Student Testing Program

The Ohio State University continues to refine, improve and expand testing efforts as they are a critical component of a safe and healthy campus community. Testing programs are carried out across campus to help the university monitor and address real-time trends and prevalence and make timely decisions on intervention and response.

Protocols for Autumn 2021

Testing 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.

  • Pre-arrival testing: All domestic 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. Until students receive a negative test result, they should wear a mask.
  • 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.

Quarantine and isolation housing

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

Surveillance Testing

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. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, we will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students with the same protocols.

MyChart

Students will use MyChart for scheduling appointments and receiving results. If you do not currently have a MyChart account, please visit https://mychart.osu.edu/osumc/signup to complete the registration form. To activate your account, you will need the zip code of your permanent residence that is on file with the university. If you have lived in multiple places during your time with the university and you aren’t sure which zip code is on file, you can try multiple zip codes.  

If a student already has a MyChart account with a healthcare system other than The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, they still need to set up an account. If they have a MyChart account with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, they should make sure account information is up-to-date and they have the proper login information.

If a student has an approved testing exemption on file, we still strongly encourage them to activate their Ohio State MyChart account, in case they need to use it in the future. Students can review their exemption status by emailing shs-covidtesting@osu.edu.

If you need support with your MyChart account, please call MyChart Support at 866-966-6975, option 3 (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or email MyChartTechSupport@osumc.edu (email may take up to 2 business days for response).

 

MyChart Scheduling Instructions

Please follow the steps below for scheduling an appointment for COVID-19 screening testing using a mobile device or by using a browser on a computer or tablet.

  1. Log in to MyChart and tap Appointments > Schedule an appointment.
  2. Tap OSU COVID-19 Testing JON.
  3. Read the consent and then tap I Consent. If you tap I Do Not Consent, you cannot proceed with scheduling an appointment.    
  4. Scroll down and answer all the questionnaire questions to the best of your knowledge. The questions are required for reporting to various state and federal agencies. When you’re finished answering questions, tap Continue.
  5. Tap an appointment time.
    • Appointment times are every 15 minutes. You can arrive for your appointment up to 30 minutes ahead of time. 
    • Do your best to arrive at JON to check in before your appointment time.  If you don’t check in before your appointment time, you need to schedule a new appointment when you arrive onsite. 
  6. Double check your selections. In the “What is the most important thing you want addressed during this visit” field, enter COVID Testing.
  7. Then, tap Schedule. The appointment is now scheduled, and you will receive a confirmation email with the appointment details and instructions.

For a detailed MyChart instruction guide, visit the Wexner Medical Center’s website.

 

Testing Exemptions

This testing program is for asymptomatic individuals who have not been vaccinated. Students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and reported their status to the university will not have to test. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, we will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students with the same protocols. If a student has a fever or symptoms, they should contact their physician or Student Health Services for advice.

There are a few reasons why students may be able to opt-out of testing: 

  • They have a disability that would physically preclude them from having the test done. 
  • They have a sincerely held religious belief.
  • They are currently sick and unable to get to the testing facility. 
  • They have an order by public health official/provider to maintain quarantine/isolation.
  • They have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.
  • If a student is taking all virtual courses and verifies they will not be physically on campus during the semester, do not live near Ohio State’s campus and will not interact in-person with Ohio State students, faculty or staff throughout the semester.

To complete an exemption form, please visit go.osu.edu/SHSexemption. Students will hear about their exemption status via email.

Students who have had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 90 days should not be tested and should submit proof of their previous diagnosis through the exemption process: go.osu.edu/SHSexemption. If the appropriate documentation is not provided, testing will be required. Students who received a positive test result via Jesse Owens North or Student Life Student Health Services will receive an automatic exemption and do not need to complete the form.

Testing Process

Students will follow this process: 

  • Because it is a saliva test, it is recommended that students hydrate in the hours before their test, however, they should not eat, drink, smoke, chew gum, use mouthwash or toothpaste within thirty minutes of the test.   
  •  It is important to arrive during the scheduled time to help manage wait times and facilitate physical distancing.  
  • Please bring your BuckID and a mobile device to the testing site. iPads will be available at the testing site, if you do not have a mobile device.  
  • You may check in up to 30 minutes prior to arriving at JON. 
    • Log in to MyChart and tap Appointments  
    • Tap your OSU COVID-19 Testing appointment to open it and then tap “I’m Here” 
    • A “Welcome” message will appears. Tap “OK” to acknowledge it. 
    • Follow signage at JON to “MyChart Check-In” 
  • Testing will occur with physical distancing and masks required. Only students who need to complete testing will be permitted in the testing facility.    
  • Students will receive results via their MyChart account within two to three business days. When test results are available, MyChart will send an email to the email address associated with the student’s MyChart account.  Tap the link in the email and then log in to MyChart to review your results. Students may also log in to MyChart any time and then tap Results on the MyChart home screen.  

If a student receives a positive result, a representative from the Ohio State Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team will be in contact. Please note that if results are received later into the night, students may not be contacted until the next morning. Students will not need a health insurance card and there is no cost for these tests.    

Testing typically takes 10-30 minutes. Students who have a disability and have difficulty standing for up to 30 minutes can request a chair. Please let the person know at the check-in desk. Contact Student Life Disability Services for questions related to accommodations. For questions related to testing, contact shs-covidtesting@osu.edu.  

What To Do After Testing

While waiting for the test results to come back, students can engage in normal activities, but unvaccinated students should still wear a mask and practice frequent handwashing and other hygiene behaviors.  

If a student receives a positive test result, they should not panic. They should proceed directly to their residence hall room, avoid contact with others and wear a mask at all times. If the student’s roommate is in their room, both students should maintain at least six feet of physical distance and wear masks. The student with the positive test result should also strictly avoid contact with anyone who is immunocompromised.   

The Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team and our Student Support Team will be in contact to assist with next steps, which will include determining the best place to isolate, either on-campus in dedicated housing or at home. Please note that if results are received later into the night, students may not be contacted until the next morning. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

MyChart

How do students register for MyChart? 

Students will use MyChart for scheduling appointments and receiving results. If you do not currently have a MyChart account, please visit https://mychart.osu.edu/osumc/signup to complete the registration form. To activate your account, you will need the zip code of your permanent residence that is on file with the university. If you have lived in multiple places during your time with the university and you aren’t sure which zip code is on file, you can try multiple zip codes.  

If you have difficulty creating your account, you can call MyChart Support at 866-966-6975, option 3 (available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or email MyChartTechSupport@osumc.edu for assistance (email may take up to 2 business days for response). 

What if I’ve forgotten my MyChart username or password? 

Instructions for retrieving a username or password appear on the MyChart login page. If those options don’t work, call MyChart Support at 866-966-6975, option 3 (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or email MyChartTechSupport@osumc.edu (email may take up to 2 business days for response). 

I need to reschedule my appointment. What do I do? 

Students are able to reschedule their appointment within MyChart. Instructions can be found at go.osu.edu/mychartreschedule. 

How do I check in for my appointments using MyChart? 

Upon arrival to the testing center, you should log in to MyChart, tap Appointments and then tap, “I’m Here” to mark yourself as arrived. This will cause your testing label to print. 

What if I do not have a smartphone? 

You can log in to MyChart through the internet browser on any device that connects to the internet, such as a computer or tablet. The web address is mychart.osu.edu. When you arrive at JON, you can check in from an available JON tablet.  

Testing and Results

What type of test is Ohio State providing at Jesse Owens North? 

Testing at Jesse Owens North will be done via a saliva test. Testing typically takes 10-30 minutes. Because it is a saliva test, it is recommended that you hydrate in the hours before yourtest, however, you should not eat, drink, smoke, chew gum or use mouthwash within 30 minutes of your test. 

How accurate are saliva tests? 

For information on the accuracy of saliva tests, please visit the Yale School of Public Health’s website. 

Where can I find the results to my Ohio State lab saliva test that took place at Jesse Owens North? 

If you tested via the Ohio State lab, you will receive your results via the MyChart platform. Results will be available in MyChart in up to 72 hours after testing. 

Where can I find the results if I tested at Wilce Student Health Center? 

If you tested at Student Health Services, your results will be sent via secure message in MyBuckMD. 

How long does it take to get Ohio State lab test results? 

Results will be available via MyChart up to 72 hours after testing. 

What if my friend or roommate tested the same day as me and they have their results, but I do not? 

This is not a cause for concern. The lab is processing the results and it can take up to 72 hours once received.  

  • Check the email account you used to register for MyChart

  • Check your spam or promotions folder in your email 

  • Ensure you consented at the end of the test 

If it has been more than four days since taking your test, you can go to the testing site to retest or contact medicalrecords@osu.edu. If you tested at Student Health Services, your results will be sent via secure message in My BuckMD 

What if I have questions about my results? 

Please send a secure message via My BuckMD to contact a provider by selecting "Questions for COVID-19" from the dropdown menu 

Am I able to walk up without an appointment to test at Jesse Owens North?  

No, students need to make an appointment to test at Jesse Owens North. Appointments can be scheduled using MyChart. 

Exemptions

Can I opt-out of testing?  

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. Additionally, there are a few reasons why students may be able to opt-out of testing:    

  • They have a disability that would physically preclude them from having the test done.  

  • They are currently sick and unable to get to the testing facility.  

  • They have a sincerely held religious belief. 

  • They have an order by public health official/provider to maintain quarantine/isolation. 

  • If a student is taking all virtual courses and verifies they will not be physically on campus during the semester and they do not have a university housing contract 

  • They have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days.  

To complete an exemption form, please visit go.osu.edu/SHSexemption. Information about student exemptions can be found by checking their Ohio State email address. For questions, email shs-covidtesting@osu.edu.   

What are the consequences if a student does not have a qualified reason for opting out and does not participate in the testing program?

If a student does not show up for or reschedule their weekly testing appointment, they will be contacted via email by Student Conduct to reschedule for the following week. If a student fails to either show up for their second scheduled testing appointment and/or respond to a request to reschedule their initial appointment within two business days, they will receive a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed. BuckID access to non-residential spaces may be shut off and a report will be made to Student Conduct for non-compliance. 

What if a student has documentation that they have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies or have previously tested positive for COVID-19? 

If they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, they may submit an exemption form: go.osu.edu/SHSexemption. Please note the following: 

  • Lab documentation noting positive test results of a PCR or antigen test will be accepted. Ninety days after the positive test results, you will be added back into the university's testing program. 

  • Lab documentation of negative PCR or antigen testing within a week of required weekly testing will be accepted. If new symptoms have developed since the test results, the test should be repeated. 

  • Not all COVID testing is accepted. For example, antibody testing is not accepted. 

How do I upload positive test documentation to My BuckMD? 

To submit positive test documentation: 

  • Go to shs.osu.edu and click “Login to My BuckMD”. Enter your university name.# and password. 

  • Click the “Document Upload” tab. 

  • Click the “Browse” button to locate your document on your device. 

Please note the following: 

  • Lab documentation noting positive test results of a PCR or antigen test will be accepted. Ninety days after the negative test results, you will be added back into the university's testing program. 

  • Lab documentation of negative PCR or antigen testing within a week of required weekly testing will be accepted. If new symptoms have developed since the test results, the test should be repeated. 

  • Not all COVID testing is accepted. For example, antibody testing is not accepted. 

What do I do if I am a minor? 

If you are under the age of 18, you will need your guardian’s written/electronic consent. Please check your My BuckMD portal for the consent form. If your parent or legal guardian is unable to complete the electronic form, they may download the HIPPA Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information form from this page and submit to Student Life Student Health Services:  

Where can I find updates about my exemption status? 

Information about your exemption can be found by checking your Ohio State email address. For questions, email shs-covidtesting@osu.edu.   

How long does it take to process my exemption? 

Exemptions take 3-7 business days to process. Information about your exemption can be found by checking your Ohio State email address. For questions, email shs-covidtesting@osu.eduPlease note the approval or denial of your exemption could be delayed if proper documentation is not uploaded. 

What happens when my exemption expires? 

You will start testing the week your exemption expires, unless it expires on a Friday or Saturday, then you will resume testing the following week. You should schedule your appointment using MyChart. 

Information for students with a previous positive COVID test

I tested positive for COVID-19 last semester. Will I need to be a part of the routine weekly testing this semester?

Yes. If your positive test was more than 90 days ago, you will need to restart weekly testing. If your test was less than 90 days ago, you won’t start testing until that 90-day mark.

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.

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.

What if I am identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19? Will I need to go into quarantine even though I had COVID before?

Yes. Quarantine prevents people who have been exposed to COVID-19 who may have an infection from exposing other people. Even though you may have had COVID-19 before, re-infection is possible and transmission also is a possibility. So, we must be cautious and limit potential transmission in every way that we can.

Information for students who have been vaccinated 

I have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Will I need to be a part of the COVID-19 testing program?

No. Students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and reported their status to the university will not have to test. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, we will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students with the same protocols. 

Will I need to go into quarantine if I am a close contact after I’ve been vaccinated?

If you are fully vaccinated and identified as a close contact, the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team will determine if your vaccination status currently qualifies you for a quarantine exemption.

 


Please reference this website for the most up-to-date guidelines. The university’s COVID-19 Transition Task Force’s Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory Subgroup will continue monitoring changing conditions and consult with local and state health authorities. Recommendations and requirements will be refined as needed.