From the “Mask Required” signs across campus, to entering buildings through certain doors, COVID-19 does not seem to be going anywhere any time soon. One way MC is attempting to keep the coronavirus from spreading across campus quickly is through “random testing.”
Beth Stapleton, Campus COVID Coordinator, sent an email on Sept. 1 informing the MC family about this new strategy. Random testing was a decision made by the school’s coronavirus task force.
Stapleton’s position mainly focuses on informing the student body about new procedures. She is the “middle-man” between campus task forces and the student body.
“I’ve taken some of the burden off of the task force,” she said.
The coronavirus has impacted tens of students on campus. For the week of Aug. 31 – Sept. 6, MC reported 11 new cases, most cases being undergraduate students. Of the eight undergraduate students tested, only two had symptoms.
Stapleton said that the point of random testing is to catch students who are asymptomatic.
“We are doing extremely well” on campus, Stapleton said. “Campus without students is sad. Our number one goal is to keep students safe.”
Tracey Harrison, director of public relations, reinforced Stapleton’s position. “We are doing a good job right now. We are maintaining Mississippi state guidelines.”
Every student who gets tested for the coronavirus at the MC testing site will receive complimentary spray hand sanitizer, easily fittable into the large lanyard MC gave students at move-in.
Many students became apprehensive after the Sept. 1 email. Stapleton apologized for the miscommunication in a subsequent email.
“I didn’t say it was mandatory, but I also didn’t say it wasn’t mandatory,” she said.
Stapleton encourages all students to get tested when emailed. “It only takes a small spark to start a fire.”