COD Starts Weekly COVID-19 Testing

Nov. 15 marks the beginning of COD’s weekly COVID-19 testing, which is required for all individuals who are not fully vaccinated.


Bee Bishop, Staff Writer

COD’s first week of COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated students concluded with a total of 507 tests collected, a fraction of the estimated 7,000 tests administrators expected. Furthermore, only 4,661 students have submitted their vaccination cards which is roughly 35% of the on-campus students . Vice President Jim Bente presented these statistics on Nov. 18, during COD’s regular Board of Trustees meeting. In a personal interview, Bente expanded on the large difference in numbers.

“We still are anticipating that number,” he said, “We’re making sure everything’s working in the first place.”

Bente believes the disparity comes from people not receiving important information regarding testing. Now that the first week has passed, the administration has a better idea of who didn’t receive testing information and can reach out and contact them. 

However, COD will not yet bar students from campus for not attending required COVID-19 testing, contrary to what the administration had promoted in their original email. The original plan was that students who did not test or tested positive would not be allowed on campus and given instructions on how to proceed. 

“We’re not barring anyone from campus next week simply because we’re still testing the process. These are all new processes and systems,” Bente said. “So we want to make sure, before we bar anyone from campus, that the systems are working and have a high level of accuracy and effectiveness.”

Individuals are able to apply for a medical or religious exemption. However the exemption will only allow the individual to forfeit getting the vaccine. People who are granted either a medical or religious exemption will still be required to test. Bente said that he did not know the number of individuals who were granted exemptions, and the dean’s office has not yet responded to inquiries.

Though weekly testing is required for people who are not fully vaccinated, vaccinated students and staff are also able to get tested at COD. 

“Anybody who wants to get tested, whether a student or staff member, for whatever reason, can certainly do that,” Bente said, “They just have to fill out the SHIELD Illinois profile and show up.”

The normal testing hours for COVID-19 testing are Monday and Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Student Resource Center room 2000. However, for the week of Thanksgiving, the testing center will be closed on Wednesday.

Bente wanted to remind the COD community of a few things. 

“We still encourage everybody to get their proof of vaccination turned in if they’re vaccinated, and if they’re not, to come and be tested,” he said.