UPDATE: (08/05/2020 5:40 p.m.)
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – On Monday, West Virginia University announced that it has launched a new online dashboard to track and compile COVID-19 information collected during testing across the WVU System.
A press release from the university stated that as part of WVU’s commitment to protecting the safety and well-being of its campuses and surrounding communities, the dashboard will be updated Monday-Friday by 11 a.m. WVU officials said the dashboard will include information regarding students and employees broken up by campus. Updates will also be provided by the university on the WVU Safety social media accounts.
Officials said that in addition, WVU will share trends and other COVID-19-related updates with the public each week, or as necessary via WVUToday.
The release stated that mandatory COVID-19 testing is currently underway for students and employees returning to WVU’s campus this fall. So far, hundreds of students and staff have been tested, with a less than 1/10th positive rate among employees and a less than one percent rate among students. This is according to WVU’s Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Rob Alsop, who said data for the Morgantown campus is available online.
Alsop said it was important for WVU to be transparent about the testing data because they want students and employees to know what’s going on in the environment that they are going to be living and working in.
Additionally, parents want to know, the community that we’re living in Morgantown wants to know what’s going on. But it can also have a potential positive impact for the virus itself, so if we see rates start going up everybody can know and be looking at those to whether we need to take additional measures. We think the more information, the more we communicate about what’s going on the better we’ll be able to deal with the virusRob Alsop – VP for Strategic Initiatives
Initially, Alsop said, there were a lot of questions about why testing was being required, but because WVU answered those questions thoroughly, students and employees have come around to the idea.
“The student and employee response as far as the testing process and getting a response at this point in time has been really great,” Alsop said. “Our students have been very courteous and considerate going through the process, they have been wearing their masks and the same thing for our faculty and staff. It’s been really a good thing at the university from a number of perspectives.”
The release stated that all WVU community members in Morgantown are required to report if they test positive for COVID-19, or if they are self-quarantining due to suspected or known exposure to the virus. Officials said that students should notify the WVU CARE Team and employees should notify WVU Medical Management. In addition, Alsop said, the Monongalia County Health Department will work with them to do contact tracing.
COVID-19 testing has not yet begun at WVU Potomac State College in Keyser or WVU Institute of Technology in Beckley, according to the release.
Additional information and COVID-19 updates can be found on WVU’s Return to Campus website.