• By Nina Arias

Coronavirus testing mandatory for student-athletes

COVID-19 has surpassed the beliefs of many in its rampage on the world. With the United States currently confirming more than 2.5 million active cases, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Universities around the world have adapted as best as possible to operate at full capacity despite the spread of COVID-19. Among them is Minot State University, which updated and installed new technology and equipment over the summer to comply with social distancing rules; rules that imply you must keep 6-feet of distance between you and other people when in public, in order to have in-person classes.

While testing is widely encouraged throughout the state of North Dakota, it is not required. However, Minot State Athletics has made it mandatory for their student-athletes to test every two weeks for the coronavirus. There are consequences for not testing, but they vary depending on the coach.

Every other week, student-athletes are sent a link through email and asked to register prior to the test. Once they show up at the testing site, they are asked to stand next to large traffic cones, which are placed 6-feet apart, and lead to the testing area on the third floor of the Dome. Testing usually takes place from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., allowing strudents to attend class and make time to test. Soldiers from Minot Air Force Base escort and help the nurses and volunteers with the process itself.

Once seated, the student-athlete undergoes the oral test rather than the nasal swab. The test takes less time than the wait in line. The results usually arrive within two days and the student-athlete is required to notify the respective coach if the test is positive. If this is the case, the student must quarantine for 14 days in their place of residence. If the student is able to go home, the school suggests that they do so to reduce contact with other students. If they remain on campus, they must notify their coach and the proper campus authorities so that they can start a process for bringing food to their dorm room.

The procedure itself isn’t traumatizing or harmful. It is, however, upsetting many student-athletes that are following social distance and COVID-19 guidelines while their teammates or fellow athletes attend parties or social gatherings. Athletes are advised to report such outings but they fear retribution from others.

have the option to opt out of testing, but they will not be allowed to practice and are subject to serious repercussions which will be discussed by the coaching staff. While the coronavirus impacts all of us, we can do our part to slow the spread by following guidelines and testing regularly.

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