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CORONAVIRUS: Emporia State begins voluntary testing of on-campus students Featured

By September 16, 2020 226
CORONAVIRUS: Emporia State begins voluntary testing of on-campus students KVOE News file photo

Emporia State is now underway with the first of three so-called COVID-19 surveillance testing periods for on-campus students.

Vice President for Student Affairs Jim Williams says the voluntary testing is part of the university's overall response to COVID-19.

Williams says the surveillance tests are done randomly. About 4,000 students will be "invited" to participate all told, with 1,000 asked to be involved for this first round of testing. Students will submit a saliva sample and results should be available within 48 hours.

The goal is to test at between 350 to 450 students per round and start determining how prevalent the virus is on campus. That information will help monitor data changes and help with decision-making as the semester continues. Williams says ESU tracks several data points to gauge its overall response, including disease spread -- which is where these tests come in handy.

At last word, Emporia State had 46 confirmed positive cases since the fall semester began a month ago. Close to 450 students had been tested as of late last week. Athletic activities had to largely shut down as a precautionary measure after a small cluster developed, but teams were allowed to get back to work by Monday.

The current testing period ends Thursday. Upcoming test periods are Oct. 7-8 and Oct. 28-29.

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