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KSU plans for in-person classes in fall

KENT — Kent State University plans to resume on-campus living and in-person classes in August, according to a communication sent to students, faculty and staff on Friday.

Manfred Van Dulmen, interim associate provost at Kent State, said a reopening committee is developing several scenarios “to ensure an outstanding and safe experience for our students, faculty and staff” in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Although we will be together in person, there will be notable differences during the next school year. Students likely will enroll in a combination of face-to-face and remotely taught courses. When possible, we will allow faculty who wish to teach in person to do so, while other professors teach remotely as they desire,” Van Dulmen said.

He said other differences may be seen, such as changes to the academic calendar, including moving to fully remote instruction for the few remaining days in the semester after Thanksgiving.

“If at any time during the semester the pandemic worsens, we will be prepared to move all instruction to remote learning,” he said.

The committee has established the Flashes Safe Seven principles that everyone on campus will be asked to follow:

• Face masks or cloth facial coverings are required. The university will make masks available to those who don’t have them;

• Hand hygiene and cough etiquette must be practiced. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, and after nose blowing, coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol;

• All employees will be required to clean and sanitize their workspaces and common spaces throughout the day, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones and keyboards. Classrooms will be cleaned on an enhanced schedule;

• Social distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced, requiring individuals to maintain at least 6 feet of separation from others. Workspace and classrooms may include the installation of Plexiglass, face shields, modifications to traffic flow and / or changes to work schedules. In-person meetings may be replaced with video- or teleconference calls when possible;

• All members of the university community must self-monitor daily for symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat or a new loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea;

• For health questions about COVID-19 and safe practices, call University Health Services at 330-672-2322, or after hours contact the Kent State Nurse Line at 330-672-2326. Visit the KSU COVID-19 hub for more information;

• Flashes take care of Flashes, so demonstrate kindness and respect in all that we do.

“By June 1, we will be sharing plans for a phased approach for returning to campuses with students, faculty and staff. At this time, employees who are currently working remotely should continue to do so. Shortly, supervisors will receive additional information and instructions for preparing our campuses. Anyone deemed essential to return to campus will work closely with their supervisor to follow the Flashes Safe Seven,” he said.

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