October 6, 2020; 2:45 p.m.
Dear LSU Students,
I write to you today with a very specific request: I’m asking each of you to get tested for COVID-19 at least once a month at one of our testing sites across campus.
Why am I asking this? Testing for COVID-19 remains an integral part of our plans to keep the LSU community safe and healthy. As Dr. Birx, head of the White House coronavirus task force, mentioned in her recent visit to LSU, widespread testing allows for a better understanding of the presence of COVID-19 on our campus, which is the only way for us to make informed decisions. If the virus is contained or limited in its presence, we may be able to loosen current restrictions. On the other hand, if tests show a heightened presence, we can better protect you from exposure. In short, it’s a win-win.
I fully understand the reluctance to get tested out of concern for having to isolate if the result is a positive, but studies indicate the majority of young adults infected with COVID-19 show no symptoms at all, meaning unless you get tested regularly you could unknowingly be spreading the virus among your family and friends. Regular testing is especially important if you’ve attended any gatherings where others weren’t taking precautions, such as wearing a mask. The risk may seem low to you, but keep in mind that COVID-19 spreads easily and affects different people in very different ways.
Community is at the heart of who we are as a university. We care for each other, especially when it seems difficult. So, if you’re still questioning whether to get tested, I encourage you to think of your friends, your family, your professors, and your colleagues. They’re depending on you. We depend on one another. Together, we will be successful in the fight against COVID-19.
More information about how and where to get tested can be found at lsu.edu/roadmap/health/testing.php.
LSU Interim President and Professor of Law