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'The greatest gift' | Aggies encouraged to take COVID-19 tests before traveling home for Thanksgiving

Texas A&M University officials said they are hoping to limit the spread of COVID-19 before students take off for break.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M University is hoping their students share the joy of being an Aggie with their families this coming Thanksgiving holiday, but keep the sharing to those positive things only.

University officials are asking students to take a COVID-19 test before they leave for break in order to stop potentially spreading the virus to unsuspecting family members.

Chancellor John Sharp has requested the System's 11 universities encourage students to get tested for COVID-19. "The greatest gift a student can give his or her family, including parents and grandparents, during this holiday season is the gift of a negative COVID test," Sharp said in a statement released Tuesday.

There are eight locations on campus where students, staff and faculty can get tested for free. Chancellor Sharp said he asked the Texas Division of Emergency Management to get testing vans and tents to all campuses before the holiday. Texas A&M University and Prairie View A&M University already have testing kiosks in place.

"Let's do all we can to stop this pandemic and get back to life as we knew it," Sharp stated. "Thanks to everyone who chooses to take a test before heading home."

Texas A&M University is offering free COVID-19 testing at eight campus locations this week as the university urges all students to get tested.