Ohio Pandemic Testing Team to visit campus for free COVID-19 testing

This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like. 

Kent State and the city of Kent partnered with the state of Ohio to bring the Ohio Pandemic Testing Team to campus, the university announced in an email Wednesday. A team of medics from the Ohio National Guard will conduct free testing for a selected, higher-risk student population on the Kent campus. 

Testing will be conducted on Oct. 2 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Center for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, which is located at 350 S. Lincoln St. in Kent.

Every student in the Clark Hall and Centennial Court A residence halls, where there have been positive cases and ongoing quarantines, was sent the notice, Eric Mansfield, assistant vice president of content strategy and communications, said. An additional 500 students were randomly selected from other residence halls. However, anyone who shows up for a test will be given one, he said.

In the email, Manfred van Dulmen, interim associate provost for academic affairs said the testing is in response to an increase of positive COVID-19 cases on the Kent campus among students living in residence halls and students living off campus in congregate housing settings.

The Ohio Pandemic Testing Team has been dispatched to other college campuses and communities throughout Ohio this year, including the Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, according to the university’s email. Van Dulmen said the team will provide an efficient way to quickly test a large number of Kent State students.  

While the presence of the Ohio National Guard may be an uncomfortable reminder to some people in the community, van Dulmen said, the state’s offer to provide large-scale testing to curb the spread of COVID-19 is “far different from the events that led to the National Guard being on campus on May 4, 1970.” 

Van Dulmen said faculty and staff representatives were consulted before bringing the testing team to campus, and agreed that it would be beneficial and consistent with the university’s risk mitigation strategy. Van Dulmen also said the university will be offering numerous testing opportunities in the next few weeks, including options for faculty and staff.

Jenna Borthwick is the digital content editor. Contact her at [email protected]


Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.