With a week left until classes begin at the University of Alabama System’s three campuses, the first numbers of COVID-19 reentry tests are available.
As of Wednesday morning, approximately 30,000 students had been tested either in person or through the mail-in kits. Of that group, 0.83 percent tested positive, a GuideSafe Entry Testing spokesperson told AL.com on Wednesday evening.
For 30,000 tests, that would mean approximately 249 came back positive.
The 14-day statewide positivity percentage is 10.45, according to BamaTracker.com.
A spokesperson for the GuideSafe testing program told AL.com another 35,000 tests were currently being processed with UA classes set to open Aug. 19. The plan is to test around 165,000 college students attending schools in Alabama, a number that dipped from the original estimate of 175,000 to 200,000.
The tests are required to return to the University of Alabama System schools in Birmingham, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa. There is no cost for students taking them at one of the 14 testing sites in state or for those out of state who used the mail-in tests. The tests must be completed within 14 days of returning to campus.
That didn’t come without complications.
Three states — New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island — have laws that prevented the mail-in tests from being sent to students’ homes.
That sent Kayla Pantaleo of Park Ridge, NJ scrambling. She tried to get a test at a chain pharmacy in her hometown, but they were only giving tests to those who were experiencing symptoms. The rising senior got her test Monday and expects results by Thursday.
In Wisconsin, Alex Hildebrand waited a week to get the mail-in test he requested through the UA testing website. It never came so he went to a local National Guard post for a free test. It came back negative.
McKenzie Moore, a freshman from Hartselle, got her test from a local urgent care clinic rather than one of the 14 GuideSafe testing sites. The negative test results came back within 72 hours. The GuideSafe tests results are supposed to be delivered within 48 hours, according to its website.
Michael Casagrande is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ByCasagrande or on Facebook.