YSU Updates COVID Plan, Will Require Masks Indoors

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University has released more details on its coronavirus safety plans for the upcoming semester, including requiring masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

In an online survey sent last week to all students and employees, roughly 77% of the 3,000 respondents said they’re vaccinated against COVID-19. The most suggested campus safety protocol was requiring masks.

“Masking indoors is yet another way we can help our local communities stop the spread and keep all students, faculty, staff and visitors safe as we return to in-person classes and fully reopen campus on Aug. 30. Local, state and federal  health officials support masking indoors, and our ongoing survey of students and employees also shows a great deal of support,” said a letter sent to students, employees and media on Wednesday morning. 

“Four of the counties in our five-county region are currently designated as “high” transmission areas – Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Lawrence, Pa,” the message continued. “Mercer County, Pa., is currently designated as “substantial.” If and when these levels fall to acceptable levels, we could reconsider the masking requirement.”

The full letter can be read HERE.

Currently, all scheduled in-person classes will be held on campus and face-to-face. Two free vaccine clinics will be held on campus early in the school year: 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 8 and 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 9.

Other protocols in place include free testing for COVID-19, extensive contact tracing, daily health assessments, required testing for all students living on campus and extra sanitizing procedures.

Ongoing safety efforts include upgrading ventilation systems across campus, testing wastewater from residence halls to predict outbreaks and identify potential infections, and air and surface sampling for early detection in campus buildings.

“We are constantly re-assessing these protocols and will continue to make adjustments as the pandemic evolves,” the letter said, advising readers to visit YSU’s COVID-19 information page HERE for continuing updates.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.