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Northeast Ohio universities update COVID-19 protocols for spring semester

 building at Kent State University
Mary Fecteau
Ideastream Public Media
Students who live on Kent State University's campus will have to take COVID tests before arriving at school for the spring semester.

With the Omicron varianttearing through the region, universities in Northeast Ohio are taking different approaches on how to keep their students and faculty safe from COVID-19 as they return to class after winter break. Some are mandating booster vaccine shots, others are keeping their classes remote for much of January, and many are requiring testing when people show up on campus.

Case Western Reserve University

Undergraduate students started their spring semester Jan. 3 but were told they’d spend the first three weeks back from winter break learning remotely. 

All students and staff were required to get a booster shot by that Jan. 3 date unless they have an exemption. University administration will determine whether to return to in-person classes Jan. 24 based on the COVID caseload and related factors.

Students are also being asked to take a weekly COVID test for the first three weeks they are on campus. Those who have had COVID in the past 90 days do not have to take another test until 90 days after they first tested positive.

Oberlin College

Students resumed classes Jan. 3 to finish out their fall semester.  All students and staff were required to get tested for the virus within 24 hours of arriving on campus. Students were also given the option of finishing out their fall semester online rather than attend classes in-person.

Students and staff are required to get a booster shot by the start of the spring semester which begins Feb. 18.

University of Akron

Classes begin on campus Jan. 10. The university is under a mask and vaccine mandate for all students, faculty, and staff on campus. 

The University of Akron will continue its surveillance testing for students and staff who have been exposed to COVID.

Kent State University

Kent State University starts its spring semester Jan. 18 with its vaccine mandate and masking policy in place. All students who live in the dormitories must complete a COVID test before arriving on campus. 

Booster shots are strongly encouraged but not required.

Cleveland State University

Cleveland State starts its spring semester Jan. 18. The university does not have testing requirements for the return to campus, but free COVID testing for all students, faculty and staff are being provided by CSU’s Health and Wellness Services.

Cuyahoga Community College

Tri-C starts its spring semester Jan. 18, offering in-person and remote classes. Tri-C is strongly urging students and staff to get vaccinated.
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Jenny Hamel is the host of the “Sound of Ideas.”