Indiana Daily Student

IU uses Franklin Hall for COVID-19 testing without input from The Media School dean

<p>Signs direct students where to go for mitigation testing Thursday outside of Franklin Hall. The decision to put testing in Presidents Hallwas made without the knowledge of the dean of The Media School, James Shanahan.</p>

Signs direct students where to go for mitigation testing Thursday outside of Franklin Hall. The decision to put testing in Presidents Hallwas made without the knowledge of the dean of The Media School, James Shanahan.

Franklin Hall is currently being used to test students for COVID-19, however, James Shanahan, dean of The Media School, was not aware of the decision to use the academic facility until Monday.Testing began Wednesday in Presidents Hall.

Doug Booher, executive director of university events, said in an email that Shanahan was not consulted because the COVID-19 response unit had to quickly establish a space for testing, and Presidents Hall is not a resource exclusive to The Media School.

“Presidents Hall is operated independently from The Media School and is a university-wide resource,” Booher said. 

Booher said Presidents Hall’s availability, space and multiple entrances and exits allow for social distancing and the capacity to meet testing requirements.

Shanahan began to receive emails from faculty and staff Wednesday.

“Faculty and staff were concerned,” Shanahan said. “So I offered to staff and faculty to send me their concerns so I would know what they were and that I can share them with the administration.”

Concerns were generally about a possible increased risk for the spread of COVID-19. A high number of individuals will be walking in for testing in a facility where face-to-face teaching is already going on, Shanahan said.

Shanahan said swift action was necessary to establish testing, but he has expressed concern about the safety of the site.

“I think I and other faculty are concerned with the flow of people into an academic building,” Shanahan said. “It’s a natural concern with possible exposure to the virus.”

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