Kent State amends mask mandate amid changes to safety protocol


Covid Sign

Fully vaccinated Kent State students, faculty and staff will no longer be required to wear masks outdoors on any Kent campuses, according to new changes in university health and safety practices released by the Office of the Provost Monday.

The university outlined new protocols for students and faculty “effective immediately,” and they are expected to continue throughout the summer and fall semesters. 

Face masks and coverings will still be required indoors for everyone on Kent campuses, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. However, masks are no longer required “when individuals are working alone in a closed space, … when dining or when involved in an active workout at an indoor recreation space,” the press release said. 

Physical distancing will continue to be implemented indoors where participants will be required to be spaced three feet apart. There are no physical distance requirements for outdoor gatherings and events. Wearing masks outdoors will not be required for those who are vaccinated.

The university maintains the indoor face covering requirement to allow more time for the community to get vaccinated and to monitor vaccination conditions in the coming weeks and months.

We strongly recommend all members of our university community get vaccinated,” the announcement said. The COVID-19 vaccine is the single most effective way to protect our community, return to normal interaction and show that Flashes Take Care of Flashes.”

Vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff from all campuses, along with their spouses, domestic partners and dependents, are eligible to get vaccinated at the DeWeese Health Center at the Kent main campus. Vaccinations can also be scheduled through Ohio’s vaccination portal.

As the return to campus and in-person classes becomes more frequent, those experiencing additional stress or anxiety are encouraged to utilize mental health resources such as the Step Up Speak Out and Impact Solutions programs or contact Psychological Services at 330-672-2487. 

The university’s safety guidelines will continue to change in accordance with recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and consultations with the local health department. 

“We expect our safety protocols to continue to evolve based on the current state of the pandemic, the number of people in our community who are vaccinated and future changes to federal and state health guidance,” the press release said. 

Updates regarding campus protocol, testing and vaccination can be found on the Coronavirus Updates website.

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