WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Sept. 30, 2020 — As of today, West Liberty University has no active cases of the coronavirus, according to the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department.
WLU has recorded a cumulative number of 27 student and 2 faculty cases since July. All of these individuals have recovered, according to the Health Department.
COVID-19 surveillance testing for all colleges and universities will start soon and will go on for the remainder of the semester, according to information received in a Sept. 24 letter from Dr. Ayne Amjad, State Health Officer and Commissioner. (See letter here.)
The state is providing the resources for these tests and the lab analysis.
“The goal is to test everyone on campus one more time this semester and the Governor has requested that we test 10 percent of our campus population weekly. This surveillance testing is part of mitigation efforts to keep campuses and communities safe and we are pleased to comply,” said Dr. Stephen Greiner, WLU president.
The test is a saliva PCR test from Vault Health and was developed by Rutgers University. Participants must refrain from eating, drinking, chewing gum, brushing teeth, smoking and vaping for at least 30 minutes prior to the saliva collection.
All students, both residential and commuters, employees and contract workers will be tested.
Because this is a random testing system, students and employees will received more information soon via email. The test process should take about 10-15 minutes and results should be returned in 24 – 48 hours.
This surveillance testing follows an initial baseline testing at the request of Gov. Jim Justice that took place on campus in August as students returned for fall classes. The baseline testing also included all students and employees.
Campus cleaning and sanitation is in place to disinfect areas according to the best practices of the CDC, state and regional health officials. According to these health officials, the best prevention of COVID-19 spread is wearing face masks, social distancing and good hand hygiene and WLU encourages all students, employees and visitors to remain vigilant in these habits.
The university began fall classes Aug. 15 with a combination of face-to-face, hybrid and online courses. The semester will end early with students going home for Thanksgiving break on Nov. 24 and not returning to campus afterwards. Virtual exams will be held from Nov. 28 – Dec. 4 to finish out the semester.