Marshall University’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety is partnering with Marshall Health and the Cabell-Huntington Health Department for the university’s next phase of COVID-19 testing, which will begin on the Huntington campus next Tuesday, Sept. 8, and extend through Nov. 20.
This phase—referred to as sentinel surveillance testing—means the university will be continually testing randomized cross sections of cohorts from across the campus community, including those who may have no symptoms. The goal is to help detect potentially infected individuals and to keep them from infecting others.
The sentinel surveillance testing will be conducted Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students, faculty and staff who are selected for testing will be notified by e-mail and instructed to stop by the tent on the Memorial Student Center Plaza on a specific day to be tested. Separate arrangements are being made for ongoing testing of students and employees at the university’s South Charleston and Mid-Ohio Valley Center locations.
Here is some additional information about the testing process:
- Marshall will test approximately 60 randomly selected people each weekday. The number of daily tests is based on the capacity of the lab processing the tests and to ensure quick turnaround. This randomized sentinel surveillance testing is in addition to separate testing protocols for more than 175 football players and staff, who are being tested several times each week to comply with Conference USA requirements.
- The tests will be processed with an expected turnaround for results in 24-48 hours. The baseline testing done in August as students arrived on campus had a longer turnaround; however, the university does not anticipate the same backlogs with the sentinel surveillance tests.
- All testing will be free of charge to those selected.
- Anyone selected for testing should bring their Marshall ID with them to the testing location.
- Depending on the response any given day, there may be some limited capacity for walk-up testing for those not randomly selected.
- The university’s trained contact tracers will immediately get in touch with anyone who tests positive. Tracers help arrange for the individual to isolate themselves, and will identify people with whom the patient has been in close contact so they, in turn, can be contacted. The university’s formal case management plans and operating procedures were developed in consultation with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department.
- Students and employees may be selected for testing more than once. They should come to the testing location to be tested each time they are notified.
- Summary testing data, including the number of tests done and the number of positives, will be posted on the university’s coronavirus website. The data will be updated weekly, usually on Mondays.