Kent State University to test 450 random students per week for coronavirus, partner with CVS on expanded free testing

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Kent State University will ask 450 random students to be tested for coronavirus each week, and partner with CVS on free testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic students.

logo: A water tower on the campus of Kent State University dons the schools logo. The university is expanding free testing through a partnership with CVS.

© John Kuntz / The Plain Dealer/cleveland.com/TNS
A water tower on the campus of Kent State University dons the schools logo. The university is expanding free testing through a partnership with CVS.

The university’s Kent campus reported 40 new cases for the week of Sept. 27, according to the most recent numbers from an online dashboard, with 165 total cases since Sept. 7. More than 40 students were recently asked to quarantine because of cases found in two residence halls.

Quarantining does not mean that the students were diagnosed with coronavirus, but rather that students may have been exposed. The students are quarantining in separate sections of residence halls.

Cases found at the university contributed to Portage County moving into the “red” category on the state’s coronavirus risk forecast system, or the second-highest level on Sept. 17. KSU and the county both asked students to avoid parties and social gatherings to help halt the spread.

Portage dropped back to Level 2, or “orange,” on Sept. 24, but KSU is continuing to ask students to follow guidelines and keeping enhanced safety precautions in place, like restricting residence hall visitors and keeping dining halls take-out only.

Free testing through CVS for faculty, students and staff begins Oct. 12. Free testing is also available through the campus health center.

The random sampling of students is in line with state guidance which recommended universities set up a system for testing asymptomatic students, to gather more information about the virus’s presence on campus.

“It is important to understand that the more testing that takes place, the more cases of COVID-19 we will discover,” a


Kent State University pushes spring break to April, will go remote for rest of spring semester

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KENT, Ohio — Kent State University has moved its 2021 spring break from March 29-April 4 to April 12-18, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Afterward, all classes will be remote, through final exams May 6-12. The idea is to keep students and staff safe after a week of travel.

The school notified students and faculty Thursday, not long after Ohio State canceled its spring break. Kent State had 31 new COVID-19 cases the week of Sept. 20, according to its coronavirus dashboard. The school has had 125 total cases since July 7.

Manfred van Dulmen, interim associate provost for academic affairs, said in a news release that information about dining plans and residence halls for the spring semester will be coming soon.

“We wanted to make sure that students would have a break,” Van Dulmen told cleveland.com. “We know that a lot of students across the country really struggle with stress, anxiety, and it’s a very difficult time. So we wanted to figure out whether we could find a way to still give students a spring break, but not have students travel back and forth.”

Kent State is managing its spring break similar to how it’s handling Thanksgiving for the fall semester. The university will have no classes the week of the holiday and then go fully remote the rest of the semester. Van Dulmen thinks students will appreciate how the university is handling spring break.

The university’s spring course schedule will be available Oct. 5, and a mix of in-person and virtual classes will be offered. Registration begins Oct. 21.

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