Get Home Safely
Dear Kent State University Students,
Next week is the last week before Thanksgiving break, after which classes are fully remote through the end of the semester. Many of you will be leaving campus by Nov. 20 and won't return until the start of spring semester in January.
Since fall semester began, Kent State has been working tirelessly to stop the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses and to do our part to help end this pandemic that has affected every aspect of our lives.
This semester is in the home stretch.
This is the time when your actions will determine whether you head home safely to see family and friends over the holidays, or whether you take this deadly virus home to your loved ones, who may not be able to fight it or who could develop significant and long-lasting health conditions.
Here's how you get home safely and protect family and friends:
1. Get tested!
On Sunday, Nov. 15, the Ohio Pandemic Testing Team will be on campus for testing from 2 to 6 p.m. in the ballroom on the second floor of the Kent Student Center. This testing is open to anyone, and it's free. Show up, get tested and learn your status. You'll know your results in two or three days. While you're there get a flu shot, too.
If you can't get tested on Nov. 15, there still will be opportunities for testing throughout the following week. Visit our COVID-19 testing page for a list of all testing opportunities. It is important to know your status before you go home.
2. Lay low.
Even if you test negative for COVID-19, your status can change in a day. Make a concerted effort to lay low until you head home. Forget about parties and gatherings. Hunker down, stay in your dorm room or apartment and only go out when absolutely necessary for class or to pick up meals. When you do go out, continue to practice the Flashes Safe Seven principles – always wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently, maintain a safe distance from others, and again, avoid gatherings!
If you test positive, you will need to follow the directions of your health care provider to determine how to best proceed.
3. Travel safely.
When leaving campus, the safest way to travel home is alone, in your own car, or with everyone in the car wearing a face covering and the windows down at least part-way to allow fresh air to circulate.
If you must use public transportation, be sure to have clean face coverings and plenty of hand sanitizer with you. Always maintain a safe distance from others, particularly when standing in lines at airports or other places. Always wear your face covering and remember not to touch your face until after you have had the chance to wash your hands thoroughly.
We all know the right thing to do.
In recent weeks, you have shown that you are taking COVID-19 and its spread seriously. We were impressed by your responsible actions over Halloween, when the city of Kent issued very few citations for violating the rules against large gatherings. More of you, also, have been showing up for testing at the Kiva when randomly selected. Thank you for your commitment to our community's safety!
With so many of you heading home for Thanksgiving, however, the stakes are higher. It's not just about you getting sick. It's about you possibly infecting someone more vulnerable – someone dear to you, such as a parent or grandparent, who might not be able to fight this virus. That's why it's so important to get tested and know before you go.
More than ever, it's time for Flashes to unite and do what's right! Let's do all we can to protect our families and communities, and to make it a safe and healthy holiday for all.
Get Tested, Lay Low, Travel Safely!
Manfred van Dulmen, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Interim Dean of Graduate Studies
Chair, Pandemic Leadership Committee