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.

Academic Work for Graduate Students

How can graduate students request a leave of absence?

The Graduate School has accommodation processes for students who would like to request a leave of absence from their academic program due to an extenuating circumstance. Please see Section 3.1 and Section 7.7 of the Graduate School Handbook for detailed descriptions of pre and post-candidacy leaves of absence. Students with a GA appointment seeking a leave of absence should contact their program for assistance. More information may be found in Section 11.2 and Appendix F of the Graduate School Handbook.

If COVID-19 has affected my ability to complete my graduate degree, can I request an extension?

Yes. The Graduate School has always had an active petition process to address issues for students who need additional time to complete their degree due to unforeseen circumstances. Specifically, all graduate students have the opportunity to extend graduation past the five-year post-candidacy deadline by submitting a petition through http://gradforms.osu.edu/ following rules indicated in the Graduate School Handbook section 7.7.7.

What teaching support resources are available for GTAs?

Tools, strategies, workshops and other resources are available for instructors through these websites:

Where can I find information about safety protocols and other adjustments to teaching?

The Teaching page provides details for instructors on a variety of topics, from cleaning protocols to the type of assignments that allow for proper physical distancing.

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. 

Classroom Safety Measures

Are masks required in classrooms?

As of Aug. 2, all students, faculty and staff are required to wear masks in classrooms and other shared indoor spaces. These include common areas, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses and shared vehicles on all Ohio State campuses.

As of Aug. 2, all students, faculty and staff are required to wear masks in classrooms and other shared indoor spaces. These include common areas, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses and shared vehicles on all Ohio State campuses.

Can I hold meetings in person?

Yes. In-person meetings are permitted. There may still be instances where virtual meetings are preferred or more efficient. Meeting organizers are encouraged to determine what mode — in person, virtual or hybrid — will achieve the desired outcome of the meeting. Masks are required in indoor spaces.

Can I set health and safety requirements in my classes?

Health protocols should follow university guidance. As of Aug. 2, masks are required in classrooms and other indoor spaces.

Additional protections may be required in clinical health-care settings or in alignment with general safety practices for a particular circumstance, such as a lab. For information about workplace accommodations related to COVID-19 or any other issues, please contact the Office of Human Resources

Do I have to have my office hours in a face-to-face format?

No. Instructors may choose if they would like to offer in person or virtual office hours. If a student requests an in-person meeting, faculty should make efforts to accommodate this request.  If an in-person meeting is held, the individuals must adhere to the indoor mask requirement.

Does the university require COVID-19 vaccines?

To enhance the health and safety of the university community, Ohio State is requiring every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The deadline for all Ohio State students, faculty and staff to have at least a first dose is Friday, October 15, 2021. For people receiving a two-dose vaccine, the second dose must be received by November 15, 2021. For details and timeline for the Wexner Medical Center’s employee requirement, visit the Wexner Medical Center site.

The university is taking this step because vaccines are the safest and most effective form of protection against COVID-19. Scientists have learned a significant amount about the Delta variant, and this research underscores why being vaccinated is critical to combating COVID-19. This variant is particularly effective in attaching to our cells – which means it is that much more effective at gaining entry into our bodies and making us sick. Additional information is available on the COVID-19 requirement page.

I teach an in-person class and a student informed me they tested positive. What do I do next?

No action is required on your part. Faculty and staff who are made aware of a student’s positive test should never share private medical information with others.

The Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team conducts contact tracing for all students who test positive for COVID-19. After speaking with the positive case, anyone identified as a close contact (including exposed classmates) will be notified and advised on next steps. The CICTT cannot discuss individual test results with instructors, but if you have general questions, please call 614-688-2273.

No action is required on your part. Faculty and staff who are made aware of a student’s positive test should never share private medical information with others.

The Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team conducts contact tracing for all students who test positive for COVID-19. After speaking with the positive case, anyone identified as a close contact (including exposed classmates) will be notified and advised on next steps. The CICTT cannot discuss individual test results with instructors, but if you have general questions, please call 614-688-2273.

If a student is uncomfortable with attending classes in-person, do I need to provide them with virtual instruction?

The mode of instruction for each class is determined by the university and is subject to change at the discretion of the university in reliance on the guidance received from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health and local health authorities. In addition, academic programs have determined their course offerings by taking into account various factors.

Unless altered by the university, all classes must be taught in the listed mode of instruction.

Instructors are not expected to present sections in multiple teaching modes. Students who are uncomfortable taking courses in-person should consult with their advisor about distance learning options.

Student Life Disability Services can provide guidance and assistance to students with disabilities who require accommodations. Failure to return to Ohio State’s campuses due to travel restrictions or anxiety about travel and exposure are not qualifying conditions. Significant immuno-suppressed, cardiac and cancer related conditions comprise most of the high-risk factors identified by the CDC. 

If I am uncomfortable with the university’s health policies, can I change the mode of instruction in my class?

The mode of instruction for each class is determined by the university and is subject to change at the discretion of the university in reliance on the guidance received from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health and local health authorities. In addition, academic programs have determined their course offerings by taking into account various factors. Neither students nor instructors may alter the mode of instruction for any class without the university’s prior approval.

Integrated Disability within the Office of Human Resources can provide assistance to faculty and staff with disabilities who require accommodations because of the interaction of COVID-19 and their medical condition.  Visit the OHR resource page or contact Human Resources at 614-292-3439 or hr-integrateddisability@osu.edu.  Accommodations are based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance on at risk conditions and accommodations. Anxiety about exposure and difficulty, travel restrictions or risks are not qualifying conditions. Significant immuno-suppressed, cardiac and cancer-related conditions comprise most of the high-risk factors identified by the CDC. 

May I ask people whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccine?

As with other personal health information, people should not ask others if they are vaccinated.

To enhance the health and safety of the university community, Ohio State is requiring every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Compliance with this requirement will be managed by the university and Wexner Medical Center. Individual managers or instructors will be contacted only when appropriate in cases of non-compliance.

The deadline for all Ohio State students, faculty and staff to have at least a first dose is Friday, October 15, 2021. For people receiving a two-dose vaccine, the second dose must be received by November 15, 2021.

For details and timeline for the Wexner Medical Center’s employee requirement, visit the Wexner Medical Center site.

May people eat or drink during class?

Individuals should not eat in classrooms. Individuals can take an occasional drink, but should take masks off only as necessary.

Individuals should not eat in classrooms. Individuals can take an occasional drink, but should take masks off only as necessary.

Where will personal protective equipment be available? 

Hand sanitizing stations are available in every building. In addition, free face masks are available in most university libraries for students, faculty and staff who arrive to campus without one. These should be reserved for those in need. Masks can be picked up during business hours at circulation desks in the university libraries listed below. Hours can be found on the University Libraries website.

 

    Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine

    How long do 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 10-14 days of quarantine starts the day after the close contact occurred. The clock starts the day after the contact. The quarantine period lasts for 10-14 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.

    I know I’m not allowed to go to the dining hall or leave my room while in isolation/quarantine. How will I get food?

    Food is received upon checking in and delivered by Dining Services during the duration of the stay in quarantine and isolation housing.

    I received a positive test result but have not been relocated to isolated housing yet. What’s happening?

    Depending on when your test results come in — they may arrive around the clock — you might have to isolate for a time in your current residence before receiving further direction. During this time, you must take safety measures including wearing a mask properly and making sure anybody who lives with you is masked and maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet. If you have to use a shared bathroom or leave the room for food and water during this waiting period, wear a mask, stay physically distant from others and return immediately to your room.

    I tested positive, but later tested negative. Why do I have to stay in isolation?

    For the safety of the Buckeye community, and the broader community, we are following scientific recommendations and erring on the side of caution. Available evidence suggests that those with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptoms emerge. For those without symptoms, people remain infectious no longer than 10 days after the day the test sample was collected. By requiring all people with a positive COVID-19 test to stay in isolation for 10 days, this increases the chances we will limit infections and be able to stay on campus. We are not currently recommending re-testing for anyone who has had a positive test.

    If I just had a positive test, can I get retested?

    If you have a COVID-19 diagnosis and are in isolation for 10 days, retesting is not recommended within three months after the date of test or date of symptom onset for the initial COVID-19 infection. In other words, once you have a positive test, we will stop testing you for 90 days.

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

    You will not be required to test while in quarantine, but it is recommended that all close contacts test 5 days after their exposure. Your contact tracer will go over testing options while in quarantine.

    I’ve been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and told I have to quarantine – even though I’ve been tested recently and was not positive for the virus. Why do I have to quarantine?

    A close contact of an infected person could be carrying the virus for some time before a test would come back positive. Contact tracing is based on proven public health science and shows that limiting the personal interactions of close contacts protects the community by stopping more infections. At Ohio State, it means giving us our best opportunity to keep infection rates from going up and being able to stay together on campus.

    My roommate has tested positive for COVID-19 but has not yet been relocated to isolation housing. What should I do? What should I expect?

    Remain in your residence hall room as much as possible and avoid unnecessary contact with others. Wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from your roommate and others. The university is making every effort to assist with next steps quickly. If you have to use a shared bathroom or leave the room for food and water during this waiting period, wear a mask, stay physically distant from others and return immediately to your room. Students who want to self-report exposure to someone with COVID-19, please contact the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team at 614-688-CASE or ContactTracing@osu.edu.

    Somebody who has COVID-19 identified me as a close contact, but I don’t think that I am. I know that you have to maintain that student’s privacy, but why can’t I get more information about what this person said in case it’s not correct?

    The contact tracing team follows strict scientific guidance as they interview infected students and their potential contacts. They work hard to ensure that close contacts are accurately identified. It’s possible that the contact you think may have misreported isn’t the actual reason you’ve been identified as at-risk. For example, you may be aware of a friend who has COVID-19 who you only waved to from across High Street. But you might be completely unaware of another potential exposure because you don’t know that another friend has tested positive.

    Remember to always take these precautions:

    • Wear a mask properly, over your nose and mouth, while in public, including outdoors
    • Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance for any extended contact

    What are my responsibilities as a supervisor if an employee notifies me of possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection?

    • Instruct the employee to not come to work or campus except to receive health care and to follow the steps outlined in the appropriate scenario described on the Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine page.
    • Make arrangements for the employee to telework or for the employee’s duties to be covered as needed.
    • Ensure the employee is aware of their leave options and has submitted the appropriate leave request.
    • Do not notify other team members or others in your college or unit. Maintain the employee’s medical privacy. Assessing possible exposures and notifying those who are at potential risk is the responsibility of the public health contact tracing team.
    • Notify your college or unit HR business partner.

    What happens if I 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 need to work with the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team to determine next steps, including potential quarantine, testing and other safety measures.

    For those who are required to quarantine:

    • During this period, which lasts at least 10 days, 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 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’ 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:

    • 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.

    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.

    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 for campus visitors?

    Effective Aug. 2, students, faculty, staff and visitors to all Ohio State campuses and medical facilities are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Masks continue to be required outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain physical distancing. Vaccinated people are not required to mask outdoors.

    Are masks required?

    Effective Aug. 2, students, faculty, staff and visitors to all Ohio State campuses and medical facilities are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Masks continue to be required outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain physical distancing. Vaccinated people are not required to mask outdoors.

    Effective Aug. 2, students, faculty, staff and visitors to all Ohio State campuses and medical facilities are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Masks continue to be required outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain physical distancing. Vaccinated people are not required to mask outdoors.

    Effective Aug. 2, students, faculty, staff and visitors to all Ohio State campuses and medical facilities are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Masks continue to be required outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain physical distancing. Vaccinated people are not required to mask outdoors.

    Do contractors and vendors need to wear masks?

    Effective Aug. 2, students, faculty, staff and visitors to all Ohio State campuses and medical facilities are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Masks continue to be required outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain physical distancing. Vaccinated people are not required to mask outdoors.

    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. They are available here.

    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.

    Personal Protection and Hygiene

    Do I need to wear a mask when I am alone in my office?

    Individuals working alone in a private office/closed-door, private workspace do not need to wear a mask while in those spaces. Masks are required outside the office and if there is more than one person in the workspace.

    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.

    Support for Teaching

    How will I be notified if a student needs an accommodation?

    Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) will reach out directly to instructors if a student with a disability requires an accommodation. Significant immuno-suppressed, cardiac and cancer-related conditions comprise most of the high-risk factors identified by the Center for Disease Control.  Students with these types of conditions may be approved for remote participation. Failure to return to Ohio State’s campuses due to travel restrictions or anxiety about travel and exposure are not qualifying conditions.

    Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) will reach out directly to instructors if a student with a disability requires an accommodation. Significant immuno-suppressed, cardiac and cancer-related conditions comprise most of the high-risk factors identified by the Center for Disease Control.  Students with these types of conditions may be approved for remote participation. Failure to return to Ohio State’s campuses due to travel restrictions or anxiety about travel and exposure are not qualifying conditions.

    I have been notified that a student’s accommodation request has been approved. How do I accommodate them?

    If a student with a disability requires an accommodation, Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) will reach out directly to instructors to determine feasibility of report participation for each specific course. Instructors are not expected to present sections in multiple teaching modes. However, they may be asked to utilize technology, such as Zoom, to provide the student with virtual access to a course if the student is ordered to quarantine, isolate, or are otherwise approved for remote participation as an accommodation due to their conditions. The request to accommodate a student with Zoom or other digital access for a class does not mean that the class is reorganized around a virtual presentation. It may allow a student to access the class, but the student may need to utilize additional means to ensure full participation (note-taking by a classmate, office hours, e-mail. etc.)

    If a student with a disability requires an accommodation, Student Life Disability Services (SLDS) will reach out directly to instructors to determine feasibility of report participation for each specific course. Instructors are not expected to present sections in multiple teaching modes. However, they may be asked to utilize technology, such as Zoom, to provide the student with virtual access to a course if the student is ordered to quarantine, isolate, or are otherwise approved for remote participation as an accommodation due to their conditions. The request to accommodate a student with Zoom or other digital access for a class does not mean that the class is reorganized around a virtual presentation. It may allow a student to access the class, but the student may need to utilize additional means to ensure full participation (note-taking by a classmate, office hours, e-mail. etc.)

    What support resources are available to instructors?

    Tools, strategies, workshops and other resources are available for instructors through these websites:

    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.

    Vaccination Requirement: Reporting

    Are volunteers and guests required to be vaccinated?

    Volunteers and guests are not included in the requirement, however, the university strongly encourages that everyone be vaccinated against COVID-19. Everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, is required to wear masks when indoors in all Ohio State campuses and medical facilities.

    How do I report my vaccination information?

    • Employees: All faculty and staff should use the Employee Health Record system to report their vaccination information or request an exemption. This system should be used by employees of all Ohio State campuses and locations, both among the academic enterprise and the Wexner Medical Center, including Ohio State University Physicians Inc. (OSUP).
    • Students: All Ohio State students at all campuses should use the Student Health Services My BuckMD system to report their vaccination information and upload documentation, or request an exemption. Sign into My BuckMD, go to document upload, and choose document type COVID19 vaccination records, download a copy of your vaccination and save.

    I am taking classes virtually. Does this policy apply to me?

    Yes, you must be vaccinated or receive an exemption. Students who are not vaccinated and do not receive an exemption will be ineligible to participate in on-campus experiences, including living in the residence halls, attending in-person classes or participating in events.

    I am working remotely. Does this policy apply to me?

    Yes. The policy applies regardless of work location.

    I have already submitted my vaccination information to Ohio State. Why am I being asked to do so again?

    The university and Wexner Medical Center have used several systems to collect COVID-19 vaccination information from faculty and staff since the beginning of the pandemic. In each of those systems, there were specific conditions associated with the request to report personal health information.

    Ohio State now requires students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless individuals receive an exemption. With this change, faculty and staff must report their vaccination information through Employee Health Reporting system, which will be used to track responses to the vaccination requirement and exemption process.     

    Individual vaccination data will be shared only to the extent needed for compliance and non-compliance measures and for public health purposes such as contact tracing.

    I have already submitted my vaccination information to the university. Why am I being asked to do so again?

    The university and Wexner Medical Center have used several systems to collect COVID-19 vaccination information from faculty and staff since the beginning of the pandemic. In each of those systems, there were specific conditions associated with the request to report personal health information.

    Ohio State now requires students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless individuals receive an exemption. With this change, faculty and staff must report their vaccination information through Employee Health Reporting system, which will be used to track responses to the vaccination requirement and exemption process.     

    Individual vaccination data will be shared only to the extent needed for compliance and non-compliance measures and for public health purposes such as contact tracing.

    If a student does not meet the deadline, will it effect their enrollment this fall (autumn 2021)?

    No. Students who do not either receive their first dose of vaccine or approval of an exemption by the Friday, October 15, deadline may face progressive discipline in spring semester 2022, but they will be able to complete autumn semester. Starting in Spring 2022, existing students will be ineligible to participate in on-campus experiences, including in-person classes or living in the residence halls.

    To meet the vaccination requirement, students should arrange to have at least a first shot by October 15, 2021, and their second shot (if they are receiving a two-dose vaccine) by November 15, 2021.

    See the Get Vaccinated page for more information on how to sign up for COVID-19 shots. 

    If I have already been vaccinated, how do I report my vaccine information?

    Employees: All faculty and staff should use the Employee Health Record system to report their vaccination information. This system should be used by employees of all Ohio State campuses and locations, both among the academic enterprise and the Wexner Medical Center, including Ohio State University Physicians Inc. (OSUP).  

    Students: All Ohio State students at all campuses should use the Student Health Services My BuckMD system to report their vaccination information and upload documentation. Sign into My BuckMD, go to document upload, and choose document type COVID19 vaccination records, download a copy of your vaccination and save.  

    What if I do not get either a COVID-19 vaccine or an exemption by the Oct. 15, 2021 deadline?

    If an individual does not either receive their first dose of vaccine or approval of an exemption by the Friday, October 15 deadline, the individual may be subject to progressive disciplinary action including:

    For students:

    • Starting in Spring 2022, existing students will be ineligible to participate in on-campus experiences, including in-person classes or living in the residence halls. 
    • Students who intend to enroll for the first time in spring 2022 will be subject to the same vaccination requirements to participate in in-person classes, live in university residence halls or otherwise take part in on-campus experiences

    For faculty and staff:

    • After being reminded of compliance needs, as well as being given time to get into compliance, removal of electronic resources (e.g., logging into their computer, email access)
    • Further progressive discipline

    What if I have to miss class or work due to side effects of the vaccine?

    Students, faculty and staff should stay home when they are feeling sick — regardless of the reason they believe they are feeling ill.

    If students are feeling sick after a vaccination, they should contact their instructors as they would for any other illness to make arrangements. Instructors are encouraged to provide flexibility in these cases.

    If faculty or staff members are feeling sick after a vaccination, they may use sick time to stay home. They should follow the normal process for informing their manager or chair when they are sick. If they do not have leave balances, they should contact their HR professional for assistance.

    What is the deadline for being vaccinated to meet the requirement?

    The deadline for all Ohio State students, faculty and staff to have at least a first dose is Friday, October 15, 2021. For people receiving a two-dose vaccination, the second dose will be required by November 15, 2021. For details and timeline for the Wexner Medical Center’s employee requirement, visit the Wexner Medical Center site.

    Which COVID-19 vaccines qualify for this requirement?

    A COVID-19 vaccine will qualify under this policy if the vaccine has:

    • Full U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval
    • FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)
    • World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL)

    As of August 23, 2021, Pfizer (2 dose) has received full FDA approval. Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (1 dose) and Moderna (2 dose) have FDA EUA.

    For the status of COVID-19 vaccines included on the WHO EUL, please see the WHO’s COVID-19 vaccine website.

    Who will have access to my vaccination data?

    Individual vaccination data will be shared only to the extent needed for compliance and non-compliance measures and for public health purposes such as contact tracing.

    Why is the university requiring the COVID-19 vaccine?

    Throughout the pandemic, the university has taken measures to help keep our Ohio State community safe and healthy. The rising prevalence of the more transmissible Delta variant is fueling the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations – including in young and otherwise healthy people. With the news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Ohio State will require every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The university is taking this step because vaccines are the safest and most effective form of protection against COVID-19. We are focused on enhancing the health and safety of our community.

    The good news is that the combination of vaccination and mask wearing is effective at slowing down COVID-19 and keeping us safe. That is why we are implementing our vaccine requirement with urgency as well as continuing our protocol to require everyone to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

    Will I receive a refund if I decide to withdraw from the university because of this requirement?

    The university extended the withdrawal window so that any student who withdraws on or before to Wednesday, September 1, 2021, was eligible for a 100 percent refund of university charges. These include tuition and campus-specific charges such as COTA, RPAC, ATI and Campus Safety, as well as charges associated with university housing and dining plans, if applicable.

    Please refer to the Registration and Fees and Important Dates on the University Registrar site for all other institutional refund dates. Please note a withdrawal from all classes could result in an adjustment to your financial aid. If you have questions related to your individual financial aid circumstances please contact Buckeye Link.

    As a reminder, students who wish to continue enrollment are required to be vaccinated may request an exemption based on medical, religious, or personal reasons or may choose to enroll in online courses.

    Will new employees be required to complete the requirement?

    Yes, the requirement will be explained through the recruitment and hiring process.

    Will new students (spring 2022) be required to complete the requirement?

    Yes, new students will be required to be compliant no later than Friday, January 7, 2022.

    Vaccine

    How can I access my COVID-19 vaccination record?

    If you were vaccinated at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, you can view your vaccination record in your MyChart account. If you do not have a MyChart account, sign up today.

    • Log in to MyChart
    • Select “Menu” from the home screen
    • Scroll down to the “My Record” section and select “COVID-19”
    • The COVID-19 Activity in MyChart will display your vaccination information, your COVID-19 test results and other helpful resources. If you are on a desktop computer or Epic MyChart app you can download your vaccination record. This feature is coming soon to the MyHealth app.

     

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you contact your vaccination provider, your local health department or the Ohio Department of Health.

    Vaccine Requirement: Employee Exemptions

    As a faculty or staff member, how do I enter my vaccine information?

    Log into the Employee Health Record portal, and follow these instructions:

    1. Fill in your vaccine type
    2. Complete the dates of your vaccines
    3. Provide documentation by uploading your vaccine card
    4. Check the consent disclosure
    5. Click “Save”

    How and when will I know whether my COVID-19 vaccine information has been approved to meet the requirement?

    You’ll need to log in to the Employee Health Record system to check on approval. If you see the screen indicating that “your COVID-19 Verification has been completed,” you have met the vaccination requirement. The system will not proactively send a message alerting you of approval status.

    How will I know if my exemption request has been approved?

    Log in to the Employee Health Record system to check on approval. (The system will not proactively send a message alerting you of approval status.)

    If you see the screen indicating that “your COVID-19 Verification has been completed,” your exemption has been approved.

    If your request has been denied, the screen will say “Your submission and documentation have been denied.”

    I want to file an exemption request. What do I do?

    To request an exemption, log into Employee Health Record system and follow these steps:

    1. Click the box requesting an exemption
    2. Fill out the exemption form
    3. Upload your exemption form under Documentation
    4. Check the consent disclosure
    5. Click “Save”

    Who do I contact for help with this process?

    University, Wexner Medical Center and OSUP employees

    • Technical questions about the Employee Health Record system – Examples:  problems with site,  I can’t upload my picture, I can’t log in :  CovidComplianceTechSupport@osumc.edu 

    University and Wexner Medical Center employees

    OSUP employees

    Who is approving exemption requests for employees?

    All medical exemption requests from employees will be reviewed by Employee Health. All religious and personal exemption requests from employees will be reviewed by the Employee and Labor Relations Team.

    Vaccine Requirement: Exemptions

    Are exemption requests required to be notarized?

    Medical exemptions will require appropriate documentation from a treating health care provider. Religious and personal exemptions are required to be notarized for all students and employees. 

    Can I request an exemption after getting my first dose if I don't feel safe getting the second?

    We strongly encourage everyone to complete their vaccination series to maximize the effectiveness. If someone has an extenuating circumstance that warrants an exemption, that process will still be available.

    How quickly will exemption requests be reviewed/processed?

    Our goal is a 2-3 week turnaround for exemption requests. Employees and students are asked to submit exemption requests no later than Friday, September 17, 2021. We are unable to guarantee exemption requests that come in after the deadline can be reviewed before the October 15, 2021, deadline. Individuals will be considered non-compliant until their request can be reviewed.

    Our goal is a 2-3 week turnaround for exemption requests. Employees and students are asked to submit exemption requests no later than Friday, September 17, 2021. We are unable to guarantee exemption requests that come in after the deadline can be reviewed before the October 15, 2021, deadline. Individuals will be considered non-compliant until their request can be reviewed.

    If I received a vaccination that is not on the list of accepted vaccines, is it safe to get another dose(s) of one that is approved?

    For individual health-related questions, students can email a provider using BuckMD and employees can contact Employee Health.

    For individual health-related questions, students can email a provider using BuckMD and employees can contact Employee Health.

    Is there a deadline to apply for an exemption?

    Employees and students are asked to submit exemption requests no later than Friday, September 17, 2021. We are unable to guarantee exemption requests that come in after the deadline can be reviewed before the October 15, 2021, deadline. Individuals will be considered non-compliant until their request can be reviewed.

    What exemptions are allowed under this policy?

    A limited set of exemptions will be approved on a case-by-case basis. 

    Medical

    An individual can request a health-related exemption through submission of appropriate documentation from their treating health care provider. Any health-related exemptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Employee Health and Student Health Services.

    In addition, those with a history of allergic reactions to other vaccines or medical injections will be considered for exemptions on a case-by-case basis with appropriate documentation of the allergic reaction provided by the individual’s treating health care provider.

    Individuals with a history of either a documented COVID-19 infection or a history of having received a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody infusion within 90 days prior to the deadline will be eligible for a temporary exemption until after the end of the 90-day period. The individual will then be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination within 14 days of the end of the exemption.

    Personal or Religious

    An exemption based on an individual’s religious beliefs or practices or based on personal reasons can be requested. Requests for religious and personal exemptions are required to be notarized for all students and employees. As part of the request, the individual must attest to their reason for exemption and explanation of why they are seeking the exemption. All religious and personal exemptions will be reviewed by Student Health Services or Employee and Labor Relations.

    When will testing be implemented for individuals who receive exemptions?

    For unvaccinated students who are already testing regularly, that requirement will continue uninterrupted for those who receive exemptions.

    The start date for weekly testing for other individuals who receive exemptions will be announced after October 15, 2021. Individuals will be given at least one week’s notice before testing begins.

    Where can I access notary services?

    Notaries are available at many banks and offices. Student Legal Services offers a list of Columbus area notary services.

    MANSFIELD

    UPS Store
    1421 Lexington Ave
    Mansfield, OH 44907
    (419) 756-2442

    Mansfield/Richland County Public Library
    43 W 3rd St
    Mansfield, OH 44902
    (419) 521-3100

    CFAES WOOSTER

    Wayne County Public Library
    220 West Liberty Street
    Wooster, OH 44691
    Dianna Drake at 330.804.4667 to make an appointment.

    Wooster BMV License Agency
    200 Vanover Street
    Wooster, OH 44691
    330-287-5640

    LIMA

    UPS Store
    3221 Elida Rd
    Lima, OH 45805
    (419) 227-3600

    Superior Credit Union
    1205 East Kibby St.
    Lima, OH 45804

    Union Bank Co.
    1410 Bellefontaine Ave.
    Lima, OH 45804

    NEWARK

    UPS Store
    1067 N 21st Street
    Newark, OH 43055
    740-366-0100

    Pak Mail
    573 Hebron Road
    Heath, OH 43056
    740-522-2564

    Notaries are available at many banks and offices. Student Legal Services offers a list of Columbus area notary services.

    MANSFIELD

    UPS Store
    1421 Lexington Ave
    Mansfield, OH 44907
    (419) 756-2442

    Mansfield/Richland County Public Library
    43 W 3rd St
    Mansfield, OH 44902
    (419) 521-3100

    CFAES WOOSTER

    Wayne County Public Library
    220 West Liberty Street
    Wooster, OH 44691
    Dianna Drake at 330.804.4667 to make an appointment.

    Wooster BMV License Agency
    200 Vanover Street
    Wooster, OH 44691
    330-287-5640

    LIMA

    UPS Store
    3221 Elida Rd
    Lima, OH 45805
    (419) 227-3600

    Superior Credit Union
    1205 East Kibby St.
    Lima, OH 45804

    Union Bank Co.
    1410 Bellefontaine Ave.
    Lima, OH 45804

    NEWARK

    UPS Store
    1067 N 21st Street
    Newark, OH 43055
    740-366-0100

    Pak Mail
    573 Hebron Road
    Heath, OH 43056
    740-522-2564

    Will I have to follow more stringent health and safety protocols if I receive an exemption?

    Yes. For the health and safety of our community, individuals who receive an exemption from being vaccinated will be required to complete weekly COVID-19 testing (this applies to students, faculty and staff), will be required to complete an e-learning module and will be required to wear a mask at all times indoors regardless of the university’s other masking requirements. These conditions may change based on the status and spread of the virus.

    Vaccine Requirement: Student Exemptions

    As a student, how and when will I know whether my vaccine information has been confirmed to meet the requirement?

    If you would like to check your status, visit your My BuckMD patient portal and review the COVID-19 Immunization Status banner message for your immunization completion.

    As a student, how do I enter my vaccine information?

    All Ohio State students at all campuses should use the Student Health Services My BuckMD system to report their vaccination information and upload documentation or request an exemption. Sign into your My BuckMD patient portal to report your vaccination status and to upload your vaccination records.

    To report your vaccination status, go to My Forms and select COVID-19 Vaccination Data Consent/Release of Information form.

    To upload your documentation, go to Document Upload and choose document type COVID-19 vaccination records, click Browse to locate a saved image of your vaccination record and save.

    Only files of type PDF, PNG, TIFF and JPG/JPEG can be uploaded. Files must be less than 1,000 KB in size.

    Both COVID-19 Vaccination Data Consent/Release of Information form and valid documentation are required for a successful submission.

    How will I know when my COVID-19 vaccine exemption is approved?

    Once your vaccination exemption is reviewed and approved, students can log into their My BuckMD patient portal and check their exemption status in the COVID-19 Immunization Status banner message. 

    I want to file a COVID-19 vaccine exemption request. What do I do?

    Download the COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption form from go.osu.edu/studentvaccineexemption. Upload the completed form along with any required documentation to My BuckMD patient portal.

    Medical Exemption requests require medical documentation signed by a health care provider. Religious and Personal Exemption requests must be notarized.

    To upload your documentation, go to Document Upload and choose document type COVID-19 vaccination records, click Browse to locate a saved image of your vaccination record and save.

    Only files of type PDF, PNG, TIFF and JPG/JPEG can be uploaded. Files must be less than 1,000 KB in size.

    Who do I contact if I am having technical problems with the exemption process?

    For support, please email vaccination@osu.edu.

    Who is approving exemption requests?

    All medical, religious and personal exemption requests from students will be reviewed by Student Health Services.

    Workplace

    Are workplace accommodations available for employees at higher-risk?

    The Office of Human Resources will work with employees who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, and their supervisors, to attempt to find workplace modifications that address the employee’s concerns. Through a COVID-19 accommodation request, which is a secure intake process, individuals will be asked to:

    • Identify and attest that their health or other factor place them at greater risk of serious illness if they contract the COVID-19 virus.
    • Provide details about their work environment concerns.
    • Indicate what needs and resources they feel are necessary to perform their job safely.


    For more information and directions for how to request a COVID-19 related accommodation, please visit: https://hr.osu.edu/coronavirus/accommodations/