With COVID-19 still surging through the nation, LCU administrators say it is imperative that students, faculty and staff take proper precautions to keep themselves and others healthy. A big step in that direction popped up during the semester break with a free testing center at the Rip Griffin Center.
Dr. Jeffrey Smith, M.D., is the director of the LCU Medical Clinic. He answered questions from the Duster, emphasizing that he wants more of the LCU community to be aware of this opportunity.
DUSTER: How does the free COVID-19 testing work?
Dr. Smith: “The Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) has funded and hosted several free test sites throughout Lubbock over the past several months. This semester, LCU has been given the opportunity to host such a testing site on our campus in the southeast section of the Rip Griffin Center parking lot. This is operated by a separate vendor contracted by TDEM, and is not associated with LCU, the Athletics department, or the LCU Medical Clinic.”
DUSTER: How long will this testing site be available?
Dr. Smith: “This should continue through the end of the semester in May, unless changes in state funding cause an early closure.
Here are the details:
- Cost: Free
- Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Testing Method: Oral (mouth) swab, PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test
- Results: Typically 36-48 hours, by text/email
- Sign-up: https://curative.com/sites/17939/walkup?utm_source=texas.curativeinc.com&utm_medium=scheduler
The Duster also discussed with Dr. Smith other issues surrounding COVID-19, specifically in the operations of the LCU Medical Clinic.
DUSTER: How has COVID-19 affected your job at LCU, if at all?
Dr. Smith: “The COVID pandemic has created a whole new realm of responsibilities for my office. In addition to providing direct patient care in the clinic, there has been an increase in the number of phone calls for screening of symptoms, to help determine who should be tested, or who needs to come to the clinic for an appointment (or go to an urgent care or emergency care facility). There are also public health duties that we have absorbed, including reporting COVID cases to the City of Lubbock Health Department and doing contact tracing, as well as coordinating with [LCU departments for] housing, academic services, technology services, and athletics to address the many implications of COVID isolation and quarantine situations. I have also been involved in weekly meetings since last March with our COVID Task Force committee.”
DUSTER: What is your biggest piece of medical advice to students at the moment?
Dr. Smith: “Take care of yourself by eating healthy, staying well-hydrated, and getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Follow campus protocols regarding face coverings and social distancing, and if you feel ill then please stay away from others! Please save the LCU Medical Clinic phone number (806-720-7482) so you can call us with any questions.”
DUSTER: Have you taken the vaccine, and if so, have you experienced negative or positive effects?
Dr. Smith: “No vaccine yet. We are working with local resources to hopefully make the vaccine available to eligible individuals on campus in the near future.”
For more information about the LCU Medical Clinic, visit https://lcu.edu/medical.