Timo and Bouwe at their test site in the Woo. Photo: Bouwe van Neerbos

Cheap corona test location in the Woolloomooloo

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Dancing is currently not possible in the Woolloomooloo. Instead, you can get tested for corona. Two students from the Utrechtsch Studenten Corps are behind the initiative, which is aimed at university students and school pupils who want to know quickly if they are infected.

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Are you experiencing coronavirus symptoms and you'd like to know whether you can still attend an appointment? Want to let your roommates know if your sneezes and coughs are any reason for concern? Since last Wednesday, you can go to discotheque Woolloomooloo for a cheap and quick test.

Bouwe van Neerbos and Timo van de Wetering, two members of the Utrechtsch Student Corps, are behind the initiative. "We thought it would be a good idea to have an accessible test site specifically for students and pupils, that is in the city centre and not somewhere on an industrial site.  We have a side-job at pharmacy group Farma, from Amsterdam, and we asked them to arrange some quick tests for us. We also asked the USC if it would be possible to set up such a test site in their building," says van Neerbos.

The Senate of the USC and the president of the Woolloomoolo were enthusiastic about the idea, offering the disco’s space free of charge on the condition that the test would be affordable. Bouwe thinks they succeeded in this regard. Students or pupils pay 39 euro for the test, others pay 55 euro. This makes the Woo one of the cheapest private locations to get tested in the city. 

A nurse takes the tests at the location, after which a pulmonologist has the final responsibility for the results. The test site is open seven days a week, on weekdays from 8.30 am to 12.00 pm, on weekends from 14.30 to 18.00. You can make an appointment in advance, but that is not mandatory.

You may be asking yourself: if the GGD (Municipal or Community Health Service, in the Dutch acronym) offers the test free of charge, then what is the advantage of being tested at the Woo? Bouwe: "For students, such a quick test can be very useful. Suppose you live in a student residence and get symptoms, everyone has to be quarantined and wait for the test’s results. At the GGD you have to wait between 24-48 hours for the results. With us, the result is known after fifteen minutes and you will hear from us within half an hour via e-mail.” He stresses, however, that having access to such a quick test does not mean one can ignore the corona rules.

The number of students interested in the service is significant. On Thursday, five students came in for a test, by Saturday it was up to twenty students. Bouwe and van Neerbos haven't had any contact with the University or University of Applied Sciences yet. "But if we can help them with our quick tests, we are happy to do it.”

It is still unclear how long the Woo will remain operating as a test location. Bouwe: "If the GGD starts offering quick tests as well, we will probably become redundant. But now we can be an added value.”

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