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Kent State changes COVID-19 testing strategy

Details on the changes to Kent State University’s Covid testing protocol to keep the virus from spreading.

KENT, Ohio — Kent State University is rolling out new coronavirus testing protocols as it prepares to welcome students back to campus. 

All students who live in campus housing will have to test negative before they arrive on campus, as well as test negative the day they arrive on campus. Kent's Dean of Students, Dr. Manfred van Dulmen, says they will have long term testing as well.

“Students in the residence halls will also be tested once a week throughout the semester,” says Dr. van Dulmen.

Connor Steffen is a junior at Kent State and says the ramped-up testing makes him comfortable commuting to class on campus.

RELATED: COVID-19 in Ohio: State reports 6,701 new cases in last 24 hours

“I think it was something that was necessary especially with the spike in cases and everyone being from different places in the U.S. and seeing family over breaks and stuff,” says Steffen.

Dr. Melissa Zullo, a professor at the school, says Kent State will also have random COVID-19 testing among commuter students, faculty, and staff to monitor spread in the community.

“The random sample testing is largely for students who live off campus but are coming to campus for in-person class," says Dr. Zullo. "And it’s also for staff and faculty who work in areas where they may have a higher risk for exposure to the virus." 

RELATED: Here's how coronavirus cases have grown in Ohio each day: Timeline

Anyone who tests positive will be required to stay away from campus or isolate if they live on campus. Maddy Haberberger, a junior at Kent State, says she feels confident in the new covid protocols.

“I feel like the kids do a pretty good job of keeping up with the guidelines and stuff and when someone tests positive, the school also is pretty efficient about getting everyone into quarantine,” says Haberberger.

Today, Kent State University announced open Covid testing on January 21st and 22nd from noon to four p.m. at the Kent State Field House for students faculty, and staff, and community members.