Weekly Testing at CSUDH and We’re Not Talking Academicscsudhbulletin September 22, 2021 0 COMMENTS
Walk-in student getting tested for the weekly surveillance test. Photo by Jesus Loza
By Jasmine Contreras and Jesus Loza, Staff Reporters
Returning to campus for some of the approximately 15,000 students attending California State University, Dominguez Hills, has begun with a new safety measure as it is part of the many nationwide universities to require weekly COVID- 19 tests for their students and employees.
In an email address to the campus community, President Thomas A. Parham announced on Aug. 23 that, “… everyone coming to campus will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine by September 30, and weekly surveillance testing will be in place for many groups utilizing the campus.”
The free testing is offered through a partnership between CSUDH and Phamatech Laboratories & Diagnostic, a laboratory manufacturer and is offered via drive-thru and walk-ins.
Testing is specifically for those who are not feeling symptoms at the time the test is conducted.
Weekly testing is encouraged for all students, faculty and staff returning to campus this semester. But it is mandatory for athletes, student housing residents, those taking in-person classes who have not yet received a vaccine shot, and for students who have claimed a medical or religious exemption to getting the shot.
For students staying in the housing complexes on campus, taking a weekly test is not optional, it is part of campus requirements.
Maya Harris, a recent transfer student who is dorming in University Housing, explained that she finds the testing process reasonable and sees the benefits of participating weekly.
“I do not mind, especially since it’s once a week,” Harris said. “It is also nice to have peace of mind since I am living with other people.”
Student Karen Sandoval, who is also staying on campus, shared that she appreciates how CSUDH provides two days for people to get tested to accommodate their schedules and accepts the process. “If it is something I have to do to live here, then it is something I cannot complain about,” Sandoval said.
As for student athletes, they must also provide proof of a negative test to be able to play sports.
Volleyball player, Rylee Brown explained the difficulties of being part of a sport and having to get weekly tests. “It is really annoying having to plan stuff around getting tested and going to practice,” Brown said. “However, it is super easy to get tested, they send us a link, and we fill it out.”
Brown shared that if athletes do not get tested on campus, they have to find another testing location, or they cannot play for a week.
Students can take their weekly test in
Although most classes are still virtual, there are many students that began commuting to campus this semester, one of them being biology major, Diego Luna. He said that it was important that the campus encourages tests and requires certification.
“I think it is important, especially with these times and how there are different variants coming out now,” Luna said.
CSUDH students and employees can also take their test on campus via
The nasal swab test results will be sent through email and can take up to 24 – 48 hours. If a student, faculty, or staff receives a positive result, they must contact their doctor and are not allowed inside the campus.
Emani White, a nurse at Pharmatech Laboratories & Diagnostic said “she is happy about the many people who are using the resource.”
“Yesterday we had about 700 participants, almost 800, and it varies from time to time,” White said. “Today, it may not seem like that much, but towards the end, there might be more due to some people missing their appointments, and they do not want to come in the mornings.”
She explained that the process of drive-thru testing has, for the most part, gone smoothly.
“Sometimes it gets hectic, but we try to have two over here and two over there, so it goes faster in order to get it done as soon as possible.”
Along with weekly testing, CSUDH requires students and employees to complete the vaccine self-certification, a system that tracks vaccination statuses, by Sept. 30., specifically, those who are attending in-person and hybrid classes.
Students who do not certify by the deadline will be automatically dropped from courses taken on campus. This action can have an impact on their financial aid, not being able to take online courses, and their graduation date can be pushed back according to the campus Vaccine Certification and Info website.
Those who are only taking online courses must satisfy the requirement but can include not going to campus while they certify. A hold will be placed on the student’s Spring 2022 registration if they do not complete the certification.
But these new measures do not fall only upon students, if employees do not provide their vaccination cards, they may not be allowed to go onto campus. However, Management Personal Program, confidential employees, CSUEU, SUPA, and student employees have the option not to participate in the weekly testing once they complete the certification.
The information on weekly testing and the vaccine self-certification can be found at the CSUDH Toros Together website. Testing is available every Wednesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.