More than 77,200 antigen tests distributed to colleges.
Missouri University of Science and Technology is among 28 Missouri public and private colleges and universities utilizing BinaxNOW antigen COVID-19 tests to help stop the spread of COVID-19 on their campuses.
According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, shipments totaling 77,240 tests were shipped throughout the months of November and early December. Several institutions began using the tests prior to Thanksgiving, helping students keep their families safe for the holiday.
The antigen tests are rapid response – giving students, faculty and staff an immediate result to kick off their isolation plan. They are also offered at no charge, and are self-administered with a medical professional’s supervision.
“Keeping students and staff healthy is top priority for our institutions,” commissioner of higher education, Zora Mulligan, said. “We’ve seen that both cost and time can be barriers to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are thankful these antigen tests are free and fast. They are providing students the answers they need to keep their friends, peers, and families safe.”
All institutions receiving the tests are required to complete training with the Department of Health and Senior Services before beginning to administer BinaxNOW antigen tests. Institutions are required to submit test results to the Department of Health and Senior Services within 24 hours of administering the test.
“The BinaxNow test helps to identify positive COVID-19 cases early, thereby allowing earlier mitigation of the spread of the virus. We want our students at Westminster College to be healthy and happy, and this test allows us to intervene early and help them be successful,” said Kim Lorentz, director of health sciences at Westminister College.
Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development’s Assistant Commissioner for Postsecondary Policy, Dr. Mara Woody, and her team have been working closely with the institutions to ensure the procedures and processes of receiving tests and putting them to use is a success.
“We are processing applications to get shipments out the door quickly, and in some cases within the same day,” Woody said. “We know these tests are critical to the health of students, faculty, and staff, and are committed to helping campuses in any way we can.”
Interested institutions that have not already received a shipment of BinaxNOW tests from the state may still be able to request tests. The antigen tests have about a six-month expiration.
Missouri’s two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Harris-Stowe State University and Lincoln University, received antigen tests directly from the federal government. The tests the State of Missouri received from the federal government that are allocated to higher education are distributed through the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development in partnership with the Office of Administration and the DHSS.
Institutions that have been shipped BinaxNOW tests from the State of Missouri include: Central Methodist University, College of the Ozarks, Columbia College, Cottey College, Drury University, Fontbonne University, Maryville University, Missouri Southern State University, Missouri State University, Missouri State University West Plains, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Missouri Valley College, Missouri Western State University, Northwest Missouri State University, Ozark Christian College, Park University, Saint Louis University, Southeast Missouri State University, Southwest Baptist University, Three Rivers College, Truman State University, University of Central Missouri, University of Missouri Kansas City, University of Missouri St. Louis, Webster University, Westminster, William Jewell College and William Woods University.