At-home Test Kits
At-home test kits are popular and widely available. It's important to know that expiration dates may be extended beyond the package label date. A test manufacturer can request that the FDA authorize a longer shelf-life if they have research to support such an extension. When a longer shelf-life is authorized, the expiration dates are extended by the FDA. You can check the FDA-published List of Authorized At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests to see if the expiration date for your at-home OTC COVID-19 test has been extended. Many have been, including the tests given out freely at the health center and other campus locations.
ANTIGEN TESTING FOr Symptomatic Individuals
The health center offers rapid-result COVID-19 antigen testing to symptomatic individuals only. We provide results within hours. The antigen test tells whether you have been infected with the Sars-COV2 virus by detecting virus activity with a nasal-swabbed sample. The results are posted to the patient portal under the "Medical Records" menu item and in the "Labs" tab.
We administer the Pfizer bivalent booster vaccine to eligible individuals. These vaccines are also widely available in the community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention update their guidance on COVID-19 vaccination regularly. Please review recommendations at the CDC's COVID-19 vaccination page. One dose of the bivalent booster is recommended for those who have a primary series, and for those who do not.
Prevention and Treatment
The best way to prevent illness is to get vaccinated. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC recommendations for using a face covering.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
This CDC travel page is the authoritative source for information on travel during the time of COVID. Here is the current guidance for international travelers, including students traveling to the United States.