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Mandatory masks indoors on main campus from July 29 – Kent Wired

Masks are required indoors on the main Kent State campus after Portage County moved into the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s high community spread designation for COVID-19.

The university regularly monitors COVID levels and bases its policy on CDC recommendations “for counties at ‘high’, ‘medium’, or ‘low’ community levels when making decisions about safety measures” on campuses, according to an email sent to students, faculty and staff Friday morning alerting them to the change.

Masks are not necessary when working alone in an enclosed space.

Portage County currently has 373 positive COVID cases as of Friday afternoon, a 51% increase from the previous week, according to CDC data. The increase in cases comes just under a month before students return to campus for the fall semester and exceeds the caseload from November 2021, when the campus had strict protocols in place.

High community spread is estimated at 100 cases per 1,000,000 population; Portage County is experiencing 229.59 cases per 100,000 population.

The CDC recommends that people living in a county with high community spread “wear a mask indoors in public and on public transportation, stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, get tested if you have any symptoms [and] if you are at high risk of serious illness, consider taking extra precautions.

Other KSU campuses requiring masks are the Trumbull campus, the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, the Cleveland Foot and Ankle Clinic, and the College of Podiatric Medicine. These locations are in Trumbull and Cuyahoga County, where community spread is also high.

Melissa Zullo, the director of the university’s pandemic institutionalization effort, was not available for comment at the time of publication.

Alton Northup is a journalist. Contact him at [email protected]