COVID-19 cases decrease, hope spreads

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By Elizabeth Coss

Youngstown State University was one of many colleges around the country to offer COVID-19 vaccine clinics and has successfully vaccinated over 6,000 students, staff and families from the area since the first clinic in March 2021.

The first three clinics offered at YSU were able to administer over 1,000 vaccines each.

Shannon Tirone, associate vice president of University Relations, said part of the success of these clinics is due to multiple branches of the YSU community. 

“A lot of our nursing students needed some clinical hours — which was great. They really truly stepped up to the plate and really truly helped us with working each one of those shifts, along with athletics, who helped us with the setup,” Tirone said.

Another huge supporter of the clinic’s setup was the Youngstown City Health Department. 

“That has probably been our No. 1 thing that we can count on, [our] relationship with the city and the county,” Tirone said. 

The number of people receiving vaccines at the clinics decreased for several months until boosters were offered. At the first clinic YSU held to administer booster shots, 332 people were vaccinated. 

Julie Gentile, director at the Office of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, thinks the constant influx of students in the clinics may lead to more offered in the future. 

“I think it just depends on the demand that we see through the end of the spring semester. We’ve been working with the local health departments, and having them come on campus to provide [clinics] for us. I think if we have good participation through the end of spring, there could be a chance we have those available,” Gentile said. 

Mandates and protocols at the university have seen few changes over the spring semester, but according to Gentile, nothing about the pandemic is stagnant.

“COVID is always changing,” Gentile said. “Currently, our numbers — the number of positive cases on campus — have been going down, and so, unless there’s a significant increase in cases, I would say we’re more likely to have fewer mandates than more mandates.”

The next clinic at YSU will be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on March 3 in the Ohio Room of Kilcawley Center.

This week at YSU, the number of cases remained the same as last, with 14 total positive tests. This is the fifth week in a row where there has not been an increase in cases. 

Of those positive tests, four were faculty and 10 were students living off campus. 

Through the university’s voluntary asymptomatic testing initiative, seven people were tested, and all returned back negative. This is the third week in a row where the university has recorded a 0% positivity rate. 

For more information on YSU’s protocols, testing or vaccination clinics, visit its website and for more information on reported cases at the university, visit the YSU Dashboard. As always, stay safe, Penguins. 

Number of people vaccinated through YSU’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics:


March 30, 2021 


April 6, 2021 


April 27, 2021 


May 4, 2021 


Sept. 8, 2021 


Sept. 9, 2021 


Oct. 7, 2021 


Nov. 4, 2021 


Nov. 18, 2021 


Dec. 2, 2021 


Jan. 4, 2022