Student Athletes – Covid Testing


Google Images under the Creative Commons License

West Liberty University has started testing a sports team a week for COVID.

West Liberty’s student athletes have started getting regularly tested for COVID-19 on campus. Once a week, a random selection of athletes, across all sports, have been tested for COVID-19 in Blatnik Gym.
The push for more campus testing comes after an initiative set out by the NCAA in late July followed by a recent requirement from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services. Student testing began with athletes on Tuesday Oct. 5 and was repeated a week later on Oct. 12.. “Right now the Governor and WVHEPC have committed to testing 10% of all students on campus weekly. The decision to test athletes first was due to how easily student athletes can be mobilized and scheduled for testing. The first two weeks allowed for building logistics for the next five weeks,” said Jerry Duncan, Head Athletic Trainer at WLU.
In the first two weeks around 500 student athletes received COVID-19 tests across all sports teams. All involved took the saliva-based (spit) test. Those being tested were required to fill a small tube with saliva which was then sent to a lab for testing. As the testing expands beyond the student athlete population, the same test format will be carried out.
Part of the push to get testing underway for student athletes was to allow the potential for athletes to train without having to wear a mask. “With the ability to surveillance test athletes, we will be meeting NCAA guidelines for responsible training activities,” said Duncan. WLU sports teams started to participate in practice without masks while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines both before and after practice and while taking breaks.
Organizing the testing has not been an easy operation with players being relied upon to show up within the designated window to get their test carried. “It’s not in my top ten favorite tasks,” said Duncan. With only 10-15 staff working each test day, it is difficult to run effectively but so far the team in charge have coped well in ensuring people get tested quickly and efficiently. Duncan said “I think that every student on campus should vote for Nurse Christy Bennington as staff member of the year. This has been no picnic for me and others like Marcella Snyder since March, but this has been an especially daunting task for Christy.”
Make sure you attend your covid test on the dates specified to keep the campus as safe and risk free as possible. For more information regarding sports, please visit