University Begins Operation of COVID-19 Shuttle

University Begins Operation of COVID-19 Shuttle

The university announced on Jan. 13 that they would be providing a shuttle from the university to local COVID-19 testing and booster sites. According to the memo, students can be driven to any clinic within 15 minutes from the university and must schedule an appointment in advance. Furthermore, it is advised to call the shuttle for pick-up. The shuttle operates until 2:45 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 4:15 on Thursdays and Fridays.

Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, the university implemented a series of “enhanced safety protocols” until Feb. 1. The new policies included mandatory testing before and after students returned to campus.

The testing center has urged students to make an appointment. However, over the past few weeks, they have allowed walk-in appointments to accommodate demand.

Nonetheless, the change in COVID-19 protocols left many students unable or struggling to get tested in time to return to campus safely.

The Redlands Bulldog reached out to the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Ken Grcich, for comment. “The shuttle service provided Tuesday-Friday is currently being offered to provide transportation to students who make an appointment to get a PCR test or receive a booster within the Redlands community,” he stated.

Furthermore, Grcich noted that, “The free shuttle is offered as a means of convenience for students who become eligible for a booster or were not able to secure a COVID test appointment on campus.”

In May 2021, the university piloted a vaccine clinic for the first doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, with the clinic operating until October. Since students’ return to campus, this clinic has since been discontinued.

However, with the rise of the Omicron variant and the recently announced booster requirement for all students and staff of the university, the need for booster shots has skyrocketed and students are having to look elsewhere for their appointments.

Photo contributed by Bulldog photographer Kyle Eaton.