Some students question COVID testing protocol

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As the spring semester gets underway, Florida A&M University expects students, faculty and staff to get tested for COVID-19 within five days of returning to campus for class or work.

The university sent a guideline to students, staff and faculty in a FAMU INFO titled “the COVID-19 Spring Restart.” It spelled out in detail what to expect in preparation for and navigating Spring 2021.

Classes begin Wednesday, Jan. 6, but the campus will not be opened until Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Everyone returning to campus is expected to undergo COVID-19 testing. All members of the university community are also expected to utilize the COVID-19 screening tool in the FAMU mobile app each day.

Bragg Stadium will continue to be available for free testing. For those out of town, you would have to visit your state testing websites for more information.

While the university is trying to keep the campus safe, some students have mixed feelings about taking the test.

Social work major Amanda Roan says it’s a great idea for students to get tested.

“I believe that it is a great idea and initiative taken by the university to require that all faculty, staff, and students get tested before returning to campus. Many people believe that they are invincible or tend to forget just how contagious this virus is, she said.  “Anyone could contract it from even the most basic of interactions, including move-in.

“For the school to not only make this mandatory but  testing kits, shows that they care about the well-being of the student body and would like to prevent any unnecessary cross-contaminations,” Roan added.

General health science major Isaac Addison remains skeptical about how effective the university’s efforts will be.

“It’s a start because the required testing is long overdue. I like the school’s effort to monitor COVID on campus but FAMU can only control so much because we are not in a controlled setting. Students are still going to go out and party so I want to see how this is going to play out during the semester as if this is a one-time thing or is FAMU going to stay on top of this COVID testing throughout the semester,” Addison said.

Shane Reynolds, also a general health sciences major, says FAMU should re-think its plan for keeping the university safe.

“I think Florida A&M University’s main priority should be on the faculty and infrastructure of the campus rather than COVID tests due to the widespread nature of the virus. Since the school isn’t in a controlled environment these COVID tests are useless,” he said.

For more information on the COVID-19 Spring Restart, see the Spring Restart Guide located on the university’s reopening page.