Rapid-result COVID testing now offered at Robert L. Taylor Community Center

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The Taylor Center free testing service provides a local service that students are encouraged to take advantage of.

On Oct. 29, the Robert L. Taylor Community Center, located on 1845 34th St., began providing 15-minute rapid COVID-19 tests. However, on Wednesday Nov. 4, the RL Taylor Community Complex was unable to provide rapid COVID-19 testing due to an issue with the supplier. Rapid tests were still available at the state-run Cattleman Road testing site. According to ABC 7, officials confirmed that they received a new shipment of rapid tests on Nov. 5 and will distribute them until supplies are exhausted.

Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC) representative Alexandra Conte encouraged students to take advantage of the resource in addition to CWC testing. 

“Rapid testing is crucial to preventing the spread on campus and in the Sarasota community since results are given within 15 minutes,” Conte explained. “Typically when students have opted in for testing off-campus, they have had to wait 1-3 days (or longer) and as a result, are in a state of anxiety while waiting for their results. Rapid testing is great because it alleviates some anxiety as well as allows students to be informed about their personal health.”

Conte also explained that rapid testing can be used as an alternative to CWC testing or in conjunction with it, as many students have expressed a desire for testing outside of random selection for random testing. The CWC has a limited amount of oral swab test kits available, which typically only go to students selected for random testing. 

If a student is randomly selected for testing on-campus, that student can test off-campus if they choose to as long as the student sends their results to the CWC from the week they are drawn for random testing.

“It’s critical that students assess which option is best for them, rather than forgoing testing completely,” Conte emphasized. “Safety should be our number one concern right now, and I think as a community, students should be empowered to make the best decisions for themselves when it comes to testing options.”  

The RL Taylor Community Center is open for walk-through testing seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until supplies are exhausted, no appointments necessary. 

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