California LA State library announced via Instagram that it would be selling rapid COVID-19 self-tests. Students can purchase the tests at the checkout counter for $24.99 each with a limit of one pack per customer. Each pack contains two tests.
As COVID-19 cases rise in LA County, self-tests have been in and out of stock at most retail stores like CVS and Target.
fast antigen the self-test has sparked a debate about the accuracy of this testing method compared to sending a sample to a lab.
This is a fear for sociology major Olivia Ornelas.
“I believe that if you don’t do the rapid self-test correctly, you could get a false negative as a result, and that can cause harm to yourself and also to others,” Ornelas said. “I’m going to buy a quick self-test because I think emergencies are happening.”
For Sandra Flores, who is preparing her doctorate in education, these self-tests are an asset.
“I think rapid tests are practical, easy to do and practical,” she said. “But I won’t buy it at the bookstore because I sign to receive them for free [government] and have weekly tests with my work.
Flores is in a small PhD program with all classes online, so purchasing these tests is not a priority.
“It should be free for students because we have a health center,” she said. “There were COVID tests before, so why not ask for COVID funding from the government to be able to provide them?”
Other students agree with Flores’ sentiment.
“Having the tests free would be a lot easier for people who can’t afford them,” said David Weber, a graphics specialist. “They’re only $24, but multiple purchases add up and people might not be able to afford them.”
Weber also signed up for free government testing.
“Tests are sold out pretty much everywhere else, so it’s pretty cool that students can buy them at the bookstore,” he said. “When we get back to campus, I plan to buy some in case I need them. People can get four free tests per household, but a lot of people have more than four people in a household.”
“The university does not currently distribute rapid tests” free of charge, but there are free non-rapid test options, according to Jocelyn Stewart, Cal State LA associate vice president for communications and public affairs.
“The COVID-19 test is available on campus of Cal State LA for students, faculty and staff,” Stewart said. “The kiosks are located near the University Library and on Greenlee Plaza. Testing is free and available to all students, faculty and staff.
According to Stewart, these test sites are already operational.