By Abigail Cloutier
Just before the fall semester ended, Youngstown State University reported a high of 67 COVID-19 cases on its dashboard Dec 5. Last week, it reported 33 cases, including eight students who live on campus, three employees and 22 off-campus students.
Well before YSU’s spring 2021 semester began January 11, university officials were well into rolling out COVID-19 regulations and precautions, including sending out safety kits with masks and hand sanitizer to students.
University officials required students living on-campus in student housing to get a coronavirus test before moving into the dorms. Students living in campus apartments were not part of this requirement. The university also required anyone traveling back to campus from an Ohio Travel Advisory state, including nearby states Pennsylvania and Kentucky, to quarantine for 14 days upon return.
YSU will select a pool of 360 students, faculty and staff for a voluntary COVID-19 test every week as part of preventative “surveillance” testing. Those selected will be contacted on a Friday and can make a free rapid testing appointment at CVS the following week. The notice, sent to campus Jan. 13 from the office of environmental and occupational health and safety, said, “The randomly selected group will be comprised of those studying, working and living on campus. Participation is not required but is highly encouraged. [Individuals] who are tested will receive the results electronically within 1-2 hours of testing.”
Like last semester, classes for spring will be held with a variety of modalities, including online-live, hybrid, and traditional.