UCSD

UC San Diego Tests 1,300 Students for COVID-19, Plans to Test Thousands More

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UC San Diego is one step closer to bringing students back to campus. This comes on the heels of promising news regarding the pilot program Return to Learn that tested more than 1,000 students.

The school tested the first 1,300 students on its way to its 5,000-student goal, and not one has come back positive, according to UCSD officials.

Sinch March, UCSD, a university with more than 30,000 undergraduate students, has been virtual because of the pandemic. It’s bittersweet for graduating senior Brianna Ortiz because her ceremony will be online too.

“It was a really big deal for us and our families. And we are sad that we can’t celebrate together, but we still finished,” said Ortiz.

Ortiz had to move off of campus once the stay at home orders went into effect. For those that couldn't, UCSD had an opportunity to test thousands free of charge through Return To Learn. Officials told NBC 7 the school aimed for 5,000 self swab COVID-19 tests.

UC San Diego is offering 5,000 free coronavirus tests to students living on campus as part of its first phase for its testing program.

Jamie Park, was one of the 1,300 people who submitted tests.

“You scan a QR code and then it registers your testing kit and within 24 hours, they tell you your results,” said Park.

UCSD officials said the numbers helped them figure out how to efficiently mass test, communicate and realized self-testing is possible.

“I think that means UCSD students are doing their part. We know how to isolate, shelter in place and people are being smart about it,” said Park.

Even though we're moving into a new phase with certain businesses reopening, plenty will not change this week, says NBC 7's Danny Freeman, who reports that the county will still recommend that seniors and those most vulnerable to the coronavirus should stay at home.

Ortiz had mixed feelings about the idea that the school reopen the campus in the Fall.

“We don’t know where everyone is coming from. You know it's asymptomatic. But I think it’s going to be a lot more challenging than what the school is expecting,” said Ortiz.

Friday, UCSD announced they’re working on a plan for re-opening campus. The information will be released in June.

“At least, I know that UCSD is like backed by research and the wellbeing of our students, not necessarily driven by economic motives,” said Park.

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