Editorial: Shortage of resources lead to long wait times at testing centers
As new variants of the coronavirus continue to emerge and affect communities around the world, maintaining the health and safety of the Brandeis community in the midst remains a vital yet challenging task.
This board values the general efficacy of the University’s testing program, especially since not all universities have been as successful in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through testing and other programs. Also, this board would like to thank the many faculty, staff members and student workers who have kept the testing centers running — their hard work and patience is greatly appreciated.
However, in the first few weeks of classes, this board has observed that lines at the COVID-19 testing centers on campus have been unusually long and have caused some students to wait in line for up to 40 minutes. At the Shapiro Science Center, the line can even be out the door, which could become a bigger issue as the weather becomes colder. In general, people having to spend a lot of time in line causes scheduling problems, such as when students go to testing centers in the 30 minutes in between classes and end up being late due to the long lines. This board appreciates the location of the testing centers, as they are conveniently located in humanities- and STEM-leaning quads.
Part of the problem may be a shortage of resources. There have been a few instances of the centers running out of testing kits to send home with people, resulting in more people having to physically collect their testing sample at the sites, which delays the whole process. This board recognizes that this may be the result of people forgetting testing kits at home and having to collect their sample in person, so we want to remind Brandeis community members to use the take-home kits provided by the centers to prevent a shortage of resources at the testing sites.
In light of these logistical issues, a possible solution may be to open another center on campus to facilitate a faster testing process. Due to more students, staff and faculty being on campus this semester, having additional testing locations will help prevent long lines and lengthy wait times. Another benefit of opening an additional testing center would be the creation of more employment opportunities for students, especially work-study students, which in turn would reduce the stress and pressure on current testing center workers who have had to deal with an overflow of people at the testing sites.
This board appreciates that the University has extended COVID-19 testing hours on Sundays and hopes to see more reforms like this soon.
To conclude, this board would like to emphasize that we do not blame any of the testing center workers for these problems. We recommend that the University invests more resources in the testing centers to solve these logistical issues.