SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Southern University in Shreveport is moving its COVID-19 testing and vaccination program to a single location off of the school’s main campus citing safety and space concerns.

The university started offering testing for COVID-19 in the summer of 2020 in a partnership with Ochsner LSU Health. Vaccines were administered in front of the gym, in the student parking lot while testing was done at the Newton Smith Elementary School site, which has been closed for more than a decade.

“Graffiti has been written on the building (Newton Smith School) since we’ve been using it for testing.” SUSLA COVID-19 Coordinator Yuvette Allen said in a statement. “There was a bullet hole in the building one morning when staff arrived to begin the day. This move is necessary to keep our COVID-19 testing staff safe”.

The new site will provide testing and vaccinations in the university’s business incubator located at 4646 Hilry Huckaby III Ave and will operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The site will be closed from Friday, December 31 until Tuesday, January 4.

The public can also access testing and vaccinations at David Raines Community Health Center at 1625 David Raines Road, Monday through Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Students and employees of Southern University in Shreveport are expected to provide proof of vaccination or be tested regularly under COVID-19 protocols developed by the statewide Southern University System for the spring 2022 semester. Those who claim a religious exemption were expected to opt out via a letter of dissent by December 3.

State health officials are urging Louisianians to take safety precautions ahead of New Year’s Eve on Friday by recommending COVID-19 testing for any patients who are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Find testing information here. For a list of locations, click here.