COVID: County Moves to 'Orange' Level, Prompting Masks in Academic Corridors

Dear NEOMED Community: 

Safety and wellness are our first priorities. Our ability to pivot with our safety procedures remains intact as it has throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we continue to monitor trends as they relate to our campus, practice sites, Portage County, the state of Ohio and beyond.

Unfortunately, the Portage County Health District (PCHD) reports that its COVID-19 community level has once again moved up to Orange. This means that based on the current level of 200 or more new cases per 100,000 population in Portage County over the past 7 days as well as the number of new admissions and staffed inpatient beds for COVID-19 patients, the community early warning level of potential increases in health-system strain is high.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the setting of prevention strategies based on high community levels. As a result, NEOMED will reinstitute the University’s “Mandatory Face Mask Zones” beginning Monday, Sept. 12. Such zones include the primary academic corridor (south corridor), all classrooms and clinical settings — e.g., NEOMED Health Care. Face masks may also be required at gatherings/events subject to the discretion of Colleges or event hosts. Each area/room will be marked accordingly.

We continue to have relatively low infection rates among our students, faculty and staff. We achieved this through your dedicated efforts and compliance with the safety guidelines managed by our COVID reporting team. I want to thank all of you for your incredible leadership, commitment and a job well done. 

To continue our efforts to keep the campus community as healthy and safe as possible, NEOMED requires completed COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of attendance and employment. This policy allows for exemption of the vaccination requirement for those individuals with valid medical reasons and matters of conscience. For more details, students should contact Student Services ( and employees should contact Human Resources (

For those who have already been vaccinated, the CDC recommends that everyone who is eligible get a booster and stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, especially people with weakened immune systems. Faculty, staff and students can receive a bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine from NEOvations Pharmacy Services. Appointments can be made on the secure form.

For the most up-to-date information and guidelines regarding COVID-19, NEOMED uses the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) as our single source for mandatory infection control, quarantine and isolation requirements. Please visit the ODH site for the latest information. You may also refer to this ODH infographic for guidance on what to do if you contract or are exposed to someone with COVID-19.

The University also provides links to ODH on our COVID-19 webpage

In addition to following ODH guidelines, you must continue to comply with University safety protocols, which remain on our website and include:

  • Anyone visiting NEOMED’s campus must adhere to all areas on campus that are marked as “Mandatory Face MaskZone”
  • All COVID-positive results should be reported to ­­­­­­­­­­­
  • All Students and Employees: If you have tested positive, you must fill out this short form for the Portage County Health Department. Please use your NEOMED email address when filling out the form. Do not use non-NEOMED or personal email addresses.
  • Students:  You must also fill out the University Student Absence Reporting Form to make Student Services aware of your absence so they can notify your College leads as well as the assessment staff. You may direct questions (not answered in ODH guidelines) regarding exposure and symptoms to Student Services at
  • Employees: You must also notify HR of your positive result by emailing hroffice@neomed.eduYou may direct questions (not answered in ODH guidelines) regarding symptoms and exposures to

I appreciate your understanding as increases or decreases in Portage County’s alert level may necessitate further changes to our protocols.

Thank you again for keeping the campus community as healthy and safe as possible.


John T. Langell


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