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Kent State preparing to bring students and staff back full time for 2021-22 school year

3News' January Keaton spoke with Kent State University's Manfred Van Dulmen about the tough road ahead.

KENT, Ohio — Spring courses have just gotten back into full swing at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, but that isn't stopping administrators from looking ahead to the fall semester, and even 2022. 

3News' January Keaton spoke with Kent State's Chair of the Pandemic Leadership Committee, Manfred Van Dulmen, about how the university plans to educate and protect students in the coming school year.  

“We certainly will increase the number of in-person classes on campus compared to what it’s been this year," Van Dulmen said. 

Van Dulmen says that Kent State plans to return to dormitories with two students per room, and conduct weekly testing at each residence hall to monitor COVID-19 closely. 

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Earlier this week, Kent State University President, Todd Diacon, released a letter to staff and students discussing the plans for the 2021-22 school year, which he says are still a work in progress.

"Our goal is to approach a more normal level of operations in the fall semester with more in-person opportunities for living, learning and working. Even as we approach normal in the fall, we know that significant differences generated by the pandemic will remain," Diacon wrote. 

The KSU president also said that students will most likely be back to in-person classes more than virtual-lessons, as well as the return of other programs that have gone away from COVID-19.

"You can expect study abroad programs to recommence, although with fewer students," said President Diacon. "We will do our best to ensure that all students have more opportunities for in-person learning, as we know this is important for many of our students."

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Currently, KSU is boasting a 1% COVID-19 positivity rate, well below the World Health Organization's acceptable positivity rate threshold of 5%. 

Administrators also hope to start the vaccination of students and professors in the coming months, with a special program called "Flash Your Arm." 

"We are in this together, and together, we will make Kent State an even better place to learn, live and grow."

Fall semester at KSU begins on August 26.