SHS shuts down Tranquada COVID testing site

SHS closed Tranquada testing center on January 31st, 2023, marking a total shift to vending machine testing at the Claremont Colleges. (Chase Wade • The Student Life)

After serving the Claremont Colleges’ COVID-19 testing needs for almost 18 months, Student Health Services’ (SHS) Tranquada Center discontinued in-person testing this Wednesday, officials across the consortium announced in emails to students and faculty this week.  

At the Tranquada Testing Center, located on the first floor of the SHS building, students were able to take COVID tests on-site. SHS sent them their results via text and email within 48 hours of their test.

Students now have access to testing through the six COVID-19 vending machines located across campus.

Laura Muna-Landa, assistant vice president of communications and community relations for The Claremont Colleges Services (TCCS), told TSL that the decision to move testing exclusively to vending machines was made by “various consortial committees based on medical advice provided by Student Health Services medical providers.”

Muna-Landa also shared that TCCS does not expect the shift to exclusively vending machines to have any “significant impact” across the colleges.

Since the vending machines were installed in August 2022, she expressed confidence in continued “consistent, reliable utilization” of them. 

SHS has assigned temporary staff members to assist in the transition away from in-person testing for the remainder of the semester. These staff members have been directed to be nearby the vending machine locations for assistance. 

Annika Lindberg SC ’26 feared that the change will cause more confusion than clarity for 5C students.

“For me, the [SHS] testing site is the most accessible place to get tested because it’s really fast and it’s right in the middle of campus,” Lindberg said. 

When Lindberg tried to use the vending machine located in Scripps College’s 240 House to take a COVID-19 test last semester, she was unable to register her test with SHS due to technical difficulties.

“It’s a confusing interface on the website the [QR code] takes you to,” Lindberg said. “I just gave up and went to the Tranquada testing site”

Lindberg believes SHS closing its only in-person testing location will cause a decrease in the number of students choosing to test.

“The SHS center was so well publicized, and it was located in the health center, which was very common sense,” Lindberg said.

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