CCSU Offers Free Coronavirus Testing For Commuter Students


CCSU senior, Cayla Balzarini, fills out paperwork to receive a free coronavirus test in Kaizer Lot.

Samantha Bender, News Editor

Central Connecticut tested nearly 1,000 members of the campus community  during a three-day “pop-up” coronavirus testing event; it was one in a series of events across Connecticut, provided by the state.

The announcement that free COVID-19 testing would be available on campus was made on Friday, Sept. 11, due to slight increases in positive cases in several communities.

In a mass email sent to the CCSU community, President Dr. Zulma R. Toro said that testing would begin Sunday, Sept. 13, and run through Tuesday, Sept. 15. Toro’s email provided a link in which individual’s could register for a time and date to receive their free test in Kaiser Parking Lot.

“I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity,” Toro’s email read, though 25 percent of randomly-selected resident students undergo testing each week.

At appointment time, attendees were required to drive or walk up to show their Blue Chip card and provide a signed consent form. If individuals showed up without a signed form, they were asked to leave the line to fill it out. Attendees received a molecular RT-PCR molecular test which consisted of a nasal swab collecting a sample of their DNA.

Bella Larsen, a senior at Central, says it took no longer than 15 minutes from the time she drove into line to the time she left the parking lot. Larsen stayed in her car the entire time.

“The test itself was not painful at all,” Larsen said. “I loved that they offered it to commuters because while I’m living with roommates off campus, I’m still going home a lot so I like that I was able to know if it was safe for me to go home.”

Results were available 24 hours after the time of the test. Individuals were also given a paper with information about how to access their results at the testing site.

The information explained that individuals could access their COVID-19 test results using the Griffin Health Portal. In order to do so, they had the option of self enrolling on the website or calling the Healthcare Facility Support Line for assistance in setting up access to the patient portal.

Through the “My Griffin Health Patient Portal,” users have access to their medical records and test results. They can print out or save their records to their computer, share their medical information with their family or physician, and safely and securely store medical information for a comprehensive health profile.

The three-day testing ran from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

“As a member of the Central family and a responsible member of the New Britain community, we must do our part to keep everyone healthy and safe,” Toro said in her email.

Cayla Balzarini, a senior and commuter student at Central, took full advantage of the opportunity to get tested for free.

“I’m really happy that Central extended the chance to get tested to commuter students,” Balzarini said. “It makes me feel a lot safer, especially since I’ve been around others since school has started and it was convenient because it was local.”