Kayla Barrett / Photo Editor

Say goodbye to the COVID-19 testing center at Keene State. Earlier this month, an email was sent out to the college community regarding COVID-19 protocol for the spring semester. The email revealed that not only would masks be required in classrooms for the first two weeks of the semester, but that the COVID-19 testing center at 115 Winchester St. would not be open this semester.

Jeanelle Boyer, a public health professor and member of the COVID-19 Leadership Team at Keene State, said that the closure of the testing center was inevitable in the best way. Boyer said that the 115 Winchester St. testing center was something that initially had a great deal of foot traffic, but once home antigen tests became available, many people were simply using those for their testing needs.

“In the early days, we might have like ten to 20 people stop by 115 [Winchester St.] to get tested, but I would say by the time we got several weeks into the [fall] semester and people were very used to just picking up the rapid tests, we might have like one person a day stop by, and usually they just wanted to pick up more rapid tests,” Boyer said.

“They would stop by to pick up more tests, but to keep it open we needed to have a person there,” she added. According to Boyer, the closure of the testing center was a beneficial option to the Wellness Center team. Boyer said that the splitting of the team between the 115 Winchester St. testing center and the Wellness Center made dealing with demand from the college community at the Wellness Center difficult to handle.

Antigen tests are now available as supplies last in the Mason Library, a central spot on campus.

Boyer added, “If people want to meet with someone, like if they’re feeling sick enough that they actually need to talk to a medical provider, then they can reach out to the Wellness Center.”

Piper Pavelich can be contacted
at ppavelich@kscequinox.com

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