Coronavirus FAQs - General Kent State

General FAQs Related to Reopening

Academic Calendar: How will it change?

Fall 2020

We will eliminate Fall Break and move to fully remote instruction for the two remaining weeks in the semester after Thanksgiving. This will reduce the amount of travel to and from campuses, which reduces the potential spread of the virus.

Other fall 2020 academic calendar changes are under study. If at any time during the semester the pandemic worsens, we will be prepared to move all instruction to remote learning.

  • Aug. 27-Dec. 20: Fall semester classes in session.
  • In-person and remote instruction through Friday, Nov. 20.
  • Fall Break will be eliminated.
  • No classes will be held Monday, Nov. 23, through Friday, Nov. 27.
  • Classes will resume on Monday, Nov. 30, and will be held via remote instruction only.
  • Final exams will take place Dec. 14-20.
  • The change to fully remote classes after Thanksgiving will occur at all campuses.
  • All university offices are closed Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, and the Friday after, Nov. 27.

Know Before You Go - Get Tested

Holiday break travel: questions and answers

Those traveling out of state for Thanksgiving break need to be aware that when you get to your holiday destination, health officials there might require you to quarantine for 14 days upon your arrival, depending on whether Ohio, at that time, is considered a high-risk state, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Conversely, those returning to campus after Thanksgiving break need to be aware that if they are returning from a high-risk state, they will be expected to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to Ohio. Currently, the states in that group include South Dakota, Idaho, Wisconsin, Iowa, Alabama, Nebraska, Kansas, Nevada and Utah. Weekly updates on travel advisories for returning to Ohio can be found at the Ohio Department of Health

Anyone traveling out of state should notify the COVID Response Team at 330-672-2525 upon their return to campus.

For travel within Ohio, you will need to monitor the COVID-19 risk level for the county where you are heading. Currently, Portage County is one of 38 Ohio counties at Red Level 3, however, it is possible that you could be going to a county that is at Purple Level 4, where it is advised that people stay home and only conduct necessary travel. Anyone traveling to a Purple Level 4 county is asked to use the utmost caution in their activities, wear a face covering at all times and do not attend gatherings.

Spring 2021

  • Spring break for spring 2021 has been moved from March 29-April 4, 2021, to April 12-18, 2021.
    • After spring break, classes will continue remotely through the last day of instruction on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, and through final examinations, May 6-12, 2021.
    • On May 4, there will be no classes between 12-2 p.m., a university tradition to remember May 4, 1970.
  • Registration for spring semester will begin on Oct. 26, 2020, for graduate students and Oct. 27, 2020, for undergraduate students. 

Read more regarding Spring Break 2020

Accountability for Conforming to Flashes Safe Seven: Question and answers

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges, and we have met each one head-on while planning for future hurdles. Keeping Kent State University safe and healthy is reliant on a cooperative effort from all of us. We are thankful to those who have already made a faithful habit of following the Flashes Safe Seven and practicing the behaviors that will ensure that we all get to remain on campuses for the entire semester.

To practice, support and sustain accountability, please refer to the Flashes Safe Seven Accountability web page to find a listing of relevant policies, requirements and ways to share concerns. 
 

Admissions Tours: What options are available?

The Admissions Office at the Kent Campus resumed limited campus tours on Wednesday, July 22. These will be offered in compliance with the State of Ohio Department of Health's COVID-19 travel advisory for visitors from states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19.  Guests visiting campus from these states will need to re-schedule for a future tour date. The Admissions office will contact registered guests from states listed on the travel advisory to discuss options. Updates to the travel advisory list occur every Wednesday and are based on a 7-day rolling average of positivity rates. For more information on the Ohio travel advisory, please visit COVID-19 Travel Advisory. 

Register online or call the Admissions Office at 1-800-988-5368 to register by phone. A variety of virtual visit opportunities, including information sessions, appointments and a virtual campus tour, are available.

 

Athletics Staff And Student-Athletes: What is the plan for campus return?

Athletics staff and student-athletes will have a staggered return to campus. However, MAC university presidents voted to postpone all scheduled fall contests, as well as MAC championships, due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

UPDATE SEPT. 25, 2020

The Mid-American Conference (MAC) Council of Presidents voted unanimously on Friday, Sept. 25, to resume football in the 2020 season.

The announcement is a reversal of the MAC Council's decision to postpone the entire 2020 fall season on Aug. 8. While football will return to play, all others (M/W Soccer, M/W Cross Country, Field Hockey, Volleyball) are tentatively scheduled to return during the spring sports season when their respective NCAA Championships will occur. Find more information and details about the forthcoming schedule.

Child Development Center: Will it reopen in the fall?

The Child Development Center (CDC) is an invaluable part of Kent State University and its educational mission. The CDC is worked to reopen following all safety and health guidelines during this COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that faculty, staff and community families depend on the CDC, and we endeavor always to support them and their desire to provide an excellent learning experience for their young children.

Contractors and Vendors: What Is required?

Guidelines and Requirements

The guidance provided by the State of Ohio requires that all employees at Ohio workplaces are to wear a face covering or mask. Therefore, contractors and vendors are required to wear face coverings. There are exceptions listed on the site, but the most common situation would be an individual working alone inside or outside of a building. The best practice would be to ensure that a face covering is close by in case you are approached by a colleague or a visitor.

Most construction companies have included face coverings as part of their companies’ required personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety plan. Per the CDC, bandanas are not suitable face coverings as they are too thin and too loose to provide the needed protection. Please be aware of those policies for the contractors that you are working with and remind them (document, if necessary) if you observe lapses by their staff. Any contractor working in occupied areas of our buildings or making deliveries must wear a face covering even if working alone as they may be approached by or near others. 

Use the Pandemic adjustment request accommodation form to request adjustments for the Fall 2020 semester should you require an alternative face covering due to a medical condition.

Non-Ohio Residents and Recent Travelers

The State of Ohio currently has a travel advisory: Those entering Ohio after residency in or travel to these states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. If you are currently residing in one of these states or have visited one of these states within the last 14 days, we ask that you visit Kent State University at a later date and consider remote options to connect with the Kent State community.

 

Events: What Is Permitted?

UPDATE OCT. 8:

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that Portage County’s COVID-19 Risk Level has been raised to a Level 3 Red status. The Kent Campus resides in Portage County, and, as such, must adhere to the state's guidelines for counties.
 
We must all do what’s right to stop the spread of the virus in our community. It is imperative that everyone follow the Flashes Safe Seven on and off campus, wear a face covering at all times, avoid large gatherings and parties and limit in-person contact with others. Visitors to Kent Campus residence halls will continue to be limited to Kent State students living on the Kent Campus. The delivery mode of all in-person courses remains the same unless your instructor tells you differently.
 
The city of Kent has instituted measures to deter students and other residents from holding large gatherings and parties. The City of Kent Council passed a new ordinance that allows for civil penalties to be levied against anyone who holds or attends gatherings of more than 10 people. Additionally, certain behaviors may be subject to discipline in accordance with Code of Student Conduct.

University Events

University-sponsored events, meetings or gatherings of more than 10 people on the Kent Campus must be held via virtual technology, including events and activities sponsored by registered student organizations and academic departments. Do not attend events or gatherings that are not on the official University Calendars. Only events on the official University Calendars have an approved safety protocol. If you need guidance about holding a virtual event or managing a current space reservation, please contact University Events and Conference Services at uecs@kent.edu or 330-672-3202.

See also: Student FAQs Campus Experience: Activities On Campus, What Is Permitted?

Ice Arena: Questions and Answers

As of Friday, Sept. 25, due to ongoing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Kent State Ice Arena was closed until further notice to all users within the university and the general public. 
 
The closing is part of the university’s mitigation strategy to stem the spread of COVID-19 on campus, throughout the larger Portage County community and in the Northeast Ohio region.
 
The Ice Arena had not been open to Kent State students or the general public for fall semester, but was being used by Kent State student organizations, several area high school hockey teams and regional hockey clubs.
 
Any group that has paid for ice time will be refunded. 
 
Kent State student employees who work at the ice arena will be contacted by their supervisors  to discuss alternative employment within Recreational Services.
 
Anyone with questions should call 330-672-0464 or email krufra@kent.edu.

More Information: Who Can I Contact?

Important Numbers

  • Health questions can be directed to University Health Services at 330-672-2322 or after hours to the Kent State Nurse Line at 330-672-2326. 
  • Kent State University's One Stop for Student Services will take calls to help answer questions and concerns at 330-672-6000.
  • Kent State employees with work-related questions, individuals may call Human Resources at 330-672-2100.
  • The university's COVID Response Team has been established and can be reached at 330-672-2525.
  • Or submit your question or inquiry via our online Feedback Form

Additional information about the coronavirus can be found on the Ohio Department of Health website at https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home.

 

Personally: I Feel Worried And Anxious. Where Can I Find Help?

Students may contact their on-campus counseling services. To look up the on-campus counseling services, as well additional support resources near your campus community, please visit the Step Up & Speak Out website and select your campus.

The Division of Mental Health and Substance Use also has created a list of anxiety & stress relief resources.

Faculty and staff may contact Kent State University’s Employee Assistance Program, IMPACT, at 1-800-227-6007, for live, immediate assistance.

In addition, there are several 24/7 professional support services available that can also connect you to local resources. You can reach the Crisis Text Hotline by texting 741-741. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website for a live chat.

Reopening Plans for Kent State: What Do They Entail?

What Is Kent State’s Reopening Plan?

Over the last several months, Kent State University faculty, staff and leadership have been consulting with local and national authorities as well as our own health experts as we work to develop a return-to-campuses plan that ensures, to the greatest extent possible, the health and safety of all members of the Kent State community. 

We plan to resume residential living and a number of in-person classes in August. Although we will be together in person, there will be notable differences during the next school year. Students will likely enroll in a combination of face-to-face and remotely taught courses. Helpful information can be found at these links: 

It is important to reiterate, whether you are currently on campus or returning during our phased plans to reopen, all Kent State community members are required to adhere to the Flashes Safe Seven principles to ensure the safety of our community.

Why Is Kent State Beginning the Semester with a Mix of In-Person and Remote Courses and Campus Opportunities vs. a Fully Remote Experience?

Each public university in Ohio is unique, featuring different mixes of in-state and out-of-state students, different levels of COVID-19 activity locally, and different mixes of on-campus and off-campus housing. At Kent State we have a strong and detailed reopening plan created by faculty, staff, students and health experts on campus working closely with local and state public health officials. Our Flashes Safe Seven protocols are in practice, and we look forward to starting the semester as planned on our campuses.

Safety Guidelines: Questions and Answers

Will there be new guidelines in place to ensure safety?

All Kent State community members are required to adhere to the Flashes Safe Seven principles to ensure the safety of our community. Following these safety principles is the single most important action any of us can take to remain healthy and protect our fellow Flashes. A situational checker with guidelines for appropriate action is also available.

COVID Contact or Symptoms? Act Now  Access the Flashes Safe Seven Accountability Web Page

Prior to Returning to Campus

Before returning to campus, students must sign the pledge and employees must acknowledge the return to on-campus work guidelines. You just need to perform this step one time.

  • Students, log in to FlashLine. There, the pledge will display in a pop-up window upon login. Please read the information and then click “Okay” to complete your KSU Student Pledge. Once you have completed that step, it will no longer appear.
  • Employees can provide acknowledgement using the form accessible on the Return to On-campus Work Guidelines web page.

While on Campus

Can the university have furniture removed and stored until after the pandemic? 

Currently, Kent State is not removing furniture to encourage physical distancing. The amount of furniture and cost of storage would not be a practical solution. We are providing signage in common spaces and labeling classroom furniture to encourage physical distancing. University Facilities Management will be installing signs and seat stickers. The vendor will be installing all signage. Regional Campuses will need to affix the stickers on student desks only. 

What is being done to outdoor furniture to keep physical distancing? 

The same labels used on classroom chairs will be used on outdoor furniture. Regional Campuses will need to affix the stickers on outdoor furniture.


General Safety

Air Quality and Circulation, Kent State’s HVAC COVID-19 Response

In response to COVID-19, the university is following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) as it relates to the effects of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems on disease transmission in the workplace.   

Per the CDC, organizations must “Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air.”  ASHRAE further notes, “principles of social distancing (1 to 2 m or 3 to 6.5 ft), surface cleaning and disinfection, hand-washing and other strategies of good hygiene are far more important than anything related to the HVAC system.” In addition, ASHRAE supports improved filtration and increased ventilation with outdoor air where reasonable as measures to reduce the risk of transmission of an airborne virus. While the primary focus should be on social distancing and personal hygiene, Kent State University is proceeding with increasing the amount of outdoor air brought into buildings where sensible, which will have a beneficial effect on indoor air quality (IAQ) during COVID-19. In addition, HVAC systems will also be run in normal occupancy mode each day for a minimum of two hours after the last building activity to further dilute indoor spaces with outdoor air. 

Some questions have come up regarding air filtration and MERV values (MERV=Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The type of air filters currently installed varies based on age and type of air handling unit (AHU). Currently KSU utilizes air filters with a rating range of MERV 8 to MERV 12. Using a MERV 13 or greater filter media, which is considered a high-ranking air filter, would reduce the particle size able to pass through the AHU and back to the space. Larger virus particles could be captured by the enhanced media filter. Due to catching finer particles, using a MERV 13 or greater rated filter would require more frequent replacement and the increased cost does not support their minimal advantage. Existing AHU fans also cannot overcome the increased pressure from higher MERV filters. Our filters are typically replaced quarterly unless more outside air and excessive pressure mandates more frequent replacement. As noted above, one recommended method to combat pollution is dilution, or increasing outside air when practical. Any changes to the filters, filter banks, filter changing frequency or operating parameters will greatly increase our operating cost, with questionable impact on the spread of COVID-19.

Most buildings on campus have been operating with temperatures adjusted to save energy during the largely unoccupied COVID-19 closure period since March 16. As staff and students return to campus, buildings will be adjusted for proper occupied temperature and air flow to maximize safety and system performance during our response to COVID-19.

All HVAC concerns for a facility should be brought to the attention of the Building Curator and entered in Flash Track to be addressed by University Facilities Management (UFM).  For questions about Regional Campuses and the College of Podiatric Medicine please contact your facility managers.

Also read more about cleaning enhancements and requirements

Visitors: What Should They Know About Campus Protocols?

Visitors must follow state guidelines, wear cloth facial covering and maintain physical distance. Those experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms should not visit campus.

Face Covering Requirements

Face coverings are required. Wearing face coverings is a critical component to the Flashes Safe Seven principles. All who can safely wear face coverings are required to do so.  Please note: face coverings must be worn outdoors while on campus. They can be removed when alone or with a family member/ household member in a green space area. Your face covering should be with you at all times and available to use should you come into close proximity to others. Face coverings need to be worn when walking in higher density areas including campus and downtown Kent. Even when wearing face coverings, keep outdoor gatherings small. When at an outdoor gathering, still wear a face covering. In addition, face coverings should never be worn by or placed on people who are younger than 2, have difficulty breathing, or are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove them without assistance. When selecting a face covering and verifying best practices for how to wear a face covering, please see this CDC web page.

Residence Hall Guests

If you are a guest visiting a resident in one of our residence halls, please access protocols in our Housing Questions and Answers FAQ.

Non-Ohio Residents and Recent Travelers

The State of Ohio currently has a travel advisory: Those entering Ohio after residency in or travel to these states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. If you are currently residing in one of these states or have visited one of these states within the last 14 days, we ask that you visit Kent State University at a later date and consider remote options to connect with the Kent State community. If this is not an option, please take advantage of our situational checker and guidelines. Use the button below.

Recent Travel? Act Now: Choose "Travel" from Situation Guide to Determine Next Steps

Warren Student Recreation & Wellness Center: Questions and Answers

The Warren Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC) is open with reduced hours and limits on capacity. As of Monday, Aug. 24, face coverings became required at all times in the SRWC, except while swimming or sitting in the spa.

The Warren Student Recreation and Wellness Center will have shortened hours from Nov. 22, 2020, through Jan. 14, 2021.

Regular hours for the Workout Center will be:

  • Monday through Friday: 6 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Sunday: Closed
  • The center will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Visit Recreational Services for a detailed list of hours for all recreation activities and facilities. All hours are subject to change.

Access a full list of FAQs about the Rec Center.

View the FAQ Archive