Gianna Hayes

News Editor

Let me paint a picture for you. A few weeks ago, I felt sick and had the typical symptoms of a common cold or sinus infection. Luckily, it was the weekend, so I had time to recuperate. But I was anxious — what if I had COVID? Naturally, I was concerned with my ability to attend class in person, with making sure I was isolating if I needed to, for the wellbeing of my immune-compromised friends and the larger Wooster community. It was a Saturday afternoon when I trudged to Longbrake Student Wellness Center Entrance D to pick up cold care supplies and my COVID test. I opened the door, and to my surprise, the table that once held the COVID tests was completely empty. I used the call button and learned that COVID tests were no longer being offered at the Wellness Center, and if students wished to get one, they were available for purchase at the local pharmacy.

To say the least, I was shocked. I understand the CDC’s guidelines, as were so helpfully outlined in the Spring 2024 Health Guidance for Viral Respiratory Illness email sent out by The College of Wooster Community Health Taskforce on March 8. What I didn’t understand was the fact that they will not be offering COVID tests; if you scroll further down in the email, past the sign-off, you will find the FAQs section, which lists 10 FAQs, the seventh of which pertains to where students can find COVID tests. Now, I don’t know about you, but I normally don’t read an email past the sign-off, especially if it is a longer email and the section past the sign-off looks like common-sense knowledge.

Let me be clear: I find this to be deceptive. There’s no other way to put it. I am personally offended, and it brings my faith in this institution down.

I do not own a car. If I want to purchase a COVID test, I have to walk 15 minutes to Drug Mart, or 25 minutes to Rite Aid. I am not disabled, and normally this would pose no large issues, just a minor inconvenience. But the fact remains that on that day I woke up feeling terrible, I did not have the energy to walk to Drug Mart. And besides my own experience, there are the experiences of those who are not as able-bodied as I am and those who cannot spend the extra money to buy a COVID test. Thankfully, my friend had an extra test, and I was able to confirm that I did not have COVID.

In this anecdote, it is my generous friend who I am thankful for, and my partner who offered to walk down to Drug Mart for me, my friends who understood when I had to cancel commitments. It is the community that I love so much about this college. Time and time again, it has been the community holding each other accountable, holding administration accountable, supporting each other, when the institution could not. We are all just a bunch of tired, stressed college students — don’t make us do extra work 100% of the time. Give us back free COVID tests. 

Written by

Gianna Hayes

Gianna Hayes is a News Editor for the Wooster Voice. They are from Newark, Ohio, and are a sophomore Chemistry and English double major.