COVID-19 test kits available on and off campus

Mara Wheaton, Assistant News Editor

Beginning October 29, 2021, South Dakota State University has been supplying the on-campus pharmacy, Wellness Center and residence halls with COVID-19 rapid tests. These tests are free for both on and off-campus students at SDSU. 

As of now, 2,794 COVID-19 tests have been distributed on campus. Of that number, 2,514 tests have gone to residence halls, while 280 have been picked up at the SDSU pharmacy or Wellness Center.

Laura Dirks, SDSU Public Health Specialist, said that they initially were providing rapid tests to residence halls and the on-campus pharmacy. Later, they expanded to the Wellness Center because the pharmacy is closed on weekends. That way, off-campus students could still have access to the tests. 

“It’s supposed to be super easy,” Dirks said. “There is no scanning or if you don’t want to talk it’s really easy … there’s no criteria for making sure you can get one as long as they are available.” 

According to Dirks, the dashboard is really low regarding COVID-19 cases on campus, and Brookings County is also seeing a downward trend in cases. There’s also been a shift to home tests because of how easy and convenient they are.

Other pharmacies in town are carrying COVID-19 rapid tests as well. Walmart Pharmacy and Brothers’ Pharmacy are both giving out the government-issued COVID-19 tests, and Walmart will also let individuals purchase tests through their insurance. Hy-Vee is selling single COVID-19 tests off the shelf for about $10.

Dirks said that supplying COVID-19 tests on campus seems to be super successful. 

“If you are exposed this week and are feeling nervous to take a test and then you also need one next week, that’s fine. We just want people to use them, as long as they need them,” Dirks said.