Kent State Expands COVID-19 Testing

Dear Kent State University Students, Faculty and Staff,

As part of our ongoing COVID-19 mitigation strategy, Kent State has partnered with CVS Health to provide free testing for all students, faculty and staff starting Oct. 12 and continuing through the spring semester. This testing is for both those who have symptoms and those who do not show symptoms (asymptomatic). This testing also does not require previous authorization from a physician.

By Oct. 12, representatives from CVS will be on the Kent Campus weekdays until Nov. 20 — and again during the spring semester — to provide sample testing for selected populations who have a significant presence on campus, including students living in residence halls and those taking in-person classes. 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. 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 testing will be used, and participants will know their results in about 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. 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.

In addition, testing will be available anywhere in the United States at CVS Minute Clinics that conduct COVID-19 testing, which means all members of our community, including those on our Regional Campuses or those living or traveling out of state, will have easy access to testing.

The CVS partnership is just the newest opportunity for testing for members of the Kent State community. In addition to testing at any CVS location in the country and the widespread screening testing on the Kent Campus, there are several other testing tools we are using:

  • Tests for COVID-19 are administered weekdays at the DeWeese Health Center on our Kent Campus. Anyone can arrange for a test by calling 330-672-2322. Tests are available at the DeWeese Health Center for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.
  • The university recently partnered with the city of Kent to host the Ohio Pandemic Testing Team, staffed by medics from the Ohio National Guard, which tested hundreds of students last Friday on the Kent Campus. This state testing team will be back in Kent on Oct. 18 to offer free testing for all members of the community.

Our COVID-19 testing page offers additional information about these various opportunities.

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.

For those who test negative, please know that your status can change in a day, so getting tested often is key to keeping your status current. Flashes Unite – Do What’s Right! Get tested now and often to keep our Kent State community safe and healthy.

Of course, the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid any gatherings and to vigilantly practice the Flashes Safe Seven safety principles, which include wearing a face covering, following safe distancing and practicing good hand hygiene.

With so many free testing opportunities available, there is no reason not to protect yourself and others and to demonstrate how Flashes Take Care of Flashes.

Sincerely,

Manfred van Dulmen, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Interim Dean for Graduate Studies
Chair, Pandemic Leadership Committee

POSTED: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 10:55am
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 11:12am
WRITTEN BY:
Manfred van Dulmen, Ph.D. Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs