Kent State expands weekly testing requirement, clarifies vaccine exemptions


Vax Deadlines

Owen MacMillan Assistant Managing Editor

Kent State will increase the amount of required COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated students, according to an emailed press release signed by Manfred van Dulmen, associate provost for academic affairs and chair of Kent State’s pandemic leadership Wednesday. 

“From now until Nov. 1, we will be increasing the amount of random weekly COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated students on all campuses as part of the first phase of implementing the vaccine requirement,” van Dulmen said.

Students who provide proof of vaccination to the university will not be subject to random weekly testing. Vaccinated students who do not submit proof of vaccination may be selected for random testing until their registration is complete, van Dulmen said.

Following Nov. 1 Kent State will expand its weekly testing requests from a few randomly selected unvaccinated students to all those who have not provided proof of immunization, the press release stated.

The university’s vaccine requirement is set to take effect on Dec. 20 and applies to all students who spend time on any Kent State campus and all non-union employees of the university. Students attending Kent State 100% virtually and enrolled in fully remote courses do not need to submit proof of vaccination, van Dulmen said.

In his email, van Dulmen explained that in order to be in compliance with the requirement students and employees must receive their final dose two weeks prior to Dec. 20. 

Van Dulmen provided the date by which the first dose must be received to meet that deadline: Nov. 8 for Moderna, Nov. 15 for Pfizer and Dec. 6 for Johnson & Johnson.

Students may avoid the vaccine requirement by submitting a medical, religious or personal conscience exemption. The exemption process requires a personal statement explaining their belief and how the vaccine requirement conflicts with it for both religious and personal exemptions. Medical exemptions require proper documentation from a licensed medical professional, van Dulmen said.

Students who receive an exemption will be subject to weekly, potentially twice weekly, testing throughout the spring semester.

Remote Kent State students who plan to visit campus for any reason are required to apply for exemption if they are unable to get vaccinated. 

Owen MacMillan is assistant managing editor. Contact him at [email protected].