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What You Need to Know: Beckley

Together, we're forging new ways of delivering the WVU Tech experience, while looking out for the health and safety of all.

Important information

COVID-19 Testing

As a part of our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be expanding subsequent testing of faculty, staff and students. We will be randomly testing 10% of our campus population each week. The pool of those who could be tested will be employees who work on campus (on campus full-time or hybrid) or students who are studying on campus for any of their classes.

If you have been selected for testing, you will receive an initial email the week before, with a reminder email on the Tuesday before you are supposed to test.

  • Testing will occur on Wednesdays and Thursdays of each week from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Learning Commons.
  • Testing should take no more than 10 minutes.
  • Please make sure that you do not eat, drink, chew gum, smoke or vape 30 minutes prior to your test.

If you would like to voluntarily be tested if you are concerned because of exhibiting possible symptoms, not receiving a pass on your Daily Wellness Check or another reason, please contact Student Life at for more details.

About Saliva-Based Tests

The particular saliva-based test that will be used for testing on the Beckley campus is intended for use under the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization #200090 authorized on April 10, 2020. This is the only saliva test and saliva collection device that is FDA-authorized for self-collection in the U.S. at this time.

This test is comparable in accuracy to the more invasive nasal swab test and is recommended by our state health officials. The assay can detect the virus down to fewer than 10 copies per milliliter of saliva, which is highly sensitive. In practice, 98% of test results are either positive or negative, with only 2% being inconclusive.

The sequences that help to detect the virus (primers) match the viral sequences almost 100% of the time, which ensures that the test is specific only to the 3 selected viral genes, which in combination are only found in the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These are the same selected viral genes tested for in the nasopharyngeal swab PCR test.

This saliva-based test is not an antibody test. It is a PCR test.

The scientific and medical community believe most who are infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic or may not show any known symptoms of an infection. This saliva-based PCR test will confirm infection between 2 and 28 days since exposure to the virus.

A negative test confirms that the individual has not been infected and is “safe” as long as they continued to maintain vigilance from the time they took the test to receiving the results. A positive test means that the individual should isolate and monitor symptoms.

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Throughout the Semester

  • Establish a cleaning schedule. Who cleans and sanitizes high-touch surfaces and when?
  • Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (e.g., tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface. Follow label instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product, including precautions you should take when applying the product.
  • If a friend, fellow student or roommate is acting in ways that you think are unsafe and putting you at risk, we recommend talking with your roommate about why safety measures are important to all members of our community.

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Student Activities and Programs

Student Programming Events

  • We'll continue to provide student programming, but some of those activities will look different. We’ll continue to do all we can to give you an excellent on campus experience.
  • For in-person events, masks will be required, and social distancing will be followed.

Student Organization Meetings

  • Student organizations will be expected to meet virtually. However, if the student organizational leadership determines that a meeting or event must be held in person, organizers and attendees must follow the guidelines.
  • Group travel will not be allowed during the fall semester for any social function.
  • Student organizations will be able to reserve space for events and activities; guidelines have not yet been finalized at this time. More information will be forthcoming.

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Travel Guidelines

The University strongly discourages any student or employee from personal travel to locations other than their home and campus. University-related international and domestic business travel for WVU students and employees will be extremely limited and require prior approval by the unit's vice president or dean of the college/school.

For more about travel guidelines, visit the What You Need to Know: Travel page.

Also See:

Messages from Campus President Carolyn Long

August 18, 2020

President Long shares an update as we begin the fall term on Aug. 19. Information shared is as of Aug. 18 and is subject to change.

Watch on YouTube

July 28, 2020

President Long shares an update about the fall 2020 plans to return to campus. Information shared is as of July 28 and is subject to change.

Watch on YouTube

September 2, 2020

President Long shares an update on Sept. 2. Topics included financial aid, athletics and health and safety measures for the holiday weekend.

Watch on YouTube

September 24, 2020

President Long shares an update on Sept. 24. Topics included safety and cleaning protocols, spring registration, COVID-19 testing and the daily campus wellness survey.

Watch on YouTube

Stop the Spread

Personal accountability is the key to our safe return to campus. Do your part to keep everyone safe.

Do Your Part

Ask a Question

We’ll be adding information on different topics throughout the fall, so check this site frequently for updates. If you can’t find the info you need, submit a question or email

Common Questions Answered

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You’re welcome to join live discussions — or watch recordings of previous conversations whenever it’s convenient.