Student reaction to return-to-campus COVID-19 testing

(photo courtesy of Pixabay user Tho-Ge)

Upon returning for the spring semester, McDaniel College had students complete a return-to-campus COVID-19 test in the Gill Gym. If anyone tested positive, they got sent home to quarantine and only the people that tested negative remain on campus. Students believe that  having everyone take a COVID-19 test as soon as they arrived was a smart and excellent idea to minimize transmission levels and positive cases.

         “I think it was a really good idea, especially after the holidays, there’s kind of that spiking COVID. It’s a good idea to have us get tested before we can come back to campus,” said first year student Seth Myers.

         “That was very smart to be able to control the amount of positives and negatives on campus, so we didn’t have too many more people get infected,” added first year student Jason Fritz.

         The resident assistants had to move in before all the other students moved back to campus, so that they could welcome people back into the residence halls. They had a different system than other students.

         “I did move in before everyone else. I definitely did have to take a COVID test; everybody who came back on campus had to take a COVID test. My test was quick and easy, and I did not have any problems with it. It came out negative and I was good to go,” said junior Tamrah Blanchard, resident assistant of Whiteford Hall.

         Most students feel that McDaniel planned well for how the COVID-19 testing would work on campus when they arrived, and they believe the mobile ordering application helped out. 

         “I think they had a good plan; it was good to have multiple different days and times to be able to check in,” said first year student Jordan Schultz.

         “I do believe so, I think that mobile ordering app is really convenient for a lot of things that McDaniel can do,” said Blanchard. 

         Many students had a good experience with getting tested and checking in for their appointment.

         “My check in experience was good, very efficient, and quick. I didn’t have any trouble with check in,” said Schultz.

         However, other students feel that there were parts of the process that they did not like and believe can be improved in the future.

“It was easy to make an appointment on self-service, but once I got on campus I waited in line for my Covid test for over one hour. I wish they had more doors and stations open to take a Covid test and made it easier for people to sign in,” said sophomore Nick Foley. 

         “I think it was really stupid to put it on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday when classes started on Monday. I think they should have done Friday, Saturday, and Sunday or even earlier if they wanted,” added Myers.

   “I was supposed to be emailed some kind of receipt they had to check me in with. They were able to look my information up and do it very easily, but that was just a little technical difficulty on their end. I’m not sure if that was common or not, that was the only issue I had,” said Myers.

         “I was nervous to check in, but it went very smoothly,” said freshman Jocquin Baldacci.

         Overall, many students really enjoyed being back on campus, particularly if they were in a Jan. Term online, like My Design. 

         “Feels good cause learning in person is definitely a lot better for me rather than learning virtual and it’s nice to see all my friends and teachers again,” said Fritz.

         “Honestly, after three weeks of Jan. Term, I was kind of glad to be back. It may take a while before I’m used to it again,” said freshman Michael Girton.