UC Santa Barbara shut down the Linda Vista Room COVID-19 testing center — one of two COVID-19 testing centers the university created during the 2020-21 academic year — during Week 7 of fall quarter.
The only testing site now available to students is the Loma Pelona Center. There are currently no plans to introduce a new testing site, according to UCSB spokesperson Andrea Estrada.
However, the university plans to employ a new testing system in which UCSB community members can grab a testing kit at various locations around campus and — after providing a saliva sample — drop the kit off at the Loma Pelona testing center, Estrada said in a statement to the Nexus.
“We have been testing a new COVID-19 testing system by which students, staff and faculty can obtain a zip lock baggie containing a funnel, a tube and instructions at multiple locations around campus so they can prepare their saliva sample anywhere they choose and then shortly thereafter drop it off at Loma Pelona to be sent off for testing,” the statement continued.
“This is similar to systems in place at a couple other UC campuses and reduces the amount of space that the campus must devote to testing clinics.”
According to Estrada, the university determined that it could “provide plenty of testing capacity with increased efficiency for the campus community by using only the facility at Loma Pelona.”
Estrada added that Loma Pelona is the more centrally located testing center and always processed more tests than the Linda Vista location, and the Linda Vista location will now be used to meet other student needs.
Estrada also cited the university’s high vaccination rates, compliance with indoor masking, early detection and prevention testing program and low numbers of positive tests as reasons for why the university could shut down one of its two testing centers.
“Even if the situation were to deteriorate significantly, Loma Pelona will serve the campus’ needs very well. However, in an absolute worst-case scenario and [if] the situation deteriorated so dramatically that another site was necessary, we could easily set it up,” Estrada said.
The Loma Pelona testing center is still in operation Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and from 1:05 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.