Campus, News

CSULB COVID pre-screen participation has dropped to one-third at end of the semester

The number of on-campus students that participate in the COVID-19 pre-screen questionnaire has been decreasing all semester and only a third of students were completing it by the semester’s end.

All CSULB students, faculty, and staff members are required to complete the online pre-screen for contact tracing purposes in order to return to in-person classes, according to the CSULB COVID-19 information page.

During the beginning of the semester, approximately 60% of students were filling out the online pre-screen. As of last week, the California Public Records Act revealed that rates dropped to around 32% from an email request made by the Daily Forty-Niner.

COVID-19 pre-screen participation chart showing steady decline in student participation.
COVID-19 pre-screen participation chart showing steady decline in student participation. Photo credit: Steven Matthews

Lauren Williams, a communications specialist at CSULB pointed out that the purpose of the pre-screen is to provide important information about COVID-19.

“If a member of our campus community inadvertently comes to campus while ill, we can advise those who have been in contact with that person on the next steps they need to take to limit the transmission of COVID-19,” Williams said.

Jeff Cook, CSULB associate vice president of strategic communications said the compliance rate “is likely indicative of how the prolonged effects of the pandemic have weighed on us as a community.”

“We look to a new semester next year, we must challenge ourselves anew to adhere to the pre-screen protocol as part of our multi-faceted approach [by] keeping our community safe,” he said.

COVID-19 pre-screen participation data.
COVID-19 pre-screen participation data. Photo credit: Steven Matthews

Cook credited the school in other aspects of dealing with the pandemic and said that reported vaccine rates at CSULB were 97% for students on campus and 75% for faculty and staff.

“We take some assurance in our high vaccination rate and absence of transmission in any of our learning spaces,” he said.

CSULB students had mixed opinions about the COVID-19 pre-screen, while some believed the questionnaire did little to help the spread of the virus, others believed it still served a purpose.

Hussam Khan, a CSULB kinesiology major said the pre-screening participation is low, and it doesn’t help him avoid getting sick.

“If I go to the Rec Center, somebody might have [COVID-19],” Khan said. “It’s an extra stress for nothing.”

Maja Matteoni, a psychology major said she completes the COVID-19 pre-screens but added that sometimes she only remembers because of the text reminders CSULB sends out to students.

“If I didn’t get the text [messages], I might forget it sometimes,” she said.

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