COVID tests provided Tuesday

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Elizabeth Wood | The Daily Eastern News

Students, staff, and community members wait in line at the Eastern COVID-19 testing site on Tuesday afternoon.

Elizabeth Wood, Staff Reporter

Students, staff and community members gathered outdoors Tuesday for a second round of on-campus COVID-19 testing before Thanksgiving Break. 

The 7-hour-long round of testing offered drive-through and walk-in options to the Eastern community free of charge.

Ruth Nicholson, a graduate student and nutrition promotion coordinator, said the Health Clinic made some changes to help navigate everyone seeking tests. 

“It’s a little different than last time we did it because we had separate (lines) for the community and for the students and faculty,” Nicholson said. “But now it’s all just one walkup and all one drive-through.”

Nicholson said the Health Education Resource Center has been trying to organize the testing site with safety as a top priority.

“The HERC staff have been helping Emma (Noble) coordinate things, get things figured out, what’s the best way to safely to organize it; where do we put people, where do we put lines,” Nicholson said. “We went through and knocked on the doors of the people who live on Fourth Street just so they know we’re coming through.”

Many students said they decided to come to the clinic as a precaution before the upcoming Thanksgiving Break. 

Delaney Kiernan, a sophomore special education and elementary education major, said she got tested because her family requested it.

“My family told me to get tested, but, like, I’ve already had COVID, so I’m doing it because they want me to,” Kiernan said. “It’s just precautionary.” 

Catrina Stanley, an office manager in the school of business, said she is glad Eastern held another testing clinic before break. She added that she and her husband have gotten tested, so they will be relieved to know their results before the break. 

“I think it’s a good idea for the kids going home to make their families at home feel more at ease,” Stanley said. “My husband and I actually both work at EIU, and so we’re taking advantage so we have a little peace of mind, especially (considering) the more faculty and staff cases that we have heard of on campus.”

Toby Austin, a senior family service and consumer sciences major, said she got a COVID-19 test to protect her family and her grandchildren. 

“Me as a grandmother, I have to be extra careful, so that’s why this is my second time,” Austin said. “The first time was good — hope and pray, fingers crossed and everything — that I’m good this time so I can be comfortable knowing that I’m not going to continue to spread this virus.”

Many students thought now was a good opportunity to have a testing clinic before break.

Austin said she thinks the timing was perfect. 

“You want to go home, you want to be safe, you want to make sure your family is safe,” Austin said. “Especially if you live on campus because you’re interacting with different people, so you don’t want to go home and continue to spread this.”

Jahleel Perrin, a sport management major, said he thought it was important to get tested before and after Thanksgiving Break. 

“I feel like it’s a smart idea,” Perrin said. “But we should definitely have this when we come back from Thanksgiving Break as well … We get to visit home and things like that, and we’re coming in contact with other people. I feel like on campus, we’re a lot safer here.”

 

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