Stanford adds COVID-19 test slots after running out on Monday of Thanksgiving week

Nov. 23, 2020, 9:14 p.m.

Stanford briefly ran out of COVID-19 test slots on Monday for the days leading up to Thanksgiving. The University is adding 150 additional slots on Tuesday and 150 slots on Wednesday, which students should be able to book on Monday night, according to Student Affairs spokesperson Pat Lopes Harris.

The shortage comes amid a nationwide increase in demand for tests and rise in case counts. Testing sites on Stanford’s campus will not be open from Thursday to Sunday, according to the University.

While some students living on campus have traveled home for winter break, some remain. Students expressed concern over the temporary decrease in testing availability and sought to emphasize the importance of tests during the holiday season.

Rachel Bowanko J.D. ’22 told The Daily that previously “you’ve always been able to get a test within the next day or two” and said she thinks most students aren’t planning their tests a week in advance. “There’s probably a lot of people who won’t get a test who otherwise would have because of this,” she said.

“A lot of people are definitely relying on the ability to get tested here before traveling home,” she added. “Especially given people are traveling and potentially seeing at risk family members, it would be especially important to get a test before you leave.”

The University recommends that students get a COVID-19 test several days before their departure for winter break, and strongly recommends COVID-19 testing for all students who are living on campus or coming to campus on a regular basis over break.

Linda Denson ’23 said that consistent on-campus testing was important both because some students are traveling to see their families, and to protect students remaining at Stanford over break in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases nationwide. The University did not comment on how many students are currently on campus.

“I would hope that the university would stay vigilant to protect those of us who are still here because it’s not like I can go home,” Denson said. “I would definitely prefer if they kept the same vigilance they had with testing throughout the quarter.”

Stanford Athletics spokesperson Brian Risso, when asked if the Monday shortage would affect student-athletes, told The Daily that “Student-athlete testing will continue this week, with the daily cadence varying by sport, based on upcoming competition and training schedules and in accordance with county and conference standards.”

Kate Selig contributed reporting.

Contact Malaysia Atwater at matwater ‘at’ stanford.edu and Sam Catania at samcat ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Malaysia Atwater '23 is a managing editor in the News section. She is a political science major from Centennial, Colorado, and she enjoys dancing and re-watching Grey's Anatomy in her free time. Contact her at matwater 'at' stanforddaily.com.Sam Catania ’24 is the Chief Technology Officer at The Daily. He also is the producer of the weekly video roundup and formerly served as a news beat reporter covering COVID-19 on Stanford's campus and the assessment team leader of The Daily's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team. Sam is a Philadelphia native currently studying Symbolic Systems. You can follow him on Twitter @sbcatania. Contact him at scatania 'at' stanforddaily.com

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