All students who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine are to be tested weekly due to a newly established policy.
In an alert sent to all Marshall students via the University’s Communications Announcement email, among other request for personal COVID-19 and vaccine-related information, a new policy requiring all unvaccinated students to be tested weekly has been introduced.
All University-collected research helps determine whether the Marshall community has reached herd immunity: the condition when most of a body of people are immune to a particular disease, leaving those who are unprotected in the body to be safe. The University’s definition of herd immunity requires 70% or more of campus to be vaccinated.
Punishment for refusing to submit weekly tests include “progressive discipline through the Student Code of Conduct, up to and including suspension,” according to the alert.
In the face of talks regarding vaccine mandates around the country, President Gilbert reassures that he does not plan on mandating vaccines like masks are mandated.
“I don’t think a vaccine mandate would go over very well in this state,” Gilbert said.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has found that there have been over 200,000 coronavirus cases in the state of West Virginia, with nearly 23,000 current active cases.
Marshall University’s decision to perform weekly tests on students without the COVID-19 vaccine is met with praise by some, but criticism from others.
Sarah Maddox, a vaccinated freshman, said she trusts doctors and professionals when it comes to encouraging higher student vaccinations.
Nick Maynard, a vaccinated freshman, said he has mixed feelings. “They [students] should be getting tested, but they shouldn’t be forced to get tested,” Maynard said.
“I’m vaccinated so it doesn’t affect me, but I would hate it if I wasn’t vaccinated, I wouldn’t be happy,” said Kyra Romine, a senior. “I know some people have specific reasons that they haven’t been vaccinated, like heath concerns.”
“I feel like it’s important to make sure that everybody gets checked to make sure they don’t have COVID,” said Makayla Welch, a soon-to-be vaccinated freshman. “I think they’re just trying to make sure that we don’t go back into lockdown.”