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Univ. suggests how to avoid waiting on testing lines

The university released tips for avoiding lines at testing sites as well as updates on the timing of test results, in an email to the Brandeis community sent by Morgan Bergman, Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives on Sep. 3. The email also included updated information about testing and mask policies.

Community members have been experiencing long waits at testing sites, according to Bergman’s email, due to peak hours for testing. To avoid these testing lines, Bergman advised that community members try the following: schedule their appointment in advance using the university’s COVID-19 portal; avoid coming in at opening (9 a.m.) on Monday mornings; try to schedule tests for when classes are in session and schedule appointment slots for when there are very few community members registered. 

According to Bergman, mid-afternoon appointment slots are often good to select since there are short lines, as opposed to early in the morning, specifically on Mondays, when there are long lines. Bergman also advised that once you make an appointment you should try and come for that designated time: showing up outside of your scheduled testing window creates longer waiting times. 

In the update, Bergman also discussed wait times for test results. According to Bergman, the university experienced “extremely fast turnaround times” in regards to receiving test results. However, due to an increase in the number of samples being tested by the Broad Institute, the institution the university has partnered with to distribute COVID-19 tests to community members, there have been delays in receiving results. 

Test results should be received anywhere from 12 to 60 hours after submitting your test result, according to Bergman. Community members should not worry if the test results take 24 hours to receive; this is typical, according to the email. Individuals who have not received their test results in 72 hours should then begin to worry, wrote Bergman. After what Bergman referred to as the “beginning-of-term rush,” community members should see a shorter turnaround time that it takes to get results. 

Brandeis currently has two testing sites open: one at the second-floor forum of the Mandel Center for the Humanities, and the other in the Ground Floor Atrium of the Shapiro Science Center, according to the university’s COVID-19 testing page. The Mandel site is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday. The Shapiro Science Center site is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day of the week except Saturday, according to the page. Bergman noted that testing sites close “promptly” at 4 p.m. and at 12 p.m. at Mandel on Fridays. The testing sites must abide by their closing times in order to get the tests to the Broad each night, wrote Bergman. 

In the update, Bergman reminded community members of the university’s mask policy, which remains in effect. Masks are required in all indoor spaces on campus regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. An individual’s face covering should fit snugly over the nose and mouth. Bergman wrote that bandanas, scarves, gaiters and masks with valves are not considered acceptable face coverings by the university.

In another email sent on Sep. 10, Bergman noted that updates on the sign-ups for the Fall Flu Shot Clinic will be coming next week. Last year, the university administered 2,300 flu shots to community members, according to Bergman

“We look forward to keeping our community healthy this fall by offering a robust clinic once again,” wrote Bergman

Community members who receive their flu shot vaccine at the university’s clinic will receive an “I vaccinated at Brandeis” sticker.

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