A student drops off his saliva sample at the COVID-19 testing site outside the Nebraska Union on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

One may have noticed some changes to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s COVID-19 testing process during their required re-entry testing: no pre-check window to scan one’s Safer Community app and less open testing sites. 

A university official said the slight updates enhance the testing procedure.

Now, collection kits are handed out in the open air at the Nebraska Union and East Nebraska Union testing sites – and since November 2021, many testing stations have closed.

Leslie Reed, UNL’s public affairs director, said these changes were made in order to accommodate the surge in COVID-19 test-takers and ensure each testing site has what it needs to stay open and efficient.

During the first week of spring semester through Sunday, UNL recorded 12,234 COVID-19 tests, the majority coming from the university’s mandated testing at the Nebraska Unions and in the parking lot east of Memorial Stadium.

Eliminating the requirement to check-in before receiving one’s collection kit sped up waiting lines, Reed said.

“I volunteered the other day at the union testing,” Reed said. “I was impressed by the operation and the positive vibes all around.”

If one has not tested since the start of the 2021-2022 school year, they may have been surprised to find their preferred testing location unavailable. 

Reed said that more than a dozen COVID-19 testing sites have been open since August 2020 to increase convenience. 

Of those sites, most students utilized the East Stadium Loop, Nebraska Union and East Nebraska Union locations. According to Reed, most locations were phased out in November 2021 as testing demand decreased after the start of the 2021-2022 school year — leaving the three most popular testing sites open.

Should the need arise, Reed said the shuttered testing sites are able to reopen.