Current Students

Whether you have returned to a campus full time, are engaging in online learning or taking a blended approach, you play an important part in the community’s health and well-being — on and off campus. Read about the measures Ohio State is taking to keep you safe, learn how you can keep yourself and others safe, and find out more about changes on campus.

Information about…

Updates

  • June 9: For fully vaccinated people, masks are no longer required on Ohio State’s campuses except for in Wexner Medical Center facilities, Student Health facilities and on public transportation – in accordance with public health guidelines. Fully vaccinated individuals are also no longer required to physically distance. Individuals who are not vaccinated are required to continue wearing masks indoors and physically distancing at all times. Read more on the Personal Safety Practices page.
  • April 9: In a message to the university community, President Johnson shared plans for a reactivated campus Autumn semester. Read more on the Autumn Campus Reactivation page
  • April 1: President Johnson announced that the university has been given the opportunity by the state of Ohio to dedicate 25% of the Wexner Medical Center’s first-dose vaccine allocation to any Ohio State student, faculty or staff member. This is possible because of the increasing number of doses available to the Wexner Medical Center and the Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s work to secure additional vaccines for college and university students in Ohio. Appointments under this new opportunity will be displayed in MyChart(link is external) beginning April 9, with the first available appointments beginning Wednesday, April 14, and running through April 20. Each week, additional appointments will be released after the university receives information about the brand and the number of doses for our next weekly allocation of vaccine. Read more on the COVID-19 vaccine information page.
  • March 30: Beginning Monday, April 5, Columbus campus students who live on campus, attend in-person classes, visit campus for any reason or interact with other students and campus community members must schedule and complete two COVID-19 tests each week. Requirements for regional testing students have not changed. Read more in a message from President Johnson.

  • March 17: President Johnson announced plans to host a modified in-person spring commencement for 2021 graduates on May 9, 2021, in Ohio Stadium. The university will make adjustments to provide a memorable celebration that is safe and healthy. Ohio State will also celebrate Ohio State’s spring, summer and autumn 2020 graduates later this year as part of the Aug. 8, 2021 commencement. Typically held at the Schottenstein Center, this commencement will be moved to Ohio Stadium. More information on logistics, ticketing and other parameters for 2021 and 2020 graduates will be shared with the community as commencement nears. Read more in President Johnson’s message to students.

  • Feb. 25: Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson announced that planning is underway for a reactivation of its campuses this fall to offer safe and robust in-person experiences significantly expanded from current restrictions. The university will continue to follow all appropriate measures to promote the health and well-being of the community with the partnership and approval of local, state and federal health authorities. Details of the university’s reactivation plan will be announced in the coming months as leaders continue to study the latest data related to COVID-19 and public health. More information is on the Planning for 2021-22 academic year webpage.

View all updates

Frequently asked questions

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Academic Work

If all of my classes are online, am I required to live on campus?

Fully online courses can be taken from any location. These courses, which will be labeled as “distance learning” on your schedule, do not have an in-person lab, studio or clinical rotation, for example. Given the impact of the pandemic on circumstances this semester, students who choose to stay home to take fully online courses are not required to live in university housing or be physically present on any campus.

Fully online courses can be taken from any location. These courses, which will be labeled as “distance learning” on your schedule, do not have an in-person lab, studio or clinical rotation, for example. Given the impact of the pandemic on circumstances this semester, students who choose to stay home to take fully online courses are not required to live in university housing or be physically present on any campus.

What are my options if I am uncomfortable taking in-person classes?

The university has updated course offerings for autumn semester to offer a variety of in-person, virtual and blended experiences. We would encourage you to discuss any concerns that you might have with your academic advisor after that process has taken place to evaluate your options. Students with particular needs for accommodations should also contact Student Life Disability Services or the ADA Coordinator’s Office.    

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 limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of the community.

A pledge will be required for members of the campus community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors, 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 will be in place for those who do not abide by required health and safety guidelines.

Accountability

What will happen if someone doesn’t comply with required health and safety guidelines?

Accountability measures are in place for those who do not complete the training and sign the pledge, or choose not to abide by required health and safety guidelines. These accountability measures may range from additional training and informal coaching to formal disciplinary action based on existing structures for students, faculty and staff.

Class Management

What will happen if someone in my class gets COVID-19?

The risk of exposure will be minimized if individuals follow the university’s health and safety requirements, including wearing face masks and remaining at least 6 feet apart.

Contact tracers would reach out to students and faculty in the class only if they have had close contact with the infected person — by spending at least 15 minutes together, at a distance of less than 6 feet.

To protect medical privacy, the university would not broadly notify the class of an illness — COVID-19 or otherwise — unless the contact tracing process determined that it was required to protect public health.

The risk of exposure will be minimized if individuals follow the university’s health and safety requirements, including wearing face masks and remaining at least 6 feet apart.

Contact tracers would reach out to students and faculty in the class only if they have had close contact with the infected person — by spending at least 15 minutes together, at a distance of less than 6 feet.

To protect medical privacy, the university would not broadly notify the class of an illness — COVID-19 or otherwise — unless the contact tracing process determined that it was required to protect public health.

The risk of exposure will be minimized if individuals follow the university’s health and safety requirements, including wearing face masks and remaining at least 6 feet apart.

Contact tracers would reach out to students and faculty in the class only if they have had close contact with the infected person — by spending at least 15 minutes together, at a distance of less than 6 feet.

To protect medical privacy, the university would not broadly notify the class of an illness — COVID-19 or otherwise — unless the contact tracing process determined that it was required to protect public health.

Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine

How long does isolation and quarantine last? And when does the clock start?

For those who test positive for COVID-19, the 10 days of isolation starts the day after the positive test sample was taken. The clock starts the day after the test. Then the isolation period lasts for 10 complete days. In most cases, the person can expect to leave isolation after that 10-day period is complete.

For those who were in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19, the 10 days of quarantine starts the day after the close contact occurred. The clock starts the day after the contact. The quarantine period lasts for 10 complete days. In most cases, the person can expect to leave quarantine after that 10-day period is complete.

In cases where a person is experiencing symptoms related to COVID at the end of isolation or quarantine, the time may be extended.

How will I receive information about being released from isolation or quarantine?

The Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team will email or call you shortly before your expected date of release to ask about any symptoms. Please reply to this email promptly. The day before your isolation or quarantine period ends, we will email you release documentation. If you are an on-campus resident in isolation or quarantine housing, you will be able to leave the isolation or quarantine housing at 7:30 a.m. on your day of release.

If the contact tracing team at Ohio State and your local health department instruct you on different isolation or quarantine periods, you must adhere to the longer time period to remain compliant with Ohio State’s protocols and directives, which are guided by public health science and designed to protect the campus and the community.

If I’m a student, will I be tested while in quarantine?

If you are quarantining on or off campus, you should go to Student Health Services to be tested nine or 10 days before your earliest possible date of release from quarantine. Please wear a mask properly over nose, mouth and chin, and maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet and enter the testing queue. The testing hours are Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you live far from campus and returning for this test is not convenient, this is not required. 

Close contacts should use the following steps to get tested soon after starting quarantining.

  • Schedule via My BuckMD or by calling 614-292-4321
  • Select appointment reason: Covid - Voluntary
  • This will schedule the student for an assigned testing time
  • Students do not need to enter the facility upon arrival. Instead, follow the Scarlet signs/Red Tents.
  • Testing hours at Wilce Student Health Center are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Appointments are preferred but limited walk-ups are also available. 

You should not attend your regularly scheduled testing with Vault.

What happens if you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

If you have close contact (as determined by your health care provider or a contact tracer) with an individual with COVID-19, you will quarantine for 10 days after your last exposure to the positive individual regardless of whether you have symptoms.

  • During this 10-day period, you will be asked to stay home, not participate in on-campus activities, separate yourself from others and monitor your health. You will be excluded from on-site work, school or other on-campus activities.
  • A negative COVID test during this 10-day quarantine does not “clear you” from the risk of becoming sick with COVID-19 based on the virus’s incubation period. 
  • You should continue to monitor your symptoms for 14 days after the day of your exposure.

 
If you have close contact and have symptoms of COVID-19, please follow the guidance for What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed.

If you have close contact as determined by a contact tracer, whether or not you have symptoms, you complete a COVID-19 test, which you will arrange by calling The Ohio State University COVID Call Center (for faculty and staff) or Student Health Services (for students).

If you have questions or concerns about an interaction with a known COVID-19 positive individual and you are unsure if it was a close contact, please contact your health care provider to assess your risk.

What information will the contact tracing team be able to access?

Contact tracers are permitted to access information only for use in the university’s pandemic response. The contact tracing team will use individuals’ symptom information from the Daily Health Check and general location information to contact individuals to schedule testing, learn whether others may have been infected and monitor the spread of COVID-19.  

Some examples of general location information include:

  • Student and instructor class roster, residence hall address and office address
  • System logs, like door swipes with an individual's BuckID and OSU Wireless access

 
The Responsible Use of Computing and Network Resources Policy explains the collection, use and sharing of data from information systems. Members of the university community consent to this policy when setting up their name.# and when they use Ohio State information systems, like OSU Wireless or university laptops or PCs.

Visit the web privacy statement to learn more or email privacy@osu.edu with questions about privacy at Ohio State.

What is considered an exposure to COVID-19?

An exposure is when you have come in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. A contact tracer will advise you on whether you have been exposed and next steps. Close contact exposure with an individual with COVID-19 includes:

  • Contact for at least 15 minutes at a distance of less than 6 feet from a person with COVID-19
  • Providing care at home to a person with COVID-19 without personal protective gear
  • Direct physical/intimate contact with a person with COVID-19 (touching, hugging, kissing)
  • Sharing of eating or drinking cups and utensils with a person with COVID-19

 
To count as close contact, the exposure must occur in either the 48 hours prior to or the 10 days after the other person has developed COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.

Types of contact NOT currently considered an “exposure” to an individual with COVID-19 include:

  • Sitting for 30-60 minutes in the same classroom, lecture hall or dining area as a COVID-19 positive individual at a distance of 6 feet or more 
  • Standing in line to order coffee behind an individual with COVID-19 for three minutes at a distance of 6 feet or more 
  • Studying on the same floor in the library with an individual with COVID-19 at a distance of 6 feet or more 
  • Walking past an individual with COVID-19 in the hallway of your residence hall or on the Oval

What kind of cleaning will take place if someone gets COVID-19?

The university’s approach to keeping shared spaces clean during the pandemic is based on scientific guidance to reduce the risks of exposure. Those measures will typically be adequate when someone tests positive. For example, classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected nightly. In some cases, such as those where an infected individual has an office with a door, it will make the most sense to not enter the space and suspend cleaning for an appropriate amount of time.

In residence halls where students share a room, someone with COVID-19 would be moved to isolation and the other student would be moved to quarantine for 14 days.

Who should I tell if I learn that someone has contracted COVID-19?

  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a member of the faculty or staff, you should tell your supervisor and follow appropriate protocol.
  • If you are a supervisor and an employee reports an infection to you, you should contact your Human Resources business partner. Do not notify any other employees, maintaining the individual’s medical privacy.
  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a student, you should immediately contact Student Health Services at sl-covid19.shs@osu.edu.
  • Students are not required to report the specific reason for their illness, including COVID-19 infection, to their instructors.
  • Faculty, staff and students who are made aware of or suspect that someone else has COVID-19 should not share that information with others, with the exception of supervisors reporting to Human Resources.
  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a member of the faculty or staff, you should tell your supervisor and follow appropriate protocol.
  • If you are a supervisor and an employee reports an infection to you, you should contact your Human Resources business partner. Do not notify any other employees, maintaining the individual’s medical privacy.
  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a student, you should immediately contact Student Health Services at sl-covid19.shs@osu.edu.
  • Students are not required to report the specific reason for their illness, including COVID-19 infection, to their instructors.
  • Faculty, staff and students who are made aware of or suspect that someone else has COVID-19 should not share that information with others, with the exception of supervisors reporting to Human Resources.

Who will be informed about COVID-19 cases?

Contact tracers will quickly notify students, staff and faculty who have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 based on scientific guidelines defining risk of exposure. However, the university will not send general notifications to colleges, classes or the general public about individual cases, and we will not release names of individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19. (The Wexner Medical Center does notify departments as part of its clinical operations.)

Will I be informed if my co-worker gets sick?

Not necessarily. Co-workers will be notified only if they have been identified as someone at risk based on scientific standards for determining potential exposure. Close, prolonged contact without proper public health precautions (physical distancing, wearing of face masks) increases the risk of infection. Working in the same building with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive does not, in and of itself, put an individual at risk.

Will my residence hall close down if someone gets COVID-19?

One case in a building will not mean that the residence hall closes. Those with symptoms and known infections will be immediately separated from others to reduce the risk of the spread of illness. If hotspots emerge, the university has a variety of options to reduce the spread of COVID-19 before closing the entire building.

Daily Health Check

Can I report my health information by phone?

Yes. Individuals who do not have access to the Ohio State app or compass.osu.edu can call 614-247-7000 to report. 

Do I have to track my temperature each day?

A daily health check to report body temperature and health status is required for all students, faculty and staff each day they come to campus or work in the community on behalf of the university. Requiring a daily check of all on-campus individuals helps the university to quickly identify any possible outbreaks from those exhibiting symptoms and move quickly to prevent transmission.

This daily check can be reported through the Ohio State mobile app or compass.osu.edu. Thermometers are part of the return-to-campus PPE safety kits provided to students, faculty and staff. The kits include one disposable mask, two reusable masks, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Accountability measures will be in place for those who refuse to complete the training or abide by required health and safety guidelines.

Health Reporting doesn’t show up in Compass for me

Health Reporting doesn’t show up in the Ohio State App for me

  • Make sure you are logged into the Ohio State app.
  • Navigate to the “About You” tab and, if it still isn’t present, update your app.
  • If you are unable to update your operating system to iOS 13+ or Android 7+ use compass.osu.edu in your mobile browser to complete your reporting.

 

How long will my health passport last?

The form resets every 18 hours. You should plan to report your health status daily through the Ohio State app or compass.osu.edu.

How often do I have to report health information?

Once daily when you plan to be on campus or engage with the community on behalf of the university.

Is daily health check data being used for research purposes?

There will not be research done using this data without following appropriate IRB procedures.

Is this HIPAA Data?

No. The university has determined that this is not HIPAA data. It is however sensitive personal data which is protected by our institutional data policy and privacy principles.

Should I use the Ohio State app or Compass?

  • Use whichever tool you’re most comfortable with - both the Ohio State app and Compass display and allow you to update your health reporting details. Information updates across tools so you can use both options interchangeably. 
  • The Ohio State app is free to download in the Apple App or Google Play store for devices running iOS 13/Android 7 or higher. 
  • Compass can be accessed through any web browser by visiting compass.osu.edu.

 

Who is required to complete the daily health check?

A daily health check to report body temperature and health status is required for all students, faculty and staff each day they come to campus or work in the community on behalf of the university. Requiring a daily check of all on-campus individuals helps the university to quickly identify any possible outbreaks from those exhibiting symptoms and move quickly to prevent transmission.

Will I need to show my health passport to someone to gain entry to a building?

Not all buildings will require you to present your health passport for entry. It will vary from building to building. 

Dining on Campus

How will university dining plans be affected? 

The university is promoting physical distancing in on-campus housing and dining locations. Dining options feature mobile ordering and grab-and-go options. For additional information, visit housing.osu.edu.

Will this include a reduction in costs for housing and meal plans since there will be less time on campus?

University housing (excluding graduate/professional/family housing) and dining operations on all campuses closed as scheduled at the end of the day on Wednesday, November 25, after which time classes moved to an online format. Associated housing and dining charges were adjusted before billing at the beginning of the semester to reflect the abbreviated on-campus schedule for autumn 2020. Note: Changes in housing assignments and/or dining plans may impact your Statement of Account.​

University housing (excluding graduate/professional/family housing) and dining operations on all campuses closed as scheduled at the end of the day on Wednesday, November 25, after which time classes moved to an online format. Associated housing and dining charges were adjusted before billing at the beginning of the semester to reflect the abbreviated on-campus schedule for autumn 2020. Note: Changes in housing assignments and/or dining plans may impact your Statement of Account.​

Events

What are the plans for an in-person commencement for the classes of 2020 who have been impacted?

Ohio State will recognize Ohio State’s spring, summer and autumn 2020 graduates later this year as part of the Aug. 8 commencement. Typically held at the Schottenstein Center, this commencement will be moved to Ohio Stadium to help ensure a safe and healthy experience. Health and safety guidelines will be announced in the coming months, after consultation with government partners and public health experts.

Graduate Studies

How can graduate and professional students take a COVID-19 test?

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your primary care physician (PCP) or Student Health Services for a health assessment and direction. If you do not have a local PCP, please schedule a telehealth appointment with Ohio State Student Health Services (SHS) with via My BuckMD and select COVID Symptoms as appointment reason.

Beginning the week of Sept. 21, graduate and professional students will be included in the university’s surveillance testing program. Students tested as part of this program are not required to quarantine while awaiting test results. Each week, the university will select a sample of 1,500 graduate and professional students, who are asked to take a COVID-19 diagnostic saliva test. Students are notified via their university email account when they have been selected for the surveillance testing. More information about surveillance testing for undergraduate students on the Columbus campus is available on the Student Health Services website.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your primary care physician (PCP) or Student Health Services for a health assessment and direction. If you do not have a local PCP, please schedule a telehealth appointment with Ohio State Student Health Services (SHS) with via My BuckMD and select COVID Symptoms as appointment reason.

Beginning the week of Sept. 21, graduate and professional students will be included in the university’s surveillance testing program. Students tested as part of this program are not required to quarantine while awaiting test results. Each week, the university will select a sample of 1,500 graduate and professional students, who are asked to take a COVID-19 diagnostic saliva test. Students are notified via their university email account when they have been selected for the surveillance testing. More information about surveillance testing for undergraduate students on the Columbus campus is available on the Student Health Services website.

What is Ohio State’s COVID-19 testing program?

Ohio State has implemented a comprehensive testing program, including:

  • Surveillance testing consisting of mandatory weekly testing of all students at all ranks who live in residence halls or university-managed housing coupled with regular testing of asymptomatic undergraduate, graduate and professional students who live off-campus;
  • Voluntary testing of asymptomatic faculty and staff;
  • Targeted testing if COVID-19 hotspots are identified;
  • Sharing of aggregate information in a way that protects individuals’ medical and educational privacy;
  • Keeping university leaders and the public up to date about the virus’s spread and informing decision-making throughout the semester.

The university is also partnering with the Wexner Medical Center and third-party provider Vault to work toward the use of “pooled” testing, whereby multiple samples from five to 10 individuals can be evaluated for COVID-19 in a single test. This method allows for more people to be tested quickly using fewer resources. 

Compliance with testing, isolation and quarantine procedures is expected as one of the conditions of returning to campus. Failure of students to comply may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to non-residential spaces and a report to Student Conduct. There will be no direct costs to students participating in surveillance testing.

Ohio State has implemented a comprehensive testing program, including:

  • Surveillance testing consisting of mandatory weekly testing of all students at all ranks who live in residence halls or university-managed housing coupled with regular testing of asymptomatic undergraduate, graduate and professional students who live off-campus;
  • Voluntary testing of asymptomatic faculty and staff;
  • Targeted testing if COVID-19 hotspots are identified;
  • Sharing of aggregate information in a way that protects individuals’ medical and educational privacy;
  • Keeping university leaders and the public up to date about the virus’s spread and informing decision-making throughout the semester.

The university is also partnering with the Wexner Medical Center and third-party provider Vault to work toward the use of “pooled” testing, whereby multiple samples from five to 10 individuals can be evaluated for COVID-19 in a single test. This method allows for more people to be tested quickly using fewer resources. 

Compliance with testing, isolation and quarantine procedures is expected as one of the conditions of returning to campus. Failure of students to comply may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to non-residential spaces and a report to Student Conduct. There will be no direct costs to students participating in surveillance testing.

What testing is required for students who live off campus?

Each week, the university selects a sample of undergraduate, graduate and professional students on the Columbus-campus, who are asked to take a COVID-19 diagnostic saliva test. Students are notified via their university email account when they have been selected for the surveillance testing. More information about surveillance testing for undergraduate students on the Columbus campus is available on the Student Health Services website.

Each week, the university selects a sample of undergraduate, graduate and professional students on the Columbus-campus, who are asked to take a COVID-19 diagnostic saliva test. Students are notified via their university email account when they have been selected for the surveillance testing. More information about surveillance testing for undergraduate students on the Columbus campus is available on the Student Health Services website.

Health and Safety

Are masks required?

For fully vaccinated people, masks are no longer required on Ohio State’s campuses except for in Wexner Medical Center facilities, Student Health facilities, colleges and units with public facing clinical operations,  and on public transportation – in accordance with public health guidelines. Fully vaccinated individuals are also no longer required to physically distance. Individuals who are not vaccinated are required to continue wearing masks indoors and physically distancing at all times. At the Wexner Medical Center, there are additional safety measures and masking guidance in place.

For fully vaccinated people, masks are no longer required on Ohio State’s campuses except for in Wexner Medical Center facilities, Student Health facilities, colleges and units with public facing clinical operations,  and on public transportation – in accordance with public health guidelines. Fully vaccinated individuals are also no longer required to physically distance. Individuals who are not vaccinated are required to continue wearing masks indoors and physically distancing at all times. At the Wexner Medical Center, there are additional safety measures and masking guidance in place.

For fully vaccinated people, masks are no longer required on Ohio State’s campuses except for in Wexner Medical Center facilities, Student Health facilities, colleges and units with public facing clinical operations,  and on public transportation – in accordance with public health guidelines. Fully vaccinated individuals are also no longer required to physically distance. Individuals who are not vaccinated are required to continue wearing masks indoors and physically distancing at all times. At the Wexner Medical Center, there are additional safety measures and masking guidance in place.

Are there any safety guidelines for commuter students living at home but coming to campus for in-person classes?

Ohio State is working closely with public health officials and other partners to encourage students who do not live on campus to practice physical distancing and good hygiene habits as well as avoid having or attending large gatherings. The university will continue working with all stakeholders to encourage health and safety efforts.

Support services are available for students who do not live on campus. Students can work with the Off Campus and Commuter Student Services office (offcampus@osu.edu), Student Legal Services (studentlegal@osu.edu) or the Student Advocacy Center (advocacy@osu.edu) for support.

I am a student with an accommodation for a disability – how will my accommodation be supported?

Students with particular needs for accommodations should also contact Student Life Disability Services or the ADA Coordinator’s Office.

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. 

What support will be provided for students who live off campus?

Support services are available for students who live in the off-campus area. Students can work with the Off Campus and Commuter Student Services office (offcampus@osu.edu), Student Legal Services (studentlegal@osu.edu) or the Student Advocacy Center (advocacy@osu.edu) for support with housing, legal issues and any other issues they may be navigating at the university.

What will happen if someone doesn’t comply with required health and safety guidelines?

Accountability measures are in place for those who choose not to abide by required health and safety guidelines. These accountability measures may range from additional training and informal coaching to formal disciplinary action based on existing structures for students, faculty and staff. They are available here.

International Graduate Students

Can graduate students who are unable to return to the United States continue to be paid as GTAs or GRAs?

International graduate students continuing as a Graduate Associate student-employee for Spring 2021 and not allowed to return to the United States of America due to pandemic-related travel restrictions in force in their country, or ours, can receive a stipend and fee authorization for Spring 2021 only. This agreement assumes the students were in the United States of America and enrolled at Ohio State University before departing the United States, are being paid into U.S. bank accounts, and are planning to return to the United States to complete their degree requirements. The Graduate Associate may incur tax responsibility from the foreign country. We will continue to monitor and evaluate this guidance. As circumstances develop or change, this arrangement may not continue.

 

International graduate students continuing as a Graduate Associate student-employee for Spring 2021 and not allowed to return to the United States of America due to pandemic-related travel restrictions in force in their country, or ours, can receive a stipend and fee authorization for Spring 2021 only. This agreement assumes the students were in the United States of America and enrolled at Ohio State University before departing the United States, are being paid into U.S. bank accounts, and are planning to return to the United States to complete their degree requirements. The Graduate Associate may incur tax responsibility from the foreign country. We will continue to monitor and evaluate this guidance. As circumstances develop or change, this arrangement may not continue.

 

How can graduate applicants meet English proficiency requirements if testing centers are closed?

In response to the temporary closings of testing centers in countries such as China and Iran, the Graduate School is temporarily accepting Duolingo English Test examination results for tests taken between May 1 and Sept. 1, 2020. The Duolingo English Test will be accepted as an alternative to TOEFL or IELTS for proof of English proficiency for impacted applicants.

In response to the temporary closings of testing centers in countries such as China and Iran, the Graduate School is temporarily accepting Duolingo English Test examination results for tests taken between May 1 and Sept. 1, 2020. The Duolingo English Test will be accepted as an alternative to TOEFL or IELTS for proof of English proficiency for impacted applicants.

Living on Campus

Who is living in the residence halls?

In order to maintain physical distancing, the university has reduced population density in residence halls. Living on campus contributes to student success and persistence, and the university will continue to house students of all ranks.    

Ohio State has temporarily expanded the housing exemption criteria for returning second-year students for the 2020-21 academic year. For additional information, visit housing.osu.edu 

In accordance with guidance from the safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup, the university is providing isolation and quarantine housing for on-campus residents. The residential experience is a core part of the Ohio State student experience, and university leaders are committed to promoting a safe and healthy on-campus experience in partnership with students.   

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.

What mental health and wellness resources are available on campus?

The safety of the Ohio State community is and always will be the university’s first priority. There are a variety of resources available for students, faculty and staff. The university has also compiled a wide range of research-based intervention strategies and information that can help build resiliency and enhance mental, emotional and physical health and well-being. Comprehensive information is available on the Mental Health and Wellness page and key resources are listed below.

If you or someone you know is an imminent danger to themselves or someone else, go to the nearest ER or call 911. If you are thinking of harming yourself or if you are worried about someone else and need advice about what to do, call the suicide prevention lifeline at 614-221-5445 or 800-273-8255 (TALK) or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting 4HOPE to 741741.

The safety of the Ohio State community is and always will be the university’s first priority. There are a variety of resources available for students, faculty and staff. The university has also compiled a wide range of research-based intervention strategies and information that can help build resiliency and enhance mental, emotional and physical health and well-being. Comprehensive information is available on the Mental Health and Wellness page and key resources are listed below.

If you or someone you know is an imminent danger to themselves or someone else, go to the nearest ER or call 911. If you are thinking of harming yourself or if you are worried about someone else and need advice about what to do, call the suicide prevention lifeline at 614-221-5445 or 800-273-8255 (TALK) or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting 4HOPE to 741741.

What wellness resources are available for graduate students?

Wellness resources for graduate students are listed on the Graduate School website to supplement the university’s Keep Well website. The resource provides helpful hints on developing a daily routine, creating ergonomic workspaces, tips for personal expression and staying connected with friends, family and colleagues. Links are also provided to Counseling and Consultation Services and resources through Student Life.

Wellness resources for graduate students are listed on the Graduate School website to supplement the university’s Keep Well website. The resource provides helpful hints on developing a daily routine, creating ergonomic workspaces, tips for personal expression and staying connected with friends, family and colleagues. Links are also provided to Counseling and Consultation Services and resources through Student Life.

Miscellaneous

How will the university determine if it is necessary to move to fully online courses and close residence halls?

All Buckeyes want the same thing — to return to on-campus instruction, research and other campus activities as safely as possible and in a manner that gives everyone peace of mind. Accomplishing this goal means every member of the university community must work Together As Buckeyes. In order to remain open this fall, the virus must be controlled as measured by a range of qualitative and quantitative metrics. Residence hall spaces and hospital beds available must be preserved for quarantine, isolation and treatment. If the rate of infection and hospitalizations is not reduced, the university will return to remote instruction and will have to close residence halls. Avoiding this means every Buckeye will have to shoulder a measure of the burden and adhere to stricter health and safety guidelines.

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.

What preparations is the university making in case in-person operations must be suspended again?

The university recognizes the need for contingency plans, and we are preparing for a variety of situations. Both prior to COVID-19 and as a response to it, Ohio State has developed a strong capacity for online operations that includes websites and resources devoted to supporting learning, teaching, work, research and more. We continue to build on those capacities.

Research

How do I report concerns if safety protocols are not being followed in a research lab?

The Office of Research has developed a web-based tool (http://go.osu.edu/report-a-concern) to report research-related concerns around non-compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols. While the most direct route for addressing concerns is to contact a supervisor, department chair or college office, we recognize that is not always feasible. Any concerns reported through this tool will be sent directly to the Office of Research for review.

Where can I find information on the staged return to campus for research?

The Office of Research has details about the return to campus plan.

Testing

Can the university use my COVID-19 test results for research?

Contact tracers are only permitted to use your information for the university’s pandemic response. COVID-19 or pandemic research must go through a separate review and approval process, which is governed by the university’s Human Research Protection Program.

I tested positive for COVID-19 last semester. Will I need to be a part of the routine weekly testing this semester?

Yes. If your positive test was more than 90 days ago, you will need to restart weekly testing. If your test was less than 90 days ago, you won’t start testing until that 90-day mark.

If I previously had COVID-19 and have a positive test would I have to go into isolation?

Yes. If your previous positive test was more than 90 days ago, you would have to go into isolation if you had a new positive test. After 90 days, a positive test is likely to mean that you have a new infection.

If I tested positive for COVID-19 before, do I need to wear a mask and practice physical distancing?

Yes. You should act as if you had never been infected. These measures protect all of us.

What are the details of the university’s surveillance testing program?

Ohio State’s surveillance testing program consists of mandatory weekly testing of all students at all ranks who live in residence halls or university-managed housing coupled with regular testing of samples of asymptomatic undergraduate, graduate and professional students who live off campus. Students are notified via their university email account when they have been selected for the surveillance testing. Testing will be done via nasopharyngeal swab. More information is available on the Student Health Services website.

What if I am identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19? Will I need to go into quarantine even though I had COVID before?

Yes. Quarantine prevents people who have been exposed to COVID-19 who may have an infection from exposing other people. Even though you may have had COVID-19 before, re-infection is possible and transmission also is a possibility. So, we must be cautious and limit potential transmission in every way that we can.

What testing is required for students who live on campus?

Students living in residence halls were required to complete a saliva test during move-in on the Columbus campus. Compliance with the university’s surveillance testing program is required for continued residence on campus.

Why would I need to be tested after having COVID-19? I thought I was immune.

Currently, no one knows how long immunity lasts. People who have had COVID-19 can be infected again. It doesn’t seem to be common, but it happens. It’s important to remember that someone with an infection and no symptoms can make others sick, which means a new infection you don’t even recognize presents a risk to others. Testing allows us to identify those people who might transmit to others and isolate them to reduce that possibility.

Transition Task Force

What is the role of the safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup?

The safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup uses a data-driven approach to recommend to the transition task force robust safety protocols and other measures to protect the health of the Buckeye community and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Transportation

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
Tuition and Fees

Can I still use Columbus campus services if I am fully online?

For spring 2021 semester, students who are fully online can opt in for services available to in-person students on the Columbus campus.
 
If you are taking only distance learning courses this semester, the university will by default charge a Distance Education fee but you will not be charged the fees associated with on-campus services. You would therefore not be able to use those services. (See the default online fee structure for Columbus campus students.)
 
If you opt in for a bundle of these services, the university will not charge the $100 Distance Education fee and instead charge $250.90 for the fees associated with on-campus services. These on-campus fees, which are available only as a package, include the COTA, Recreation, Student Activities and Student Union.

To opt in, contact housing@osu.edu.

Selecting this option will not affect the non-resident surcharge for students from outside Ohio.

Note: This option is offered in spring 2021 given the extraordinary circumstances. It may not be available in future semesters.

Why does Ohio State charge a non-resident surcharge?

The state requires by law that we charge a non-resident surcharge. In addition, the non-resident surcharge helps to cover a portion of the basic costs of teaching, whether in-person or online. Ohio taxpayers support instruction and university operations through their state taxes, and the university receives a subsidy for each Ohio student to help fund instruction. The non-resident surcharge helps to do the same for students from outside of Ohio. This is the standard way that tuition is structured among public universities throughout the United States.


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.