Sentinel surveillance testing for COVID-19 begins this week

The university’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety is partnering with Marshall Health and the Cabell-Huntington Health Department for the next phase of COVID-19 testing, which began on the Huntington campus on Sept. 8 and will continue 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 randomly selected for testing will be notified via e-mail and instructed to stop by the tent on the Memorial Student Center Plaza on a specific day to be tested. Separate arrangements will be made for ongoing testing of students and employees at the university’s South Charleston and Mid-Ohio Valley Center locations.
It is very important that you be tested if you are selected. The more people who are tested, the better opportunity there is to stop outbreaks of COVID-19 on our campus.
Here is some additional information about the process:
  • The goal is to 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, a backlog is not anticipated with these sentinel surveillance tests.
  • All testing will be free of charge to those selected.
  • If you are selected for testing, please bring your Marshall ID with you 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. Formal case management plans and operating procedures were developed in consultation with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department.
  • Testing information is regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and will be kept confidential.
  • You may be selected for testing more than once. If so, please come to the testing location to be tested each time you 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.
  • Employees will be provided release time to be tested during work hours and are not required to use meal or break periods.
If you have questions about the sentinel surveillance testing process, please contact
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance as we all work together to keep Marshall University safe.