New Semester at WIU Begins with COVID Tests
With help from a lab in Kansas City, Western Illinois University will test everyone on both campuses for COVID-19.
Interim President Martin Abraham says 1,000 students living in residence halls were tested last weekend before classes began this week, and the goal is to check all 9,000 students, faculty, and staff by early next week.
"If we can find positive cases now, then we know to keep those students isolated and so they won't infect other people here on campus."
Students who test positive for the virus can choose between being isolated at home or stay on campus and move into a special residence hall.
"Students get a case manager which is a staff person that looks after their needs, is available for them on a 24-hour basis, and supports them in terms of making sure they can get their class materials they need in order to do their work - all of those things are taken care of."
The university website includes daily updates of the COVID-19 test results and other information (http://www.wiu.edu/covid-dashboard/).
Doctor Abraham says Western Illinois University has hired another lab that will do 500 tests per week as the semester goes on, using a sample of student, faculty, and staff.