Let’s All Do Our Part to Ensure a Safe Semester
Dear Kent State University Students, Faculty and Staff,
The delta variant of COVID-19 continues its rapid transmission, making it more important than ever for us to remain diligent so that we can enjoy the active and vibrant in-person semester we all desire. We continue to be guided by our university and community public health experts, and we continue to follow plans that were effective during the initial phase of the pandemic, even as we continue to make improvements to match the current pandemic conditions.
How do we stay safe? The university is doing its part by offering vaccines and testing. In addition, we have installed air purifying units in nearly 1,100 buildings across our campuses and will continue to monitor wastewater for early signs of virus outbreaks.
But we can’t do this alone. Everyone must cooperate by getting vaccinated against COVID-19, wearing a face covering and following our new Flashes Safe Eight safety principles.
Vaccines are paramount to our COVID-19 prevention strategy. They are the single most effective way to stop the spread of the virus and to keep it from further mutating. While vaccines do not guarantee that you won’t get COVID-19, they are extremely effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death. Kent State cannot require vaccines at this time, but we strongly encourage everyone in our community to get vaccinated.
Vaccines are free and readily available weekdays at the DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus and at numerous other locations, including pharmacies and clinics across the state. Visit our vaccination webpage for more details on where to get a vaccine.
In addition, students who get vaccinated and register their vaccine status will be entered in our ongoing drawings for prizes, including free tuition and room and board for a semester.
Soon, you also will be hearing about exciting incentives we will be launching for faculty and staff who get vaccinated and register their status.
For fall semester, face coverings are required for everyone indoors on all Kent State campuses, regardless of vaccination status, as well as on all public transportation. Please visit our face covering webpage for details on this requirement, as well as information on how to request an accommodation from wearing a face covering.
Testing for COVID-19 will continue to be an integral part of our safety plan for the fall semester.
All students who live in residence halls were asked to perform at-home tests before moving back so we could prevent new cases of COVID-19 from reaching the Kent Campus. In addition, all unvaccinated students living in the residence halls will undergo weekly testing during the school year.
All students, faculty or staff who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact the COVID Response Team at 330-672-2525 and may schedule an appointment with a clinician for a test or they may seek medical care with their personal physicians.
Throughout the semester, we will use DeWeese primarily for testing of those who are showing COVID-19 symptoms. For asymptomatic individuals, we are pleased to announce the expansion of our testing capability in partnership with Visit Healthcare on the Kent Campus.
Our Visit Healthcare partner will operate weekday testing sites on the Kent Campus at the Kent State Ice Arena, the third floor loge of the Memorial Athletic and Convocation (MAC) Center and the Eastway Lounge. No appointment is required, but advanced registration with Visit Healthcare is recommended to expedite the testing process.
In addition, BinaxNOW at-home test kits will be available free of charge for anyone on the Regional Campuses and at various locations on the Kent Campus. Visit our COVID-19 testing webpage for a list of where to pick up a test kit on all campuses.
Flashes Safe Eight
We have a new Flashes Safe Eight for the new academic year. Please make the Flashes Safe Eight safety principles part of your daily routine to help keep all of us safe and healthy this semester.
We are all looking forward to the fall semester, with in-person classes, plenty of activities, Homecoming and cheering on our Kent State athletics teams. Let’s do all that we can to get this semester off to a safe start and to keep us healthy for the remainder of the year.
Manfred van Dulmen, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Dean, Division of Graduate Studies
Chair, Pandemic Leadership Committee