Due to high vaccination rates among students and employees, WVU updated its COVID-19 testing strategy at the end of the fall term, moving away from spring return-to-campus testing. Instead of sample/surveillance testing during the spring semester, the University made a free rapid, at-home test available to every on-site and hybrid student and employee and is continuing to partner with the Monongalia County Health Department, with testing available multiple times a week at the WVU Rec Center. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance for COVID-19 isolation, quarantine and testing protocols.
There is also an increased push for the availability of more rapid, at-home testing. The federal government has launched its website to sign up for free Covid-19 tests, allowing people to order a maximum of four tests shipped directly to their household.
As a result of these changes, the University initially planned to focus on vaccination rate information for the public dashboard this spring as they would be the most comprehensive and relevant to current public health conditions at this stage of the pandemic.
However, to provide continued transparency with the campus and surrounding communities and after requests from some students, faculty and staff to include positive test results and isolation information, the University will share these data via the dashboard.
“Although WVU has decided to once again include certain data points related to COVID-19 testing in its public dashboard, this information should be taken in context,” said Dr. Carmen Burrell, medical director of WVU Medicine Student Health and Urgent Care. “The testing data the University currently captures does not account for self-tests, surveillance or sample testing — it primarily compromises symptomatic individuals and those considered close contacts to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. As such, positivity rates may appear artificially inflated since the overall number of tests we are administering to potentially healthy individuals this semester is much lower.”
Testing data for Jan. 10-14 will be updated by the end of this week. Beginning next week, testing data representing the Morgantown campus will be updated daily (M-F). Isolation information will be updated each Wednesday at 2 p.m. starting next week.
Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 2, the dashboard will be updated on a biweekly basis to report the current vaccination verification rates for all campuses.
As a reminder, the University strongly encourages, but does not require, everyone to stay optimally protected against COVID-19 by getting their primary vaccine series and staying up to date with a booster dose if they are eligible to receive one. Vaccines continue to be readily available.
Those on the Health Sciences Campus involved in patient care, including residents, fellows and students, are required to follow separate WVU Health System or other clinical provider’s policies, including those related to COVID-19 such as masks, PPE and vaccinations.
All students, faculty and staff who are on campus should take one of the following actions to verify their vaccine status with the University prior to Friday, Jan. 28:
- Students, faculty and staff who already have verified their vaccination status for their primary vaccine series and have received a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should visit the Vaccine Verification System and enter details on their booster via StarRez (WVU’s housing portal) at myhousing.wvu.edu. Follow these instructions to complete the process.
- Students, faculty and staff who have not yet verified their vaccination status with the University for any COVID-19 vaccine are asked to do so by visiting myhousing.wvu.edu and following these instructions. A video tutorial also is available.
The Monongalia County Health Department holds free COVID-19 community testing at the WVU Student Rec Center.
All WVU community members are required to report if they are quarantining due to suspected or known exposure to COVID-19. Morgantown students and employees should report their positive results to CareServices@mail.wvu.edu.
Questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine verification process should be directed to WVU Shared Services at 304-293-6006 or SharedServices@mail.wvu.edu. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any general questions.
Editor's Note: Quarantine data is currently unavailable due to changes in the University’s contact tracing protocols. In most instances, the primary responsibility for contact tracing has been transferred to the individual who has a positive test result, and they are asked to notify close contacts of possible exposure.
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