One of the grievances many students and faculty have had in the return to campus is the biweekly COVID-19 testing conducted by the school’s athletic training department and health and safety departments.
Before the change to randomized testing, students were given a time period in which they were supposed to get the test completed upon receiving their testing dates. If students did not get tested at the correct time or at the correct place, administration implemented repercussions.
Another issue was the fact that so many students were forced to wait in long lines, lines that sometimes extended out the door of the testing facilities. With so many students lining up to get tested all at the same time, it was nearly impossible to keep everyone socially distant.
This also meant long hours spent testing hundreds of students for the athletic training and health services staff, who already have hectic schedules.
“It has added to the business of our schedule with one day becoming dedicated to testing,” said Adrian Sanchez, a member of the athletic training staff. “We need to plan smartly for rehab scheduling and working with our athletes.”
Albion administration seemed to recognize the many issues with the previous mode of testing.
On Oct. 16, the Office of the President announced the college would be moving to a randomized testing system where only select groups of students would be chosen to be tested for COVID-19 test at specific dates and times. The switch to the randomized testing system was intended to fix the concerns raised by the previous method.
While there are benefits to the college switching to randomized testing, there are still concerns. One of the concerns some students have is the potential for less accurate testing results, such as overall campus positive testing rates or the college being unable to accurately determine how many students could be carrying the virus.
“I feel like the random testing is lame” said Aubrey Speers, a senior from Chicago. “I feel like if someone doesn’t get tested and they somehow get COVID, then we won’t know because we don’t know when they will be tested and by the time they do, it will probably be too late and spread.”
Many students who have been selected for random testing have also said they still need to wait in long lines in order to get tested, with little space between them and those around them.
“I’m just concerned that they are taking their time and not getting as much as people as they need to get,” said Speers.