and is processing 55,000-60,000 test kits per day. Curative emphasizes that this is a turnkey operation, offering tests, shipping, processing and software that collects and expeditiously reports results.
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to get tested if they experience symptoms or suspect they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines close contact as being within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, beginning 48 hours before the individual had symptoms, regardless of whether face coverings are worn.
While the tests are free, those who have insurance are encouraged to use their primary care physician to access the test so the insurance can cover it. The on-campus tests will not be available to the public.
Each A&M System campus will establish an online test registration, and anyone wishing to be tested must first sign up there. Trained personnel will monitor the self-administered oral swabbing required.
Watch Tarleton’s COVID-19 webpage for updates.
A team of doctors, scientists, engineers and health industry experts leads Curative Inc., which was founded to develop tests for sepsis in January 2020 and pivoted to COVID-19 in early March upon realizing the urgent need for test development and production in the United States. The company says its test can be rapidly scaled to enable widespread access to testing. For details on Curative, visit www.curativeinc.com.
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The system is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019.
Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven education marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. It offers degree programs to more than 13,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online, emphasizing real-world learning experiences that address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, excellence, leadership and service.
Laylan Copelin, Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications
979-458-6425; 512-289-2782 (cell)