LIZ ANASTASIADIS, Editor-in-Chief — After many requests from students for more social interaction in dorm rooms on campus, that request is now being considered after all students are tested for COVID-19.
On the evening of Thursday, September 17, University President Adam Weinberg sent out a community update about allowing up to two students to visit rooms from the same residence hall as long as physical distancing can be maintained. No overnight guests would be allowed and masks are required inside the dorms at all times.
According to the email, every student living on campus will be tested for COVID-19 following a phased approach by class year. This Sunday, September 20, every first-year student will be tested by taking a saliva test developed by Vault Health in the presence of a trained staff member. The tests will be shipped to the Vault lab for processing and the school will receive results within 48 – 72 hours. Denison will be paying for the testing, according to Weinberg. First-year students will receive an email from Student Development on September 18 with testing details.
If the rate of positive COVID is low, the school will then allow first-year students to socialize in each others residential halls rooms via Denison’s guidelines.
“Guidelines will be strictly enforced and students found breaking them will lose on-campus privileges and will have to finish the semester remotely,” Weinberg said in the email.
The email did not mention dates when upperclassmen would begin to be tested, nor the days when campus guests would be allowed to officially go in each other’s rooms for those class years. Those dates will be dependent on the results of the first-years tests.
Denison will continue weekly signal testing every Monday using the OSU tests and labs in addition to the Vault testing. The campus will also continue to limit travel outside of Granville.
For more information, see Reopen Denison’s page “In-Room Guest Policy and Testing Rollout.”
EDITORS’ NOTE: This is a developing story. The Denisonian will follow up with any updates.