Columbus, OH

Shortage of antigen test kits alters university’s plan for return-to-campus Greek life student testing

The Lantern
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All students living in Greek life housing were to receive antigen tests to take and then they would report their results to Ohio State. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo Editor

Ohio State recently altered its COVID-19 testing procedures for students in Greek life due to high demand for antigen test kits.

Ohio State planned to send antigen tests to sorority and fraternity chapter houses this past weekend, following the university’s COVID-19 guidelines for the spring semester . However, the tests did not arrive in time, so the university changed its policy to require Greek life students to take return-to-campus antigen tests at the French Field House like on-campus students, university spokesperson Dave Isaacs said.

Isaacs said many factors contributed to the tests not making it to their destination.

“Unfortunately, there were problems due to weather and supply chain interruptions, and those antigen tests that we were expecting to be delivered in time for last weekend did not make it on time,” Isaacs said.

Isaacs said Greek life students are also expected to have weekly tests done at Jesse Owens North Recreation Center.

Supply issues with antigen test kits are not exclusive to Ohio State. Kelli Newman, director of public affairs and communications at Columbus Public Health, said they are currently waiting to have their supply of antigen tests replenished.

“The Ohio Department of Health, which is where we get our at-home tests, have now prioritized school, K-12 and secondary schools, for the allotment that they have,” Newman said.

Newman said the federal government has recognized the shortage of antigen tests and has created a website where people can order free, rapid antigen at-home test kits online. Shipping launched Wednesday.

Clarification: A previous version of this story did not distinguish between the policy change to return-to-campus antigen testing for Greek life students and previously required weekly PCR tests for those students. The story has been updated to reflect that the recent testing policy change dealt strictly with return-to-campus antigen testing for Greek life students.

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