On Feb. 1, UCR added two new testing sites on campus located at the Student Success Center and Bannockburn room G-105. This comes as an effort to combat long wait times and large groups prone to exposure. Prior to this, testing was only available at lot 26 and Pentland Hills. Students, however, were hesitant to test at these sites due to the long wait for results from lot 26 and even longer lines at the Pentland Hills location. 

Many students took to Reddit to voice their concerns about there only being two testing locations citing health risks which included having to wait in long lines for 30 minutes or more and  around others who may have been exposed to COVID-19. 

While the school is being proactive in adding more testing sites, students still have concerns about the organization of them 一 namely, the Student Success Center. Fourth-year sociology major Hunter Kirn recently went to test at the new Student Success Center location and recalls the experience stating, “I thought it was super convenient. The only thing is that when I was doing the saliva test, some people thought it was gross when walking out of the SSC and were kind of making fun of the people getting tested … It would be nice to have a grass area like the Bear Cave site so it’s not in front of the entrance to the SSC.” 

Alexandra Giles, a third-year business administration major, stated, “It’s great that UCR has opened up new testing sites. The accessibility of getting tested is much better than before, and I’m glad that these new sites have opened. It would be nice if the site in front of the SSC were moved because it causes a crowd to form in front of the main doors to the SSC, making it harder to get in and out of the building.”

The alternate location at Bannockburn, however, offered a more positive experience in terms of wait times and seclusion. Second-year creative writing major Brenda Jovel recalls, “The COVID-19 testing site at Bannockburn was very efficient and quite vacant. I think its location may hinder some people from finding it, but it’s a convenient spot for those who live in Bannockburn or The Plaza apartments.”

Since the opening of the two new testing sites on campus, students have more options for where to get a PCR test without having to risk their health being around other potentially affected students. These sites are open to all students on campus who need a test and can be accessed Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Additionally, students testing on campus are also able to get their results within 24 to 48 hours.

According to the school COVID-19 policy, select groups of employees and students are expected to test regularly. Students who live on campus are required to get tested every two weeks. With the opening of the two new testing locations, the school hopes to get as many people tested on a regular basis without long wait times causing a hindrance. 

For more information on testing, please visit UCR’s campus return website at www.campusreturn.ucr.edu