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University of Nebraska-Lincoln students urged to test for COVID-19 before Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 5:53 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - In just a few weeks, more than 25,000 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students will leave campus and head back home for the semester and the University is working overtime to ensure those students don’t bring the coronavirus home to their families.

“We don’t want students to bring COVID-19 home with them,” Laurie Bellows, vice chancellor for student affairs said.

The university is adopting a “know before you go” approach, and encouraging all students to get tested at least 72 hours before traveling.

“We’re worried about risk mitigation,” Bellows said. “So we’re asking them to get tested and we’re asking them to limit their interactions with others, because we know the less they interact, the less likely it is they’ll bring COVID-19 home.”

This advice comes as communities across Nebraska are seeing a spike.

UNL’s most recent data shows a campus positivity rate of 8.3 percent. This is up from 6.4 percent last week. This is the largest increase this month.

“There’s always a concern,” Bellows said. “We know students are going to want to go home and spend time with friends and family so we really want them not to carry the virus home.”

Bellows said students have been doing a good job of complying with recommendations all semester, so she believes now will be no different.

“Most of our students and faculty are focused on final exams and closing out the semester,” Bellows said.

She said at the beginning of the semester there was a learning curve for students. Some needed reminders about wearing masks, but Bellows said overall, students have done the best they can to stay safe.

The winter break starts Nov. 26 and will last until January.

It’s extra long to limit the amount of travel between campus and student’s hometowns and to limit the number of students on campus during a projected winter COVID-19 spike.

If you’re a UNL student looking to get tested, click here.

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