UVU students react to new testing requirements

Illustration by Ysabel Berger.

As part of Gov. Herbert’s executive order in response to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Utah, UVU students attending at least one on-campus class  are required to receive weekly coronavirus tests.

This section of the order is intended to detect any asymptomatic carriers of the virus, as adults ages 18-35 are more likely than older people to experience mild or no symptoms, but can still transmit the illness to others. 

In an announcement from the office of President Tuminez, students were reminded of the mandates given to local universities regarding weekly COVID-19 testing.

 “The Utah Board of Higher Education … requests all Utah colleges and universities to conduct weekly COVID-19 testing of all students who attend at least one course face-to-face on campus,” the announcement said. 

While UVU currently has  four testing locations on campus, additional kits from the Utah Department of Health will help the university expand their capacity to stay in line with the new order. The plans for weekly testing are required to be in place no later than Jan. 1, 2021.

Those interested may read the full text of the announcement here.

The reaction from students has been largely positive, though some students hold reservations about the new protocols. 

Daniel Coleman, a sophomore studying finance, was concerned about the impact of testing on students needing to get to class. “It’s gotta be quick enough and enough testing where there is hardly any line and students in and out of there in a flash,” Coleman said. 

The announcement from the president’s office said that the new testing will be a less invasive nasal where students will be able to be tested quickly and receive results within hours.

Joseph Stanley, a political science junior, felt as though the new testing requirement is coming months too late, “It seems like a smart idea, but it just also seems kinda empty with how late into the pandemic it is coming … it just seems like we are doing something that looks good on paper but is too late in practice,” Stanley said. 

A number of students are also concerned about the potential cost of testing, but the announcement said that the weekly testing done by the university will be free. The president’s office is also working to open up the UCCU Center as a testing location for anyone who would like one, whether they are affiliated with UVU or not.

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