COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced an expansion of coronavirus testing protocol for Ohio’s colleges and universities. He made the announcement during Thursday’s coronavirus briefing.
“All our residential colleges and universities must ensure that they’re regularly testing a sample population of their students,” Gov. DeWine said. “We want to make sure they’re testing students who do not have symptoms, so a random sample of their students. Screening students who do not have symptoms really gives college presidents and their team a real look at what’s happening on their campus.”
DeWine said the state is leaving it up to individual schools as to what population it tests every week, but recommends a minimum of three percent.
“Some of the universities and colleges are already doing what we are now strongly recommending everybody do,” DeWine said.
Gov. DeWine also gave an update on COVID-19 positivity rates on various colleges and universities in Ohio.
Ohio State University
At the beginning of September, the positivity rate was six percent and the university was averaging around 150 positive cases a day.
This week with the same level of testing, OSU’s positivity rate was around two percent with less than 70 new cases a day.
“Testing has allowed them to isolate positive cases, effectively conduct contact testing and reduce the spread,” DeWine said.
University of Dayton
At the start of the semester, the University of Dayton tested all 9,000 incoming students with a positivity rate of 1.2 percent.
“After the kids cam back to campus, we saw some outbreaks and the school has worked tirelessely to limit that,” DeWine said.
DeWine said the positivity rate was down to 2.2 percent last week after being up when students first returned to campus.
At the end of August at Miami University, the positivity rate was over five percent and it was averaging approximately 100 new positive cases a day.
Miami University did the same amount of testing this week and the positivity rate is down to one percent while there are less than 20 new cases a day, which is goods news as the university started in-person learning this week. The school is testing students who live both on and off campus.