Covid-19 Prevention Information

Kent State University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment in which all students, faculty and staff can live, learn and work.

As part of our 2021 strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are focused on providing vaccines and testing through University Health Services. We encourage all members of our community to get vaccinated or get tested if showing any symptoms, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure that Flashes Take Care of Flashes.

COVID-19 Testing Plan

Will COVID-19 testing be required of anyone during fall semester 2021?

  • All students who live in residence halls who are not fully vaccinated or exempt from testing will be required to perform an at-home test one week before moving back to campus and must take part in weekly COVID-19 testing. Fully vaccinated residence hall students and those who are exempt due to having tested positive for COVID-19 within the prior 90 days will have to submit proof that they are fully vaccinated
  • For fall, students living in residence halls who are fully vaccinated will be exempt from weekly testing. More information on how fully vaccinated students can submit proof of their vaccination status will be forthcoming.
  • Throughout the fall semester, Kent State will continue to monitor wastewater from campus housing to look for spikes in virus shed to identify possible outbreaks.
  • COVID-19 testing will continue to be available at DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus for all students, faculty and staff. Additionally, faculty and staff and their dependents covered by the university’s Medical Mutual health insurance will have COVID-19 testing fully covered by any provider, such as pharmacies or urgent care centers, if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.  
  • Random testing of students, faculty and staff will not be performed during fall semester, unless an increase in COVID-19 cases necessitates it.
  • If someone is experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, they should call the COVID Response Team at 330-672-2525 to schedule a COVID-19 test or to schedule an appointment with one of our clinicians.

HOW TO GET A COVID-19 TEST: OPTIONS

All members of the Kent State community are encouraged to get tested for the COVID-19 virus if they are showing symptoms. There are currently several ways for members of the Kent State community to get a COVID-19 test. 

1. DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus at 330-672-2322 to schedule a test, available by appointment only.

  • The health center offers daily testing for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.
  • Appointments are available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. No appointments are available between noon and 1 p.m.
  • Results

2. Athletics Testing

  • During the summer and fall of 2021, Kent State student-athletes, athletics staff and auxiliary groups that are part of sporting events, including members of the marching band, cheerleading and dance squads, and their personnel will undergo COVID-19 testing in accordance with athletics rules and procedures which are governed by the NCAA and MAC. This group will receive instructions for testing from their coaches and staff.
  • In most cases, this group will be given antigen testing with results available in 15 to 30 minutes to survey for potential cases of COVID-19. In certain cases and for certain competitions, a PCR test, which may take up to two days for results, may be required.
  • Athletics will continue to perform surveillance testing for all those involved with sports that are in season and will test a percentage of those who are involved in athletics whose sports are not in season.
  • Those in athletics who are fully vaccinated are not required to test.
  • Should they need it, everyone from athletics also may take advantage of testing at the DeWeese Health Center, which offers screening and diagnostic testing using both rapid antigen and swab-and-send PCR tests.

In addition, anyone can contact their primary care physician, go to an urgent care location or go to a hospital emergency room for treatment of COVID-19 symptoms and/or testing. 

Please note: The Ohio Department of Health also provides a list of where testing is taking place throughout the state.


Reasons for Getting a COVID-19 Test

If you suspect that you have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested to find out if you have the virus to prevent spreading it to others.

  • During this global pandemic, testing is part of the university’s overall strategy to identify those who have the virus, but may not have any symptoms, and are unknowingly spreading the virus to others. 
  • We can’t stop the spread of COVID-19 without knowing who has it and isolating them until they are no longer contagious.
  • Unless you get tested, you can’t know if you have COVID-19.
  • While you may not get ill from the virus, you could spread it to someone who could become seriously ill, require hospitalization or even die from the virus.
  • Getting tested is the only way to know if you are COVID-19, free if you plan to spend time with others who are more physically vulnerable or who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. 
  • Getting tested helps all of us to stay true to Kent State’s core values. Respecting others means respecting their health and well-being and not being reckless about spreading COVID-19. 
  • Getting tested is one of the best ways that Flashes Take Care of Flashes.

COVID-19 Vaccine Guidelines

Is Kent State requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for the 2021 Fall Semester?

  • At this time, COVID-19 vaccines are strongly encouraged, but not required for any members of the Kent State community. 
  • Vaccines are available from University Health Services at the DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus. These shots are available for any student, faculty or staff member and their spouses, domestic partners and dependents. Call the DeWeese Health Center at 330-672-2322 to schedule an appointment or use this link to schedule an appointment.  Vaccines also are available at many locations throughout the state, and can be scheduled by visiting https://gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
  • Students who live in the residence halls who submit proof that they are fully vaccinated before the start of the fall semester will be exempt from weekly COVID-19 testing. More information on how to submit this verification will be forthcoming. 
     

Vaccines for members of the Kent State Community

COVID-19 Vaccines at University Health Services

  • University Health Services is offering COVID-19 Vaccines at the DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus from Monday through Friday, at varying times between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    • Use this link to schedule an appointment or call the health center at 330-672-2322 to schedule a vaccine appointment.
    • While walk-ins are not accepted, those who want a same-day appointment should be able to register for one. 
  • Vaccines also are available at a variety of locations statewide by registering through Ohio’s vaccine portal at https://gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.

While COVID-19 vaccines are not mandatory, we strongly encourage all members of the Kent State community to take advantage of any opportunity to get vaccinated, whether it be on campus or at a local pharmacy or clinic. Where you get your vaccine is not as important as getting your vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

are university students, faculty and staff be required to receive a vaccine? 

  • The COVID-19 vaccine is not be required at this time. The university will revisit this topic once vaccines are fully approved by the FDA. 
  • Wearing face coverings, handwashing and physical distancing will continue to be a defense against the virus.

How can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

University Health Services is offering COVID-19 Vaccines at the DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus from Monday through Friday, at varying times between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Use this link to schedule an appointment or call the health center at 330-672-2322 to schedule a vaccine appointment. While walk-ins are not accepted, those who want a same-day appointment should be able to register for one. 

Vaccines also are available at a variety of locations statewide by registering through Ohio’s vaccine portal at https://gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.

HOW CAN I REPORT MY VACCINE, IF I WOULD LIKE TO DO SO?

Individuals may follow this link to submit proof that they are fully vaccinated.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE VACCINE?

  • Currently in Ohio, everyone ages 12 and older are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.  Kent State strongly urges all members of our community to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

If I had a positive COVID-19 test previously or have had a positive antibody test, should I still get the vaccine?

  • Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had a COVID-19 infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that individuals who have had a diagnosed COVID-19 infection should still get the vaccine but suggests waiting 90 days post-illness.

Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?

  • According to the CDC, if you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.
  • There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, according to the CDC.
  • Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.

If I am breastfeeding or pregnant, can I still get the vaccine?

  • Manufacturers that are testing the vaccines in clinical trials so far have not included pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding. 
  • Many individuals in these situations historically have not been studied in clinical trials and still receive vaccines. 
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated that the vaccine should be available to pregnant and breastfeeding women if they choose to get it.

How many shots will I need to get? 

  • Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine separated by 21 or 28 days are required for the Pfizer and Moderna brand vaccines, respectively.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires just one dose. Currently the Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for youth ages 12-17.
  • The COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable; recipients must receive the vaccine made by the same manufacturer for each dose. In the future, it is expected that additional manufacturers and guidelines will be available, including the potential for single-dose vaccines. 

Should I get the vaccine if I am not feeling well?

  • If you are not feeling well, it is recommended that you wait until you are feeling better to get the vaccine. If you have scheduled an appointment to receive the vaccine and are not feeling well on the day of vaccination, you should cancel and reschedule at a later date. 
  • If you have a fever (100°F or greater), it is not safe to receive any vaccine.
  • If you are currently in isolation for COVID-19 or quarantine due to a positive exposure to COVID-19, you should plan to wait to receive the vaccine until you have been released from isolation or quarantine.

What is the cost of the vaccine? 

  • The government is providing the vaccine free of charge, and health plans are required to cover the cost of administration.

If I have had an allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past, should I still get the vaccine? 

  • There is a remote chance that there could be a severe allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, which could include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, fast heartbeat, rash, dizziness and weakness.
  • You should not get the vaccine if you had a severe allergic reaction to a past dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or any of the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • The CDC recommends a 15-minute observation period following vaccination for every person. People who have had severe allergic reactions or who have had any type of immediate allergic reaction to a vaccine or injectable therapy should be monitored for at least 30 minutes after getting the vaccine.

Is this vaccine like the flu vaccine? Will I need to get vaccinated again next year? 

  • The world is still learning how long immunity to the coronavirus lasts after a vaccination. Intensive monitoring and evaluation will continue after the vaccines are in use to determine if repeat immunizations will be needed.

Would there be any problems if I were to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine at the same time or in close proximity to one another?

  • CDC states that COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines may now be administered without regard to timing.

May I take time off work to get my vaccine?

Supervisors are asked to cooperate with their employees if there is a need to take working time off when getting vaccinated. If possible, try to modify work schedules to accommodate this. And, of course, employees can always take sick, vacation, or other earned leave time if necessary. As a general matter it is suggested that employees be allowed up to two hours of paid time (per shot) before having to use any earned leave. For timekeeping purposes for hourly employees, the supervisor will enter job code “University Business” AND a note in Time Clock Plus of “COVID PTO”. Any questions about individual situations can be directed to hrweb@kent.edu.

What should I do if I experience anxiety from this situation?

Kent State provides the following mental health support resources to our community members who may be in need:


Johnson & Johnson Vaccine FAQs

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration on April 12, paused the administration of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine out of an abundance of caution related to blood clot disorders that were a side effect in six cases of nearly 7 million doses administered. That pause was lifted on April 23.

Why was administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine halted?

The CDC and FDA reported that as of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine had been administered in the U.S. The CDC and FDA was reviewing data involving six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which resulted in one death and one critical illness.

In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant (blood thinner) drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.

CDC convened a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on April 14, 2021, to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. The FDA reviewed that analysis as it investigated these blood clot cases, and recommended a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution. This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. Additionally, Gov. DeWine has called for a pause in distribution of all Johnson & Johnson vaccines until the federal agencies offered additional guidance.

The CDC and FDA have recommended that use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States, effective April 23, 2021. A review of all available data at this time shows that the J&J COVID-19 Vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks for those recommended to receive it. However, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination, and that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen.

The pause allowed CDC to communicate with healthcare providers and re-emphasize the importance of reporting severe events in people who have received this vaccine, as well as how to report such events. The pause also gave experts time to carefully review all available data and conduct a risk-benefit analysis around the use of this vaccine.

What should I do if I got a Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

Anyone who has received the shot more than a month ago is outside of the window when these complications have occurred. As with all vaccines, it is important to monitor oneself for any adverse reactions after a shot and seek medical attention at the DeWeese Health Center or from your healthcare provider if a reaction occurs.

Any students with concerns about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should reach out to University Health Services with their questions.

How would I know if  I am developing a blood clot?

The most common type of blood clot is in the leg, known as deep vein thrombosis. Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis is rare and symptoms are severe headache and other neurological symptoms. Other symptoms of blood clots be severe abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath. These likely would occur within three weeks after vaccination. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their health care provider.

Why was Kent State University Health Services giving out the Johnson & Johnson shot?

The vaccines were provided to Kent State and numerous other universities in Ohio as part of a program developed by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to vaccinate as many college students as possible before summer break. The goal of this vaccine push was to stop the spread of COVID-19 by college students as they departed their campuses for the summer. Gov. DeWine has expressed his confidence that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, after its review, will once again be used as an key part of Ohio’s vaccination plan.

Is this a concern for the other COVID-19 vaccines?

These side effects have not been seen with either the Moderna or Pfizer brand vaccines, which require two doses to be fully effective.

These complications are similar to ones seen with the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, which has not yet received FDA approval for emergency use in the U.S. However, is has been approved for use in other countries.


After Getting the Vaccine

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

  • The most common reported adverse events were headaches, pain at the injection site, fatigue and a general feeling of unwellness. 

Should I come to work if I experience side effects? 

  • Some people in the clinical trial have experienced injection site pain or redness, fatigue, muscle/joint pain, headache and fever. These side effects may be more likely after the second dose of the vaccine. It is OK to come to work with very minor symptoms. All others should be reported to your doctor. Employees with a fever of 100°F or more will need to follow normal call-off procedures. 

How do I report side effects?

  • The CDC is expanding its safety surveillance through the launch of a smartphone-based tool called v-safe that you can use to quickly tell the CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. It regularly collects text and email feedback. 
  • For those who do not opt into v-safe, adverse events can be reported in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Co-managed by the CDC and the FDA, VAERS serves as a national system for collecting and analyzing possible vaccine side effects. 
  • If you have questions about symptoms, talk with your doctor or schedule a telehealth appointment. 
  • In the unlikely event of a serious or life-threatening concern, go to the emergency department of the nearest hospital or call 911. 

What is v-safe? Do I have to participate? 

  • V-safe, or vaccine safety assessment for essential workers, is a smartphone-based text-to-web survey and email-to-web survey active surveillance program for early vaccine recipients.
  • V-safe will perform health checks at two periods after vaccination. In the first week after vaccination, check-ins will occur daily. After that time, weekly check-ins will occur for six weeks following vaccination.
  • The system will provide telephone follow-up to anyone who reports medically significant (important) adverse events.
  • Vaccine recipients will be provided details on how to participate in v-safe in their after visit summary (AVS). It is not required but is encouraged. 

I LIVE IN THE RESIDENCE HALLS. DO I STILL NEED TO PARTICIPATE IN COVID-19 TESTING AFTER I RECEIVE THE VACCINE? 

DO I NEED TO CONTINUE WEARING A FACE COVERING AFTER I RECEIVE THE VACCINE?

  • For now, Kent State is asking all members of our community, vaccinated or not, to continue to wear face coverings indoors, unless they are alone in a private office or lab space. Those who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a face covering outdoors, but the university strongly recommends that unvaccinated individuals continue to wear face coverings outside, particularly when they cannot maintain a safe physical distance from others. 

IF I HAVE BEEN VACCINATED, DO I STILL NEED TO QUARANTINE AFTER I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WITH COVID-19?

  • According to guidance issued by the CDC on Feb. 10. 2021, vaccinated people exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
    • They are fully vaccinated and at least two weeks have gone by since receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series, or more than two weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
    • They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
  • People who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

About COVID-19 Vaccines

How does the vaccine work to protect you against COVID-19?

  • Both Pfizer and Moderna are manufacturing a vaccine using messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). mRNA is naturally found in humans; its role is to deliver instructions from DNA to cells about which proteins the cell needs to create. 
  • The mRNA in the vaccine teaches the cell to make the virus’s spike protein – the main protein that is recognized by the body during the immune response. The body then produces antibodies against the virus’s spike protein. Those antibodies are then able to recognize the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 if the recipient comes into contact with the virus and can more effectively clear the virus from the body and prevent severe infection.

SARS-COV-2 image of strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19, illustrating the spike protein and RNA strand.Illustration when the virus enters the body showing the spikes allowing the RNA strand to enter, reproduce and kill healthy cells. Immune system creates antibodies to fight the virus picture of three antibodies attached to the virus.  How a vaccine would protect you. Messenger RNA made with genetic code of spike proteins enter the cells. Cells produce protein to stimulate an immune system response. If you encounter the real virus, your body is trained to fight it.

Did this vaccine go through a clinical trial?

  • Yes. Operation Warp Speed is an effort to develop vaccines and therapeutics quicker than would normally be possible by running the three phases of these clinical trials in an accelerated time frame. The vaccine companies also start manufacturing on a large scale before the studies are done, betting that the vaccine will be effective. All the vaccines go through the normal steps, just in a much faster process, made possible, in part, by the large number of participants in each trial. 
  • This six-minute video and the illustration below further explain these points.

Timeline for typical and accelerated process.Typical Process illustrated as 73 months to completion. Accelerated process illustrated as taking 14 months to completion.

How many people received the vaccine during the trials?

  • The Pfizer vaccine study enrolled 43,538 participants. The Moderna vaccine study enrolled 30,000 participants.

What is the efficacy of the vaccines being considered for emergency use?

  • Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were found to have an approximately 95% efficacy against developing serious COVID-19 disease after two doses were received. 
  • Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 66.3% effective in clinical trials.

What is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

  • An EUA is a legal mechanism that allows the FDA to authorize the use of a medical product to address public health emergencies if certain statutory criteria and scientific evidence are met. This video provides a brief overview. 
  • The FDA will make publicly available all the data and information regarding EUA granted to COVID-19 drugs and vaccines.

Can I still get COVID-19 even if I am vaccinated?

  • Possibly. The vaccine trials examined whether the vaccine prevented serious disease. You may be able to be infected and develop a more mild disease or an infection without symptoms, and you may be able to spread the virus. Additional studies are looking at both questions. 

This vaccine was developed in record time. Is it safe? 

  • The vaccine is deemed to be safe based upon a rigorous evaluation of currently available scientific evidence. The most common reported adverse events were headaches, pain at the injection site, fatigue and a general feeling of unwellness. 

Has the vaccine been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?

  • The vaccine is receiving Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. Under the EUA process, in emergency situations when there are no adequate, approved and available alternatives, the FDA has the authority to authorize medical products for use under specified conditions before all the evidence that would be needed for full FDA approval is available.

Facial Covering & Distancing Guidelines

The university continues to plan for the 2021 summer and fall semesters with the health and safety of our community members as our top priority. With new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our local health authorities, we are updating the health guidelines for our campuses. 

As we have throughout the pandemic, we will continue to base our health and safety practices on the regularly changing guidance provided by the CDC in consultation with our local health department.

New Protocols

With that in mind, these are our new protocols for all campuses effective June 17, 2021:  

  • Face coverings/indoors:  Fully-vaccinated individuals do not need to wear face coverings except for all health care 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 onlyinstructors 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 2022 Spring Semester, all courses traditionally held in person will be in person at full capacity.

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 hope 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.  We recommend that you always 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.

We expect our safety protocols to continue to evolve based on the current state of the pandemic, the number of people in our community who are vaccinated and future changes to federal and state health guidance. Please visit our COVID-19 website frequently to keep up to date on changes.


About Vaccines

For vaccine questions, call the health center pharmacy at 330-672-8254. To contact the COVID Response Team, call 330-672-2525, press 1 to report symptoms or press 2 for testing information, or email covid_testing@kent.edu. 

courtesy: Vox.com