Frequently Asked Questions

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Academic Calendar

What is the academic calendar for autumn semester?

Autumn semester started Aug. 25, and the last day of finals will be Dec. 11. There are several changes to the calendar:  

  • In-person, on-campus instruction will end before Thanksgiving, on Wednesday, Nov. 25.   
  • The final week of classes (Nov. 30 to Dec. 4) and final exams (Dec. 7-11) will take place through distance methods.   
  • Fall break (Oct. 15-16) will be canceled, and classes also will take place the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 25). The university still will observe Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and Labor Day (Sept. 7).  


The autumn commencement date and format will be announced at a later date.  

What is the academic calendar for spring semester?

Ohio State’s campuses will continue to be open in the new year, and classes will take place through a mix of in-person, online and blended teaching. The first two weeks of spring semester classes (January 11-15 and 18-22) via virtual delivery. Spring break will be replaced by two instructional breaks on Feb. 9 and March 31. This approach will enable us to keep our community together throughout the semester and reduce travel-related exposures. Classes will end April 21, and final exams will take place April 23-29.

Commencement will take place May 9 in a format to be determined.

Academic Work

How are clinical rotations, internships, student teaching and other experiential learning experiences being handled in autumn semester?

Ohio State continues to offer experiential learning experiences in clinics and other professional settings to prepare students for their careers and to meet certification requirements. Safety is a priority for all learning experiences, and we are applying appropriate COVID-19 health and wellness guidelines to protect students and their patients or clients in each setting.   

How are courses being taught this autumn while the university enhances safety measures?

Ohio State is offering courses through a mix of in-person, online and blended teaching approaches. This approach is designed to offer engaging in-person educational experiences — such as labs, studios, field studies, performances and clinical activities — while also utilizing high-quality online learning to meet course objectives.

By offering in-person, online and blended teaching approaches, the university is able to implement our plans for health and safety, as outlined at safeandhealthy.osu.edu.

The registrar’s office has updated all courses offered for autumn semester 2020 and informed students about their course schedules. Students who wish to make changes to their course schedule should contact their academic advisor.

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.

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 due to an extenuating circumstance.


Please follow the directions listed on the forms. Each requires approval from the student’s advisor and/or program and must be submitted through gradforms. Students requesting a leave of absence should consult the Student Health Insurance website and/or call their service line at 614-688-7979 prior to submitting a leave form. Requesting a leave of absence may impact a student’s access to health insurance and other benefits.

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 accommodations are available if graduate students want to opt out of in-person activities?

The university has mechanisms in place for accommodations. To determine eligibility and feasibility of a flexible work arrangement for your position, please discuss the policy and specific process information with your program, graduate advisor and/or supervisor. Learn more at Flexible Work Policy 6.12.

There are also COVID-19 specific leave options that designated employees for the university may consider. Graduate students should contact their unit (advisor, Graduate Studies Chair, HR, Department Chair) regarding potential flexibility in assignments. The goal would be to accommodate GA requests when possible while recognizing the need for a level of in-person instruction to maintain regular educational, research and other scholastic activities this autumn.

What support is available to graduate students whose degree was delayed because of COVID-19?

The Graduate School has allocated 57 graduate student matching tuition and fee authorizations to colleges for students whose degree is delayed due to COVID-19. This is a graduate student-initiated process and requires the student to complete an Application to Graduate Form (on Grad Forms) for the extended semester and request the award via the MTFA Form in the semester directly preceding the extended semester.

What teaching support resources are available for GTAs?

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

Will the university waive continuous enrollment requirements for post-candidacy doctoral students?

The Graduate School has initiated an autumn 2020 proposal for a post-candidacy leave policy that would permit students to take a break from their program without penalty, such as the continuous enrollment fees, with approval. This proposal will be brought to Council for Graduate Students leadership for input as well as other university committees, including University Senate, for consideration of extension into 2021.

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

Are there limitations on asking students to engage in group work outside of class time?

No. As always, faculty can ask students to engage in group work outside of class time. However, faculty should be aware of the challenges that will be faced by some students. For example, if groups will work remotely, some students may not have access to secure and consistent internet connections. Students may also have increased obligations outside of school, such as caring for children who are not attending school or supporting other family members who are vulnerable to COVID-19.

Faculty teaching in a hybrid format are encouraged to take advantage of the flexibility provided in teaching a course in this format, for example, using class time (either in person or online) for students to work on group projects. The Drake Institute and the Keep Teaching website have numerous tips for faculty teaching in a hybrid format.

No. As always, faculty can ask students to engage in group work outside of class time. However, faculty should be aware of the challenges that will be faced by some students. For example, if groups will work remotely, some students may not have access to secure and consistent internet connections. Students may also have increased obligations outside of school, such as caring for children who are not attending school or supporting other family members who are vulnerable to COVID-19.

Faculty teaching in a hybrid format are encouraged to take advantage of the flexibility provided in teaching a course in this format, for example, using class time (either in person or online) for students to work on group projects. The Drake Institute and the Keep Teaching website have numerous tips for faculty teaching in a hybrid format.

Can students be required to submit their work in hard copy?

Faculty are encouraged to have students submit their work electronically, as this will allow students who do not have their own printer the opportunity to submit work without having to find and print at a public computer.

Faculty are encouraged to have students submit their work electronically, as this will allow students who do not have their own printer the opportunity to submit work without having to find and print at a public computer.

How are faculty being supported in conducting courses in which students are expected to perform physically in a studio?

Colleges are working with FOD to plan for studio spaces. Faculty who teach in studio spaces are encouraged to communicate directly with their colleges about these spaces.

Colleges are working with FOD to plan for studio spaces. Faculty who teach in studio spaces are encouraged to communicate directly with their colleges about these spaces.

How can faculty support students who report poor connectivity?

The Keep Learning website includes resources for students related to internet access.

In addition, many colleges are designating workspaces that students can use to access university wireless. Some space will also be available in University Libraries, but capacity will be limited to allow for appropriate physical distancing.

The Keep Learning website includes resources for students related to internet access.

In addition, many colleges are designating workspaces that students can use to access university wireless. Some space will also be available in University Libraries, but capacity will be limited to allow for appropriate physical distancing.

How does the process work for students who need accommodations?

Students may request accommodations through Student Life Disability Services. If an accommodation is required, the ADA coordinator’s office will facilitate an interactive process that includes Student Life Disability Services, the instructor and the department/college.

Students may request accommodations through Student Life Disability Services. If an accommodation is required, the ADA coordinator’s office will facilitate an interactive process that includes Student Life Disability Services, the instructor and the department/college.

How might faculty provide access to course content for students who are unable to attend a class session?

Faculty are encouraged to video record their class sessions and post these to Carmen. The Keep Teaching website has content for planning in-personhybrid and online delivery with best practices for recording. Faculty should provide clear assignment guidelines, so students who are unable to attend a class session can still complete the assignment. As alwaysvirtual or in-person office hours should be available to all students enrolled in a course.

Additional ideas are available through the Keep Teaching website. Faculty teaching in person may consider attending the Return to Campus: Preparing for the Classroom Experience workshop.

Faculty are encouraged to video record their class sessions and post these to Carmen. The Keep Teaching website has content for planning in-personhybrid and online delivery with best practices for recording. Faculty should provide clear assignment guidelines, so students who are unable to attend a class session can still complete the assignment. As alwaysvirtual or in-person office hours should be available to all students enrolled in a course.

Additional ideas are available through the Keep Teaching website. Faculty teaching in person may consider attending the Return to Campus: Preparing for the Classroom Experience workshop.

How should office hours be handled?

As in all other semesters, faculty are expected to hold office hours. Due to COVID-19, faculty are encouraged to utilize Zoom or other online tools for these appointments. If faculty prefer to hold some in-person office hours, health and safety precautions must be taken  all parties should be wearing masks and perform appropriate physical distancing.

As in all other semesters, faculty are expected to hold office hours. Due to COVID-19, faculty are encouraged to utilize Zoom or other online tools for these appointments. If faculty prefer to hold some in-person office hours, health and safety precautions must be taken  all parties should be wearing masks and perform appropriate physical distancing.

If attending conferences are part of class requirements, should students be expected to attend conferences in person?

No. If a conference is being held virtually, the students should plan to participate virtually.

No. If a conference is being held virtually, the students should plan to participate virtually.

Is assigned seating required for in-person sections?

To support contact tracing, faculty should document where students are sitting in the classroom during each class session.

For larger classes, the faculty member could send around a class diagram and have students mark their seat with their name.

To support contact tracing, faculty should document where students are sitting in the classroom during each class session.

For larger classes, the faculty member could send around a class diagram and have students mark their seat with their name.

Is there a policy related to inviting guests to campus?

All guest speakers are strongly encouraged to participate virtually. If a visitor must attend a class session in person, they are to follow the health and safety policies outlined in the Together As Buckeyes Pledge.

All guest speakers are strongly encouraged to participate virtually. If a visitor must attend a class session in person, they are to follow the health and safety policies outlined in the Together As Buckeyes Pledge.

What materials should be placed on Carmen?

All faculty are to place the course syllabus, assignments, and grades on Carmen. They should also stay up to date with their grading to reduce student anxiety and in case a faculty member becomes ill and must have a substitute step in for them.

Additional guidance is listed on keepteaching.osu.edu.

All faculty are to place the course syllabus, assignments, and grades on Carmen. They should also stay up to date with their grading to reduce student anxiety and in case a faculty member becomes ill and must have a substitute step in for them.

Additional guidance is listed on keepteaching.osu.edu.

What preparations should be in place in case a faculty member is sick?

Each unit should have a succession plan for each course instructor. The plan should include who will step into a course if a faculty member is unable to continue teaching and how this information will be communicated to students.

Each unit should have a succession plan for each course instructor. The plan should include who will step into a course if a faculty member is unable to continue teaching and how this information will be communicated to students.

What should instructors do if a student is not following correct health and safety measures?

As detailed in the Expectations and Accountability Measures that have been shared with the university community, all Ohio State students, faculty and staff are expected to follow the Safe Campus Requirements. What instructors should do to help students follow these guidelines:

  • Set clear expectations early (i.e., before the start of the term) with your students and reinforce them often.
  • If a student is not following the health and safety guidelinesremind them that all members of the university community are expected to follow university guidelines and give them guidance about how to comply in this specific circumstance (e.g., tell them where they can get a mask if they have forgotten theirs).
  • If the student does not comply following a reminder, ask the student to leave, indicating that they are welcome to return when they follow the guidelines, and send a referral to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • If the student continues to refuse, the faculty member should dismiss class for the day and refer the student to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • If a student begins to experience distress or causing a disruption, this guide provides additional information.

As detailed in the Expectations and Accountability Measures that have been shared with the university community, all Ohio State students, faculty and staff are expected to follow the Safe Campus Requirements. What instructors should do to help students follow these guidelines:

  • Set clear expectations early (i.e., before the start of the term) with your students and reinforce them often.
  • If a student is not following the health and safety guidelinesremind them that all members of the university community are expected to follow university guidelines and give them guidance about how to comply in this specific circumstance (e.g., tell them where they can get a mask if they have forgotten theirs).
  • If the student does not comply following a reminder, ask the student to leave, indicating that they are welcome to return when they follow the guidelines, and send a referral to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • If the student continues to refuse, the faculty member should dismiss class for the day and refer the student to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • If a student begins to experience distress or causing a disruption, this guide provides additional information.

As detailed in the Expectations and Accountability Measures that have been shared with the university community, all Ohio State students, faculty and staff are expected to follow the Safe Campus Requirements. What instructors should do to help students follow these guidelines:

  • Set clear expectations early (i.e., before the start of the term) with your students and reinforce them often.
  • If a student is not following the health and safety guidelinesremind them that all members of the university community are expected to follow university guidelines and give them guidance about how to comply in this specific circumstance (e.g., tell them where they can get a mask if they have forgotten theirs).
  • If the student does not comply following a reminder, ask the student to leave, indicating that they are welcome to return when they follow the guidelines, and send a referral to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • If the student continues to refuse, the faculty member should dismiss class for the day and refer the student to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • If a student begins to experience distress or causing a disruption, this guide provides additional information.

What statement should faculty include in their course syllabus and post on their Carmen course site?

The following syllabus statement should be included in all course syllabi for the autumn 2020 semester. We strongly recommend that faculty also post this statement to their Carmen course sites and communicate early and often with their students about the health and safety expectations.

“Health and safety requirements: All students, faculty and staff are required to comply with and stay up to date on all university safety and health guidance (https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu), which includes following university mask policies and maintaining a safe physical distance at all times. Non-compliance will be warned first and disciplinary actions will be taken for repeated offenses.(Updated: Aug. 14, 2020)

Additionally, Student Life Disability Services has updated its recommended syllabus statement to include the process for requesting accommodations related to COVID-19.

The following syllabus statement should be included in all course syllabi for the autumn 2020 semester. We strongly recommend that faculty also post this statement to their Carmen course sites and communicate early and often with their students about the health and safety expectations.

“Health and safety requirements: All students, faculty and staff are required to comply with and stay up to date on all university safety and health guidance (https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu), which includes following university mask policies and maintaining a safe physical distance at all times. Non-compliance will be warned first and disciplinary actions will be taken for repeated offenses.(Updated: Aug. 14, 2020)

Additionally, Student Life Disability Services has updated its recommended syllabus statement to include the process for requesting accommodations related to COVID-19.

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.

Classroom Safety Measures

How will classroom spaces be cleaned?

Classrooms are cleaned and disinfected nightly. In addition, custodians clean bathrooms and disinfect high touch point areas at least twice a day, including door handles, faucets, handrails and other commonly touched surfaces in high traffic areas.

Students and faculty should wipe down their personal area (e.g. seat, desk or podium, keyboard, mouse) on their arrival in the classroom before use. Individuals may use the wipes that are part of the university's welcome kit, and the university has distributed cleaning supplies in classroom buildings.

Students and faculty should also plan to engage in regular hand hygiene throughout the day (e.g., prior to coming to class, immediately after leaving class).

What physical precautions are being taken to protect faculty and students?

Directional flow of people into and out of buildings and classrooms is indicated to help maintain physical distancing. Wherever possible, buildings and classrooms have clearly marked, one-way entry and exit doors.

All building and classroom ventilation systems have been checked for appropriate air filtration. Classroom pool air filters have been replaced prior to autumn semester and additional air filter replacements scheduled in the coming weeks in all other locations. More information is available through Facilities, Operations and Development.

In classrooms that have desks secured to the floor, seats that can be occupied are indicated with appropriate signs. In classrooms with furniture that can be moved, signs have been placed on the floor indicating where the furniture is to be placed.

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.

 

    Commencement

    Is there a plan for the class of 2020 graduation?

    The university is committed to holding an in-person graduation ceremony for members of the Class of 2020, their families and guests, at a time that is safe and practical. We are closely monitoring the evolving conditions and continue to follow guidelines from federal, state and local health authorities to limit large gatherings. We will communicate developments when we know more. 

    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 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 14 complete days. In most cases, the person can expect to leave quarantine after that 14-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?

    After you arrive at your room, dining services will be in touch within two hours to arrange food delivery directly to you in your isolation/quarantine room.

    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?

    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.

    A positive test now would allow you to complete isolation (typically 10 days) instead of completing quarantine (typically 14 days) as a close contact. For 90 days after a positive test, you would not be required to enter isolation again. A negative test result now will not change your quarantine timeline.

    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 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 14 days from your last exposure to the positive individual regardless of whether you have symptoms.

    • During this 14-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 14-day quarantine does not “clear you” from the risk of becoming sick with COVID-19 based on the virus’s incubation period. 

     
    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 will have a free 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.)

    Why are on-campus residents who tested positive and close contacts who might not even have COVID-19 staying on different floors in the same buildings? Is it safe?

    The university quarantine and isolation space provides individual, separately ventilated rooms for all on-campus residents who must relocate due to infection or potential exposure. These rooms afford our students private space and eliminate close contact that could lead to infection. The approaches for providing food, cleaning and offering other support are the same for both groups.

    Why do students who have had a positive COVID-19 test have to stay in isolation for 10 days after the test sample was collected, but students who are in quarantine – and might not even be infected – have to stay by themselves for 14 days?

    By the time a person receives a positive COVID-19 test result, we know — based on the most recent scientific evidence — that several days have passed since the initial infection, and in most cases they’re not likely to spread the virus to others after a 10-day isolation period.

    The reason that close contacts of infected students are required to quarantine is because their exposure may result in them developing an infection. Close contacts of infected people are required to quarantine for 14 days after their last exposure to the infected person –  because that is the timeframe when the infection would appear and when the close contact could unknowingly spread COVID-19 to fellow students, faculty, staff and others in the community.

    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.

    I’m a manager of managers. How do I see health reporting submission information for my entire team?

    Access to view your entire organization can be submitted to access@osu.edu where it will need to go through appropriate approvals, this is done on an org level basis. (e.g. Org 111000,  Org 111001, etc.)  Once approved, managers of managers can view the completion status of their entire team at https://healthreporting.osu.edu/management.

    I’m a manager. How do I see if my team members are completing their daily health report?

    Managers can view the completion status of their direct reports at https://healthreporting.osu.edu/management.

    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.

     

    What steps should be taken if an employee becomes sick with COVID-19 symptoms?

    The university requires all employees who can do so to work from home. For those physically working on-site in critical areas, employees who are sick should remain out of the workplace until:

    • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
    • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
    • Symptoms have improved

     

    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.

    Who will be able to see what employees report?

    Technical team: A small number of IT staff who support the apps and secure the data.

    Manager reports: Your manager only receives an email if your status is red. Your manager does not receive any specific information about you, just that your status was such that you should stay home.

    Monitoring team: The university’s designated health-monitoring team will be able to access data for university-wide health forecasting.

    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 will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, November 25, after which time classes will be completed in an online format. (There will be an exception process to offer housing to students with an ongoing, qualified need.) Associated housing and dining charges have been adjusted 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 will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, November 25, after which time classes will be completed in an online format. (There will be an exception process to offer housing to students with an ongoing, qualified need.) Associated housing and dining charges have been adjusted 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.​

    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 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.

    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.

    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 campus visitors?

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

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

    Are masks required when exercising?

    Indoors or outdoors, exceptions are made for those participating in strenuous exercise or taking part in performance-based classes. Face masks are required at all times in the recreation facilities except during strenuous exercise and when in the pool.

    Are masks required?

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

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

    As part of the safe return to campus plans, return-to-campus PPE safety kits are being provided to students, faculty and staff at no cost before classes resume. The kits include one disposable mask, two reusable masks, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Students, faculty and staff will be strongly encouraged to use the face masks provided to them by the university. The university has also compiled recommendations for other types of appropriate face masks that meet health standards.

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

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

    As part of the safe return to campus plans, return-to-campus PPE safety kits are being provided to students, faculty and staff at no cost before classes resume. The kits include one disposable mask, two reusable masks, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Students, faculty and staff will be strongly encouraged to use the face masks provided to them by the university. The university has also compiled recommendations for other types of appropriate face masks that meet health standards.

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

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

    As part of the safe return to campus plans, return-to-campus PPE safety kits are being provided to students, faculty and staff at no cost before classes resume. The kits include one disposable mask, two reusable masks, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Students, faculty and staff will be strongly encouraged to use the face masks provided to them by the university. The university has also compiled recommendations for other types of appropriate face masks that meet health standards.

    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.

    Do contractors and vendors need to wear masks?

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

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

    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.

    Will Ohio State work with area landlords or government health agencies to try to get the students to practice physical distancing in off-campus areas?

    Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio State has worked closely with landlords, property management companies and the City of Columbus to encourage students who live in the off-campus area 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. 

    Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio State has worked closely with landlords, property management companies and the City of Columbus to encourage students who live in the off-campus area 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. 

    Health and Safety for Graduate Students

    What physical precautions are being taken to protect instructors and students?

    Directional flow of people into and out of buildings and classrooms will be indicated to help maintain physical distancing. Wherever possible, buildings and classrooms will have one-way entry and exit doors clearly marked.

    All building and classroom ventilation systems have been checked for appropriate air filtration. Classroom pool air filters have been replaced prior to autumn semester. Additional information is available through Facilities, Operations and Development.

    In classrooms that have desks secured to the floor, seats that can be occupied are indicated with appropriate signs. In classrooms with furniture that can be moved, signs have been placed on the floor indicating where the furniture is to be placed.

    Where can I find information about safety protocols and other adjustments to teaching for autumn 2020?

    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.

    International Graduate Students

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

    Yes. Graduate students who are unable to return to the United States for autumn semester 2020 may continue to be paid as graduate teaching associates or graduate research associates under the following conditions:

    1. They are continuing graduate students.
    2. They are currently outside the United States and unable to return because of current travel restrictions.  
    3. They can complete their GTA or GRA responsibilities remotely.
    4. They have a U.S. bank account.
    5. If they are located in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria, please contact the Office of Secure Research for assistance (exportcontrol@osu.edu). These countries are subject to strict sanctions imposed by the U.S. government and restrictions and/or additional requirements may apply.

     
    This decision applies to Autumn Semester 2020 only.

     

    Yes. Graduate students who are unable to return to the United States for autumn semester 2020 may continue to be paid as graduate teaching associates or graduate research associates under the following conditions:

    1. They are continuing graduate students.
    2. They are currently outside the United States and unable to return because of current travel restrictions.  
    3. They can complete their GTA or GRA responsibilities remotely.
    4. They have a U.S. bank account.
    5. If they are located in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria, please contact the Office of Secure Research for assistance (exportcontrol@osu.edu). These countries are subject to strict sanctions imposed by the U.S. government and restrictions and/or additional requirements may apply.

     
    This decision applies to Autumn Semester 2020 only.

     

    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.

    International Students

    How is Ohio State supporting international students?

    Ohio State is committed to supporting our international student population. The Office of International Affairs (OIA) has created answers to frequently asked questions to help clarify areas of concern regarding Autumn 2020. Read FAQs and find more resources on the OIA website.

     

    How will plans for autumn semester impact international students?

    Ohio State recognizes that there may be travel or other challenges for international students this fall, and we are working to help students address any issues. For assistance:   

    1. Incoming students should contact International Undergraduate Admissions (int.undergrad@osu.edu) or Graduate Admissions (gradadmissions@osu.edu) with questions about academics or deferring to a different term.   
    2. All international students should contact the Office of International Affairs (iss@osu.edu) for assistance with immigration questions. 
    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.

    Personal Protection and Hygiene

    Are masks being provided or do I need to find my own?

    Face masks are part of the return-to-campus PPE safety kits being provided to students, faculty and staff at no cost before classes resume. The kits will include one disposable mask, two reusable masks, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to use the masks provided in the return-to-campus kits. The university has also compiled recommendations for alternative face masks that meet health standards as well as guidelines for cleaning cloth face coverings.
    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.

    Student Organizations

    What guidance is available for student organizations?

    The Office of Student Life released guidance for student organizations to be successful in the 2020-21 academic year. Information will also be regularly updated on the Student Activities webpage.

    Support for Teaching

    What support resources are available to instructors?

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

    Will microphones be provided in all classrooms?

    Podium microphones, which are flat mics that are mounted on the podium, are in most rooms to improve sound quality for remote and recorded viewing. These do not amplify someone’s voice in the space itself, so these are primarily provided in smaller rooms.

    For larger rooms, both wired and wireless audio solutions have been installed. These both amplify the speaker’s voice in the room and aid in recorded and remote viewing. The wired and wireless microphones that connect to these systems are available for faculty to borrow for the term at the ODEE Learning Environments’ office suite (030 Enarson). Instructors just need to relay in which room(s) they are teaching and they will be providethe appropriate mic solution. Faculty using mics for their classroom are to bring them to each class session.

    Teaching

    What resources and support are available to instructors teaching in autumn semester?

    Ohio State has implemented a broad range of health and safety measures to support instructors and enable successful teaching and learning this semester. Please see the Teaching page for information, resources and FAQs for instructors.

    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.

    How can faculty and staff take a COVID-19 test?

    If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your primary care physician (PCP) for a health assessment and direction. If you do not have a local PCP, contact 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.

    Asymptomatic faculty and staff may volunteer for a COVID-19 test by contacting the university’s COVID Call Center at 614-293-4000 to arrange the scheduling of a test at an Ohio State swabbing station.

    After your specimen is collected, you are required to self-quarantine and may not return to campus for work, school or other community activities until your test result is available. This time frame may vary, but most results should be available between 48 and 72 hours after the specimen is collected. This brief self-quarantine is required out of an abundance of caution because it is possible to be infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms. Self-quarantine should be coordinated with a supervisor, instructor or Human Resources Business Partner, and those who are able to telework or complete coursework online should do so. Those unable to work off-site must take personal or unpaid leave or vacation, as applicable, during the self-quarantine period. If the test is positive, continue to isolate yourself from others, and follow university guidance for contact tracing and isolation. If the test is negative, you may return to work, school and other community activities.

    Should there ever be a shortage of testing supplies, symptomatic individuals and members of at-risk or vulnerable populations will remain the highest priority for testing.

    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 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.

    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 are the details of CABS service during autumn semester?

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

    Please visit Transportation for additional information and updates.

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

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

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

    Is all university travel canceled?

    Domestic and international travel restrictions, initially announced in March, have been extended until December 31, 2020. All previously approved travel prior to that date must be canceled. Exemption processes and elevated approvals related to travel restrictions are available under specific circumstances. For more, visit the Business and Finance website.

    Is study abroad canceled?

    The university has taken the difficult step of canceling all education abroad programs for the autumn semester. Ohio State will continue to monitor federal guidance and resume these important teaching-and-learning experiences once it is advisable to do so.

    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.

    Did Ohio State adjust the cost of tuition and fees because autumn 2020 includes a mix of in-person, online and hybrid courses?

    The mix of in-person, online and blended teaching continues to meet the university’s high academic standards while Ohio State implements plans for health and safety, as outlined at safeandhealthy.osu.edu. All courses are designed to meet specific learning objectives for students, and they are offered for full academic credit.

    The university has a single tuition model for students who are taking all or some of their courses in-person or in a blended mode on our campuses. There is a different structure for undergraduate and graduate students who are fully online. Professional students are charged based on their program’s structure. The university has not otherwise adjusted tuition and academic fees, which are the primary way that we fund the costs related to instruction.

    To view tuition and fee information, go to: registrar.osu.edu/FeeTables/MainFeeTables.asp.

    See examples of the tuition and fee structure for in-person and blended education versus the structure for fully online students:

    Were housing and dining costs adjusted this year?

    University housing (excluding graduate/professional/family housing) and dining operations on all campuses will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, November 25, after which time classes will be completed in an online format. (There will be an exception process to offer housing to students with an ongoing, qualified need.) Associated housing and dining charges were adjusted 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.

    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.

    Will Ohio State provide refunds if the university needs to change how it completes the academic year?

    In the event that the university needs to change the mode of instruction for your course(s) during the semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic or other factors, Ohio State will not provide refunds of tuition and fees. Students who satisfactorily fulfill course requirements this semester will receive full academic credit.

    The university may provide partial refunds of housing and dining costs in the event the university requires students to move out of the residence halls earlier than the official move-out date for the semester. BuckID funds and Dining Dollars would be rolled over as detailed on the University Dining Plans page.

    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/

    Can I hold an in-person meeting with my team?

    Virtual meetings/events are recommended when physical distancing guidelines cannot be met. When holding in-person meetings, the room selected must be large enough to meet physical distancing guidelines for all parties. Be creative and utilize technology — such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom or WebEx — to facilitate meetings.

    How do I manage shared equipment, like printers and fax machines that are used by multiple people?

    Please remind faculty and staff to wipe down shared equipment such as printers, copiers, fax machines, phones or other shared office equipment and supplies following use. Appropriate physical distancing should be followed if multiple individuals are using shared equipment at the same time. However, this may also be a good time to assess if there are ways to reduce the use of shared office equipment.

    When will employees return to campus?

    At this time, all non-essential university employees who are not part of an exempted operation or function are to continue teleworking and remain off campus. Employees may be instructed to return to campus as needed as part of a phased approach under the direction of the transition task force. It also is expected that some employees will continue to telework, when operationally feasible and practical. More details will be shared when available.