SHC ends free STI testing
The Student Health Center announced they will no longer be conducting free STI testing for students. Previously, 20 tests were offered free on Thursday mornings to students.
Dr. Cheryl Hug-English, the Medical Director for the SHC, said the free policy had been difficult to maintain during the past year.
“With the need to decrease patient numbers in our clinic at one time as well as the increased COVID expenses the Student Health Center has incurred, we have put this on hold for the spring semester,” Hug-English said in an email to the Nevada Sagebrush.
STI testing is still available at the SHC for a $40 fee. By paying this, students can see if they contracted chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV and syphilis. Hug-English said the SHC had spent approximately $50,000 on free STI testing and they lose money on the standard $40 charges.
A study conducted by Biem found that 1 in 4 college students have an STI—the most common being human papillomavirus known as HPV, chlamydia, and HSV-2 genital herpes. There are also two common tests conducted in order to discover if someone has an STI, a blood test and a urine test.
COVID-19 tests can now be scheduled online
The Student Health Center is now allowing students, faculty and staff to schedule COVID-19 tests online.
Students, faculty and staff can schedule their COVID-19 testing appointments online by calling the SHC to be directed to the online scheduling process or by going through the patient portal. To access the patient portal, students, faculty and staff must register on the website. Those that still want to schedule their appointment through the phone may still do so.
Dr. Cheryl Hug-English, the SHC Medical Director, said they made this change over the semester break to help streamline the process of scheduling COVID-19 testing. According to Hug-English, the SHC conducts an average of 100 tests a day.
“Our front office staff was getting an average of 400 calls a day and it became too difficult to manage with live phone calls,” Hug-English said. “The hope is that by instituting online scheduling for COVID-19 testing it will be easier for students, faculty, and staff to secure an appointment time.”
At this time, Hug-English does not know if this implementation will also occur with the ongoing vaccination process.
As of Monday, Feb. 8, 40 students and 5 faculty reported testing positive for COVID-19 between Jan. 30 to Feb. 5. The university’s positivity rate was 7.19% last week, with the SHC conducting 139 tests.
“The Student Health Center continues to provide services to address students’ physical and mental health care needs both in-person and well as by telemedicine,” she said. “ In addition, we are continuing to provide COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, and staff and will assist in vaccine distribution as doses become available.”
Taylor Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @taylorkendyll.