Unvaccinated students may face restrictions starting December 20

Alexandra Golden Reporter

Kent State students, faculty and staff have until Dec. 20 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, President Todd Diacon announced via email on Aug. 27, 2021. 

Being fully vaccinated means having “their final vaccine at least two weeks before,” according to the Coronavirus Updates website.

In response to submitted written questions, Eric Mansfield, assistant vice president of university communications and marketing said the following policies would apply. 

The university is in the process of gathering the percent of students, faculty and staff currently vaccinated, and official numbers are “too early to report,” Mansfield said. 

But as of Aug. 31, 2021, 10,722 students have submitted their vaccination status, Mansfield said.

Students who are not vaccinated and do not have an exemption will not be able to attend in-person courses or events and employees will be subject to progressive discipline, Mansfield said. 

The university does not “have that number yet,” of those who currently have an exemption on file, but Mansfield said the university will provide information regarding what counts as a personal exemption, “in the next couple weeks.” 

It is still being finalized who will be evaluating the accuracy of the medical and religious exemption, but the university will process them, he said. 

The number of COVID tests given on campus is expected to increase in the next couple of months, Mansfield said. 

As of now, there are no clinics scheduled but, “students and employees currently are able to receive an appointment at DeWeese within a week of making an appointment,” Mansfield said. “If we see the wait-time go up, we will consider additional clinics.” 

Along with this, Portage County Health District is partnering with DeWeese Health center to provide the Pfizer vaccine at DeWeese Health center on Wednesdays, Mansfield said. 

The university will continue to use Med+Proctor to upload COVID-19 vaccination records, Mansfield said.

“However, we are exploring other systems to make sure it meets the needs of supporting an immunization compliance program,” he said. 

Incentives are being offered to those who have already been vaccinated and registered their card through Med+Proctor. 

Faculty and staff, who have at least their first dose, will be entered in weekly drawings throughout September. The drawings will start Sept. 9 and run until Sept. 30 rewarding employees $32,000 in total, the website stated. 

Students who are vaccinated and have registered their vaccination status are eligible to win prizes in twice-weekly drawings through Oct. 12, the website stated. 

Students who want to withdraw because of the mandate will be covered by the university’s withdrawal policy

Alexandra Golden is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]