Ohio University COVID-19 Dashboard provides updates on coronaviruses, including vaccination rates and positive cases. Other colleges and universities in Ohio have similar methods of reporting COVID-19, but some are not reporting at all.
At the start of the fall semester, OU, along with several higher education institutions, released the COVID-19 vaccine mandates. OU students, faculty and staff are obligatory be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 15.
Like OR, Bowling Green State University, Kenyon College, Mont Saint-Joseph University, Case Western Reserve University and Oberlin College use the dashboard method to report COVID-19 information, but others do not know the number of vaccinations among their campus population. Cristine Boyd, senior director of external communications at Akron University, said in an email that the university’s COVID-19 response team had “not yet produced a progress report” on campus vaccination data.
Some colleges do not require the vaccine at all. Seth Bauguess, director of the communications office at Wright State University, or WSU, said the university did not need the vaccine because its student body did not have as many positive coronavirus cases as other colleges. Additionally, Bauguess said nearly 75% of the more than 4,000 students and employees who took a fall survey were vaccinated.
Youngstown State University, or YSU, is another college that does not mandate a COVID-19 vaccine. Shannon Tirone, associate vice president for academic relations at YSU, said the university is still assessing the situation.
“(We) look at the numbers, talk to voters across campus, and if (we) need to pivot and do something different or go in a different direction… we definitely would,” Tirone said.
Dan Skinner, associate professor of health policy at OU’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, explained how Ohio’s regional and cultural diversity affects a region’s vaccination rate.
Skinner said factors such as religion or socioeconomic status can affect vaccination rates. Additionally, vaccination rates vary due to the way information spreads locally.
In April, Cleveland State University, or CSU, required that all students living on campus during the fall semester get vaccinated. It was the first public university in Ohio to announce a vaccination mandate. However, on September 3, the CSU revoked his vaccine mandate. Forrest Faison, CSU’s chief health strategy officer, announced in a video that the university would reassess its immunization policies on October 19.
“(Cleveland State) is a largely suburban school, so it’s a very different dynamic… You can’t really pit that against the OU with its residential culture or against OSU with its residential culture,” he said. said Skinner. “I think it’s an important thing to note, is that the context of the school is going to be very important.”
The United States Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on August 23. The next day, the Ohio House Health Committee tenuous an audience for a invoice which sought to ban all vaccination mandates in the state.
“Ohio public schools are really afraid of the legislature. I think that’s history, ”Skinner said. “Each school has a different fear of the legislature. They have different issues. This is one of the reasons why OU clearly waited for OSU to take the step.
Ohio State University, or OSU, mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for its students, staff and faculty on August 24. Miami University and WHERE issued statements on Aug. 31 demanding their college communities get vaccinated.
“Once OSU takes a step, it provides coverage… or sets a new standard,” Skinner said. “But the state legislature, as it is currently composed, holds a lot of power, even though the public schools in Ohio no longer receive a ton of state money because we’re a fairly state. underfunded. ”
Skinner said that as soon as the OSU mandated the vaccine, the move allowed other universities and colleges to follow suit. Despite that precedent, the state legislature still controls the amount of funding each school receives, giving the legislature the power to “play with” Ohio public colleges if it chooses, Skinner said.
“A lot of people in the state legislature know about OSU. They’re cheering on OSU… It’s one of the biggest employers in central Ohio, ”Skinner said. “Institutions with a lot of power will give people a break in their care. But also, these institutions, when they act, tend to act very intentionally because they understand their position within the state.
Ohio college leadership has pivoted its coronavirus guidelines several times in 2020 and 2021. Skinner believes institutions are more concerned with doing the right thing than the state legislature.
“They got a terrible hand and they’re playing it the best they can,” Skinner said.
Antioch College, University of Cincinnati, Columbus College of Art and Design, Denison University, Kent State University, College of Wooster, University of Toledo, and Xavier University do not have Responded to requests for comment at time of posting.