By Rina Shamilov
The absolute ridiculousness of YU’s COVID testing policy needs to be addressed.
I’m about to out myself here: in the three days since classes have resumed, I have not received a test. This isn’t because I am unaware of the very potent threat that COVID poses, but because I haven’t had time in my day to stand in an hour-long line to self-test. By the time my Monday classes finished, the tests were no longer being administered, so the only other option is to either come late to class or leave class early.
This system is entirely ineffective, frustrating, and a waste of time. Aside from that, however, the lines are so filled and claustrophobic that students tend to take their masks off to catch a breath, thus making the spread of COVID that much easier.
Nobody should have to go through a ludicrous process that clearly does not work. And while I commend YU for taking the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus, I believe there are more realistic and effective methods of doing so. For example, by delivering self-test kits to the campus dorms or by running longer hours of test availability.
Just the other day (I came in mere moments before the line closed), a student was rejected from taking the test because it was past 3 PM. If a student misses the Monday test, their ID will be disabled. But what if, like me, they have back-to-back classes all day? Will they have to quarantine until further notice or do classes online? It’s a complete mess.
Even more so, the people operating the lines are also complaining, recognizing just how ineffective the process is.
My peers have shared their frustration regarding this process. Yaffa Goldkin, (SCW 24), says that “the hours are the thing that bothers me the most- I have a part-time job in the evenings and class in the morning and early afternoon. Only having the testing available for five hours of the day for the entire school is absolutely crazy. They need to make it longer so it’s easier for people.” Another student, (SCW 24), who wishes to remain anonymous, notes that “the school doesn’t give long enough time periods for testing, I have class during the entire testing time and I had to leave class in order to get tested.”
Although everyone is appreciative of YU’s incentive to keep the student body safe, we would prefer a method that is more effective for everyone.