As Coronavirus Cases Double at Kent State, the Ohio National Guard Helps with Testing Off Campus This Weekend
There are now more than 300 Kent State University students under quarantine at the main campus because of possible contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. Nineteen have either tested positive or are believed to have the virus.
Interim Associate Provost Manfred van Dulmen says the university is increasing its ability to do coronavirus testing, and the National Guard will be in the city of Kent this weekend to help with that.
The guard's Ohio Pandemic Testing Team first provided free testing Oct. 2 on Kent State's main campus. The next testing, which will be of the nasal swab type on a drive-up basis, will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 18 at Stanton Middle School, 1175 Hudson Road, Kent.
Apart from the expanded testing which will increase the university's capacity from 100 to 200 individuals, free testing has also been made available to the students, faculty and staff members at the university through a partnership with CVS.
Despite Kent State students' activities leading to Portage County's risk level status being increased to red, there is no mandatory testing being implemented, and the university is still relying on self-reported information on its coronavirus dashboard.
Van Dulmen says the university is not enforcing a gathering ban nor taking any special measures to monitor off-campus activities at this time. He says the school is encouraging all students to abide by an ordinance passed by Kent City Council prohibiting mass gatherings.
The university is also relying on students reporting any mass gatherings via the COVID Response Team phone number at 330-672-2525.
He says operations at the university will continue according to the reopening plan with the exception of dining services switching to take-out only. Outside dining tents that are heated have been made available to the members of the Kent State community, and delivery accommodations have been made available to the students under quarantine or isolation.
These dining tents will not be selling any food and are strictly for students, faculty and staff to have a place to eat. Outside food is allowed in these tents situated near dining halls at the following locations:
- Adjacent to the Design Innovation (DI) Hub — open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and closed Saturday and Sunday.
- Adjacent to Fletcher Hall near Eastway Center — open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Adjacent to Clark Hall near Eastway Center — open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Dulmen adds that all students under quarantine or isolation have the option to return home and continue the semester remotely.
Currently, Kent State has reported a total of 219 cases since July, but the university has no plans to go remote early.