City College COVID-19 test site welcomes students back

The campus testing location at City is ready for athletes and a phased-in return of students and staff to campus

A hand holds an empty plastic vial.

Medical assistant Eric Vazquez holds an empty vial ready for a COVID-19 swab at the City College testing location. Photo by Kathy Archibald/City Times Media

Kathy Archibald, Multimedia Journalist

City College’s COVID-19 testing site is ramping up as students return to campus this spring, according to Eric Vazquez, a medical assistant with Biocept.

Biocept contracts with the San Diego Community College District to offer free testing at City in room M-205/206 on Mondays and Wednesdays, according to the district website. 

The site will also be testing student-athletes regularly — a change from last semester, Vazquez said.

By 3 p.m. on Feb. 2, approximately 60 samples had been collected so far that day, Vazquez said. A group of nursing students had come in that morning to be tested, though the site was quieter by afternoon.

Starting this semester unvaccinated students will only be allowed to take classes online, ensuring classrooms will be limited to vaccinated students.

However, unvaccinated student-athletes will be allowed to participate in practices or games as long as they comply with more frequent testing requirements, women’s cross country coach Marco Anzures said.

“If you’re part of the athletic staff or you interact with any of the athletes or any of the athletic administration, you have to get COVID testing weekly,” City badminton coach Darby Duprat said.

On the busiest day this semester — which officially began last week — staff swabbed close to 200 tests and are planning for more as students are allowed back to campus, Vazquez said.

Whereas last semester the campus testing site expected about 25% capacity, reflecting the on-campus student population, this year Vazquez said he expects closer to 75% capacity.

Though he is not coaching this semester, Anzures stopped by the campus testing site just to be safe. 

“It’s free, and I have a small son at home, and I’m really the only one who goes out in the community,” Anzures said.

Duprat said she is looking forward to coming back to campus because it can be difficult to interact with or recruit students online.

“I’m just hoping to see more students,” she said.