Kent State loosens fall COVID-19 safety guidelines, launches vaccine registration portal

Annie Zwisler Managing Editor Raygene English Reporter

Fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors across all Kent State campuses, according to an emailed statement sent Wednesday by Manfred van Dulmen, associate provost for academic affairs.

The university recommended those who are not fully vaccinated to wear masks both indoors and outdoors. Masks must still be worn by all individuals in health care facilities and on public transportation. 

In-person events will resume at the start of the fall semester and physical distancing will no longer be required on campus. 

Instructors teaching in-person can maintain a three-foot distance in classrooms. In spring 2022, classes must resume in-person at full capacity, the press release stated. 

Everyone on campus is expected to carry a face covering with them in case they are asked to wear one by a fellow student or professor, according to the press release. 

“You may encounter a situation in a classroom, meeting, or activity where you are asked by a fellow participant to wear a face covering,” the announcement stated. “It is our expectation 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.”

This update comes days after the university announced the use of the Med+Proctor portal to register COVID-19 and other vaccination statuses. Students will be required to show proof of the vaccination they received and the date it was administered. All students seeking exemption from COVID-19 testing should register their vaccination on Med+Proctor

Students who don’t submit proof of vaccination will be required to be tested weekly for COVID-19 if living in a dormitory or if they are student-athletes, according to the email.

“Knowing what percentage of our student body has been vaccinated against COVID-19 is critically important to our return to campus as it will better enable the university to make the best decisions regarding the health and safety of our university community for the fall semester,” stated a Kent State email sent Monday by Dr. Lisa Dannemiller, chief university physician, and Julie Volcheck, assistant vice president for student affairs and director of University Health Services. 

Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are offered weekdays at the DeWeese Health Center. On-campus appointments can be made through the University Health Services website or by calling the health center at 330-672-2322. Those interested in scheduling off-campus appointments can do so through the Ohio vaccination portal.  

Annie Zwisler is managing editor. Contact her at [email protected].

Raygene English is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]