Important Information Regarding Our Return to Campus

Dear Kent State University Students, Faculty and Staff,

As we prepare to return to campus for Spring Semester 2021, I want to reiterate important information about testing and our phased return plan. As part of our ongoing effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our return to the Kent Campus will take place in stages to mitigate the spread of the virus in our community and to best ensure the health and safety of all.

Our strategy for the spring semester is at the leading edge of national best practices for ensuring the health and safety of our Kent State community, and it will provide students, faculty and staff with the best possible campus experience given the ongoing pandemic. As always, we will remain flexible and adjust to any developments with the virus and to changes in state, county and local health guidelines.


Testing

The spring semester will include expanded testing beginning with residence hall students at move-in next week, a thorough program of random screening tests for Kent Campus students, faculty and staff, and a program of wastewater monitoring for early detection of COVID-19 outbreaks. This strategy, which has proved successful at other college campuses, will be continually reviewed, updated and adjusted to accommodate the evolving pandemic conditions throughout the spring semester.

Kent State and the city of Kent also have been working with the Ohio Department of Health to bring large-scale testing to Kent on Jan. 21 and 22 to give opportunity for all, especially faculty, staff and students who live off campus, to have access to testing. This testing will occur on both days from noon to 4 p.m. at the Kent State Field House, 2227 Summit St., Kent.

Students taking in-person classes are strongly encouraged to get a test to detect a current COVID-19 viral infection (not an antibody test to detect a prior infection) enough days in advance to know their result before attending their first class.

Kent State will continue to offer COVID-19 testing at the DeWeese Health Center and CVS Minute Clinics.

As everyone prepares for their return to campus, students living in residence halls are strongly encouraged to obtain a COVID-19 test before coming to campus. Details about pre-campus testing, provided at no cost to students, were sent to all residence hall students in a Jan. 5 email.


Travelers

Anyone who traveled out of state, either by car or air, during winter break is recommended by the Ohio Department of Health to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Ohio if coming from a state with a 15% or greater positivity rate.

International travelers, once back in the U.S., should get tested three to five days after their return home and stay home for seven days. If no test is performed, it is recommended that they quarantine for 10 to 14 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We recommend that everyone, as they plan their return to campus, make a concerted effort to limit contact with others for 10 days prior to their return to lessen the chances of bringing COVID-19 to campus. Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate and not return to campus until it has been 10 days since symptoms first appeared, 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and the steady improvement of other COVID-19 symptoms.


Return to Campus Phases

The following outlines our phased approach for returning to the Kent Campus as well as start dates for academics and university events.

Phase 1: Jan. 4-11

  • Students – Staggered residence hall move-in will begin Monday, Jan. 11. Students should limit activities during the first two weeks of the semester to only attending in-person classes and seeking essential services, such as food, medical care or for other academic reasons.
  • Employees – Only employees needed to maintain current campus operations will report to work. Employees who can work remotely should work remotely. Please check with your supervisor to determine your work plan. Select student workers will be on campus.
  • Research and Creative Activities – Researchers and artists whose Request to Return to Research form has been approved by the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs may return to campus.
  • Athletics – Only designated staff and select student-athletes may return to campus. Only student-athletes and game day staff should be at competitions. Other employees should work remotely.
  • Events/Student Activities – No in-person events will take place. Check the Event Calendar for virtual events.
  • Visitors – All visitors must follow state guidelines, wear a cloth face covering and maintain physical distance. Those experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms should not visit campus. Virtual tours are available for campus visits.
  • Testing – Residence hall students should be taking their at-home COVID-19 tests.

Phase 2: Jan. 12-29

  • Students – Staggered residence hall move-in continues. Select student workers are on campus. Students should limit activities the first two weeks of the semester to only attending in-person classes and seeking essential services, such as food, medical care or for other academic reasons.
  • Academics – Spring semester courses, which begin Tuesday, Jan. 19, will be delivered through both remote and in-person courses. Some in-person courses that require special equipment or interactions that cannot be delivered remotely will begin the semester in person. Other courses designated to be delivered in person for the spring semester will begin with remote instruction for the first two weeks and transition to in-person delivery beginning the third week (week of Feb. 1). Courses that begin remote the first two weeks will have the following statement under the specific course on the Student Printable Schedule (in FlashLine): This course section is remote the first two weeks of spring semester (Jan. 19-31) and in person starting the third week (week of Feb. 1).
  • Employees – Only employees needed to maintain current campus operations should be on campus. Employees who can work remotely should work remotely. Please check with your supervisor to determine your work plan. The staggered return will begin for faculty and staff whose work directly supports the return of students. Select student workers will be on campus.
  • Research and Creative Activities – Researchers and artists whose Request to Return to Research form has been approved by the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs may return to campus.
  • Athletics – The staggered return of staff and student-athletes continues. Only student-athletes and game day staff should be at competitions. Other employees should work remotely.
  • Events/Student Activities – Select events will take place in accordance with Kent State’s event procedures and policies, state and local guidelines and the Flashes Safe Seven. Virtual events are ongoing; check the Event Calendar for schedules.
  • Visitors – All visitors must follow state guidelines, wear a cloth face covering and maintain physical distance. Those experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms should not visit campus. Virtual tours are available for campus visits.
  • Testing – Students moving into residence halls will begin their testing at the Kent State Ice Arena. Large testing events at the Kent State Field House will take place Jan. 21 and 22 for students who live off campus, faculty, staff and the general public. Random screening testing for selected groups of Kent Campus students, staff and faculty will be conducted. Testing is available for all university community members through the DeWeese Health Center and CVS Minute Clinics.

Phase 3: Feb. 1-May 12

  • Academics – Spring semester courses will be delivered through both remote and in-person courses. Some in-person courses that require special equipment or interactions that cannot be delivered remotely will begin the semester in person. Other courses designated to be delivered in person for the spring semester will begin with remote instruction for the first two weeks and transition to in-person delivery beginning the third week (week of Feb. 1). Courses that begin remote the first two weeks will have the following statement under the specific course on the Student Printable Schedule in FlashLine: This course section is remote the first two weeks of spring semester (Jan. 19-31) and in person starting the third week (week of Feb. 1).
    • In-person and remote instruction continues through Friday, April 9.
    • Spring break takes place Monday, April 12, to Sunday, April 18.
    • All courses will be held via remote instruction Monday, April 19, to Tuesday, May 4. No courses or parts of courses will be held from noon-2 p.m. on May 4 in observance of Remembrance Day.
    • Wednesday, May 5, is a reading day. Final examinations take place Thursday, May 6, to Wednesday, May 12.
  • Employees – Employees needed to maintain current campus operations will report to work. Employees who can work remotely should work remotely. Please check with your supervisor to determine your work plan. Staff and faculty needed to maintain campus operations and student support will continue to report to work on campus. Student workers also will be working on campus.
  • Research and Creative Activities – Researchers/Artists whose Request to Return to Research form has been approved by the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs will continue their work on campus.
  • Athletics – All student-athletes are expected to be back on campus during this time. Only employees needed to support athletics in person should be on campus. Other employees should work remotely. 
  • Events/Student Activities – Select events will take place in accordance with Kent State’s event procedures and policies, state and local guidelines and the Flashes Safe Seven. Virtual events are ongoing; check the Event Calendar for schedules.
  • Visitors – All visitors must follow state guidelines, wear a cloth face covering and maintain physical distance. Those experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms should not visit campus. In-person campus tours resume Monday, Feb. 1.
  • Testing – Weekly testing will continue at the Kent State Ice Arena for residence hall students. Random screening testing of other Kent Campus students, faculty and staff also will continue. Testing is available for all university community members through the DeWeese Health Center and CVS Minute Clinics.

We hope that you are enjoying your break and are getting rested and reenergized for the spring semester. We look forward to your safe return to campus. Until your return, remember to continue to diligently monitor your actions to control the spread of the virus. Always follow the Flashes Safe Seven principles, wear a face covering, practice frequent handwashing, maintain physical distancing and avoid gatherings.

Sincerely,

Manfred van Dulmen, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Interim Dean of Graduate Studies
Chair, Pandemic Leadership Committee

POSTED: Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 12:51pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 8, 2021 - 9:58am