California Campus Offers COVID-19 Test Kits in Vending Machines

California Campus Offers COVID-19 Test Kits in Vending Machines coronavirus test kits in vending machine (Anthony WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)

By Lynn Allison | Thursday, 07 January 2021 12:31 PM

The University of California San Diego has placed almost a dozen vending machines that dispense self-administered COVID-19 kits on campus to help students adhere to stringent testing requirements. UC San Diego requires all students to test for COVID-19 weekly and the vending machines provide a convenient way to comply with that rule.

The 1,000 on-campus students simply use their student ID card and swipe the machines to obtain the free test kits. After they perform the test, they return it to a lab that is on-site within 72 hours, according to Fox News. UC San Diego chancellor Pradeep Khosla, called the vending machines “an amazing innovation, simple, effective, and impactful.”

As part of the university’s “Return to Learn” program, student housing remains at single occupancy, and visitors are prohibited. If a student tests positive for the virus, he or she must move to isolation housing, according to Fox. UC San Diego issued a statement saying the strategy has been successful so far, with the campus’ positivity rates far below average.

Campus employees have also been asked to self-screen via Blink daily and receive a colored thumbs up or thumbs down notification before they can return to campus.

According to Vending Times, Hong Kong has installed COVID-19 test kits in vending machines at all rail stations making testing for the disease as easy as buying a candy bar. About 10,000 COVID-19 testing kits per day are supplied by government contactors and the public has free access to the kits by using their transit card. The saliva specimens are then brought to collection points for analysis.