Resident testing is useless

Maggie Eubanks

If you live on campus this semester, you were required to be tested for COVID before you could move back into your dorm. While I understand ULM is taking precautions to prevent a COVID outbreak, the tests were an unnecessary hassle. 

Students were informed they were taking a PCR test, which is a lab test. According to the Cleveland Clinic, test results can take up to five days to get results. 

Residents who moved in last Friday could attend their first three days of classes before finding out their test results. Even vaccinated students can test positive and spread the virus to their fellow students. 

According to the CDC, vaccinated individuals are more likely to have an asymptomatic infection. This means that they can spread the virus  unknowingly.

If ULM was going to enforce testing, they should have either made us get tested on our own or provided rapid tests that would have allowed everyone to know their results before moving back in. 

If rapid tests had been provided, then all students, regardless of vaccination status, would have helped in stopping the spread. 

With recent shortages nationwide, ULM most likely did not have access to enough rapid tests. But other arrangements could have been made.

According to NBC News, with the new variant Omicron, symptoms may not present themselves for three to five days, and many infected individuals will test negative until this time. 

The best decision for ULM to lower the spread of Omicron is to continue the mask mandate. 

Masks have proven themselves to be our best weapon against COVID. While they can be a hassle, it is a small price to pay to keep our school open. 

According to the National Academy of Sciences, masks are 70% efficient in reducing the spread of the virus. 

With the Omicron variant infecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at the fastest rate since the start of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we mask up. I get it. The administration was trying to keep us safe.

 But over a week later, I still have not gotten my results back from my test, and I doubt that I will.

This virus is changing rapidly. A study by Harvard explained that a virus like COVID has a new mutation almost every time it enters the human body. Some of these could become more severe like Delta and Omicron. 

We can’t force everyone to get tested constantly just because a new variant has emerged. 

Mass testing the entire resident population did nothing to stop the spread of the virus on campus. 

It only caused frustration and made the process lengthier and more crowded than it needed to be. 

With shutdowns looming all over the state, ULM is doing what it can to keep students on campus.

 But forcing students to get a test that they will never see results for does nothing to help.