K-State begins randomly testing students for coronavirus

Local News

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas State University students began their second week of classes on Monday, and campus was fairly busy.

But in the midst of the pandemic, many of the students were wearing masks and social distancing. The university is also taking extra steps to keep its students safe.

“Right now, I only have a few in-person classes and they’ve been really great,” said K-State freshman Brannan Vail. “They go over our tables to keep us sanitized and they have us all spaced apart.”

While there have been a handful of student coronavirus cases, officials said they are pleased with the low numbers and the students for following the health and safety mandates.

To ensure it stays that way, the university has begun testing 10% of students living in on-campus residence halls and apartments.

“That gives us a sense, at a week-to-week basis, how much potential spread of the virus do we have,” said Dr. Kyle Goerl, the medical director for K-State’s Lafene Health Center. “That allows us to gauge kind of what we’re doing with those students and what we’re doing on campus.”

Around 275 students will be randomly chosen every week, and it is up to them as to whether they would like to take the test or not.

“We’re relying on folks making this a priority for the health and safety of the campus to participate in,” Goerl said.

This comes after thirteen members of a K-State fraternity tested positive for coronavirus a day before the start of classes.

For now, the random testing does not apply to fraternities as they are considered off-campus.

“I feel like it’s a good idea, just to make sure it’s not getting out of hand,” said K-State freshman Maddy McLaughlan.

The university is testing any faculty member who requests them, even if they do not have symptoms. These tests are done using a nasal swab in which the person being tested does themselves. The swab does not go as deep as other swabs, and is more comfortable and quick, Goerl said.

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