Kent City Council imposes mass gathering ban after rise in COVID-19 cases at Kent State


KENT, Ohio (WJW) — Kent City Council has imposed a mass gathering ban following a recent spike in coronavirus cases at Kent State University.

According to officials, the ban applies to groups of more than 10 people. However, there are some exceptions for places like bars, restaurants and schools.

The ordinance, which goes into effect in early November, will be enforced by Kent City Health Department. Those who attend a party or host a party could face citation, as well as the property owner.

“The nuisance ordinance was already in effect. Kent City Council voted for an expanded authority to include the Health Commissioner or their designee. This is one of many strategies we look to employ to bring our COVID rates down,” explained Kent City Health Commissioner Joan Seidel.

She said new cases are currently highest in the 20-year-old age bracket, but this ordinance covers the City of Kent, not just students.

“To limit spread, which we know happens in a variety of settings, we want people to seriously consider how they gather and how their behaviors affect our entire community,” said Seidel.

On Thursday, it was announced that 110 Kent State students will have to quarantine until Oct. 19 because of possible exposure to COVID-19.

The school recently partnered with CVS to provide free, rapid coronavirus testing to hundreds of students, staff and faculty. The participants will be randomly selected.

Free COVID drive up testing will also be available to the public on Sunday, October 18 at Stanton Middle school from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

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