Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once submitted, what happens?

    A COVID-19 support team member will contact you to coordinate an appropriate plan. This may include quarantine, isolation or you may be cleared to return to campus immediately. Each situation is different and dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Once next steps are determined, you will receive a secure email from the YSU Office of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety. The email will provide “clearance” or the date on which it is safe for you to return to campus.

  • What if I’m feeling ill?

    Seek medical care IMMEDIATELY by calling YSU Police at 330-941-3527 or dial 911 if you notice ANY of the following symptoms: Trouble breathing; Persistent pain or pressure in the chest; New confusion; Inability to wake or stay awake; Bluish lips or face. All other medical issues should be discussed with one of our RN case managers.

Contact Tracing

  • Is contact tracing still in place?

    Yes. YSU has established contact tracing and support protocols in the event that a member of the campus community has tested positive. Employees and students should notify the Office of EOHS online. Employees should also inform their supervisor.

  • As a faculty member, how will I be kept in the loop of communication concerning contact tracing of an individual in my class?
    • The university is bound by confidentially laws, such as HIPAA and FERPA, when it comes to students, employees or others who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are deemed close contacts.
    • Faculty will be notified by the university of a pending COVID-19 case in their class only if the faculty member is deemed a close contact of the infected individual or if a seating chart is requested by COVID Support Staff for contact tracing.
    • Even in this situation, the name of the student will NOT be shared.
    • It is the responsibility of the contact tracer to determine and notify potential close contacts, not the faculty member.
    • Faculty are requested to remind students who say they are symptomatic, positive, exposed, etc., to submit a COVID reporting form.
    • If a faculty member suspects that an individual has tested positive and is not reporting it, that faculty member can report the case via the COVID reporting form or by contacting COVID Support Staff.

    Any questions about contact tracing or appropriate actions based on contact with a positive case should be directed to the COVID Support Staff. When in doubt, report the situation with the online COVID report form.

  • What is the process for Contact Tracing in Classrooms?
    • If a positive case is reported to the university regarding a student who has been present in a classroom setting, the contact tracer or a representative of the Dean of Students reaches out to the faculty member of that class and request the seating chart for the classroom.
    • Based on the seating chart, the contact tracer calls any students or others in the classroom who may be considered a close contact (within six feet for more than 15 minutes).
    • The contact tracer follows protocols as outlined above.

    Any questions about contact tracing or appropriate actions based on contact with a positive case should be directed to the COVID Support Staff. When in doubt, report the situation with the online COVID report form.

  • How will I know if a student is absent due to Quarantine or Isolation?

    As soon as a student is informed of the need to Isolate or Quarantine, it is recommended that they communicate their absence with their faculty, campus employer, etc. If you require "formal" documentation, the student is advised to request this from the Office of the Dean of Students at dos@ysu.edu. Alternatively, students who are comfortable sharing (or have already shared) that they need to quarantine/isolate, may simply present the letter they receive from the Office of EOHS as their safe return date is listed; however, providing this letter should NEVER be required.


Face Coverings

  • Do I need to wear a face covering on campus?

    Yes, YSU is requiring face coverings for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor public settings on campus. Individuals are not required to wear masks while alone in their offices or while eating. For more detailed information, view the Fall 2021 tab on the YSU COVID-19 website.

  • Why is YSU requiring face coverings on campus?

    After spending considerable time gathering and assessing the latest local data on COVID-19 and the Delta variant, including meetings with local health officials and discussions with campus pandemic response committees, YSU made the decision to require face coverings for everyone. Four of the counties in our five-county region are currently designated as “high” transmission areas – Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Lawrence, Pa. Mercer County, Pa., is currently designated as “substantial.” If and when these levels fall to acceptable levels, we could reconsider the masking requirement. Masking indoors is yet another way we can help our local communities stop the spread and keep all students, faculty, staff and visitors safe as we return to in-person classes and fully reopen campus. Local, state and federal health officials support masking indoors, and our ongoing survey of students and employees also shows a great deal of support.

  • What should I do if a student is not wearing a mask in my class?

    Kindly inform the student that they must wear a mask to class with respect to the YSU mask mandate. If the student does not have a mask, it would be appropriate to ask them to leave the class for that day, or refer them to the dean’s office, or EOHS (Cushwa 2208), to receive a free mask. If the student's behavior causes a significant disruption to the class, this should be reported to the Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct. Do not contact YSU Police, they are not responsible for enforcing the mask mandate.

International Travel

Mental Health


  • What is Quarantine?

    Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

  • What is Isolation?

    Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected.

  • What should I do if I’m in Isolation?

    Stay home. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).

Residential Students

  • What happens if I test positive while living on campus? What are my options?

    If you are within reasonable travel distance to return home, it is most ideal for you to return home to isolate before coming back to campus when you are cleared to do so. YSU Housing does provide dedicated isolation housing for students who test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely isolate at home, however, there are a limited number of students we can accommodate at any one time.

Safety Protocols

  • Is COVID testing available?

    YSU will have free At Home COVID testing available for any current student, faculty, or staff member. This testing is for surveillance purposes only and anyone who is experiencing symptoms should visit the Mercy Health on Wick Ave for a test.

    Campus will be utilizing 15-minute, BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid antigen tests and managing the testing through a mobile app called NAVICA. At home test kits are available for pick up any time M-F 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Cushwa Hall room 2214.

    In preparation for the testing program, please take the following steps:

    1. Download the NAVICA app on your iPhone or Android device and create an account. Look for the blue icon.
    2. Watch your email for an invitation from NAVICA (noreply@navica.abbott). It will contain a one-time use 12-digit Connect Code to enter in your account. This is unique to you and should not be shared.
    3. In your NAVICA app, go to the “Account & Settings” section and enter your code to “connect” to YSU.

    Once you are connected, your test results will be shared directly with YSU to compile results, state and federal reporting, and clearer insights into COVID-19 trends on our campus.

    If you would rather be tested by a health care professional please go to Mercy Health on Wick Ave for a test.

    For questions on YSU’s COVID-19 testing program, please contact our COVID staff at COVIDSuppport@ysu.edu.

  • Is COVID wastewater testing still taking place?

    Yes. By testing wastewater on its way to treatment plants, the university is able to gather valuable data that could help predict where COVID-19 outbreaks may occur and identify areas of potential infection before individuals are contagious. Sampling devices are in place at university-owned residential facilities.

  • What protocols are in place for residence halls?

    Daily touchpoint and evening cleanings; Plexi-glass at all front desk locations; temperature stations; additional cleaning supplies for student use in common areas and bathrooms; waste water monitoring; specialized HVAC filters in all common areas; dedicated isolation and quarantine housing for any COVID-positive students.


  • Is COVID testing required for students living in university residence halls?

    Yes. Prior to moving in, all students living on campus are required to take a COVID test, regardless of vaccination status. Students will not be permitted to check-in and receive keys unless we can verify that you have received a negative result within the past 72-hour window. On-campus residential students should check their YSU email for additional information.


  • Should I get vaccinated?

    Yes. Everyone in the YSU community – faculty, staff and students – are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. To find a vaccination location, visit the Youngstown City Health Department or Mahoning County Health Department. 

Vaccine Reporting

  • Am I required to share my vaccination information?

    No. This is a voluntary program for YSU employees only, but we encourage you to please participate. Sharing that you have been vaccinated for COVID-19 will provide the university with additional data that will help to inform decisions that will help keep the university safer from COVID-19.

  • What is acceptable proof of COVID-19 vaccination?

    The CDC card issued to you when you received your first COVID-19 shot is the best and easiest way to show proof of vaccination, this is called the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. Some healthcare providers/vaccination sites also provided a print-out of your vaccination[s]. This is also an acceptable proof of vaccination. International vaccination verifications will be on a case-by-case basis.

    Please be aware that an employee who submits a fake or fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination card or print-out will be subject to discipline up to and including termination. Additionally, it is a federal crime to create, sell or buy a fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine card with the seal of a U.S. Government Agency.

  • I have other questions?

    Our COVID-19 Support Team is here to help. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out: Margaret A. Giura, RN (Covid-19 Case Manager) magiura@ysu.edu or 330-717-6441 (cell); Brianna Triplett, BSN, RN (COVID-19 Case Manager) btriplett-guest@ysu.edu or 330-314-0263 (cell); Dr. Nicole Kent-Strollo, EdD, APRN (Dean of Students and Ombudsperson) nkentstrollo@ysu.edu; Julie Gentile (Director, YSU Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health) jagentile@ysu.edu.