COVID-19 tests provided on campus

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Karina Delgado | The Daily Eastern News

Maddie Plesnicar, a science education and psychology senior, gets tested for COVID-19 on Wednesday afternoon. Plesnicar said overall the test “didn’t hurt at all” and wanted to get tested “just to keep everyone safe.”

Elizabeth Taylor, Associate News Editor

Eastern students who wanted a free COVID-19 test were able to on Wednesday in the South Quad. Testing will continue on Thursday in the same location, but many students braved the lines and heat to get tested on Wednesday.

As they waited in line, students were asked to fill out an online form with their personal information and any symptoms they had experienced. At the first checkpoint, the forms were printed out and given to each student.

After waiting in a second line, the students gave the forms to employees from Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. The employees put that information on labels for plastic sealed test tubes which were given to the students, who then waited in a third line.

At the last checkpoint, students gave the test tubes to SBL employees who use cotton swabs to swab each of the student’s nostrils for a total of fifteen seconds. Many students said they got tested out of concern for their peers or people they lived with.

Kenzie Trimble, a sophomore journalism major, didn’t want to be the cause of an outbreak.

“I don’t want to spread this virus in the off chance I have it without having the symptoms,” Trimble said.

Colleen Kane, senior public relations major, had even more personal concerns.

“I decided to get tested because most people I live with and myself are immunocompromised,” Kane said. “If any one of us got sick it probably wouldn’t be good.”

Other students had to get tested if they wanted to participate in certain activities; athletes are not allowed to practice with their teams if they do not get tested.

Sarah Berger, senior special education major, was required to get tested for academic reasons.

“I’m an education major and I want the chance to meet with a cooperative professional soon,” Berger said.

The testing process itself exceeded expectations for many students.

“I think my friends and I were there for 10-15 minutes,” Kane said. “All the employees who were testing and collecting our information were nice and considerate.”

Trimble had been concerned about the discomfort from the swabbing.

“It was a lot better than I expected. It just tickled a lot, no pain, and it didn’t take long at all thankfully,” Trimble said.

Getting tested did bring up student’s concerns about how Eastern and other students are reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some of the freshman in line waiting to get tested were standing too close to one another and didn’t seem to take it seriously,” Kane said. “I rarely see students use hand sanitizer or wear their masks properly. The university can only do so much. If all students don’t start contributing soon, I think this will only get worse and worse.”

Cameron Krager, a sophomore business management major, had mixed opinions on Eastern’s enforcement of their policies.

“We won’t know for sure how well it is working until we get test results in from this week, but so far I feel that EIU has been doing a lot better than other universities in the area,” Krager said. “Something I would like to see though is more enforcement as far as sanitizing hands when going in and out of buildings and classrooms.”

Results for Wednesday and Thursday’s testing can be expected within the next few weeks. Students who test positive will be contacted by phone, while those who test negative will receive a letter.

More information about COVID-19 testing on campus can be found online at eiu.edu/covid.

 

Elizabeth Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]