The Simpson Student Body Begin Weekly Randomly Testing

by Paul Hyatt, Staff Reporter

Simpson College’s newest effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 on-campus features randomly selecting 20% of the student body each week for testing.  

Every full-time student is put into the random testing pool except for students who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days, student-athletes who are already tested regularly and students who have been placed in quarantine.  

Students who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 are currently included in the random testing pool. Health Services are still determining if these students should be exempt from being randomly selected.  

According to Vice President for Student Development and Planning, Heidi Levine, the decision to begin random testing came from the CDC and ACHA’s (American College Health Association) elevated recommendations for colleges to do more testing.  

“Getting a better sense of how many asymptomatic people may have COVID is really important in helping us manage the spread on campus,” Levine said. “It gives us a much better indicator of how prevalent the virus is on campus.”  

Last semester, students who were tested on campus generally had been showing symptoms or had been in close contact with someone who had shown symptoms. This leaves out a large portion of the student body, and Levine says that the random testing will help Simpson look at people without symptoms.  

Students who have been selected for random testing will receive an email from Health Services on Friday saying that they have been randomly selected. They will then need to sign up using a link in the email to obtain the QR code for testing.  

Testing days are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.  

If a student does not show up for testing within the week they are chosen, they will receive an email from the Dean of Students informing them that they have broken COVID-19 protocol. They will have to be tested the week after and if they still do not get tested, they will be subject to fines.  

Haley Quick, a junior selected for random testing, thinks that the testing is beneficial. 

“I think that it is good that we are doing random testing just to make sure that everyone is safe and COVID is not spreading on campus,” Quick said.  

Jeremiah Dilliner, a junior who has been selected two weeks in a row for the testing, also says that he understands why the process is necessary.  

“I think the reason we do random testing is so that in case I’m just feeling bad and don’t get tested, but I am actually sick, they can screen for those people,” Dilliner said.  

Dilliner also says the process is not very tedious.  

“It has taken twenty minutes of my time total between both tests. It’s an easy process,” Dilliner said.  

Other students have voiced concerns about long lines and not enough time to be tested.  

Levine says that Health Services has been communicating on ways to help with this. Some ideas include doubling up staffing on Mondays, having time sign-ups for testing, and opening testing up all five days of the week.