WVU officials report a smooth first day of COVID testing for students

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The first day of COVID-19 testing for WVU faculty, staff and students was held Monday at the Rec Center, Mountainlair and The Erickson Alumni Center.

Vice president of strategic initiatives Rob Alsop told WAJR news 1636 students were tested at all three sites Monday.

“Faculty and staff, from the time they enter the test site to when they leaves has been around five minutes,”Alsop said,”The testing site opened for students Monday and I think we tested over 1600 and I think the average wait time was three to five minutes.”

Faculty and staff began testing on Monday, July 20 and batches of those results are beginning to come back the university and employees.

“With respect to our faculty and staff, we’re starting to get those test results back and we’re really not seeing a lot of positives,” Alsop said,”We’re having a very low rate, we’ll confirm the exact numbers later, but it’s well under 1 percent or even .5 percent are positive.”

WVU has a contract with Quest Diagnostics to process the tests. University officials have worked with Quest Diagnostics to understand the lab capacity, so reasonable and reliable turnaround times could be determined. Alsop says the current time from test to result is three to four days.

“We obviously know the longer it takes to get the test back, the less effective doing the test is,” Alsop said,”That’s something we’re closely monitoring to see what other things we can do to try to improve it.”

Testing for students will continue until August 18 and the last day for staff and faculty will be August 8.

Alsop has praise for state and local leaders and the group response the recent spike in COVID-19 numbers in Mon County.

“Everybody came to the conclusion that we needed to pivot a little bit and have a slower return to campus,” Alsop said,”I know it’s not a perfect solution, some people will be irritated, but we think it’s the right move, the right move for Morgantown.”