Faculty and Staff: New Safety Protocols Announced
Note: new updates for face covering requirements were issued on Aug. 4. Find the most recent guidance.
Dear Kent State University Faculty and Staff,
Given the recent changes in recommended health and safety protocols by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), changes in health requirements in Ohio and local communities, including the city of Kent, as well as the rapidly improving disease situation, we are loosening our university practices.
New protocols effective immediately for all campuses are (see above):
Face coverings/indoors: Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear face coverings except for all healthcare settings, including the DeWeese Health Center on our Kent Campus, and on all forms of public transportation. Face coverings are recommended indoors for all people who are not fully vaccinated, including children ages 2 and older.
Face coverings/outdoors: Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a face covering outdoors. Face coverings are recommended for all people who are not fully vaccinated when they cannot maintain physical distancing outdoors.
Physical distancing: We will no longer require physical distancing on our campuses. For the 2021 Fall Semester only, instructors teaching in person may choose to maintain a 3-foot distance between seats as they consider the nature of classroom interactions, the size of the classroom, the length of time in the classroom and the number of students. For the Spring 2022 Semester, all courses traditionally held in person will be in person at full capacity.
Flashes Take Care of Flashes
You may encounter a situation in a classroom, meeting or activity where you are asked by a fellow participant to wear a face covering. It is our expectation that as a courtesy, anyone, if asked, would be willing to wear a face covering indoors to alleviate the concerns of those less comfortable around others who are not wearing face coverings. Please always make certain to carry a face covering with you. This is how Flashes Take Care of Flashes. Let’s be considerate of those who are less comfortable around others who are not wearing face coverings.
For some, returning to in-person activities may be a time of anxiety. We ask that everyone please practice our core values of kindness and respect in all we do. Be mindful of others’ feelings and respect their concerns.
Exemptions for return to in-person work continue to be available through the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employees who desire these accommodations should apply using this form from Human Resources.
For anyone who needs help dealing with stress or anxiety, mental health services are available to faculty and staff through IMPACT Solutions, our employee assistance program, or by calling IMPACT directly at 1-800-227-6007.
Remember, the best way to put Flashes Take Care of Flashes into practice is to get vaccinated against COVID-19. We strongly recommend all members of our university community get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is the single most effective way to protect our community and return to normal interaction.
All university faculty and staff from all campuses, and their spouses, domestic partners and dependents are eligible to receive a vaccine at the DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus. Use this link to schedule an appointment, call the health center at 330-672-2322 or visit the state’s vaccination portal to find another vaccination location near you. Remember, you are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after your final dose of the vaccine.
Please understand that we expect these safety protocols to continue to evolve based on the current state of the pandemic and future changes to federal and local health guidance. Please visit our COVID-19 website frequently to keep up to date on changes as they are made.
We look forward to providing a robust in-person experience this fall, complete with Homecoming, athletic events and student organization activities. Kent State is a community that comes together and thrives, and we can’t wait to see everyone on our campuses. As always, let’s continue to practice Flashes Take Care of Flashes as we return to our normal campus activities.
Manfred van Dulmen, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Dean, Division of Graduate Studies
Chair, Pandemic Leadership Committee