By Reilly Spence

As the Spring 2021 semester kicks into full gear at Western Colorado University, so do the students, faculty, and the campus COVID-19 testing center as they hold high hopes for a safe and in-person classroom experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic spread nationwide in March of 2020, shutting down college campuses across the country for months. While some schools remain online, utilizing learning platforms such as Zoom, Western has given its students the opportunity to have a safe and socially distanced in-person education.

The precautions they are taking require students to wear a mask on campus at all times aside from their dorm spaces, stay six feet away from one another when possible, and keep gatherings to 10 or fewer people on or off-campus. Should students feel unsafe or unwell, they are permitted to join the classroom via Zoom, which the faculty has had to adapt quickly.

Western Colorado alumnus, Greg Selinger, 22, is one of two employees running the testing centers located on Western’s campus. He shared some insight with Top O’ the World regarding what goes into a campus testing center, and why he believes Western is doing well in keeping their positive Covid-19 cases low.

Western initially utilized Darwin Biosciences testing resources in a laboratory located in Hurst Hall. “This lab was committed to testing only student athletes who have competitions within that same week because the NCAA has a two-day testing window for the competition,” said Selinger. Today, testing is open to all students. “Western [now] has another testing center through COVID Check Colorado for free random student testing,” added Selinger, who recently relocated to the new lab, located at the Student Union.

“I personally think Western is handling the COVID crisis very well,” Selinger said. “Most of the classes are in person and athletes are able to compete in their respective sports; we haven’t had a positive up here for a while but you never know what’s going to happen.”

As the semester carries on, students and faculty alike are hoping to keep positive cases to a minimum and continue in-person classes at Western.

For more information on free random student testing, visit Western’s COVID-19 Updates page.