On Campus Testing: Helpful or Hindrance?

Covid Testing Kiosk

Covid Testing Kiosk

Jahna Waters, Editor

Students have expressed a wide range of concerns and opinions regarding the addition of the Covid-19 testing kiosk on campus. Some students have voiced problems with the kiosk while others believe having access to free testing is beneficial.

“I think the testing site makes testing a lot easier, especially when you can go down in between classes and get it done as someone who had to get tested every week early in the semester. It made it quick and easy for me to get my testing done,” Jackson Nicholson, freshman, said. 

The kiosk is also beneficial to students, particularly student-athletes, as they no longer have to travel to the North Campus to receive their weekly tests. 

“It’s more convenient than having to drive to North Campus to get tested, now we can just walk down,” John Holley, freshman baseball player, said.

However,some  commuter students experience problems with the kiosk which takes up parking spaces in the lower Frith Hall lot.

“The placement is unfortunate because we already struggle to find parking, especially myself as a commuter. Now parking is being taken up by the kiosk and community members,” Zoe Winnes, sophomore commuter student, said.

With the testing site being open to the public, some students also expressed concerned about the risk of infecting faculty, staff, and students on campus.

“Not only does it take up the already limited parking spaces, but it’s also for the general public to use. Now, the potentially unvaccinated Danville community is allowed to walk onto the campus to get tested for the virus. Not only this, but the kiosk was not even installed when the announcement of Averett’s ‘vaccine or weekly testing’ mandate was announced, which defeats the purpose, in my opinion,” Allison Setliff, sophomore commuter student, said.

Tammi Devlin, director of health services, is sensitive to students concerns but believes the benefits of the kiosk out weigh any potential downside.

“I have not seen any parking issues as they are in the lower commons parking lot which is not utilized as much for daily parking, and waiting in line is outside, and there is plenty of space to stand away from others in line, therefore there is no greater risk of being exposed to Covid then going to places like CVS for testing,” Devlin said.

Devlin also points out that tuition dollars are not being used to fund the kiosk.

“The kiosk is considered ‘public-facing’ which means that the kiosk is open to the public and they can bill insurance under federal guidelines, therefore, there is no cost to the University for having the kiosk on campus and no out of pocket cost to anyone that tests there,” Devlin said.

According to Devlin, the kiosk will remain on campus as long as it’s needed. The kiosk is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Contact [email protected] with any further questions or concerns.