In the wake of surging COVID-19 — and its Omicron variant — cases in Ingham County, Michigan State University has implemented a number of on-campus testing and vaccination options for students, faculty and the East Lansing community to utilize.
The State News sat down with MSU Executive Vice President of Health Sciences Norman Beauchamp in order to address questions on testing services, and create a comprehensive guide to the testing and vaccine services offered on campus.
Early Detection Program, or Spartan Spit
The Early Detection Program, or EDP, was originally introduced in August 2020, and has become the flagship program for testing on MSU’s campus. It provides once-a-week testing by asking participants to drop off saliva samples within university-provided testing kits at designated locations throughout campus.
The program is voluntary for all MSU students and faculty — with the exception of those with exemptions that don’t allow them to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Beauchamp said that the EDP is focused on asymptomatic individuals — or those who don’t necessarily have suspicions that they currently have COVID-19. It’s a monitoring system and aims to catch the virus before an individual has the opportunity to spread it.
“That’s a really good program to participate in for asymptomatic individuals,” Beauchamp said.
Students and faculty can register for the program at earlydetection.msu.edu. After they’ve signed up, participants can pick up testing kits at one of 24 locations and drop off their samples at one of 23 locations.
Beauchamp said the EDP has the capacity to test around 12,000 samples a week. Turnaround time for tests submitted before 10 a.m. average around 36 hours.
Spartan Stadium NxGen testing center
While the EDP is catered towards those not without COVID-19 symptoms, the joint MSU Health Care and NxGen testing center at Spartan Stadium aims to serve those who have reason to believe they have contracted the virus.
“Our goal was to give access to the students and the community to additional COVID testing,” Beauchamp said. “We would like that if a student is symptomatic, that NxGen becomes a resource for them that they can turn around really quickly.”
The center opened on Dec. 15 and can be accessed through Gate B of Spartan Stadium. In addition to COVID-19 PCR testing, the center can test for Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV.
Capacity for daily tests caps out at around 1000, Beauchamp said. Turnaround times for test results aim to be 24 hours or less.
The NxGen center does not require an appointment or registration, but appointments can be made at this webpage. Current hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Vaccine and booster offerings
In addition to its two, main COVID-19 testing options, MSU also offers on-campus avenues for students, faculty and the MSU community to receive initial COVID-19 vaccine doses and COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all three FDA-approved vaccines.
Initial vaccines can be received at the MSU Health Care Pharmacy, and are available for all patients 12-years-old and over. Five-to-11-year-olds can receive their vaccine at any MSU Health Care Pediatric Clinic.
All initial vaccines can be scheduled at pharmacy.msu.edu.
MSU announced Jan. 12 that they would be partnering with the Ingham County Health Department to provide an additional vaccine clinic at the Breslin Center. This clinic will offer all three FDA-approved vaccines and their boosters.
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Those who are interested in utilizing these Breslin-based services can walk-in until 5:45 p.m. each day, but appointments are strongly advised.
Those attending the clinic should enter the Breslin Center using the southeast Hall of History entrance, located behind the Magic Johnson statue. Participants should bring a valid ID, insurance card and vaccination card, if applicable.
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