Should Stuyvesant Continue to Distribute COVID-19 Test Kits?

Students and teachers reflect on the necessity of COVID-19 test distribution.

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“I think the tests are useful and are necessary; while I don’t use them too often, I do use them whenever I have a family notification of a case in case I have [COVID-19]. I don’t want to spread [COVID-19] to any of my friends or family; I just don’t want them to get sick [especially since] I also have some immunocompromised family members.” —Alice Dan, sophomore

“[Usually], I just stuff them in my locker. I have a bunch at home, so I have a collection at home and a collection here, [and] I use them sometimes. If someone close to me tells me to test I’ll test, [but] I have too many. [The school] gives them out but no one uses them.” —Gabriella Vernik, sophomore

“On a scale of one to 10, I would give [test distribution] a 10 because I think it is absolutely necessary. Some people can’t afford to get these tests because they are sold out everywhere and are resold for a really expensive price. For the school to provide them to students who actually need them, I think not only is it beneficial for the students but it’s also showing that the school actually cares about their students.” —Karen Chen, junior

“[The tests] make me feel reassured because I know that whenever I feel sick, I can test for [COVID-19]. I use it only when I’m sick or feel sick, or I just give them to my parents. [However], I think some [students] don’t care enough to take the tests because they just don’t want to miss out on a lot of things [after testing positive].” —Madison Li, freshman

“I feel like [COVID-19] is kind of coming to an end or might become like the common cold where you get sick for a few days then recover. For my test kits, I put them away and use one every now and then.” —Kristen Chou, freshman

“I do think that [the tests are] a necessary precaution, because there is a chance that people will have to use all those tests. [COVID-19] could be spreading around the school. And so it’s important to make sure it doesn’t.” —Jacob Lukose, sophomore

“As someone that gets sick basically every three weeks, these tests are super necessary for me. However, since we’ve gotten so many [from school], I’ve been giving away the tests to charity.” —Giridhar Bonu, senior

“I definitely don’t think the threat of [COVID-19] has passed, speaking from a medical sense. I really should be taking a couple of tests and being more cautious, but I think the peak of [COVID-19] has passed. I think tests are still necessary but I think that [the administration] should tone it down to one per week. [However], I think it’s necessary and if you [don’t] use [the test], you give it to your friends, and if they don’t use it, give it to your relatives.” —Brandon Phiong, junior

“They're really helpful to me because I come from a pretty big family, and my siblings, who go to [different] schools, don’t get them. So, if we didn’t give out [COVID-19] tests so frequently, I wouldn’t have them. People are treating [COVID-19] as if it’s a thing of the past, [and] while it’s not as serious as it was during the first waves, it’s basically endemic now, so people shouldn’t keep it out of their mind entirely.” —Lillian Hu, senior

“Technically, no, I don’t think it is [necessary]. But it’s a safe enough reminder [that] this thing is still prevalent. In theory, [COVID-19 tests are] not actually necessary, [but] in practice, it’s just a healthy reminder.” —Fishan Chowdhury, junior


In order to further investigate this question, The Spectator conducted a survey with 129 respondents, in which an overwhelming 67.4 percent agreed that Stuyvesant should continue to give out COVID tests. However, fewer respondents seem to be consistently using the tests, with only 45.7 percent testing if exposed to COVID-19. Additionally, 58.9 percent of respondents have tested less recently than within the past month. Instead of using the tests, many students seem to gain comfort from storing them, with 26.4 percent of respondents keeping them in their locker and 19.4 percent storing them at home. Ultimately, the consensus for many students seems to be that the tests are useful, but are given in excess. “Since [the tests] are given so often, it is wasting school funding [as] the tests are often trashed or never used,” one survey respondent said.

Note: Some of survey responses displayed on the following graphs have been edited so as to minimize write-in responses.