Campus Visitors, Fans and Friends

Whether you’ve visited Ohio State before or it’s your first time, we want to make sure that you feel confident in our commitment to your well-being. We are taking steps to keep our visitors safe and healthy — and we can all make a difference for each other. The information and resources below will not only help keep you safe, but will also help you ensure the health and safety of others.

Information about…

Additional information

Future undergraduate student visits

Find out more about campus visits and how you can experience Ohio State while we take measures to keep our communities safe.

Learn more

OSU Extension Visitors (including 4-H)

Find out about closures, programs and events at OSU Extension offices throughout Ohio. This includes information on 4-H, certification programs and events.

Read more

Updates

  • All Ohio State autumn 2020 events and gatherings with more than 10 people — whether on or off campus — will be virtual. Gatherings with fewer than 10 in-person participants must adhere to guidelines regarding physical distancing and the use of face masksAn event is defined as a planned activity, other than academic classes scheduled as part of the university curriculum, that is held in a university building or outdoor space on a university campus or with a community partner. A gathering is defined as a formal or informal assembly of people that is either planned or spontaneous.
  • Oct. 20: The university announced new operations and protocols ahead of the first football game of the season at Ohio Stadium. Each home game Saturday, Buckeye fans will be encouraged to experience and enjoy a slice of game day through a Scarlet Saturday production, a live-streamed second-screen experience from inside Ohio Stadium, and that will also include pre-recorded band performances. Read more on the Athletics page.
  • Sept. 16: A new detailed explanation of the metrics included in Ohio State's COVID-19 dashboard is available on the Dashboard Measures and Interpretations page.

View all updates

Frequently asked questions

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Health and Safety

Are masks required for campus visitors?

Face masks must be worn on Ohio State’s campuses. Face masks must be worn in indoor settings, including, but not limited to: classrooms, residence halls, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses, shared vehicles and common areas such as lobbies, study spaces and laundry facilities on all Ohio State campuses. The number of individuals in any indoor space should be limited to facilitate physical distancing. Masks must also be worn in outdoor settings, even when individuals can maintain appropriate physical distancing.

Indoors or outdoors, exceptions are made for those dining, participating in strenuous exercise or taking part in performance-based classes. As an added safety measure, open-air tents are being set up on campus for use by arts, dance and music classes as well as certain courses with extended outdoor activities in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Masks will not be required for classes in these open-air tents. Additionally, there is an exception for university staff working outdoors for long periods of time who are able to maintain appropriate physical distancing and have a mask available if needed.

Do contractors and vendors need to wear masks?

The university continues to refine its policies and continues to focus on making this fall the best environment possible for our students, faculty, staff and visitors — including our contractors. Contractors working on our campuses, as with all members of our community, are expected to meet the behavioral and safety expectations under the Safe Campus Requirements when they physically participate in any university activity, on or off campus. Masks are required to be worn in all indoor settings on our campuses, including enclosed spaces under construction. Masks must also now be worn outdoors in settings on campus, even when individuals can maintain appropriate physical distancing. 

Indoors or outdoors, exceptions are made for those dining, participating in strenuous exercise or taking part in performance-based classes as long as physical distancing can be maintained. Additionally, there is an exception for university staff and contractors working outdoors for long periods of time who are able to maintain appropriate physical distancing and have a mask available, if needed.

What kind of safety measures is the university taking?

The resumption of full operations on Ohio State campuses includes a combination of the use of appropriate face masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, limited density in indoor spaces, control of the flow of traffic into and around select high-traffic buildings, continued employee teleworking when possible, testing, symptoms tracking and contact tracing. 

The university has distributed free return-to-campus kits to students, faculty and staff that include face masks, hand sanitizer and a body thermometer. 

Ohio State has published guidelines and requirements on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes site that detail the measures to be taken by the university and the requirements for all individuals to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of the community. Members of the campus community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors, signed a pledge to affirm their understanding of what is needed to help fight the spread of the virus and their intention to do their part. Accountability measures are in place for those who refuse to complete the training or abide by required health and safety guidelines. The university has also launched a sustained public information initiative. These efforts are based on guidance from federal, state and local health authorities and recommendations of the safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup of the university’s COVID-19 transition task force. 

The resumption of full operations on Ohio State campuses includes a combination of the use of appropriate face masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, limited density in indoor spaces, control of the flow of traffic into and around select high-traffic buildings, continued employee teleworking when possible, testing, symptoms tracking and contact tracing. 

The university has distributed free return-to-campus kits to students, faculty and staff that include face masks, hand sanitizer and a body thermometer. 

Ohio State has published guidelines and requirements on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes site that detail the measures to be taken by the university and the requirements for all individuals to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of the community. Members of the campus community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors, signed a pledge to affirm their understanding of what is needed to help fight the spread of the virus and their intention to do their part. Accountability measures are in place for those who refuse to complete the training or abide by required health and safety guidelines. The university has also launched a sustained public information initiative. These efforts are based on guidance from federal, state and local health authorities and recommendations of the safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup of the university’s COVID-19 transition task force. 

Mental Health and Wellness

I am worried about a student, what can I do?

If the concern is life threatening, please contact 911, the Ohio State Police Department, at 614-292-2121, or the Wexner Medical Center, at 614-293-8333. If the situation is not life threatening, being supportive and encouraging the student to contact Student Life's Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) is often the best first step. CCS does not contact students who do not contact us first out of respect for their privacy and independence. You can also recommend some of the available mental health support options available on campus.

If the concern is life threatening, please contact 911, the Ohio State Police Department, at 614-292-2121, or the Wexner Medical Center, at 614-293-8333. If the situation is not life threatening, being supportive and encouraging the student to contact Student Life's Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) is often the best first step. CCS does not contact students who do not contact us first out of respect for their privacy and independence. You can also recommend some of the available mental health support options available on campus.

What do I need to know as a parent or family member if I have a student in need of mental health support?

If you have concerns and would like to discuss helpful options with your student, please visit Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Service website to review service options. Contact Student Life's Counseling and Consultation Service to request a call back from a counselor at 614-292-5766.

Miscellaneous

Is the Wexner Medical Center open?

Yes. Health plan members and others seeking care should read more about patient safety and new policies before their next visit.

Transportation

What are the details of CABS service during autumn semester?

CABS is limiting occupancy to support safety and physical distancing guidelines related to COVID-19 and has reallocated more buses to move people in smaller quantities. The university is offering two routes during daytime hours. The Med Center Express and a new Buckeye Loop prioritize transporting individuals parking in the Buckeye Lot or West Campus Carmack Lots. Academic core service is not be provided during the daytime but resumes after 7 p.m. via the East Residential and West Campus routes.

Please visit Transportation for additional information and updates.

What steps is CABS taking to ensure the health and safety of riders?

CABS is helping protect the safety of passengers through operational changes, including:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting all buses and high-touch surfaces at least twice per day, including handrails and poles
  • Taping off CABS seats to promote physical distancing and limited occupancy
  • Checking driver health before they start their shift
  • Ensuring all CABS drivers wear face masks
  • Requiring all riders to wear face masks
  • Requiring all riders to board and exit from the rear door

Please reference this website for the most up-to-date guidelines. The university’s COVID-19 Transition Task Force’s Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory Subgroup will continue monitoring changing conditions and consult with local and state health authorities. Recommendations and requirements will be refined as needed.