COVID-19 Safety: Which School Takes the Most Precautions, University of Connecticut or Embry Riddle Aeronautical University?

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By Madi­son Smith
Newswrit­ing 2 / UConn
March 2021

Embry Rid­dle Aero­nau­ti­cal Uni­ver­si­ty, in Day­tona Beach, Flori­da and Prescott Ari­zona, are han­dling the pan­dem­ic dif­fer­ent­ly than the Uni­ver­si­ty of Con­necti­cut Accord­ing to Nathan Hawk, a res­i­den­tial fresh­man at the Day­tona Beach cam­pus, said about the test­ing on cam­pus, “Every now and then they’ll do tests but most of the time it is at your own dis­cre­tion.” Hawk also says, “I try to go every two weeks at least.”

Com­pared to UConn the test­ing for com­muter stu­dents, if they have any class­es that meet in per­son, they had to get test­ed for COVID-19 every week of Feb­ru­ary. UConn has also made it start­ing on March 1 that stu­dents will be ran­dom­ly select­ed through­out the spring semes­ter. The Stu­dent Health and Well­ness, SHAW, web­site says “Off-cam­pus stu­dents with an on-cam­pus com­mit­ment will have access to five (5) self-request­ed sur­veil­lance tests in addi­tion to any test­ing request­ed by SHaW. Off-cam­pus stu­dents with­out an on-cam­pus com­mit­ment will have access to three (3) self-request­ed sur­veil­lance tests in addi­tion to any test­ing request­ed by SHaW.” Mean­ing that for any stu­dents who are con­cerned that they might have caught the Coro­na virus that they can get test­ed through the school instead of get­ting test­ed through a dri­ve-up test­ing site.

For both schools, this semes­ter is bet­ter than last semes­ter because they new what they were doing they fig­ured out the prob­lems from the fall semes­ter and fixed them, so test­ing was eas­i­er and smoother. Hawk said this about Rid­dle “I feel like they are doing bet­ter this semes­ter then they were last because the COVID test things are more often…”  Which is a good thing because that can lead Rid­dle to know­ing where the hotspots are if there are hot spots. When asked if he were to change one thing about how Rid­dle is han­dling the pan­dem­ic Hawk says “I think it would be a good idea if every­one test­ed once a month…” If Rid­dle did test once a month then they would help pro­tect the stu­dents, staff, and fac­ul­ty better.

UConn did this with the com­muter stu­dents and did ran­dom pool test­ing for the res­i­den­tial stu­dents. Pool test­ing if you were not aware is when you col­lect a whole res­i­den­tial hall and it takes a spit test and then all of the spit goes into a test tube and gets shak­en around and it will tell whether or not that res­i­den­tial hall has COVID or not.

If you have any­more ques­tions about COVID-19 on the UConn cam­pus, please go to https://studenthealth.uconn.edu/updates-events/coronavirus/ and if you are on the Embry Rid­dle cam­pus, https://daytonabeach.erau.edu/about/health-wellness/covid-19.