Friday, May 22, 2020
Flashes Safe Seven Reopening Principles
Dear Golden Flashes,
Kent State University’s reopening committees continue to work for a safe return to our campuses this fall. We plan to resume residential living and in-person classes in August, and we are developing several scenarios to ensure an outstanding and safe experience for our students, faculty and staff.
Although we will be together in person, there will be notable differences during the next school year. Students will likely enroll in a combination of face-to-face and remotely taught courses. When possible, we will allow faculty who wish to teach in person to do so, while other professors teach remotely as they desire.
There may be other differences. For example, we are considering changes to the academic calendar, including moving to fully remote instruction for the few remaining days in the semester after Thanksgiving. And, if at any time during the semester the pandemic worsens, we will be prepared to move all instruction to remote learning.
The goal of this effort is to develop a plan that reflects the values and mission of Kent State and allows our students to be successful, our employees to thrive and our scholars to be innovative and creative, while at the same time protecting health and maintaining safety for everyone in our university community.
To this end, we have established the Flashes Safe Seven principles to guide the return to campus activity. Everyone on a Kent State campus will be asked to adhere to these operating principles to create the safest return possible.
Flashes Safe Seven Principles
- Face masks or cloth facial coverings are required. The university is working to make face masks available for those who do not have their own.
- Community members must rigorously practice hand hygiene and cough etiquette. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- All employees will be required to clean and sanitize their workspaces and common spaces throughout the day, between shifts and at the close of each day. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones and keyboards. Classrooms will be cleaned on an enhanced schedule.
- Social distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced, requiring individuals to maintain at least 6 feet of separation from others. Supervisors will be assessing each workspace and classroom to determine an appropriate plan for social distancing in each area. This may include the installation of plexiglass, face shields, modifications to traffic flow and/or changes to work schedules. Replace in-person meetings with video or teleconference calls when possible.
- All members of the university community must self-monitor daily for symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Employees showing symptoms of COVID-19 should leave work immediately and seek medical evaluation by calling your primary care physician, DeWeese Health Center at 330-672-2322 or your local urgent care center. Students showing COVID-19 symptoms should isolate from others immediately and seek medical evaluation by calling DeWeese Health Center at 330-672-2322 or calling your primary care physician. Always call ahead before seeking in-person medical help. Employees and students who are diagnosed with probable or confirmed COVID-19 will be contacted by their local health department and will be given additional guidance and instructions.
- For health questions about COVID-19 and safe practices, call University Health Services at 330-672-2322, or after hours, contact the Kent State Nurse Line at 330-672-2326. Visit our COVID-19 hub for more information.
- As Flashes take care of Flashes, always demonstrate kindness and respect in all that we do.
We will continue to plan for a return to our campuses, as guided by state and federal guidelines and the counsel of our own health experts.
By June 1, we will be sharing plans for a phased approach for returning to campuses with students, faculty and staff. At this time, employees who are currently working remotely should continue to do so. Shortly, supervisors will receive additional information and instructions for preparing our campuses. Anyone deemed essential to return to campus will work closely with their supervisor to follow the Flashes Safe Seven.
We appreciate everyone’s continued cooperation as we manage the unusual circumstances of this pandemic. Please know that resources are available at this challenging time, including mental health support and information and assistance directly related to Kent State’s response to COVID-19, which is where you will also find the latest information about our reopening plans.
With my best regards,
Manfred van Dulmen
Interim Associate Provost