To ensure campus life is as close to normal as possible, Shenandoah does random surveillance testing. This testing states that the attendees are picked randomly by the university. The randomly selected students are given the options of getting tested three different times on three different days. Testing normally takes place in the Wilkins Athletics & Events Center.
The testing involves students spitting into a tube and filling it up to .5 ml. They then tell the person at the desk the tube number and their name and then put the tube in a briefcase along with other samples of other students. The saliva is tested together to see if there is any positive or negative covid test with any of them.
Some Shenandoah students do not mind the testing. Sophomore biology and dance major Lainey Griffin said, “I think it’s a good way to get a general idea of the campus numbers.”
The testing helps Shenandoah keep track of the cases on campus, but some students do not think the selection for the testing is random.
“Personally, I think it’s not really random. I have been selected to be ‘randomly’ tested way too many times to remember,” said Paul McCoy, a junior mass communications major. “I think it is good that the school is doing it, but it’s definitely not random.”
Junior sports management major Walker Speer said he thinks it’s not fully random, probably closer to 75% random.
“I think they pick out some people out of a group they think would be more likely to go out and follow covid protocols,” he said.
Jenna Steele, the stewardship coordinator at Shenandoah, said that Shenandoah has the ability to test up to 1,200 faculty, staff and students per week, but they select 500 students a week so that students are testing at least every two weeks. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days and people who have received the vaccine are exempt from testing. The testing, she said, will keep going until the end of the semester.
For Shenandoah, the number of COVID-19 cases has remained relatively low compared to other universities across the country, and the saliva testing possibly contributes to that because it gets results back to students relatively quickly.
Categories: Helping the Hive