Auburn University is requiring its students to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall.
The university sent an email to students Thursday saying it will conduct COVID-19 screening tests for all students who will be on campus for the fall semester, and that students must be tested within 14 days prior to their entry, all as part of Auburn’s COVID-19 plan.
The university previously unveiled other details of that plan, which included the mandate that masks must be worn inside all campus buildings. Auburn’s fall semester is set to start Aug. 17.
“Testing students gives us a more complete picture of the health of our campus, which will in turn help us preserve the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff,” school president Jay Gogue said. “The data collected will inform health strategies in our community and give our state’s public health officials information to help effectively combat the virus.”
All test results are confidential and the identity of those who test positive will not be made public, the email said.
The university also said in the email that voluntary random COVID-19 testing will be conducted weekly for Auburn students, faculty and staff.
The university said testing costs will be covered by CARES Act funding, with Auburn University joining with other public higher education institutions in the state as part of Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s “Testing for Alabama” initiative. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and the University of Alabama at Birmingham are leading testing.