Per UCI’s Campus Executive Directive for Student and Employee Testing, which Chancellor Howard Gillman issued on Sept. 23, all UCI undergraduate students living in student housing or American Campus Communities (ACC) must undergo monthly asymptomatic testing beginning on Oct. 4.
According to the COVID-19 dashboard, 99% of students in campus housing have been vaccinated as of Oct. 28.
Students were instructed to schedule monthly appointments ordered by the first letter of their last name. Those with last names A-F began testing during Week 2, last names G-L began testing during Week 3, last names M-R began testing during Week 4 and last names S-Z began testing during Week 5.
Many UCI students have already participated in asymptomatic testing in the early weeks of the fall quarter.
First year biological sciences student Alizeh Ahmedani shared her thoughts on the asymptomatic testing process.
“I thought it was really simple, really easy. It was in and out in less than 10 minutes,” Ahmedani said.
Ahmedani reflected on the necessity of the testing as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.
“Especially with the Delta variant, we’re seeing that even vaccinated people are starting to contract the virus. On a college campus, there’s a lot of interaction between students. Sometimes [there are] people from off-campus. [We] need to test to make sure people are clean of the virus,” Ahmedani said.
First year public health policy student Fusi Fifita has also taken her first monthly test.
“[The Student Center] makes it really easy for you. You go to the [testing] station, then you [take the test]. So it’s pretty easy,” Fifita said.
Fifita commented on whether she thinks asymptomatic testing is needed.
“Yes, I think [that testing is important]. Especially since everybody goes home on the weekend and visits their family, I feel like the testing really helps,” Fifita said.
First year social ecology student Francesca Fong has likewise taken her first asymptomatic test.
“It was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. It was super easy. I think COVID-19 tests have a bad reputation because [they] went all the way up [the nose] and it would hurt. But it doesn’t [hurt], and you get to do it yourself, which is really nice,” Fong said.
Fong shared why she believes asymptomatic testing is important.
“I think [testing] is a good idea, regardless of whether we’re vaccinated. Sometimes, people can be asymptomatic [carriers of COVID-19] … I think it’s just better [to be] safe than sorry,” Fong said.
This measure is one of several designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Other safety measures include ZotPasses and the random weekly testing of fully vaccinated UCI employees.
UCI students may schedule their appointments through the Student Health Patient Portal.
Chrissy Park is a Campus News Contributing Writer for the fall 2021 quarter. She can be reached at email@example.com.