Free COVID-19 testing available for UNF students, faculty and staff

Local colleges developing testing plans for students

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — University of North Florida freshman Abigail Remke is new to campus, but not to coronavirus safety measures.

“Its been weird, but, I mean, I ended high school like this too. It’s kind of weird, but it’s a new step. I’m just getting through it,” Remke told Action News Jax.

On Monday, UNF began offering free coronavirus testing for all students, faculty, and staff. The college is one of the first in Northeast Florida to offer exams at no cost.

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Jacksonville University students are required to pay a fee. Flagler College doesn’t have any student testing on campus.

“I think it’s a good idea because then people will probably go get tested more. It’s free and they don’t have to go somewhere and get it done,” Remke explained.

At the start of August, Action News Jax shared the apps UNF students use to self-check and report symptoms.

The school’s COVID-19 coordinator said testing is the next step.

According to Dr.Doreen Perez, “The other element is getting people in quarantine so we can watch.” She added, “We do know that even once you get in quarantine, 50% of the population will test positive within 5 days.”

As of Monday, UNF’s COVID-19 webpage showed dozens of confirmed cases for the month of August.

Remke said she hopes the free testing will cut down the number of positives.

“I think it will give the students more opportunity to actually go get tested and not just blow it off,” Remke said.

The walk-up testing site is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Osprey Landing, building W room 100.