Upper school implements weekly COVID-19 testing for all students


Alysa Suleiman

A technician from Inspire Diagnostics gives directions to students before taking their COVID-19 tests. Testing will take place weekly on Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Nichols rotunda.

by Isha Moorjani, News Editor

All upper school students underwent COVID-19 testing on Feb. 4 in the Nichols rotunda with Inspire Diagnostics as a new weekly testing procedure.

Upper school nurse Jennifer Olson announced in an email to upper school students on Jan. 31 that COVID-19 testing, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, will take place every Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Previously, students tested during advisory, which was implemented for the week of Jan. 24.

“It is very important to get tested because with so many viruses coming in in the world, we don’t know who has it,” Victor Chavez, a swabber from Inspire Diagnostics, said. “It’s just better to be safe than sorry, and it’s just better to protect ourselves.”

All students received a QR code from their advisors. Students already testing weekly, such as indoor athletes and musicians, used previously received QR codes.

Alysa Suleiman

“We’re given cards with a QR code for each student, so each code is an individual code,” upper school mathematics teacher and senior advisor Jeannette Fernandez said. “That allows it to be a much easier process for students to just send in a card rather than them going in there and having to go through the registration process.”

Upon entering the rotunda, students scanned their QR codes with technicians from Inspire Diagnostics and received instructions on how to take their COVID-19 test. After swabbing both their nostrils 10 times, students needed to swirl the swab around in their vial for 10 seconds, throw the swab away and put the vial in a container on the technicians’ tables. 

“On-campus testing is a really good effort to just minimize the spread of COVID, and it’s also a good initiative on behalf of the school, and it’s also to keep all of us safe, so I think overall it’s really nice,” Emily Zhou (12) said. 

Students who previously contracted COVID-19 do not need to test for 90 days after their infection date.

Reporting by Alysa Suleiman and Arely Sun.