COVID-19 Update

By Abigail Cloutier

Youngstown State University announced in an email to the campus Wednesday that it will hold two vaccination clinics in Beeghly Center March 30 and April 6. There are 800 slots each day from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and appointments are available to students, faculty, staff and family members. Appointments are required; the registration link is available immediately through the email or at ysu-covid.com.

All slots for March 30 were filled Wednesday. Julie Gentile, director of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety, said many students may have already received their doses elsewhere, but will adjust availability if demand increases.

Gentile worked with the Youngstown City Health Department to offer the vaccines.

“With the high demand and low supply that we’ve had in the state, it’s been kind of difficult on our end to [acquire] the vaccine. So, it all happened — honestly — really quickly,” Gentile said. “About the time when Gov. DeWine came to the health district’s vaccine clinic here, there was mention that the city health department would partner with [YSU]. So that was fantastic.”

Currently, YSU is only offering the Moderna vaccine, which is only approved for those aged 18 and older. Gentile hopes the city will acquire Pfzier doses in the near future, which are approved for those 16 and older, to offer to YSU students currently under 18.

“Unfortunately, there may be a small subgroup of students who aren’t 18 yet that might not qualify for this. So just pay attention to that. We’re working on getting the Pfizer available at a later date just for that other population,” Gentile said. 

On Monday, YSU reported just two new cases on its dashboard for the week of March 14-20. The count included one student living on campus and one student living off campus. The week fell just after a long weekend that began with two Wellness Days: Thursday, March 11 and Friday, March 12. 

The university also tested 90 students, staff and faculty through its voluntary surveillance testing program. Two of those who volunteered tested positive. YSU has tested 676 people through the program since it was implemented the week of Jan. 31 through Feb. 6.  Of those, just 19 participants (2.8%) tested positive.

YSU has reported a total of 583 positive COVID-19 cases since it first began tracking cases Aug. 1, 2020. Of those cases, 528 (90%) were students living on or off campus, while the remaining 55 were faculty and staff. 

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