CLEVELAND, Ohio — Kent State University will ask 450 random students to be tested for coronavirus each week, and partner with CVS on free testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic students.
The university’s Kent campus reported 40 new cases for the week of Sept. 27, according to the most recent numbers from an online dashboard, with 165 total cases since Sept. 7. More than 40 students were recently asked to quarantine because of cases found in two residence halls.
Quarantining does not mean that the students were diagnosed with coronavirus, but rather that students may have been exposed. The students are quarantining in separate sections of residence halls.
Cases found at the university contributed to Portage County moving into the “red” category on the state’s coronavirus risk forecast system, or the second-highest level on Sept. 17. KSU and the county both asked students to avoid parties and social gatherings to help halt the spread.
Portage dropped back to Level 2, or “orange,” on Sept. 24, but KSU is continuing to ask students to follow guidelines and keeping enhanced safety precautions in place, like restricting residence hall visitors and keeping dining halls take-out only.
Free testing through CVS for faculty, students and staff begins Oct. 12. Free testing is also available through the campus health center.
The random sampling of students is in line with state guidance which recommended universities set up a system for testing asymptomatic students, to gather more information about the virus’s presence on campus.
“It is important to understand that the more testing that takes place, the more cases of COVID-19 we will discover,” a letter posted on KSU’s website reads.
“We are prepared for this expected increase in cases and believe that knowing who has COVID-19 is the best way to stop the spread of this virus by acting to isolate those who test positive and to quarantine their close contacts. We are working closely with the city of Kent and the Ohio Department of Health to coordinate our efforts and further enhance our testing capacity.”
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