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 samples 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.