UCF randomly selecting students to test for COVID-19 starting this week

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Starting Monday, the University of Central Florida will start testing randomly selected students for COVID-19.

UCF officials are working to determine how prevalent the virus is on campus.

Read: Florida reports 9 COVID-19-related deaths, 2,500 new cases of the virus

According to a release put out by UCF, “We will begin with a random sample of about 100 students who belong to Greek organizations because Greek students have been at higher risk of contracting the virus at universities throughout the country and because UCF has already had to quarantine residents of three on-campus houses.”

On Monday, the university announced that two additional Greek houses on the UCF campus are now in quarantine because of positive COVID-19 tests. One of the students who tested positive is a Kappa Sigma fraternity member. The other two belong to Tri Delta sorority. Both Greek houses are now quarantined, which affects about 50 students total.

“Greek living is different from our traditional campus living. It’s communal living. It’s like family living,” said Dr. Michael Diechen with UCF Student Health Services.

Students who will be part of the first round randomly selected testing were notified by email last week. They will be required to complete their test between Monday, Sept. 21 and Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Garage A. The university will cover the cost of the tests.

Contact tracers will follow up with anyone who tests positive.

Some students are divided on whether they think the random testing is a good idea.

“I’ve seen a lot of people post about it saying this is not fair, they’re overstepping their boundaries, but I actually think they should do it,” student Kellen Danielsen said.

Read: UCF suspends fraternity, sorority for not following school’s COVID-19 policies

The release stated that testing will continue throughout the semester with randomly selected members of groups that UCF officials believe may be at risk of increased rates of COVID-19 cases, or with students, faculty and staff selected randomly.

Random tests will be required for students, faculty and staff who are selected, unless they never come to any UCF campus.

School officials said if a selected student is on campus and refuses to be tested, that student may be required to self-isolate and remain off campus for two weeks. The school said there is also a possibility that the student maybe disciplined.

Click here to read the UCF release on random testing

UCF will continue to offer testing to the entire university community in Garage A from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.