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ASU launches drop-off testing sites to replace all in-person testing locations

ASU introduced 24-hour Devils' drop-off testing across all four campuses on Feb. 9

TP Drop Off

The Devils' Drop off site in the Taylor Place dorms on the ASU Downtown campus is pictured on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. Students can pick up and drop off COVID-19 saliva tests from the location.

ASU introduced new drop-off COVID-19 testing sites on all four campuses that will operate 24/7, the first step toward eliminating all in-person testing locations at the University. 

Tamara Deuser, vice president and chief operating officer at Knowledge Enterprise Operations, said ASU’s new Devils’ drop-off officially launched across all four Phoenix metropolitan area campuses on Feb. 9 and they will eventually replace in-person testing sites. The project to begin the transition began in December, she said.

“As people migrate to those (drop-off sites) on the other campuses, we’ll also shut down the walk-up sites on the other three campuses,” Deuser said. “The drive-up sites will remain available for our off-campus students and anybody else who wants to use it for convenience.”

An email from the University to ASU community members announced in-person testing will remain an option for a limited amount of time while the testing transitions to drop-off locations. 

But at the Downtown Phoenix campus, the A. E. England Building, which was previously a testing site, has already been decommissioned. Neither Deuser nor University spokespeople contacted by The State Press gave an answer as to why the site was closed already.

Devils’ drop-off aims to increase convenience for students and faculty with numerous testing locations compared to the relatively few available before, Deuser said. Students taking a drop-off test have 24 hours to collect and drop off their sample at the nearest site. The samples must be collected within one hour of dropping them off and the test results are typically available within 48 hours.

 ASU reported a total of 298 active COVID-19 cases within the ASU community on Monday.

The University is transitioning from a "handful of sites" to about 30 different drop-off locations, Deuser said. “Now you can drop your sample 24 hours a day, seven days a week, instead of having to wait for a site to be open,” she said.

Yelena Bonifield, a freshman studying nursing at the Downtown Phoenix campus said she had already used the drop-off sites twice and liked the convenience. 

“I think it’s definitely more convenient, I have been more inclined to get tested more often because it’s right there and I just take it up to my room, don’t have to sign up,” Bonifield said.

Annie Nguyen, a senior studying tourism development management and director at ASU's Downtown Phoenix Programming and Activities Board, expressed concerns over the lack of supervision and potentially compromised tests.

“I personally don’t agree with the fact that they closed the testing site (A. E. England), I don’t know why they closed it,” Nguyen said. “It seems like this situation is a bigger deal than it is.”

While students expressed concerns about accessibility and potential issues, Deuser said the in-person testing locations weren’t originally intended for COVID-19 testing.

“Most of the sites, as you can imagine, the places where we’re doing this, they had other purposes before COVID testing,” Deuser said. The new drop-off locations will allow them to revert to their previous purposes, she said.

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