Brothers get tested to protect others

By Lauren Gayer for Nebraska Today

The members of Theta Xi fraternity at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln have embraced the opportunity to participate in COVID-19 testing prior to Thanksgiving break.

“Our chapter is committed to keeping our members, their families and the community safe,” said Tyler Lechner, chapter president. “It started as a few members of chapter leadership discussing our holiday plans and all of us mentioned wanting to get tested before returning home to our families.”

Lechner and others on the leadership team recommended that all members participate in testing prior to leaving campus, which easily gained support from the entire chapter.

“We have members from all over the country and members with families from all over the country, so we see value in testing to reduce COVID-19’s spread,” Lechner said. “We also have some members who’ve decided to keep living in our chapter house over the long winter break, as they feel it’s the best way to prioritize the health and safety of at-risk family members.”

Theta Xi has prioritized safety since the summer when they wrote a safety and wellness policies for implementation in August. Lechner said the chapter recognized the importance of testing in protecting others.

“Since this all began back in February/March, our chapter has seen this as part of our obligation to help reduce COVID-19’s spread,” Lechner said. “Testing allows us to isolate/quarantine individuals if necessary, as well as trace contacts within members to establish if further testing is needed.”

All students, faculty and staff can register for a free COVID-19 test. Expanded testing is available at two sites (in the 17th and R Street parking garage or the East Stadium Loop) before and after Thanksgiving. It is recommended that testing take place at least 72 hours before travel. All individuals should continue to follow preventative practices like wearing a face covering, watching their distance and washing hands often before, during and after travel.