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Kent State and University of Akron Update COVID Guidelines for Fall Semester Amid Surge in Cases

photo of Kent State

Kent State University is requiring masks to be worn on campus effective immediately due to the recent uptick in cased on the delta variant of COVID-19.

In an announcement Wednesday, the university said everyone is to be wearing a face covering regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings were previously only a recommendation, except on public transportation, which has been a requirement throughout the pandemic.

There are only a few exceptions to this rule, such as when a person is working privately in an office or lab, when dining on-campus or at a recreational facility. Professors teaching in-person this upcoming semester may also choose not to wear a face covering if they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from students.

"We are preparing for an exciting and robust in-person fall semester, and our goal is to make sure everyone in our community stays well to fully experience all that Kent State has to offer," Manfred Van Dulmen, Pandemic Leadership Committee Chair, said in the email sent to the university community.

Kent State will continue to monitor these requirements as the pandemic continues to evolve.

The University of Akron also announced an indoor mask requirement regardless of vaccination status beginning August 9th.

Akron will continue to require masks outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain social distancing.

Unvaccinated individuals on Akron's campuses will be subject to up-to-weekly COVID testing. This will also include those who do not submit proof of vaccination to the university. The university is requiring all staff and students to report their vaccination status by August 20.

Those who have submitted proof of a vaccination will be exempt from testing.

Kelsey Paulus is a Junior studying journalism at Kent State University. She is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in journalism with a minor in design. Along with interning for WKSU, Kelsey is also a co-producer of TV2’s kentcore and a designer for A Magazine. She is an aspiring music journalist and hopes to work in the magazine industry someday.
Rachel Gross is a senior journalism major in the Kent State School of Media and Journalism and will be graduating Fall 2021. She is the current general manager of the student-run TV station on Kent State’s campus, TV2, and has covered major political events for the station such as the Presidential Debate in Cleveland. With her minor being in political science, she hopes to work in the political news field after graduation.