COVID Response Team

Kent State University has organized a COVID Response Team that will be housed at the DeWeese Health Center.

The university's COVID Response Team will be responsible for managing COVID-19 related information that includes but is not limited to: voluntary self-reporting of COVID-19 status by students, staff and faculty; confirmed cases at DeWeese Health Center; and inquiries related to COVID-19 topics such as self-isolation, quarantine and travel. It is led by Kent State’s chief university physician and its members include a coordinator, nurses and public health staff employed by University Health Services.

Communicable Disease Response Annex (PDF) 

The purpose of the information the team will manage is to provide advice for the health and safety of students, faculty and staff on all campuses. This guidance is temporary and subject to change depending on the state of Ohio, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health requirements. This page will be monitored and updated accordingly.

Part of Kent State’s strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to make testing available so that individuals who have the virus can learn their status and isolate to prevent them from spreading the virus to others. Widespread testing is available for individuals to learn their status. 

Learn More About Testing Options Access the Coronavirus Dashboard

The COVID Response Team can be reached at 330-672-2525.


 

Guidelines for Individuals with COVID-19 Symptoms

What should you do if you have COVID-19 symptoms?

If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get emergency medical care immediately and/or call 911 and:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask if you have to be around others.
  • Quarantine in your current residence except to get medical care.
  • Call your doctor immediately in advance to let them know you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Notify the KSU COVID Response Team by calling 330-672-2525.
  • Review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information.

Guidelines for Individuals Who Are COVID-19 Positive

What should you do if you have tested positive for COVID-19 and you live off campus?

If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get emergency medical care immediately and/or call 911 and:


What is isolation?

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

In Ohio, isolation orders are issued by local public health departments to control the spread of communicable diseases.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for isolation

Watch experts from Kent State University’s College of Public Health answer your COVID-19 questions.

Steps to take when isolating

  • Stay in your current residence except to get medical care.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
  • Don’t share personal household items like cups, towels and utensils.
  • Wear a well-fitting face covering when around other people.

Who should isolate and for how long?

When you can be around others (end home isolation) depends on different factors for different situations. If you have questions or need additional information, contact your local health department or medical provider.

Find the CDC’s recommendations for your situation below.

I THINK OR KNOW I HAD COVID-19, AND I HAD SYMPTOMS

You can be with others after:

  • At least five days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Symptoms have improved

I TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 BUT HAD NO SYMPTOMS

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after:

  • Five days have passed since testing.
  • Depending on your healthcare provider’s advice and availability of testing, you might get tested to see if you still have COVID-19. If you will be tested, you can be around others after you receive two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart.
  • If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above for “I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms.”

I HAVE A WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEM

  • People with conditions that weaken their immune system might need to stay home longer than 10 days. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information. If you have questions or need additional information contact your local health department or medical provider.
Residence hall residents: Isolation questions and answers

If I live in the residence halls, can I isolate in my room?

The university has allocated space on campus for students living in the residence halls to safely isolate if they are diagnosed with COVID-19. A student will be temporarily moved to an isolation room and may return to their assigned room at the end of isolation. 

During isolation the university will provide linens and food. The university will coordinate this with you. The local health department will provide case management and coordinate with the COVID Response Team and the DeWeese Health Center.

Isolation is for a 10-day period

  • From Day 1 to Day 5, you are not permitted to leave your isolation room. Linens and food will be provided to you.
  • On Day 6 to Day 10, because it is not possible to wear a mask while sleeping or eating, you must return to your isolation room to take meals and sleep. During this period, you can pick up food in the dining facilities and return to your isolation room to eat, as meals will not be provided to you in your isolation room.

Can I still receive mail and packages?

Mail will be held at area desks for students. Mail will not be delivered to quarantine or isolation dorms.

If I live in the residence halls, can I go home to isolate?

Yes, unless there is an objection from the local or state health departments, a student may return to their home to isolate. Before returning to campus, contact the COVID Response Team at 330-672-2525.

Guidelines for Individuals with Potential COVID-19 Exposure

Quarantine: Questions and answers for students living off campus

What is quarantine?

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Who should quarantine? Is there a different course of action for those with vaccines and those without?

Please note: per the CDC, "up to date" means a person: 

  • Has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible.
  • Has vaccinations within five months of Pfizer and Moderna or two months of Johnson & Johnson OR if longer than that they have received a booster.

Individuals who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 who are vaccinated and up to date with vaccinations should follow these guidelines:

  • No quarantine needed, but a well-fitted mask must be worn for a full 10 days with mask removal for sleeping and eating only OR if you are alone. Test on Day 5 regardless of symptoms. Test anytime that symptoms develop.  Students are allowed to stay in their regular dorm room for the full 10 days. If at any time a student tests positive, they need to call the COVID Response Team to report their positive test.

Individuals who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 who are not fully vaccinated and/or are not up to date with vaccinations should follow these guidelines:

  • Quarantine in your place of residence for five days. Test on Day 5 regardless of symptoms. Test anytime that symptoms develop. Wear a well-fitted mask for a full 10 days with mask removal for sleeping and eating only OR if you are alone. If at any time a student tests positive, they need to call the COVID Response Team to report their positive test. Those who are not fully vaccinated and a close contact should call the COVID Response Team to report and confirm their quarantine plan. 

Find a visual representation/flowchart illustrating this guidance on the ODH website. 

What steps should I take to quarantine?

  • Stay home and monitor your health.
  • You should stay home and quarantine for at least five days after being exposed to a positive COVID-19 case. You should monitor for symptoms for 10 days from your last day of contact with the positive case. Try to get tested for COVID-19 after Day 5 of your quarantine. To get tested for COVID-19, call the COVID Response Team at 330-672-2525.
  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Contact your medical provider if you develop COVID-19 symptoms or have questions.
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • Report your quarantine status to the Kent State COVID Response Team by calling 330-672-2525.

When should quarantine start and end?

See the CDC Quarantine Start and End Guidelines.

The CDC has helpful scenarios to determine when you can end quarantine and be around others.

Residence hall residents: Where should they quarantine?

What is quarantine?

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Who should quarantine? Is there a different course of action for those with vaccines and those without?

Please note: per the CDC, "up to date" means a person: 

  • Has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible.
  • Has vaccinations within five months of Pfizer and Moderna or two months of Johnson & Johnson OR if longer than that they have received a booster.

Individuals who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 who are vaccinated and up to date with vaccinations should follow these guidelines:

  • No quarantine needed, but a well-fitted mask must be worn for a full 10 days with mask removal for sleeping and eating only OR if you are alone. Test on Day 5 regardless of symptoms. Test anytime that symptoms develop.  Students are allowed to stay in their regular dorm room for the full 10 days. If at any time a student tests positive, they need to call the COVID Response Team to report their positive test.

Individuals who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 who are not fully vaccinated and/or are not up to date with vaccinations should follow these guidelines:

  • Students must quarantine in a quarantine dorm room for five days. Test on Day 5 regardless of symptoms. Test anytime that symptoms develop. On Day 6 to Day 10, students may leave their quarantine dorm but will still need to sleep and eat in their quarantine dorm. Meals will not be delivered. Wear a well-fitted mask for a full 10 days. Wear a well-fitted mask for a full 10 days with mask removal for sleeping and eating only OR if you are alone. If at any time a student tests positive, they need to call the COVID Response Team to report their positive test. Those who are not fully vaccinated and a close contact should call the COVID Response Team to report and confirm their quarantine plan.  

Find a visual representation/flowchart illustrating this guidance on the ODH website. 

If I live in the residence halls, can I quarantine in my room?

The university has allocated space in residence halls for students who live in the residence halls to quarantine. As a result, the COVID Response Team may coordinate your move to the quarantine housing. In certain situations, after careful scrutiny by the Kent city health commissioner and the COVID Response Team, a student may be asked to quarantine in their own room. The university will provide linens and food. The local health department will provide case management and coordinate with the COVID Response Team and the DeWeese Health Center.

Can I still receive mail and packages?

Residence hall students in quarantine or isolation will continue to receive mail and packages in accordance with mail delivery procedures.

If I live in the residence halls, can I go home to quarantine?

Yes, unless there is an objection from the local or state health department, a student may return home to quarantine. Before returning to campus contact the COVID Response Team at 330-672-2525.

Notifications & Impact

Who must report to the COVID Response Team?

The university requests that all students, staff and faculty on all campuses report to the COVID Response Team by calling 330-672-2525 for any of the reasons below:

  • Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is being tested due to symptoms suggestive of the infection.
  • Anyone who had close contact* with an individual confirmed to have COVID-19 by laboratory testing or with a presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19 (presumptive meaning not tested but diagnosed by a medical clinician as likely to have the infection).
  • Anyone living on campus in University Housing and having symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of smell or taste, fatigue, muscle or body aches, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Anyone returning from international travel, regardless of country.
  • Travel can increase your chance of getting or spreading COVID-19. Anyone traveling should carefully review the continuously updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding travel.  The CDC’s travel website offers detailed information about airline travel, both foreign and domestic, and other travel.
  • Anyone returning from travel by cruise ship.
  • Additionally, supervisors should report to the COVID Response Team should an:
    • Employee report COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Employee report they are COVID-19 positive.

*CDC defines "close contact": A distance of less than 6 feet and a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
* Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three five-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes)
.

The information will be kept confidential in accordance and consistent with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements.

The information will be stored in an information system managed by University Health Services and the Division of IT.

Colleagues who test positive for COVID-19 in my work area: How should I expect that to impact me and/or my workspace? 

if an Employee Tests Positive

When an employee in a department tests positive for COVID-19, that individual must contact the Covid Response Team, which will work to identify their close contacts.

  • Anyone who is COVID-19 positive must be isolated for 10 days from the first day of symptoms or 10 days from the date of testing if showing no symptoms, or until that person is released by their  local health department.
  • The employee should inform their supervisor of the required isolation and when they are expected to return. 
  • If an employee is ill and cannot work, they must use sick leave for their absence during isolation. 

Isolation

As a general rule, if the employee is able to work effectively from home during isolation, they should be allowed to do so. 

  • Employees in this circumstance should discuss their options with their supervisor and all cases should be reviewed on an individual basis.
  • If the employee cannot work effectively from home due to the nature of their job, they must use sick leave for this absence

Close Contacts

The Covid Response Team or the local health department will notify close contacts of the COVID-19 positive individual of their exposure. 

  • Close contacts who are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic will continue to engage in normal work practices and adherence to the Flashes Safe Eight principles.  
  • An unvaccinated individual who was a close contact of someone with COVID-19 will need to be quarantined for 10 days (seven days with negative tests) and released at the end of that period if there are no symptoms. 
  • If symptoms develop, contact your healthcare provider.

Quarantine

As a general rule, if the employee is able to work effectively from home during quarantine, they should be allowed to do so. 

  • Employees in this circumstance should discuss their options with their supervisor and all cases should be reviewed on an individual basis. 
  • If the employee cannot work effectively from home due to the nature of their job, they are required to use sick leave for this absence due to quarantining.

Please Note

  1. Because of our Flashes Safe Eight safety principles, there is no need for a department to transition to work-from-home operations if a colleague in the area tests positive for COVID-19. 
  2. Only close contacts will be notified with quarantine instructions.
  3. It may be necessary to issue a health alert to a department, at the discretion of the health department.

 

What should I do if I know of someone who is COVID-19 positive, has symptoms or is a close contact?

If someone tells you their COVID-19 status, refer that person to the COVID Response Team or ask the person if it is OK if you notify the COVID-19 Response Team with their information. Kent State's COVID Response Team can be contacted by calling 330-672-2525.

What should I do if I know I am a close contact of a COVID-19 case, but have not been notified by the health department or COVID Response Team?
How will I be notified of a positive COVID-19 case on my campus?

The COVID Response Team works closely with the local health departments in the area to manage outbreaks on campus.

  • When there is a case that is reported on campus, the COVID Response Team and/or the local health department will follow up with the positive case and any close contacts that were identified.
  • When necessary, health alerts will be sent to students to let them know of potential exposures in classrooms or in the residence halls.
    • The health alerts will include information on next steps such as COVID testing and preventive measures that you can take after a potential exposure.
Will the buildings where a person with COVID-19 works, teaches or attends class be closed for cleaning and disinfecting?

The CDC now recommends the following on cleaning:

  • If less than 24 hours have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, clean and disinfect the space.
  • If more than 24 hours have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, cleaning is enough. You may choose to also disinfect depending on certain conditions or everyday practices required by your facility.
  • If more than three days have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, no additional cleaning (beyond regular cleaning practices) is needed.

Testing Guidelines

How do I get a COVID-19 test?
Do I have to be sick to get a test?

The DeWeese Health Center will provide testing to patients who have COVID-19 symptoms, are close contacts of a COVID-19 case, high risk and of part of cohort that has requested testing as long as we have testing supplies. You must call ahead to schedule a telemedicine visit. NO WALK IN APPOINTMENTS!

Testing sites will vary on if they will test patients without symptoms. Call ahead to inquire. To contact the DeWeese Health Center, call 330-672-2322.

Part of Kent State’s strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to make testing available so that individuals who have the virus can learn their status and isolate to prevent them from spreading the virus to others. Widespread testing is available for individuals to learn their status. 

  Find out about COVID-19 Testing Options

What should I do while I wait for my test results?

As soon as you are tested, if you haven’t already, you should begin to quarantine to minimize the spread of the virus if you are positive.

  • Fully vaccinated people who are in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 are not required to quarantine as long as they have no symptoms.
  • Those who are not fully vaccinated and a close contact should call the COVID Response Team to report and confirm their quarantine plan.

 

International Travel

International travel: Questions and answers

Anyone involved in international travel should follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for international travel. We are asking those that are traveling internationally to follow current CDC guidance. 

Access the current CDC guidance.

Please call the COVID Response Team at 330-672-2525 or email us at covid@kent.edu to discuss your plans and any needs we can assist you with as you plan for your quarantine period. A member of the COVID Response Team will coordinate instructions or recommendations for your individual situation.