In response to a mandate by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, Fairmont State University launched its spring semester COVID-19 surveillance testing program on Tuesday, February 2. Through the end of the spring semester, stratified samples will be selected within the on-campus student population for testing on a weekly basis.
Saliva-based tests were self-administered by students between Monday, February 8 and Wednesday, February 10, identifying 10 positive cases. The testing group comprised of 10 percent of the on-campus student population, including students residing on campus, attending in-person instruction or using campus facilities throughout the spring semester.
Students are selected and tested for COVID-19, regardless of a known exposure. The random selection method enables the University to make inferences about the level of spread within the campus population and identify asymptomatic cases for quarantine.
The surveillance testing initiative is part of the University’s multi-pronged strategy to mitigate and monitor the spread of COVID-19. The purpose of this testing program is to allow the University to monitor and address real-time trends and prevalence and make timely decisions on intervention and response.
Fairmont State has moved quickly in distributing all COVID-19 vaccines provided by the state, and will continue to administer doses as they become available. The University recognizes providing vaccinations to the campus community is essential to slow the spread of the coronavirus and fight the ongoing pandemic. As of Friday, February 12, the University has administered 375 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and 88 individuals have been fully vaccinated.
In addition to vaccine distribution, other efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 will continue on campus including practicing proper hand hygiene, social distancing, masking and more. These safety measures will be required of all students and employees until further notice.
The University COVID task force will continue to process COVID test results as they are received and actively monitor all cases on campus with the assistance of the Marion County Health Department. Individuals testing positive during both on and off-campus testing continue to be quarantined. As requested, the University will continue to work with the Marion County Health Department to complete investigations and contact tracing for positive cases connected with Fairmont State.
Test results and vaccination doses distributed will be shared on the University’s Coronavirus Dashboard. To learn more about Fairmont State surveillance testing processes, visit fairmontstate.edu/coronavirus/surveillance-testing-program.