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Kent State Offers Mass Coronavirus Testing; In-Person Classes Continue Until Thanksgiving Break

Kabir Bhatia
Kent State University students Christian Andrews (left) and Lilly Fisher are friends who live separately, but have been exposed to COVID through Andrews' roommate. They were at Sunday's mass testing event on-campus, and made it to the front of the line in about an hour.

Classes at the University of Akron will all be remote as of Monday.

A listener asked WKSU's OH Really? why Kent State is still holding in-person classes this week.

Even before the fall semester began, Kent had planned to send students home at Thanksgiving break. During a mass coronavirus testing event Sunday, University President Todd Diacon said they’re staying with that timetable.

“Actually, our numbers -- in terms of our testing numbers and our number of students in quarantine and isolation – have been going down or staying steady," Diacon said. "So right now, it looks like we’ll be able to make it through the 20th.”

Two students at the mass-testing event -- Christian Andrews and Lilly Fisher – are friends who live separately in apartments off-campus. They were tested at the student center for the same reason.

“My roommate has COVID. Just tested positive two days ago," Andrews said.

“I made out with his roommate. That was nine days ago now, but we’re still being safe," Fisher said.

The university offered the testing so students could know their COVID status before they head home for Thanksgiving.

President Todd Diacon says they’re constantly developing plans for how campus operates in the spring, and they will likely offer a great deal more coronavirus testing.

Most of the 3,700 students who have been living in residence halls this fall will stay home after Thanksgiving. But residence halls and dining services will remain open for a few hundred who will return – mostly because they don’t have other options, or because a few are involved in coursework that will continue in-person, such as lab work. Residence halls and dining services will stay open through winter break.

The three-week average for new daily cases in Ohio is 4,761. But there were 7,853 cases on Saturday and 7,715 on Sunday. And last Friday, cases topped 8,000 for the first time.