As universities nationwide begin a new semester under the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of California, San Diego is making diagnostic screening a more ubiquitous fixture of day-to-day life by offering tests in sidewalk vending machines. The self-administered kits are now available free to students and employees at 11 locations, with more planned in the near future. After swiping a UCSD ID card and swabbing their nose, samples can be sealed and returned to drop boxes around the campus to be analyzed by the university’s own EXCITE laboratory established last fall, according to the La Jolla Light.
Each barcoded PCR test kit can be scanned, logged, and tracked via a personal smartphone app, with results expected within 12 to 24 hours. Currently, all students on campus are required to be tested on a weekly basis, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms. The university is also offering walk-in and drive-thru testing options, and isolation and quarantine housing are available for up to 600 students who test positive or are exposed to the virus. Starting earlier this week with data from Jan. 3 and 4, USCD’s testing dashboard posted over 2,200 tests being processed each day, with 90 new positive cases reported.
New York Tells Hospitals to Dispense COVID-19 Vaccines Quicker or Lose Supply
New York state will begin fining hospitals that do not administer allotted COVID-19 vaccines within a week of receiving their supplies and will decline to provide them with further doses, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference on Monday.The U.S. federal government has distributed more than 13 million vaccine doses to states and territories around the country, but only around 4 million have actually been administered, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last updated on Saturday.
New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker notified hospitals of the potential actions in a letter on Sunday, Cuomo told reporters.“I don’t want the vaccine in a fridge or a freezer, I want it in somebody’s arm,” he said. “If you’re not performing this function, it does raise questions about the operating efficiency of the hospital.”