DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) — Students at the University of California, Davis, began to trickle back to campus Wednesday for the start of classes in a couple of weeks.
But the traditional move-in day at the school’s newest student housing complex had a very different look to it during the COVID-19 crisis.
Working with state and county guidelines, only one student has been assigned per room.
And that was just fine with Justin Seanez.
“Less people, less chance of it spreading,” Seanez told FOX40. “So, that’s smart.”
Move-in days usually involve family celebrations with parents, brothers and sisters all helping to send students off on their own. But students were only allowed one helper Wednesday.
“A student is allowed to go in with one guest to unload into the room but they can bring all the family they want,” said Office of Student Development Director Branden Petitt. “But they kind of have to take turns going in and out.”
Tina Seanez was left cooling her heels on the sidewalk while her husband helped her son move in — a family tradition upset by the need for safety.
“The last time when I had a child at San Francisco State we all went in together. I told my husband to video the inside,” Tina Seanez said.
University officials are taking all the precautions they can. In fact, before students move into the university-sponsored apartments they have to take a COVD-19 test.
The tests took place at a pilot testing station set up on campus. Not only were common nasal swabs tests used but a saliva sample was taken to see if an easier and faster test method would be effective.
A fast and efficient testing protocol is crucial. Some 20,000 students are expected to arrive in the next two weeks.
“By next Thursday, we expect to be testing a thousand students a day,” Dr. Cindy Schorzman, the medical director of UCD Student Health and Counseling Services, said.
And it is not a one and done procedure.
“Our ultimate goal is actually to test everyone twice weekly,” Schorzman said.
It’ll be a new part of university life for students.
“It’s not normal at all, I mean, for the foreseeable future,” said student Logan Mottley.
That’s why Mottley said he will say away from large gatherings.
“I don’t think I will go to any parties, right now especially,” Justin Seanez said.
That is a bit of comfort for loved ones.
“I’m very worried about that. It transmits so easily,” Tina Seanez said.
The 20,000 students expected on campus were half of the number of students and graduate students who normally attend UC Davis.
The others said they prefer to attend classes from remote locations.
*Note: This story has been updated to correct the title of Dr. Cindy Schorzman.