Quarantine time shortened

Claudia Peppenhorst

Staff Writer

With COVID cases back on the rise nationally due to the Omicron strand, Troy University is encouraging students to get tested if they have been exposed or are showing symptoms of the illness. 

Currently there is a national shortage of COVID tests due to the rise of cases at the beginning of the year, and some students may be wondering where to turn to get tested. 

The student health center on campus is offering COVID tests to students, available by appointment. 

“Testing has become pretty difficult to get out in the general community,” said Lance Tatum, senior vice chancellor of Academic Affairs. 

“Right now, we have plenty of tests that are available to us at the university, and I would encourage anyone that’s a student that feels like they have symptoms to go down to the health center and get tested.”

With the Omicron strand, many symptoms may be cold or flu-like. 

The university encourages students to be aware of their health and know what symptoms to look for before heading to class.

“With the Omicron strand, the symptoms are a little milder,” said Jacque Chirico, the student health center’s nurse practitioner. 

“It usually is sinus congestion, runny nose, a sore throat, and in most cases a headache.

“A lot of COVID symptoms begin with a sore throat, so it’s just hard to tell,” Chirico said. 

If students test negative for COVID and still feel sick, the student health center also offers flu and strep tests. 

“We’re testing for COVID first, just because it’s a little more prominent right now,” Chirico said. 

“If it comes back negative, then we get the student back in here and get them tested for flu or strep.”

The university is also encouraging students who are exposed to be aware of the time frame between when they are exposed and when they get tested. Tatum said that testing too early can result in a false-negative test.

“If you think you are exposed, there needs to be some period of time between the exposure and the test,” Tatum said. “If you test too early, it’ll come back negative when later in the week you may test positive.”

If you have been exposed or are feeling sick, you can book an appointment at the student health center to get tested at (334) 670-3452.

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