COVID testing sites moving indoor

by Tianbin Chen

Since the start of the October, temperature in Champaign-Urbana has reached under 70 Fahrenheit. Although there are some warmer temperatures this week, on-campus testing sites are moving to indoor in preparation for the colder weather. 

There are currently 11 outdoor tents on campus, ten of them would be moving to indoor locations such as ARC, CRCE and Foellinger. One would still be outdoors at a Veterinary Medicine tent, which would be adding a heater. This would take into effect on Monday, oct.12.

Laura Willhelm-Barr, the head of the COVID testing sites, said that the testing procedure would be exactly the same as before, the only difference is between indoor and outdoor. Students still need a valid I-card to enter as well as the safer Illinois APP. The staff could also look up an individual’s UIN number before the tests. 

Students on Reddit are discussing whether it is safe to do indoor testing given the fact that the COVID virus is more likely to spread indoors. Since during testing people have to take their masks off to get saliva samples, some students are concerned about their own safety.

“We have evaluated all of our indoor locations, for ventilation as well, to make sure we are taking care of the concerns and considerations,” said Laura, “our facility has a wonderful team that has taken care of the sites to make sure that they are safe. And if we need to upgrade the filter, we have taken care of that as well.” All testing locations take place in relatively large halls, the COVID team has plans on promoting social distancing during testing. 

Our school’s covid committee would continue to monitor the trend of Coronavirus throughout the winter when there would be less sunlight against the virus. It is still unsure how the trend would be if students are leaving campus after the Thanksgiving holiday. The COVID tests would still be offered all winter months to keep targeting positive and possible virus carriers.

The committee advises students to check their safer Illinois APP to see updated testing locations and hours.