By Kaleigh Cortez, News Editor-
The campus-wide routine testing program was implemented almost two months ago on Feb. 8 to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Since then, Covid vaccines have become more available to the public, and many testing sites across the country have seen a decrease in the number of people being tested.
UTC is experiencing a different outcome. The University Health Services have maintained a constant number of around 700 students, faculty, and staff being tested every week for Covid.
The Health Center randomly selects 1,000 participants for testing each week. Even with 300 cases of non-compliance, either by not scheduling an appointment or not appearing at the testing site for their appointment, Routine Testing Coordinator Anna Smartt says they are “encouraged by campus participation so far.”
From the beginning of the program, positive rates have continuously decreased from 0.51%, or 3 positive cases out of the 700 people tested. Positive rates have dropped to zero in the past two weeks.
Even as vaccination availability increases on campus, random testing will continue through the remainder of the semester. There is no word regarding if the program will still be active in the fall.
There has also been controversy surrounding the testing requirement from the parents of students parents of students and others in the community. In response to the backlash, Smartt believes “our efforts to keep campus safe have been well received,” and students who disagree with the requirement are directed to the Dean of Students Office.
More information about the testing program can be found here.