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Alabama to pay for college students to get coronavirus tests before school restarts

Students told WAAY 31 initiatives like these make them feel safer to return to campus

Posted: Jun 29, 2020 6:17 PM

The state says more than $750,000 will fund the "Testing for Alabama Initiative."

It allows for all students at public two- and four-year universities across the state to be tested for coronavirus before going back to campus in the fall. It's something students told WAAY 31 makes them feel better about going back to school.

"I was very concerned about going back, and being around students knowing that we still don't have a treatment for the COVID-19," Elijah Oshin-Bando, a college student, said.

Banjo is a student at Alabama A&M. The university announced last week students will be able to return to campus for fall on Aug. 17.

Oshin-Banjo said he felt uneasy about going back, but the new Testing for Alabama Initiative makes him feel more at ease.

"It makes me feel better knowing that the state is actually going to be supportive you know with just helping get the test that they need for them to be able to get back to school," Oshin-Banjo said.

Because of the CARES Act, more than $750,000 will be used to fund the initiative.

It will make testing available to public universities across the state so students can be re-tested before going back to campus.

"We are also asking and requiring that they do have a negative test to return, and obviously if a student tests positive, we're going to ask them to quarantine for 14 days before they come to campus," Dr. Selwyn Vickers, with UAB, said.

Vickers works for the University of Alabama in Birmingham and helped establish the initiative.

He said right now they are working to establish parameters with each university so students can be tested right before heading back to campus, and will be less likely to contract it right before going back to school.

Oshin-Banjo said he likes this protocol and believes it'll keep the campus safer.

"You don't wanna be around anybody that has that," he said.

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