As the holiday season approaches, the Wellness Center is “strongly encouraging” fully vaccinated and unvaccinated students to register to access periodic testing at Loyola, according to the university’s email sent Nov. 16.
Loyola’s surveillance testing program (SHIELD) has been in action since May 2021, and according to the university website, vaccinated students aren’t required to participate.
Students can register for testing through the Loyola Health mobile app. First-time registrants are required to sign an e-consent form. After consenting, students will enroll through the Loyola patient portal by clicking “REGISTER WITH SHIELD-PNC”.
These steps will provide registrants with a student agency code and their personal information to complete their enrollment, according to the email sent Nov. 16.
Once registered, students can visit the university’s testing sites, which are available on all three campuses, according to the email sent Nov. 16.
The hours of operation will be limited for the week of Nov. 22, in observance of Thanksgiving. Testing sites across all three campuses will be open on Wednesday 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and remain closed Thursday to Sunday, according to the email sent Nov. 16.
While regular hours will resume starting Nov. 29, testing sites will only be open Monday through Friday, according to the Wellness Center’s email sent Nov. 16.
Starting the week of Dec. 6, testing sites will follow regular hours: Monday, Tuesday and Friday 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., Wednesday-Thursday 6:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 12: p.m.-3:00 p.m., according to the university website.
As students gear up for the holidays, some spoke out in favor of the increased vigilance on the university’s end.
Kinneri Thomas, a junior studying public relations and advertising, said while she isn’t traveling for the holidays, she’s signed up for surveillance testing.
“Personally, I think it’s necessary for [the university] to be doing surveillance testing, especially since there are people who aren’t vaccinated,” Thomas said.
Greta Miller, a first-year majoring in film and digital media, said she’s “seriously considering signing up” for surveillance testing after receiving the Wellness Center’s email Nov. 16.
“I’m fully vaccinated, but I think it’s super important, especially with everyone going home for the holidays and seeing family,” Miller said. “We live all over the place, so anything can happen.”
Miller said that in addition to Loyola requiring students to be vaccinated in order to be on campus, she thinks the university keeps students informed with the “frequent” updates.
“[The university emails] have made me so much more comfortable because I have an immunocompromised little brother,” said Miller. “If anything were to happen to him, I don’t know what I would do, so I like knowing that the students around me are also health conscious.”
To learn more about Loyola’s surveillance program and how to make appointments at the testing sites, students can visit the university’s website.