COVID test required for Wittenberg, but not Clark State students on return for spring semester

Olivia Washington, a sophomore at Wittenberg University, carries pet fish into dorm room as she moves back onto campus Thursday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Olivia Washington, a sophomore at Wittenberg University, carries pet fish into dorm room as she moves back onto campus Thursday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Wittenberg University students will be required to take a coronavirus test as they return to campus for the start of spring semester.

“We are taking these steps with the safety of the entire university community in mind, and especially to mitigate the number of people infected with COVID-19 introduced to campus,” The COVID Response Team said in an email to students.

New students moved in on Wednesday. Returning students were scheduled to will arrive Thursday through Sunday, with 200 students scheduled to move in each day. All student returns are by appointment only.

All students are required to take a COVID-19 test as they return to campus at a mass testing event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Pam Evans Smith Arena in the Health, Wellness and Athletics Complex. Results can be expected within two to four days.

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“Students avoiding the university’s COVID-19 test or repeatedly violating campus health and safety expectations are subject to university discipline and sanctions that may include a fine, being barred from coming to campus to take classes and may result in suspension for the semester,” the COVID Response Team stated.

If students have tested at home or off-campus and can provide proof that the test was completed within 48 hours of campus arrival or have tested positive within 90 days and the test was conducted at the university or the Dean of Students office has received proof of test results, they are exempt from the mass testing.

If a students’ results come back positive or they are determined to be in close contact of someone with COVID-19, they’ll be expected to isolate or quarantine for a time based off recommendations from the health district and the response team, according to the university.

“As we did last semester, we are prepared to quarantine or isolate students who test positive consistent with CDC and ODH guidelines. We have also asked all students, faculty and staff to self-quarantine prior to returning, which we believe will help slow the spread of transmission on our campus,” said Casey Gill, Vice President for Student Development, Dean of Students, and co-chair of the COVID Response Team.

“If a student tests positive, we will implement our isolation plans and cleaning protocol for spaces that the student occupied,” Gill added.

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Students testing negative are asked not to return home or leave campus for an extended period of time, the response team stated.

Clark State College students will also return to class for the spring semester on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Classes will continue to be held either online, in-person or hybrid for the spring.

Dr. Matt Franz, Senior Vice President of Technology, Safety and Strategic Initiatives, said students returning to school will not be required to test for COVID-19.

“At this time, Clark State will not require the COVID-19 vaccine for students and employees,” Franz said. “In certain instances, specific programs with clinical requirements, such as nursing, may require specific vaccinations in order to work within their facility.”

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