Frequently Asked Questions

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Academic Work

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

The university offers a variety of in-person, virtual and blended experiences. We encourage students to discuss any concerns with their academic advisor to evaluate options. Students with particular needs for accommodations should also contact Student Life Disability Services or the ADA Coordinator’s Office.    

Ohio State has published guidelines and requirements on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes site that detail the measures to be taken by the university and the requirements for all individuals to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of the community.

Academic Work for Graduate Students

How can graduate students request a leave of absence?

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

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

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

What teaching support resources are available for GTAs?

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

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

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

Accountability

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

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

Classroom Safety Measures

Are masks required in classrooms?

Masks are optional in most indoor spaces on The Ohio State University campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, offices, the Ohio Union and on public transportation. The university continues to require masks in clinical health care settings (including at the Wexner Medical Center and in college-based clinics), COVID-19 testing locations and child care centers. The Wexner Medical Center and Student Health Services have enhanced their mask requirements to include all areas of clinical buildings. In settings where masks are optional, students, faculty, staff and visitors can decide on an individual basis whether or not they will continue to wear a mask.

Masks are optional in most indoor spaces on The Ohio State University campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, offices, the Ohio Union and on public transportation. The university continues to require masks in clinical health care settings (including at the Wexner Medical Center and in college-based clinics), COVID-19 testing locations and child care centers. The Wexner Medical Center and Student Health Services have enhanced their mask requirements to include all areas of clinical buildings. In settings where masks are optional, students, faculty, staff and visitors can decide on an individual basis whether or not they will continue to wear a mask.

Can I set health and safety requirements in my classes?

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

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

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

Does the university require COVID-19 vaccines?

To enhance the health and safety of the university community, Ohio State is requiring every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Booster shots are strongly encouraged for everyone who is eligible. Additional information is available on the COVID-19 requirement page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instructors cannot change the overall delivery mode of the course without the formal approval of the college’s academic leadership and the Office of Academic Affairs. Instructors should contact their dean if issues emerge with the course delivery mode.

The mode of instruction for each class is determined by the university and is subject to change at the discretion of the university in reliance on the guidance received from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health and local health authorities. 

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

Instructors may not ask students about their vaccination status. The decision to vaccinate is a personal health matter and protected under HIPAA.

Where will masks or 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. 

Free face masks are available for students, faculty and staff at a variety of campus locations including: all recreation facilities, most university libraries and the Ohio Union information desk. Masks can be picked up during business hours.

For details about locations, see the Personal Safety Practices page.

    Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine

    Do I need to check in at my residence hall desk when I return to campus from isolation?

    No, you do not need to check in at the residence hall front desk upon your return. You may proceed to your residence hall room as normal.

    How do I report my positive test result?

    If you are tested outside of Ohio State (e.g. a local pharmacy, physician’s office, or at home) and test positive, notify the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team (CICTT) by uploading your result to go.osu.edu/selfreporttest.

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

    Those who test positive for COVID-19, should isolate at home for at least five days (from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms or from the date of test for asymptomatic positive individuals). After five days if you have no fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and other symptoms are improving/resolved, you will be released from physical isolation.

    Currently, those working in a health care setting may be required to isolate longer than 5 days. Specific guidance for each situation will be provided by the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team. Upon exiting physical isolation, individuals must continue to wear a well-fitted mask for five additional days when in public or when indoors in close proximity to others (within six feet). If you share a living space with others, you must remain masked at all times.

    The clock starts the day after the test/symptom onset (whichever is earlier). The test date/symptom onset date is day 0, isolation is a minimum of 5 full days, with a release on day 6.  

    I am a contracted employee and currently work at OSU, what do I do if I test positive or have an exposure?

    The CICTT is not currently completing the contact tracing for contracted staff. Please seek guidance from your primary employment agency, along with your local health department. If you have any questions or need help identifying your local health department, please contact the CICTT via phone (614-688-2273) or email (ContactTracing@osu.edu).

    I received a positive test result. Will the university call me to give me instructions on how to isolate?

    No.  The university will not be calling students to provide isolation instructions.  All students should begin to implement their isolation plan immediately upon receiving your results by either leaving your campus residence hall or beginning your isolation in your off-campus residence.  

    If you tested outside of Ohio State, or using an at-home antigen test, you must upload your results to go.osu.edu/selfreporttest to receive isolation instructions.

    I tested positive for COVID. What should I do while I wait for my transportation away from campus to pick me up?

    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.  You do NOT need to wait for the university to contact you to leave campus to begin your isolation.

    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. By requiring all people with a positive COVID-19 test to stay in isolation, this increases the chances we will limit infections. We are not currently recommending re-testing for anyone who has had a recent positive test. A positive test means the COVID-19 virus was detected in the provided sample. A negative test means the test did not detect the virus, but this doesn't rule out that you could have an infection.

    My dependent child tested positive for COVID-19, what do I need to do?

    Please communicate directly with your child regarding their COVID-19 isolation plan and duration. The CICTT is not able to disclose COVID-19 status or related information to anyone other than the student themselves. Certain circumstances may override this policy, for example, if your child is a minor or has given clear consent to share their information. 

    My roommate has tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do? What should I expect?

    Residents who test positive are asked to leave their residence hall room within 24 hours of testing positive to begin their isolation away from campus. Roommates who are determined to be close contacts and are required to wear a tight fitting mask for 10 days, get tested, and watch for symptoms. Please see the FAQ ‘What happens if I have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19?’ to determine if other precautions are required. 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.

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

    • Instruct the employee 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.
    • Ask the employee to submit their test results to the CICTT via the self-report form (go.osu.edu/selfreporttest).
    • If possible, 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.
    • Communicate directly with the employee regarding their return-to-work dates.
    • If the employee is contracted staff, do not instruct them to use the self-report form. Have them seek guidance from their primary employment agency and their local health department.

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

    People who have a significant COVID-19 exposure (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) should take the following actions regardless of their vaccination status:

    • Begin wearing a well-fitted mask immediately and continue masking for 10 full days.
    • Schedule a COVID-19 test immediately, and plan to test again after 5 days.
    • If you are symptomatic, please plan to self-isolate while you wait for your test results. If your results are negative, you may exit your self-isolation, but continue masking. If your results are positive, you must follow current isolation protocol.
    • Self-report your COVID-19 exposure to the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team at 614-688-CASE or ContactTracing@osu.edu.

    Students currently experiencing symptoms should schedule a COVID-19 test via an on campus symptomatic testing location.

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

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

    Contact tracers are permitted to access information only for use in the university’s pandemic response. The contact tracing team will use individuals’ contact information to get in touch, positive test results to learn whether others may have been infected and monitor the spread of COVID-19, and vaccination status to properly assess quarantine needs.  

    Some examples of general location information include:

    • Student and instructor class roster, residence hall address and office address
    • Primary affiliation (student, staff, faculty), contact information, and COVID-19 status

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

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

    What is considered an exposure to COVID-19?

     An exposure is when you have come in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact exposure is contact for at least 15 minutes at a distance of less than 6 feet from a person with COVID-19. To count as close contact, the exposure must occur in the 48 hours prior to the other person developing COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19.

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

    • Standing in line to order coffee behind an individual with COVID-19 for three minutes
    • Having classes in the same building as someone who tests positive
    • Walking past a person with COVID-19 in the hallway of your residence hall or on the Oval

     

    What type of information will the CICTT need to collect from me?

    The CICTT will need to collect any information that is relevant to contact tracing and case investigation. This includes information on symptoms, test dates, exposure details, and contact information, including address of isolation. This information is only used for public health and contact tracing and is not shared outside of this context.

    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, please contact the CICTT by using the self-report form (go.osu.edu/selfreporttest) if you already have positive test results.
    • Students are not required to report the specific reason for their illness, including COVID-19 infection, to their instructors. Students will receive a letter from Student Life and Disability Services for COVID-19 related remote learning accommodations during isolation.
    • 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. You may also contact the CICTT directly via phone (614-688-2273) or email (ContactTracing@osu.edu).
    • 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, please contact the CICTT by using the self-report form (go.osu.edu/selfreporttest) if you already have positive test results.
    • Students are not required to report the specific reason for their illness, including COVID-19 infection, to their instructors. Students will receive a letter from Student Life and Disability Services for COVID-19 related remote learning accommodations during isolation.
    • 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. You may also contact the CICTT directly via phone (614-688-2273) or email (ContactTracing@osu.edu).

    Will I be informed if my coworker 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.

    Events

    Are in-person events required to follow special protocols?

    All events and gatherings taking place at The Ohio State University must follow all applicable state, local and university protocols related to COVID-19. As of summer 2022, in-person programming may take place by following standard planning processes and indoor venues may operate at full capacity.

    • Organizers may work directly with the appropriate contact at the desired venue (whether at a university-run venue or a third-party location).
    • Events planned for academic spaces may be approved through the normal college, department or academic program level review. Events do not need to be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs for review.

    Note that health guidance is subject to change.

    Are masks required for events?

    Ohio State is maintaining a mask-optional policy for most settings as the 2022-23 academic year begins. This policy applies to most circumstances, including academic classes, staff meetings and most events. Masks are still required in health-care, child-care and COVID-19 testing locations.

    There may be occasions where an external speaker requests a mask requirement for a lecture or other event as a condition of their participation. The university seeks to offer flexibility in these situations to ensure that Ohio State can continue to invite and attract speakers who contribute to a vibrant dialogue on our campuses.

    Organizers/sponsors of an event may seek approval of an event-specific mask requirement through their dean or vice president/senior vice president under the following conditions:

    • The external individual (not an Ohio State student, faculty or staff member) requests a mask requirement for an event where they are speaking or otherwise presenting. In this instance, the mask requirement is a condition for the speaker to attend the event and should be included in the agreement with the speaker for the event. 
    • Attendance at the event is voluntary. Students are not required to attend the event for a class or to meet other requirements, and faculty and staff are likewise not required to attend the event as part of their employment.
    • The expectation for masking is clearly communicated in advance of the event, and on entry to the event. Organizers should make masks available for any attendees who need them.
    Graduate Studies

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

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

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

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

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

    What testing is required for students who live off campus?

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

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

    Health and Safety

    Are masks required for campus visitors?

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

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

    Are masks required?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Do contractors and vendors need to wear masks?

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

    Masks are optional in most indoor spaces on The Ohio State University campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, offices, the Ohio Union, and on public transportation. In settings where masks are optional, students, faculty, staff and visitors can decide on an individual basis whether or not they will continue to wear a mask.

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

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

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

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

    Living on Campus

    Is on-campus isolation housing available?

    Given that broad access to vaccines is available, on-campus isolation housing is limited this year and cannot be guaranteed at any time. All students should have individual plans for isolation housing in the event they are exposed or have a positive COVID-19 test.

    Mental Health and Wellness

    I am worried about a student, what can I do?

    If the concern is life threatening, please contact 911, the Ohio State Police Department, at 614-292-2121, or the Wexner Medical Center, at 614-293-8333. If the situation is not life threatening, being supportive and encouraging the student to contact Student Life's Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) is often the best first step. CCS does not contact students who do not contact us first out of respect for their privacy and independence. You can also recommend some of the available mental health support options available on campus.

    If the concern is life threatening, please contact 911, the Ohio State Police Department, at 614-292-2121, or the Wexner Medical Center, at 614-293-8333. If the situation is not life threatening, being supportive and encouraging the student to contact Student Life's Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) is often the best first step. CCS does not contact students who do not contact us first out of respect for their privacy and independence. You can also recommend some of the available mental health support options available on campus.

    What do I need to know as a parent or family member if I have a student in need of mental health support?

    If you have concerns and would like to discuss helpful options with your student, please visit Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Service website to review service options. Contact Student Life's Counseling and Consultation Service to request a call back from a counselor at 614-292-5766.

    What mental health and wellness resources are available on campus?

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

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

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

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

    Personal Protection and Hygiene

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

    Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, March 11, masks will be optional in most indoor spaces on The Ohio State University campuses. Wexner Medical Center employees who have received an exemption to the university’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement are required to wear a face mask at all times while indoor.

    Recreation

    If I have recovered from COVID-19, when can I resume exercise?

    If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, please use caution and be aware of any new symptoms when you resume exercise. If you had significant symptoms, you should discuss the situation with your primary care provider prior to resuming high-intensity exercise. If you develop heart symptoms when exercising — such as chest pain, shortness of breath, abnormal heartbeats, near passing out or passing out — seek medical care from your primary care provider or Student Health Services.  If you are aware of others having these symptoms, please encourage them to seek care.

    Research

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

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

    Support for Teaching

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

    Students who test positive forward a statement of support for short-term academic flexibility to their instructors. If they test at a university testing facility, they will automatically receive this statement. Students who test positive at other testing facilities can work with Student Life Disability Services to acquire the statement of support.

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

    Students who test positive forward a statement of support for short-term academic flexibility to their instructors. If they test at a university testing facility, they will automatically receive this statement. Students who test positive at other testing facilities can work with Student Life Disability Services to acquire the statement of support.

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

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

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

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

    What support resources are available to instructors?

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

    Testing

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

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

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

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

    Vaccination Requirement: Reporting

    Are volunteers and guests required to be vaccinated?

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

    How do I report my vaccination information?

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

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

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

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

    Yes. The policy applies regardless of work location.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Which COVID-19 vaccines qualify for this requirement?

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

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

    Pfizer (2 dose), Moderna (2 dose) and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (1 dose) have received full FDA approval.

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

    Who will have access to my vaccination data?

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

    Why is the university requiring the COVID-19 vaccine?

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

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

    Will new employees be required to complete the requirement?

    Yes. Ohio State requires every student, faculty and staff member to be compliant with Ohio State’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

    Ohio State requires that by the start of employment all newly hired employees receive at least the first dose of a two-dose series or a single dose of a one-dose series COVID-19 vaccination. Individuals who choose a two-dose series vaccination must receive the second dose within 45 days of their start date.

    Proof of vaccination is required at time of hire. As soon as the new employee has access to their Ohio State email, they must submit their vaccination record through the Employee Health Record system.

    Candidates may request a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement. Campus employees may also request an exemption for personal reasons. Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, College of Medicine or OSUP Employees are not eligible for personal exemptions. All exemptions are subject to Ohio State’s approval and subject to change, including revocation, due to legal and regulatory requirements.

    To request a religious or personal exemption prior to their hire date, candidates should email HR-VaccineExemption@osu.edu. To request a medical exemption, prior to their hire date, candidates should email employeehealthcovid@osumc.edu. More information is available at https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu/covid-19-vaccine-requirement

    Employees who have not completed their initial vaccine series (which is 14 days after a final dose) or have not submitted their vaccination information have to follow specific compliance measures, including completing weekly COVID-19 testing, completing an eLearning in BuckeyeLearn and following safe and healthy behaviors, including wearing a face mask at all times.

    Vaccine

    How can I access my COVID-19 vaccination record?

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

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

     

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

    Vaccine Requirement: Employee Exemptions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Who do I contact for help with this process?

    University, Wexner Medical Center and OSUP employees

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

    University and Wexner Medical Center employees

    OSUP employees

    Who is approving exemption requests for employees?

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

    Vaccine Requirement: Exemptions

    Are exemption requests required to be notarized?

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

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

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

    How quickly will exemption requests be reviewed and processed?

    Our goal is a 2-3 week turnaround for exemption requests. Employees and students are asked to submit exemption requests as soon as possible. Individuals will be considered non-compliant until their request can be reviewed.

    How quickly will exemption requests be reviewed/processed?

    Our goal is a 2-3 week turnaround for exemption requests. Employees and students are asked to submit exemption requests as soon as possible. Individuals will be considered non-compliant until their request can be reviewed.

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

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

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

    What exemptions are allowed under this policy?

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

    Medical

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

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

    Individuals with a history of either a documented COVID-19 infection or a history of having received a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody infusion within 30 days prior to the deadline will be eligible for a temporary exemption until after the end of the 30-day period. The individual will then be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination within 14 days of the end of the exemption.

    Personal or Religious

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

    The U.S. Supreme Court recently lifted the pause on enforcement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) rule that requires medical facilities to ensure all health care workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a medical or religious exemption from vaccination in alignment with federal requirements. As a result, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is no longer permitted to allow personal exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees. Because Wexner Medical Center participates in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and is a CMS-certified facility, this requirement applies to all Wexner Medical Center staff. This requirement also applies to some Ohio State campus employees. Information about the rule and frequently asked questions are available on the CMS.gov website. Impacted employees were notified on February 15.

    Where can I access notary services?

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

    MANSFIELD

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

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

    CFAES WOOSTER

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

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

    LIMA

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

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

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

    NEWARK

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

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

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

    MANSFIELD

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

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

    CFAES WOOSTER

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

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

    LIMA

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

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

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

    NEWARK

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

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

    Vaccine Requirement: Student Exemptions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Download the COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption form. Upload the completed form along with any required documentation to My BuckMD patient portal.

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

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

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

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

    For support, please email vaccination@osu.edu.

    Who is approving exemption requests?

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

    Workplace

    Are workplace accommodations available for employees at higher-risk?

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

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


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