New portal shows testing results of students, faculty, and staff

Data collected from on campus testing and Inspired Health Group are now posted to Hilbert’s new COVID-19 identification portal.

With covid protocols remaining in effect on campus because of the global pandemic, a new tool has been developed that can give clarity to those wanting to know how the virus is spreading on campus. New this semester is a feature that can be found underneath the “Coronavirus Update” section on the college’s website that displays the number of tests, the number of positive tests and the status of those in quarantine.

Dr. Chris Siuta, director of Counseling Center, said that last semester felt like a carnival game for most students and faculty trying to get information on campus cases. Some felt that there were more cases on campus than were being reported.

“My sense is that there is relief for students and employees alike that they are more knowledgeable of what’s happening on campus day to day,” Siuta said.

As we approach a year since the pandemic struck and changed life as we know it, one thing stays the same: safety protocols. Identification certainly brings clarity for some, yet others like Sophomore Toriann Wipperman wish that they were also able to find out where exactly an infected person was at on campus prior to their test results.

“I think it could be better at alerting people maybe what classes people take and stuff, so you know if you were in contact with someone that has it,” said Wipperman.

Cleanliness and sanitization around campus continues to remain a top priority. From antibacterial wipes to hand sanitizer dispensers every few feet, it is clear the administration is going to great lengths to keep the Hilbert community safe.

“It seems like cases are coming from outside areas and the students just happen to go to Hilbert,” said Wipperman. “It doesn’t seem like its spreading around campus.”.

After the data is collected, it is later passed on to Health & Safety who complete the next steps, said Siuta.

“Most of the times, the testing has been done on campus or at the medical group,” he said. “People are testing outside of Hilbert, at the medical group, and they will call me so that I can do contact tracing.”

As this new portal brings data and peace of mind to campus, it comes during a turning point as the vaccine distribution has begun around the country. With the difficulty of the vaccine rollout, it is evident that few faculty and students have received initial doses.

“Very few students have been vaccinated,” said Siuta “We still have a long way to go.”

Siuta said that depending on the percentage of people vaccinated and how herd immunity is, by summer COVID-19 could be controlled.  

“Hopefully by the fall we’ve really overcome this virus.”

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