Editorial | UI Admin fairly enacts new COVID measures

The only hope of a swift return to normalcy is compliance with University guidelines, not defiance. For all the money the University invested into its testing apparatus, the rise in cases on campus last semester evinced a number of uncooperative students, who elected instead to get tested less frequently than was required.

As a result, the University has issued a new warning: fail to respect the testing requirements and you may lose more than just building access. In a new Massmail, the University pleaded with students to test at least twice a week and warned otherwise that “students who are out of compliance may also lose access to University Wi-Fi, Zoom, Compass and other technologies.” The thought of only having access to Illinois_NetGuest should strike fear in each student.

Some students have expressed concern over the University’s increased precautions, but if the prospect of losing building access has not properly deferred the student body from behaving poorly during the pandemic, then this is the logical next step. It may be an idle threat, but what student so badly does not want to test that he or she would take that risk?

Besides, the administration will almost certainly warn students that they are at risk of losing these privileges, rather than surprising students by suddenly locking them out of Zoom or Compass. But nonetheless, this warning should have no effect on you so long as you are a student who meets that minimum threshold for testing twice a week.

Students should note that if you are off campus and the University is aware of that, you are not at risk of losing these privileges. This caution is specifically targeting students who refuse to test and still live locally, who exist as a threat of spreading COVID-19 among the student body. And although mortality rates among young adults are low according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these students put University faculty and Champaign-Urbana locals at risk of contracting the virus.

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Ultimately, the outrage over the new COVID-19 measures is overblown. The demands of the administration aren’t ill-intentioned or unreasonable, one must remember that the purpose is to mitigate the spread of this virus that soon will have existed on campus for a full calendar year.

Testing biweekly isn’t damaging to one’s mental health the way prolonged isolation is, so testing is the way to stop the bleeding, so to speak. When it comes to doing your duty as a student and member of the C-U community, test and you’ll never have to worry about the consequences.