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 will be carried out across campus to help the university monitor and address real-time trends and prevalence and make timely decisions on intervention and response.

University Housing Contract Testing

On a weekly basis, students living in university-managed housing are required to complete a COVID-19 saliva test. Testing takes place on all Ohio State campuses for those in university-managed housing and is required for continued residence on-campus. Testing locations include:

  • Columbus: Jesse Owens North Rec Center (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.)
  • ATI: Fisher Auditorium, 103 Auditorium (Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • Newark: McConnell Hall, Jones Event Space Room 100 (Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
  • Mansfield: Molyet Village Apartments, Community Center (Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Please note, any student living in university-managed housing, including the Gateway Apartments, Buckeye Village and others, are required to participate in the testing program. Participation in the testing is required for continued residence on-campus. Failure of students to respond 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 testing.

Schedule Using The Housing Portal 

On a weekly basis, students with university housing contracts will sign up for their testing appointments using the Housing Portal. In the Housing Portal, students will book their appointments using the calendar tool. Students will need to book an appointment each week of the semester. They can navigate through the weeks using the arrow buttons or the calendar dropdown. Once appointments are selected, hit submit. Students will receive a confirmation email.

If a student misses their appointment and needs to reschedule, they can reach out to housing@osu.edu. University Housing can cancel the missed appointment time and help reschedule the appointment.

If a student is having issues scheduling using the Housing Portal, they should make sure they are accessing the housing portal on a laptop or desktop and using Google Chrome. The scheduling calendar can take up to 30 seconds to load the available appointments. If they continue to have issues accessing the portal, email housing@osu.edu. 

MyChart

Eligible students will receive an activation message to set up their Ohio State MyChart account, similar to what they did earlier this semester when registering for Vault.

The activation message from MyChart_DoNotReply@osumc.edu will provide students with a link they need to visit within 24 hours to set up their account. To activate their account, students will need the zip code of their permanent residence that is on file with the university.

The university will begin to use this system in phases, starting in October and through January. Until they receive direction from the university to begin using the new system, students should follow their current testing process.

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 logging into My BuckMD.

 

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. 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 and they do not have a university housing contract.
  • They prefer to be tested by another source within a week, before or after, their assigned time. Ohio State will not reimburse for testing done at alternative facilities. Students must share the results with Ohio State. 
  • If a student has been selected for testing in the same semester within one week of their second assigned test (applies to off-campus undergraduates, graduate and professional students only).

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

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. 

Testing Process

Each week, students living in university-managed housing 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 or use mouthwash 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 a mobile device to the testing site. Upon arrival, log in to MyChart and tap the “I’m Here” option on the home screen to check in. iPads will be available at the testing site. 
  • Columbus campus students will need to bring their BuckID to the testing site and have it ready to show at check-in. Students will not need a health insurance card and there is no cost for these tests.   
  • Head to the testing location and follow signs for student testing. 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. 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. 

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 it is still required that they maintain at least six feet from others, wear a mask and practice frequent handwashing and other hygiene behaviors. Students should also limit contact with others as much as possible, but they may still attend class, go to get food, hang out with their roommate or take a walk with friends. Remember the university is limiting events and gatherings to no more than ten people. Students that are in quarantine due to travel, have been exposed to COVID-19 or are having symptoms of illness should maintain their quarantine protocol. 

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. 

 

Surveillance Testing for Off-Campus Undergraduate, Graduate and Professional Students 

Each week, the university selects samples of undergraduate, graduate and professional Columbus-campus students who live off 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. Failure to respond 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. 

Undergraduate Students – Schedule Using OnCourse 

As they are selected for surveillance testing, undergraduate students who live off-campus will schedule their testing appointment within the OnCourse scheduling system. If students need to reschedule or cancel their appointment, instructions can be found at go.osu.edu/oncourseappointment.

MyChart 

Eligible students will receive an activation message to set up their Ohio State MyChart account, similar to what they did earlier this semester when registering for Vault. 

The activation message from MyChart_DoNotReply@osumc.edu will provide students with a link they need to visit within 24 hours to set up their account. To activate their account, students will need the zip code of their permanent residence that is on file with the university. 

The university will begin to use this system in phases, starting in October and through January. Until they receive direction from the university to begin using the new system, students should follow their current testing process. 

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 logging into My BuckMD. 

 

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. 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 and they do not have a university housing contract.
  • They prefer to be tested by another source within a week, before or after, their assigned time. Ohio State will not reimburse for testing done at alternative facilities. Students must share the results with Ohio State. 
  • If a student has been selected for testing in the same semester within one week of their second assigned test (applies to off-campus undergraduates, graduate and professional students only).

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

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. 

Testing Process

Each week, 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 or use mouthwash 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 a mobile device to the testing site. Upon arrival, log in to MyChart and tap the “I’m Here” option on the home screen to check in. iPads will be available at the testing site. 

  • Columbus campus students will need to bring their BuckID to the testing site and have it ready to show at check-in. Students will not need a health insurance card and there is no cost for these tests.   

  • Head to the testing location and follow signs for student testing. 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. 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. 

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 it is still required that they maintain at least six feet from others, wear a mask and practice frequent handwashing and other hygiene behaviors. Students should also limit contact with others as much as possible, but they may still attend class, go to get food, hang out with their roommate or take a walk with friends. Remember the university is limiting events and gatherings to no more than ten people. Students that are in quarantine due to travel, have been exposed to COVID-19 or are having symptoms of illness should maintain their quarantine protocol. 

If a student receives a positive test result, they should not panic. They should proceed directly to their home, avoid contact with others and wear a mask at all times. If the student lives with other people, all members of the house 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

Scheduling and Rescheduling Testing Appointments 

I’m a student who lives on campus and needs to reschedule my appointment. What do I do? 

Please reach out to housing@osu.edu. They can cancel your missed appointment time and help you reschedule. 

I am having problems accessing the housing portal to schedule my testing appointment. What do I do? 

Please make sure you are accessing the housing portal on a laptop or desktop and using Google Chrome. The scheduling calendar can take up to 30 seconds to load the available appointments. If you continue to have issues accessing the portal, email housing@osu.edu. 

I’m an undergraduate student who lives off-campus and needs to reschedule my appointment time. What do I do? 

Undergraduate students who live off-campus can reschedule their appointment within theOnCourse scheduling system. Instructions can be found at go.osu.edu/oncourseappointment. 

I’m a graduate or professional student who lives off-campus and needs to reschedule my appointment time. What do I do? 

If you were assigned to test the week of October 19, you can reschedule your appointment within the Salesforce scheduling system (osu-enterprise.force.com/covidtesting). 

If you were assigned to test the week of October 26, you can reschedule your appointment by logging into MyChart. 

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 Vault saliva test that took place at Jesse Owen North? 

If you tested via Vault, you could receive your results for the saliva in two different ways: 

  • If you opted into results over email, you will receive an email with your test result. The title of this email is: “Your Test Results Are In”. Please be sure to check any Spam or Promotions folders in your email application. The results email will be sent to you from: hello@updates.vaulthealth.com.   

  • If not, you will get an email notification when results are ready to view in your Vault account. There will be a link to your results in that email. When you log into your Vault account, you will scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the down arrow on the right-hand side to view your results. 

Typically, you will receive an email with results 48-72 hours after your sample is received at the lab. 

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 Vault test results? 

Tests are shipped to the lab at the end of the business day. Typically, you will receive an email with results 48-72 hours after your sample is received at the lab. 

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 Vault 

  • 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 

Testing Eligibility and Exemptions

Can I opt-out of testing?  

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 prefer to be tested by another source within a week, before or after, their assigned time. Ohio State will not reimburse for testing done at alternative facilities. Students must share the results with Ohio State.  

  • 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 

  • If a student has been selected for testing in the same semester within one week of their second assigned test (applies to off-campus undergraduates, graduate and professional students only) 

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

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

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 their initial testing appointment and/or reschedule their assigned testing date within their assigned testing window, 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. Asymptomatic and negative individuals will go back into the pool for random selection and students living in university contracted housing will complete weekly testing. 

  • 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. 

  • Select Health Records – COVID-19 Documents. 

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

  • Click the “Save” button to submit. 

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. Asymptomatic and negative individuals will go back into the pool for random selection and students living in university contracted housing will complete weekly testing. 

  • 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 logging into your My BuckMD portal and looking in your secure messages.  

How long does it take to process my exemption? 

Exemptions take 3-7 business days to process. Updates will be shared in your My BuckMDportal through secure messaging. Please note the approval or denial of your exemption could be delayed if proper documentation is not uploaded. 

Off-Campus Surveillance Testing

Is testing required?  

This is a required program. Failure to respond and schedule a test may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to university spaces and a report to Student Conduct. There will be no direct costs to students participating in the testing at Jesse Owens North.  

Who will be eligible to be assigned for testing?   

All undergraduate, graduate and professional students who are enrolled in courses, regardless of course delivery method, with the exception of students enrolled in post-secondary education courses or those under the age of 18. You may be selected to test more than one time throughout the semester. 

Can students volunteer for the testing protocol?   

No, to get the full efficacy of the surveillance program, we must proceed with a true sampling process. If you want to be tested voluntarily instead, you can do so through Student Health Services. 

How will students be selected?  

Samples will be pulled on a weekly basis. Students will be contacted directly to schedule their testing appointment.  

How will students be notified?  

Students will be notified via their university email account that they have been selected for testing the following week. The message will include instructions for scheduling testing, as well as contact information if they have questions. 

What if a student needs assistance getting to the testing site?  

University transportation options are available to students. If a student verifies that they live outside of Franklin or contiguous counties (Delaware, Fairfield, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, Union) they will be exempted. 

I tested last week, why am I being selected to test again? 

We select 8,000 off-campus students each week for testing, which means students will be eligible for testing multiple times. Students will not be selected to test two weeks in a row butcould test weeks that are close to each other.  

MyChart

How do students register for MyChart? 

Students will receive an activation message to set up your Ohio State MyChart account, similar to what you received earlier this semester when registering for Vault. The initial activation message will be delivered to your email between October 15 and 19. This message from MyChart_DoNotReply@osumc.edu will provide you with a link to set up the account that you need to visit within 24 hours to set up your account. 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. 

After the link has expired, you can still create your account by clicking the activation link and entering additional demographic information to activate your account.  

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). 

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 tapI’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.  

 


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.