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Kent State University expands free COVID-19 testing as dozens of students quarantine

Rapid tests will be used, which means each participant will know their COVID-19 test results in approximately 15 minutes.

KENT, Ohio — Kent State University has announced a partnership with CVS Health to provide free COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff beginning Monday, Oct. 12. 

CVS representatives will be on Kent’s main campus weekdays through Nov. 20 to provide sample testing for various populations. The initiative will continue during the spring 2021 semester.

“Every week, about 450 randomly selected individuals will be asked to participate in this screening, which is an important prevention tool to identify potential disease spread early,” Kent State officials said in a letter that was distributed to students, faculty and staff Tuesday morning. “This strategy is consistent with the governor’s strong recommendation for institutes of higher education with a residential population to employ widespread sample testing.”

Rapid tests will be used, which means each participant will know their COVID-19 test results in approximately 15 minutes.

“Widespread sample testing is the best way to identify asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 who are unknowingly spreading the virus and putting the health of others at risk,” KSU officials said. “Knowing who has COVID-19 enables us to isolate them from others and to stem the spread of this virus on our campuses and in the communities where they are located. Therefore, it is critical that you participate in this widespread screening testing if you are asked.”

It comes as 57 people in two KSU residence halls have been told by the Kent City Health Department to quarantine until Friday, Oct. 16 due to possible COVID-19 exposure.

For those not selected for the sample screening, COVID-19 tests are available on campus at the DeWeese Health Center by calling 330-672-2322.

“It is important to understand that the more testing that takes place, the more cases of COVID-19 we will discover. 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.”

There have been 165 total cases reported at Kent State University’s main campus since July 7 – including 40 new COVID-19 infections reported for the week of Sept. 27.

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