President Todd Diacon told the Kent State community to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear face coverings as the number of on-campus COVID cases continues to rise.
In an emailed announcement, Diacon instructed students, staff and faculty to follow what he called the “Kent State Two Step.”
The two titular steps were receiving a vaccination and wearing a face covering when inside or outside in a large group setting.
“Two steps move us toward increased normalcy during the pandemic,” Diacon said. “Two steps move us through the semester and ensure that all the great things about living and studying on campus continue. Just two steps.”
Diacon expressed concern about the exponential spread of COVID-19 and the delta variant specifically, both generally speaking and at Kent State.
In the email, Diacon said that as of Wednesday the university had already surpassed last week’s 54 cases of COVID, which was itself an increase from the 36 cases two weeks ago.
“Here’s how the pandemic continues to unroll: A few cases become a dozen cases. A dozen cases quickly become 50 cases, and things take off from there,” Diacon said. “Exponential case growth. This is our nation's reality in the days of the delta variant of COVID-19.”
Getting vaccinated and wearing face coverings are both partially covered by Kent State’s requirement of masks indoors on campus and the vaccine mandate which will take effect on Dec. 20. However, Diacon asked students and faculty to go a step further, wearing masks when in outdoor crowds and getting vaccinated as soon as possible rather than waiting until it is required.
Owen MacMillan is assistant managing editor. Contact him at email@example.com.