Kent State removes weekly COVID-19 testing requirement for unvaccinated individuals

Zaria Johnson, Editor-in-chief

Kent State University will no longer require weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated students, faculty and staff according to a Thursday email press release from Chief University Physician Lisa Dannemiller and Director of the Pandemic Institutionalization Effort Melissa Zullo.

The decision follows a low number of reported COVID cases across all Kent State campuses, with 23 cases reported from Feb. 27 through March 12, the press release stated.

“We continue to see a consistent decrease in COVID-19 cases, with the last two weeks recording the lowest number of new cases since the beginning of the academic year,” the press release stated.

University officials made this decision based on recently updated CDC guidelines for counties with low and medium COVID-19 community risk levels along with consultations with the College of Public Health and local health officials, according to the press release.

Administration will reevaluate the updated COVID-19 testing strategy “should case counts increase significantly,” the press release stated.

COVID testing will remain available on the Kent campus at DeWeese Health Center for those showing symptoms of COVID-19 and at the Visit Healthcare location in the Eastway lounge for asymptomatic individuals. The DeWeese Health Center is open for testing from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday. Testing is available by appointment only, according to the website. The Visit Healthcare location in the Eastway lounge from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

At-home test kits will remain available for pick up across all Kent State campuses.

Students are encouraged to get a COVID booster shot and test before leaving for spring break and to get tested before returning to campus to avoid “bringing the virus back,” according to the press release.

“As always, continue to monitor your health and to get tested if you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, which may be like cold or flu symptoms, or if you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19,” the press release stated.

Booster shots are available at the DeWeese Health center and at off campus testing locations in Ohio.

Zaria Johnson is editor-in-chief. Contact her at [email protected].