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…

Frequently asked questions

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Academic Work

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

The university offers a variety of in-person, virtual and blended experiences. We encourage students to discuss any concerns with their academic advisor to evaluate 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.

Accountability

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. 

Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine

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

Those who test positive for COVID-19, should isolate at home for at least five days (from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms or from the date of test for asymptomatic positive individuals). After five days if you have no fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and no other symptoms (or your symptoms are generally resolving). As instructed, residential students will be required to complete an antigen test on day 5 in order to return to their residence hall.Continue to wear a well-fitted mask for five additional days when in public or when indoors in close proximity to others (within six feet). If you share a living space with others, you must remain masked at all times. This masking requirement is required to exit physical isolation after day 5.People who have a significant COVID-19 exposure (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) should take these actions, based on their vaccination status:

Vaccination StatusQuarantineMaskingTest

One or more of these must apply:

  • Vaccinated and boosted
  • Completed 2 mRNA vaccines within past 6 months
  • Completed J&J vaccination in past 2 months
  • Documented infection within past 90 days
No, unless you have symptoms

10 Days

 

Strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space.

On the day of notification, or earliest possible appointment and again 7 days later

All others

Minimum 5 days

10 Days

 

Strictly wear a well-fitting mask in every environment, including at home in a shared living space.

On the day of notification, or earliest possible appointment and again 7 days later

The clock starts the day after the test. 

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

People who have a significant COVID-19 exposure (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) should take these actions, based on their vaccination status:

Vaccination StatusQuarantineMaskingTest

Vaccinated and boosted

Completed 2 mRNA vaccines within past 6 months

Completed J&J vaccination in past 2 months

No, unless you have symptoms10 DaysRecommended at Day 5

Completed mRNA vaccine series more than 6 months ago and unboosted

Completed J&J vaccine more than 2 months ago and unboosted

Unvaccinated

Minimum 5 days10 DaysRecommended at Day 5

If you are fully vaccinated and have been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive, you may not need to quarantine at this time. The Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team will be in touch to determine if you need to quarantine. If you have received all COVID-19 vaccines you are eligible for, including a booster dose, and you do not have symptoms you will not be required to quarantine.   

Students can contact their local primary care provider (PCP) or the Ohio State Student Health Services (SHS) with via My BuckMD and select COVID Symptoms as appointment reason.

Employees should contact their primary care provider (PCP) or The Ohio State University COVID Call Center at 614-293-4000 to assess the need for testing and to arrange a COVID-19 test if indicated.

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’ 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. Close contact exposure is contact for at least 15 minutes at a distance of less than 6 feet from a person with COVID-19. To count as close contact, the exposure must occur in the 48 hours prior to the other person developing COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19.

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

  • Standing in line to order coffee behind an individual with COVID-19 for three minutes
  • Having classes in the same building as someone who tests positive
  • Walking past a person 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 not to enter the space and suspend cleaning for an appropriate amount of time.

In residence halls where students share a room, a student who tests positive and their close contacts (as designated by contact tracing) are required to complete their isolation process in a designated residence hall or away from campus.    

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.

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.

Graduate Studies

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

Ohio State has implemented a comprehensive testing program that will continue to be an integral part of our safety protocols as students return to campus this fall. By identifying COVID-19 cases early, we can take action to limit the spread of the virus. Below are the plans for Autumn 2021:

  • Pre-arrival testing: All students living in university-managed housing on the Columbus campus and regional campuses as well as sorority and fraternity members on the Columbus campus will need to complete an at-home COVID-19 test within seven days before they return to Ohio State. Additional details about this process will be shared directly from the Office of Student Life.
  • Move-in testing: All Columbus campus students who will be on campus for any reason and all residential students on the regional campuses will be required to test for COVID-19 when they arrive. We recommend that students wear a mask until they receive results of a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Weekly surveillance testing: Currently, unvaccinated students — including all students on the Columbus campus or and regional campus students who live in university housing — will be required to test weekly as the academic year begins. Students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and reported their status to the university will not have to test. We will continue to monitor the impacts of variants of concern and may need to adjust the testing requirements for vaccinated students as new information is available. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, we will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students with the same protocols.

Ohio State has implemented a comprehensive testing program that will continue to be an integral part of our safety protocols as students return to campus this fall. By identifying COVID-19 cases early, we can take action to limit the spread of the virus. Below are the plans for Autumn 2021:

  • Pre-arrival testing: All students living in university-managed housing on the Columbus campus and regional campuses as well as sorority and fraternity members on the Columbus campus will need to complete an at-home COVID-19 test within seven days before they return to Ohio State. Additional details about this process will be shared directly from the Office of Student Life.
  • Move-in testing: All Columbus campus students who will be on campus for any reason and all residential students on the regional campuses will be required to test for COVID-19 when they arrive. We recommend that students wear a mask until they receive results of a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Weekly surveillance testing: Currently, unvaccinated students — including all students on the Columbus campus or and regional campus students who live in university housing — will be required to test weekly as the academic year begins. Students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and reported their status to the university will not have to test. We will continue to monitor the impacts of variants of concern and may need to adjust the testing requirements for vaccinated students as new information is available. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, we will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students with the same protocols.

What testing is required for students who live off campus?

Currently, unvaccinated students will be required to test weekly as the academic year begins. Students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and reported their status to the university will not have to test. We will continue to monitor the impacts of variants of concern and may need to adjust the testing requirements for vaccinated students as new information is available. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, we will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students with the same protocols.

Currently, unvaccinated students will be required to test weekly as the academic year begins. Students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and reported their status to the university will not have to test. We will continue to monitor the impacts of variants of concern and may need to adjust the testing requirements for vaccinated students as new information is available. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, we will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students with the same protocols.

Health and Safety

Are masks required?

Masks remain required for everyone in clinical health care settings (including at the Wexner Medical Center), COVID-19 testing locations and child care centers.

For public events, such as those that take place at the Schottenstein Center and the Covelli Center, masks are optional, effective March 8, 2022. Masks are optional in most indoor spaces on The Ohio State University campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, offices, the Ohio Union, and on public transportation. In settings where masks are optional, students, faculty, staff and visitors can decide on an individual basis whether or not they will continue to wear a mask.

Masks remain required for everyone in clinical health care settings (including at the Wexner Medical Center), COVID-19 testing locations and child care centers.

For public events, such as those that take place at the Schottenstein Center and the Covelli Center, masks are optional, effective March 8, 2022. Masks are optional in most indoor spaces on The Ohio State University campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, offices, the Ohio Union, and on public transportation. In settings where masks are optional, students, faculty, staff and visitors can decide on an individual basis whether or not they will continue to wear a mask.

Masks remain required for everyone in clinical health care settings (including at the Wexner Medical Center), COVID-19 testing locations and child care centers.

For public events, such as those that take place at the Schottenstein Center and the Covelli Center, masks are optional, effective March 8, 2022. Masks are optional in most indoor spaces on The Ohio State University campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, offices, the Ohio Union, and on public transportation. In settings where masks are optional, students, faculty, staff and visitors can decide on an individual basis whether or not they will continue to wear a mask.

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 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. 

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. 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. 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.

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.

Testing

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.

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.


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.