West Virginia State University mandates COVID-19 testing for returning students, faculty


DUNBAR, WV (WOWK) A total of 1600 students are expected on campus this Fall as West Virginia State University opens its doors for business again.

But in order for students and faculty to get back into class, they have to get a COVID-19 test.

“They have the option as they come in to sign a permission slip that allows the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department to send their results directly to the university,” said West Virginia State University Interim Provost Scott Woodard.

Woodard says it’s to give everyone peace of mind this fall.

“All of that documentation is going to be housed in our office for safety compliance so that we can have ready access to know who has been tested and who has not,” he said.

Thursday was the first of two COVID-19 drive-thru testing events on campus, students approached by 13 News say they are happy to be going back to class.

“I like having that one-on-one with the professor, that’s what I really look forward to,”

Mason Burdette, Student

Meanwhile, the faculty were a little more trepidatious.

About 95 of them are expected to be on campus this fall.

“I mean I think there’s always a concern but we’re taking the necessary precautions to keep people safe; we’re testing, we have hand sanitizer, we have plexiglass,” said the university’s executive director of planned gifts, Chris Price.

“Athletic trainers have a responsibility to take care of their athletes and if we unknowingly come back, just the amount of people we’re around every day doing our jobs, it’s really important we don’t pass it on to our student-athletes,” said Heather Adams, the head athletic trainer for the WVSU football team.

The university will start classes earlier than anticipated this fall on Aug. 10, 2020, to allow for the semester to end before the Thanksgiving travel season.

West Virginia State University will hold a second free of cost COVID-19 a testing event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, July 30, 2020.

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