As Keene State College has opened itself to students during a global pandemic, a major issue that many are finding disturbing is the lack of communication from the college. During the first few weeks of the college wide COVID-19 testing, Keene State College’s administration was very adverse and unclear when releasing information about positive COVID cases to the students, parents, faculty and staff.
The Equinox Staff believes that Keene State College’s administration should have been very transparent about releasing information on COVID-19 statistics from the beginning. On August 28th, 2020, The Equinox reported that the first positive COVID case was on campus. Students did not receive any emails and or updates on the case in their emails. We believe that this lack of communication of a positive case between administration and students is a major issue. The lack of communication was a really bad way to start off the semester because it gave some students the idea that the college wasn’t doing the best job they could at keeping students safe. The Equinox Staff suggests that the college should send out weekly emails that contain that week’s COVID testing information. The weekly email should also include a link to the COVID dashboard.
As students begin to get into a weekly routine of getting tested, a big concern from many people is that more and more students are becoming too relaxed. When a bunch of students become too relaxed, it can give off the impression that the student body does not really care about whether they are safe or not. The Equinox Staff believes that students should have a feeling of comfort and security but they should also stay wary and cautious whenever they are out in the general public. Even if someone has received a negative test result, the test result has the possibility of being a false negative. If the person who received a false negative goes out into the public, they could infect many others with the virus.
A big issue with the whole testing process is that Quest Diagnostics approach of testing students is not the most accurate and secure process. The Equinox Staff suggests that when Quest Diagnostics tests students each week, they should have the testing instructors closely monitor the students who are self testing to make sure they are administering the tests correctly. Another possible solution is that Quest Diagnostics has professionals perform the tests on students, faculty and staff instead of everyone self testing.
Another glaring issue with Quest Diagnostics is that some students are not receiving their COVID test results back. This issue has led many to believe that if they do not receive an email or a phone call from the college or Quest Diagnostics that they are COVID free. The Equinox Staff believes that Quest Diagnostics and Keene State College should be more reliable when relaying information to students about their test results. If a student that has tested positive for COVID-19 but they never received their test results, the consequences could be catastrophic.
In conclusion, Keene State College is doing a phenomenal job at keeping students, faculty, and staff safe with all of the preventative measures they have put in place. Yet at the end of the day it is up to the students, faculty, and staff to continue following these preventative measures with their best effort.