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Weekly COVID-19 check-in with Christine Johnston

By Garrett Cote

​With Springfield College students continuing to settle in and get their feet wet, daily/weekly routines have started to pick back up. One common ground in each student’s routine is certain – that is following the tight COVID-19 protocols and guidelines the school has put into place.

​Similarly to the fall semester, students are urged to practice safe social distancing while wearing masks and washing their hands. A difference from said semester, however, is the rate at which students get tested.

Christine Johnston, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation, Alcohol and Drug Education and Health Promotion at Springfield College, says it has been indeed less stressful to keep track of testing in comparison to the fall.

​“It’s much easier now that everyone is being tested each week,” Johnston stated. “Last semester, athletes were being tested every week, other folks were being tested bi-weekly, and we didn’t really have an effective way to track [when people were supposed to be tested].” Johnston added that because of some students missing tests, they had gone almost a month without being tested.

​Considering the loopholes in the testing process from the fall, Johnston and the testing crew added in several changes.

​“For failure to test the first time, there is an automatic sanction,” Johnston said. “You aren’t able to go to any in-person classes or co-curricular activities until you make up your test and get the results back.”

Johnston continued by mentioning that a fine would also be attached, as well as other potential consequences (the more tests you miss, the more severe the consequence will be) that are listed on the Springfield College website.

​“We don’t want to have to sanction anybody,” Johnston began. “We just hope everyone goes to get their weekly test and adds it into their weekly schedule.” ​As far as the number of cases, Johnston believes that the community is in a good place.

​“I think we are doing a really good job right now, and I commend all of the students for keeping their bubbles small. One thing we have noticed is that there haven’t been large lists of names given when going through the contact tracing process.”

​Johnston emphasized the importance of following each and every guideline that has been positioned by the school, as in doing so the possibility of making it through May would increase greatly.

Photo Courtesy of Springfield College

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