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COVID-19 antigen test kits available for purchase on campus in efforts to increase testing amid delta variant, risk levels

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Xcetera test

A flier for an antigen self-test at Xcetera.

COVID-19 antigen testing kits are now available for $18 at Xcetra and the Union Market.

Antigen tests are at-home swab tests that provide results in 15 minutes. These tests are often referred to as “rapid tests”, but are found to be less accurate than traditional molecular tests that are processed in laboratories, according to the CDC, as they are more likely to generate false negatives.

OU ordered 580 tests that can be purchased using credit, Sooner Sense or meal points, a university spokesperson wrote in an email. Antigen tests are limited to one per purchase. 

In President Joseph Harroz’s Sept. 1 State of the University speech, Harroz said that the university reviewed the emphasis placed on testing due to the rise of the delta variant and decided to begin increasing the amount of testing. Harroz said tests will be free for uninsured students to make them accessible. The university encourages insured students to file a claim with their provider.

According to the OU COVID-19 Dashboard, 534 tests were performed on campus from Sept. 2-8. 61 of these tests were positive, equaling 11.42 percent of tests. This was an increase from the previous week, Aug. 25 through Sept. 1, where 210 tests were performed and 49 returned positive. 

The Covid Act Now dashboard lists Cleveland County’s risk level as “very high” with a positive test rate of 12.8 percent and an infection rate of 1.22 percent. OU Health announced, Sept. 8, that no ICU beds, for both COVID and non-COVID patients, are available. 95 percent of the hospital’s COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.

In addition to the antigen testing option, testing is still available at the Goddard Health Center. Appointments must be scheduled at healthconnection.ou.edu.

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