What to Expect for Summer and Fall

Dear Kent State University Students, Faculty and Staff,

As we finish up the last few weeks of the 2022 Spring Semester, we remain heartened by the low number of COVID-19 cases on our campuses.

Given the continued low case rates and our high vaccination rates, we want to let you know about changes we are making in our COVID-19 safety procedures for summer and fall. 

As in the past, we will continue to rely on the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our state and local health departments and our own experts from the College of Public Health as we set university policy. 

Face Coverings

Starting May 19 when summer intersession classes begin, face coverings will not be required in the classrooms or any other indoor locations, except for healthcare settings and in the Child Development Center on the Kent Campus. This is based on the current COVID-19 community levels of the individual counties where we have campuses and locations. The CDC recommends mask-wearing indoors only in counties where the COVID-19 community level is high based on hospital beds being used, hospital admissions and the total number of new COVID-19 cases. If any of the counties where we operate move into the high community level, the mask requirement will return for that campus or location.

Vaccine Requirement

Across all campuses, 82% of employees and nearly 80% of students are vaccinated. In addition, 89% of the residence hall students on the Kent Campus are vaccinated. Beginning with the first summer session, COVID-19 vaccines, including all booster shots, are strongly recommended for our entire Kent State community but are no longer required. Being up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, including having all recommended booster shots, determines quarantine guidelines and can reduce risk of severe disease and hospitalization. 

Vaccines and booster shots will continue to be available at the DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus and at numerous other locations throughout Northeast Ohio

Continued Prevention Strategies

We will continue to offer COVID-19 testing at the DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus for those who have symptoms and at Visit Healthcare at the Eastway Lounge on the Kent Campus through the 2022 Spring Semester. We also will continue to provide free, at-home COVID-19 test kits on all campuses and will continue to monitor wastewater from campus housing to look for spikes in virus shed to identify possible outbreaks. 

Should case rates increase, we may bring back on-campus testing or random sample testing. How much testing and how often will be determined by the size of the outbreak within our university community and within the counties where our campuses and programs are located.

For athletics testing, we will continue to follow the recommendations and requirements of the NCAA and the Mid-American Conference.

Tracing and Alerts

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should continue to report their case to the university’s COVID Response Team by calling 330-672-2525. This information will allow us to continue to perform contact tracing and issue classroom alerts for new cases to prevent spread.

For residence hall students who test positive for COVID-19, the university will continue to provide isolation rooms or students may opt to return home to isolate. We also will provide quarantine rooms for those residence hall students who were exposed to the virus but who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. The CDC defines “up to date” as having all vaccines and boosters for which a person is eligible. For example, someone who is unvaccinated or fully vaccinated but not boosted would have to quarantine for five days and get tested if exposed to the virus.

As always, the health and safety of our university community will continue to be our top priority as we formulate our university plans. 

Sincerely, 

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

POSTED: Thursday, April 14, 2022 - 12:43pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 14, 2022 - 4:52pm
WRITTEN BY:
Manfred van Dulmen, Ph.D.