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Too close for comfort: SU students unhappy with COVID-19 testing

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

Many of Salisbury University’s students feel unsettled in regard to SU COVID-19 testing and how it was handled.

Monday through Wednesday, SU COVID-19 testing took place, testing all students and faculty following Labor Day weekend.

This initiative was sparked after a recent rise in coronavirus cases on campus. However, some students fear this may have only made things worse.

Nicole Demchuk, a junior, was shocked to see no action had been taken to socially distance the many students awaiting COVID-19 testing.

“… In the lines-we are literally a foot away from each other.”

Demchuk was just one of many students who were unhappy with how COVID-19 testing was conducted.

Taylor Windmiller, a sophomore majoring in political science was also disturbed by how SU COVID-19 testing was handled.

“I saw the big crowd of people and it didn’t seem too safe… it was hard to keep more than a three-foot distance,” Windmiller stated recalling the unsettling scene of the testing site.

After forty-five-minutes of waiting in line, Windmiller was concerned about the people she had been exposed to, especially people who were uncovering their masks due to the heat.

“People were getting hot and were taking their masks off,” Windmiller recalled.

“I texted my mom and told her if I don’t have it [the coronavirus] now, I’ll definitely have it tomorrow.”

“It’s the same as going to a party at this point… I feel like I just went to a party,” expressed Windmiller noting that until testing she had only been around the people she was living with.

Windmiller and others felt that testing should have been organized differently.

“They could have done it [COVID-19 testing] so much better.”

Windmiller felt Red Square would have made a better testing site considering the larger space and would have preferred testing time to be organized in quick five-minute increments.

Windmiller also felt organizers should have placed space markers to promote social distancing.

“I was trying to keep six feet, but there were so many people, it was almost impossible.”

After COVID-19 testing Windmiller worries about her own health, but also the health of others, especially those with underlying medical conditions.

It raises questions as to whether people with such conditions should have been notified about the crowded testing experience beforehand.

Regardless of underlying health conditions, some students like Jada Jackson, a sophomore nursing major, did not feel safe.

Jackson recalled her first thoughts, “This is not safe. We’re probably going to get corona here because there’s so many people.”

Jackson can attest to the fact that students were not social distancing.

“They tried [the students] there was just too many people...” Jackson confirmed.

Jackson claimed she would have gotten testing elsewhere if SU testing had not been required.

“We were so close together, for so long. I stayed in line for an hour,” Jackson stated feeling as though the wait time for the tests was excessively long.

“They had a really big space; they just had too many people…no matter where they decide to do it, it’s just too many people and too short a time period.”

In addition to the long wait, Jackson, like many students, noticed the testing site itself could have greatly improved its organization.

“There were people [student volunteers and organizers] there, telling people what to do; it was so very confusing as to where we were supposed to go, and they definitely weren’t enforcing social distancing.”

“I know that they’re [SU administration] trying; they’re doing what they can,” Jackson acknowledged.

Jackson also hoped changes would be made if university-wide testing were to happen again.

“I would definitely like there to be an option to go off campus, like if they have a car or something, so the burden of testing doesn’t fall to the school testing facilities.”

“This just wasn’t a good idea,” Jackson said feeling as though the organization of SU COVID testing should have been organized differently, and unfortunately, many students have to agree.



Editorial editor

Featured image: Olivia Ballmann image.

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