Kent State Requires Face Coverings on All Campuses
KENT, Ohio — In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Manfred van Dulmen, associate provost for academic affairs at Kent State University, announced facial coverings will be required for everyone on all university campuses regardless of vaccination status.
The order extends to all public transportation, according to the release. Exceptions include students in their residence hall rooms or those working alone in an enclosed space, such as a private office or lab, as well as anyone actively eating or drinking in an on-campus dining hall or restaurant and those involved in an active workout at an indoor recreation center, athletic facility or the Kent State Ice Arena.
Instructors who have opted to teach in-person classes may choose to not wear a face covering while teaching, provided they can maintain a safe distance of at least six feet from students, according to the release.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Ohio Department of Health reported 2,167 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the highest daily case count in nearly four months. The state also reported 113 new hospitalizations in the last 24 hours.
Of the state’s population who are eligible to be vaccinated, 49.63% have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to ODH. That compares to 46.26% who are fully vaccinated.
Any students needing accommodation from wearing a face covering should contact Student Accessibility Services at email@example.com or call 330 672 3391. Faculty or staff seeking such accommodation should email Kent State’s Office of Compliance, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 330 672 2038.
Read the notice in its entirety below:
Dear Kent State University Students, Faculty and Staff,
Throughout the pandemic, the health and safety of every member of our Kent State community have been and will remain the primary driver behind every decision we make. Now with a substantial spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 across the country, we are returning to previous practices on face coverings to ensure a safe start to the new academic year.
Effective immediately, face coverings are required indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, on all Kent State campuses. Face coverings also remain a requirement on all public transportation.
Exceptions to this requirement are students in their residence hall rooms, those working alone in an enclosed space such as a private office or lab, those actively eating or drinking in an on-campus dining hall or restaurant and those involved in an active workout at an indoor recreation center, athletic facility or the Kent State Ice Arena.
Instructors who have opted to teach in-person classes may choose to not wear a face covering while teaching if they can maintain a safe distance of at least six feet from their students.
Students requesting an accommodation from wearing a face covering should contact Student Accessibility Services at email@example.com or by calling 330-672-3391. Faculty or staff seeking an accommodation should email Kent State’s Office of Compliance, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 330-672-2038.
Remember to always follow the Flashes Safe Eight safety protocols and get a COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost to all members of the Kent State community and their families at the DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus. University Health Services offers vaccines Monday through Friday, at varying hours between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Use this link to schedule an appointment or call the health center at 330-672-2322 to schedule an appointment.
Those from Regional Campuses and the College of Podiatric Medicine are welcome to make an appointment at DeWeese, or they may schedule a vaccine in their areas by using the state’s vaccination portal.
Once vaccinated, all students are encouraged to register their vaccine status to be eligible to win prizes in twice-weekly drawings through Oct. 12. Free tuition for a semester, free room and board for a semester, a kayaking trip, Homecoming concert tickets, Beats headphones and Apple Watches will be awarded.
The best reason to get a COVID-19 vaccine, though, is to show that Flashes Take Care of Flashes. COVID-19 vaccines work. They protect you from serious illness, hospitalization and death.
The delta variant, which accounts for more than 80% of new COVID-19 cases, is proving to be a much more highly contagious variant than the original COVID-19 and is disproportionately affecting younger people, with 18- to 49-year-olds now accounting for the largest increase in hospitalizations. The unvaccinated are most at risk. Of those hospitalized with COVID-19, 97% are unvaccinated. Vaccinated people who become infected with the delta variant may not require hospitalization or experience serious illness, but they may still spread the virus to others.
Kent State will continue to monitor pandemic conditions and will revise our requirements as needed to adapt to changes and to align with the recommendations from federal and local public health officials.
We are preparing for an exciting and robust in-person fall semester, and our goal is to make sure everyone in our community stays well to fully experience all that Kent State has to offer.
Manfred van Dulmen, Ph.D.
Chair, Pandemic Leadership Committee
Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Dean, Division of Graduate Studies
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
Director of University Health Services
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.