Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Safely
Dear Kent State University Students,
St. Patrick’s Day and Fake Paddy’s Day are quickly approaching, and with the recent, more spring-like weather, we know many of you will be tempted to celebrate with friends.
Here is our advice: Please do so safely.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced last week that when the state reaches 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people for two weeks, all COVID-19 health orders will be lifted. The university, the city of Kent and Portage County are working diligently to make this happen. We are so close.
Our COVID-19 numbers are improving countywide, but the number of new cases is still too high for us to get lax with our safety measures. Continue to follow the Flashes Safe Eight safety principles whether on campus or off: wear a face covering, maintain physical distancing from others and avoid gatherings.
If you choose to go out, please do so responsibly. Always wear your face covering and encourage your friends to do so as well.
Remember, even if you’ve had COVID-19, you can contract it again. Studies show immunity can be as short-lived as just a few months. We have done so much, worked so hard and sacrificed so many things we wanted to do. We don’t want all that effort to be lost and COVID-19 infections to resurge.
New variants of the virus already have been found in Portage County. These new strains are easier to transmit and may infect even more people than the original COVID-19 virus. We don’t want to place our community at risk for another wave of infections from these variant strains.
Most of our residence hall students will be departing less than a month after St. Patrick’s Day. No one wants to take COVID-19 with them when they head home or to have spring break plans curtailed because of illness. In addition, your actions around St. Patrick’s Day could have an impact on future COVID-19 mitigation strategies and events, including plans for commencement in May, should an outbreak take hold.
We are confident that you all will act responsibly, adhere to city ordinances prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people, disorderly conduct and loud noise, and follow the Code of Student Conduct. Let’s remain vigilant to the Flashes Safe Eight until this pandemic is truly over.
Because Flashes Take Care of Flashes, we know that we can count on all of you to avoid gatherings and do your part to ensure a safe and healthy spring for our community.
Lamar R. Hylton, Ph.D.
Kent State Vice President for Student Affairs
Joan C. Seidel, MA, BSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC
Kent City Health Commissioner