COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – With Thanksgiving one week away, students at the University of South Carolina are preparing to head home for the holidays.
School officials are making sure they take steps to protect themselves and others this holiday season.
Hundreds of students took advantage of the free saliva testing offered by the school. UofSC officials have expanded their COVID-19 testing ahead of the Thanksgiving break.
Tyler Trahan got testing for COVID-19 Thursday. The freshman at UofSC said, “I want to see my grandma I miss her very much.”
The school has been urging students like Trahan headed home to visit family to get tested. Trahan said, “The last thing I’d like to do is expose my family and put them at risk. I’m just trying to do my part.”
Dr. Deborah Beck is the Assistant Vice President of Health and Wellness and Executive Director of Student Health Services at UofSC. She said the school has expanded their testing hours. “Many of them may be going home to families who have preexisting health conditions and seeing their grandparents.”
Dr. Beck said the last few weeks there has been a little bit of a lull in the number of students coming out to get tested. That has changed the last few days Beck said.
“We have actually seen the demand go up. We’re seeing more and more students coming in to get tested. Over 800 students the last several days,” she said.
According to Dr. Beck, UofSC has the capacity to do up to 2000 tests a day right now. Students like freshman Ulrik Mazarguil said they are going to take advantage of that. “I care about myself but I care about my parents even more. They are the ones who could be most affected by it.”
Classes for the rest of the fall semester at the University of South Carolina will be virtual after the Thanksgiving break.
According to the university’s website, they currently have 72 active COVID-19 cases among students and faculty.