WSU to offer COVID-19 tests to asymptomatic students

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State University announced that it will launch its COVID-19 Voluntary Asymptomatic Surveillance Testing Program on Tuesday, October 13.

WSU officials say the voluntary program will help identify students who might be carrying coronavirus.

“We’ve always had it in the plan to eventually do this randomized asymptomatic voluntary testing, so we kind of can see what else is happening on the campus at this point,” said Heather Stafford, sssociate director of Student Health Services at WSU.

Stafford says testing will be offered to 5% of the school’s on-campus population. Students will be selected at random and will be notified via email of the availability of voluntary asymptomatic COVID-19 tests. 

“Not just housing students, but any student who happens to come to the campus for any reason,” said Stafford. “They just need to come to student health services and pick up a kit and continue through the process that way.”

After students return the saliva specimen, the sample will be sent out to a clinical reference laboratory(CRL) in Topeka, Kan., or the Wichita State University Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory.

Stafford says students will receive their results within 24 to 48 hours of taking the test.

“The students will get their results by phone, through text message,” said Stafford.

WSU officials say testing for asymptomatic carriers has always been a part of the school’s response plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“This is giving us an idea of how many asymptomatic individuals we do have on campus,” said Stafford.

Stafford says the test kits is funded by the SPARK relief fund.

She says the voluntary randomized tests are only offered to students at this time but hopes it will become available to faculty and staff in the near future.

For more information about the new program, click here.

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