Vigorous coronavirus testing may not be the solution to college outbreaks

Colleges across the US are preparing for the fall in-person reopening, and on top of their agenda is a robust coronavirus testing. The ability to detect the virus before it is able to spread is one of the best strategies being considered by these colleges as a way of curbing the spread of the virus.

However, their ability to get access to the test and paying for them has become a challenge for many institutions. For instance, affluent colleges and those with ties to the medical facilities had an easier time accessing the tests. This was not the case, however, for the majority of US colleges who have been hit hard financially by the pandemic.

Vigorous coronavirus testing

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), was one of the colleges that adhered to vigorous coronavirus testing after reopening. Its strategy drew nationwide attention as many waited to see how successful the strategy will be.

Between Aug. 24 and 31, the university recorded over 700 coronavirus cases in the university. The officials indicated that the students had failed to observe the protocols that had been set up and ignored health warnings. This resulted in students assembling in large gatherings, partying and failing to heed the isolation protocols once they are tested positive for the virus.

Although vigorous testing had yielded results as it was expected, the rate of infection was going up due to students’ behavior. In response to this, two students were suspended and more than 100 of them are still waiting to be disciplined by the university. Several student organizations will also be disciplined after failing to adhere to school rules and flaunting social distancing.

Going forward, universities and colleges will have to ensure that not only do they carry vigorous coronavirus testing, but encourage students to change their behavior if the spread of coronavirus is to be curbed in these colleges. UIUC has been an eye-opener on what vigorous testing without discipline can achieve.


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