Local colleges take different approaches to COVID-19 protocols ahead of fall semester

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Many college campuses in and around the Valley have announced their preliminary plans for their students’ return to campus.

Last month First News spoke with Kent State and Ohio State University about their plans for the fall semester. Now let’s take a look at the schools over the border in Western Pennsylvania.

At Grove City College, before returning to campus students must provide one of the following: proof of vaccination, proof of a positive COVID-19 test taken within last 90 days or proof of a negative PCR test within seven days of return to campus.

At Thiel College in Greenville, vaccinated students are asked to email or fax proof of inoculation to health services. Unvaccinated students will need to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of return to campus.

Unvaccinated students will also have to participate in regular testing throughout the semester.

The college is recommending mask wearing and social distancing for those that are not vaccinated but at this time is not mandating it.

At Westminster College, officials strongly recommend students to get vaccinated and to report it to their online health portal. They will not be lifting too many restrictions until 85% of the student population is vaccinated.

The university announced Friday that they will require students to wear a mask when they are indoors on campus.

Some staff at Youngstown State University are not pleased with the current plan to bring students back to campus for the fall semester.

Currently the plan does not require students or staff to wear masks or get vaccinated.

This morning some staff union members are planning to protest these decisions. They want the university to be aware that the faculty members are not happy and feel that they and the students will be at risk.

“We are just thinking that this is not just the safety of the faculty, it’s not…I mean obviously I’m concerned but you know, again, I have a family where my children are older now, they are all vaccinated, but there are others not in that situation,” YSU professor Mark Vopat said.

YSU is currently not requiring students to confirm their vaccination status.

The faculty protest is set to begin at 9 this morning outside Tod Hall.

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