August 19, 2021
To prevent big Covid-19 outbreaks this fall, colleges should conduct surveillance testing of community members who aren’t vaccinated, according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. West Virginia University’s return-to-campus plan does just that: Students, staff, and faculty must either upload proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test, taken within 48 hours of arriving on campus.
The deadline is this Friday. In a statement on Tuesday — one day before classes started — the university posted that more than 8,500 campus community members had fulfilled neither entry requirement. “We are hopeful that by the Friday deadline of 3 o’clock, which has been in place for a while, that that number will come down significantly,” said Rob Alsop, vice president for strategic initiatives.
And if it does not? “I think this is one of the really under-discussed parts of all this,” said R. Scott Crichlow, an associate professor of political science and chair of the faculty welfare committee in the Faculty Senate. “What do you do if a very large number of people just simply do not comply?”