COVID-19 Testing for Faculty

A COVID-19 Testing graphic. Photo retrieved from https://cchd.maryland.gov/covidtesting/.

Evy Brunelle ~ News Editor

    While there has been much focus on COVID-19 testing of the student community at the University of Lynchburg,  faculty this semester also have the option for free testing.   

There has been some concern about COVID-19 safety in classrooms, but  Dr. Robin Bates, a professor in the English Department, explained that she feels safe when she does teach in-person. 

She said, “My classrooms all seem well-sectioned off and are easy to wipe down, and my students are quick to do so. I feel that we are as safe as we can be. My colleagues at many other schools do not feel as safe as I do here, honestly. I think we are doing really well. That is not just in the administration. It is everyone working together.” 

     Bates continued, “I have used the campus COVID-19 testing center more than once. It is very well done, except that I do wish we could get our results back faster. It is free for me. As for my experience… they do not bat an eye at the ridiculous sounds I make when they get that wand all the way up my nose, so I have to say that they are very professional and patient.” 

Bates also noted, “I have Auditory Processing Disorder, so the masks make it very tiring for me to get through class discussion. My students are very sensitive to this, though, and speak as clearly as they can and use gestures to help. They are patient with me when I need them to repeat themselves. Online classes are just as difficult when cameras are off and I cannot see the faces of the people speaking (and the captioning is not great), so it is a trade-off.” 

          Dr. David Perault, an Environmental Science professor, is also teaching hybrid classes. Like . Bates, he feels comfortable teaching in a classroom. 

     He said, “I am very comfortable with this arrangement. Students are terrific about sanitizing before and after each lab, wearing masks, and maintaining a safe social distance. A major bonus is I get to teach much smaller labs. The only downside is that I am already terrible with names and faces – now I have masks that really keep me confused. Students could swap names each week and I would probably not notice. The University has really emphasized [COVID-19] safety, and our low numbers reflect that. I tell my students I feel safer teaching with them than I do when shopping at Kroger.”

     Perault said that he has not been to the COVID-19 testing facility on campus. “I have no qualms about using it, I just have not yet,” said Perault.

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