Latest updates

September 2020

  • Sept. 16: A new detailed explanation of the metrics included in Ohio State's COVID-19 dashboard is available on the Dashboard Measures and Interpretations page.
  • Sept. 14: New FAQs, including information about the timeline for isolation and quarantine, have been added to the Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine page.
  • Sept. 8: As shared in a message to student leaders on Tuesday, Sept. 8, the university is installing three additional large tents on the Columbus campus to facilitate opportunities for students to engage with one another. These spaces will be available for informal use beginning the week of Sept. 14. Additional information about reserving these tents, other outdoor spaces and Student Life facilities for use will be shared soon.
  • Sept. 2: Student testing – Labor Day weekend travel: We ask students with travel plans to get tested before you leave campus. You can go to Jesse Owens North Thursday, Sept. 3, through Saturday, Sept. 5, without an appointment. Registration will occur on site at Jesse Owens. Testing hours are: Thursday or Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Your results will be provided to you as soon as possible but will likely take at least 48 hours. In the meantime, you should act as though you are positive and wear your mask, practice physical distancing and take all other safety precautions.

August 2020

  • Aug. 31:  Guidance on excused absences is available to help instructors refine their policies to accommodate absences this autumn, particularly given the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional resources for instructors can be found on the Teaching page.
  • Aug. 27: In an urgent message to the university community, President-elect Johnson encouraged every Buckeye to double down on efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in order to continue in-person instruction and on-campus activities.
  • Aug. 25:  President-elect Johnson shared in a message to the university community that Ohio State has published aggregate results from its comprehensive COVID-19 testing program and unveiled a data dashboard. The dashboard will be updated weekly to inform the Buckeye community and the public about test results and other information regarding the university’s COVID-19 status.
  • Aug. 23: Additional information is now available regarding the university's voluntary COVID-19 testing program for faculty, staff, and graduate and professional students.
  • Aug. 21:  Vice President for Student Life Melissa S. Shivers shared a message with students today regarding the need for every member of the university community to respect and adhere to the guidelines established to ensure the health and safety of fellow Buckeyes. Accountability measures(link is external) are in place and will be actively enforced. Please wear a face mask indoors and outdoors, maintain appropriate physical distancing and do not hold events or gatherings of more than ten people.
  • Aug. 21:  The university is committed to ensuring that all individuals who are vulnerable to COVID-19 or who face particular challenges because of the pandemic can participate in university life as safely as possible. Visitors who would like to request an accommodation related to COVID-19 should contact the Americans With Disabilities Act Coordinator's Office at or 614-292-6207.
  • Aug. 19:  The university’s face-mask requirements have been strengthened to help protect all members of our community. Masks are required to be worn in all indoor settings on our campuses. Masks must also now be worn outdoors in settings on campus, even when individuals can maintain appropriate physical distancing. Exceptions are made for those alone in their own residence-hall room and those dining, participating in strenuous exercise or taking part in performance-based classes as long as physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Aug. 19:  Return-to-campus PPE safety kits continue to be distributed to students, faculty and staff. Students living off campus can now pick them up at locations listed on the Campus Readiness page; students living on campus receive them as part of the move-in process; and kits for faculty and staff are available for order through the eStores program.
  • Aug. 19:  The university continues to refine, improve and expand its COVID-19 testing efforts. The surveillance testing program for students on the Columbus campus has been expanded to include mandatory testing of all residential students as part of the move-in process, mandatory weekly testing of all students at all ranks who live in residence halls or university-managed housing; and regular testing of random samples of asymptomatic undergraduate students who live off campus. Additional information about the university’s comprehensive testing program is available on the Testing page.
  • Aug. 19:  Additional information about the university’s contact-tracing procedures — and guidance related to COVID-19 symptoms and exposure — is now available on the Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine page.
  • Aug. 18:  The university has compiled a broad range of resources to provide support and flexibility to graduate students amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more on the Graduate Studies page.
  • Aug. 15:  To ramp up testing efforts as students return to the residence halls, the university has expanded the surveillance testing program. All residential students must take a COVID-19 test as part of the move-in process. Students received instructions about testing locations at their university email accounts from the Office of Student Life. Questions about this process can be sent to:
  • Aug. 14:  The statement required to be included in all syllabi for the autumn 2020 semester has been updated.
  • Aug. 11:  Beginning August 14, a daily health check to report body temperature and health status will be required for all students, faculty and staff each day they come to campus or are working in the community on behalf of the university. Requiring a daily check of all on-campus individuals will help the university to quickly identify any possible outbreaks from those exhibiting symptoms and move quickly to prevent transmission. Additional information can be found on the Daily Health Check page.
  • Aug. 11:  The university has strengthened its face masks requirement. Face masks must be worn in indoor settings, including, but not limited to: classrooms, common areas, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses and shared vehicles on all Ohio State campuses. Masks must also be worn in outdoor spaces on campus, even when individuals can maintain appropriate physical distancing. More information is available on the Personal Protection and Hygiene page.
  • Aug. 11:  All Ohio State autumn 2020 events and gatherings — whether on or off campus — will be virtual, with 10 or fewer in-person participants. An event is defined as a planned activity, other than academic classes scheduled as part of the university curriculum, that is held in a university building or outdoor space on a university campus or with a community partner. A gathering is defined as a formal or informal assembly of people that is either planned or spontaneous. Additional information is available on the Events and Gatherings page.
  • Aug. 11:  Ohio State will implement a comprehensive COVID-19 testing program, in which participation will be mandatory for all students living on campus or in university managed housing. Students may opt out of the testing program, but this may result in moving to fully online courses, and those students may not be able to live in university housing. Testing will also be offered to students living in high-density, aggregated housing, as well as faculty and staff who are working on our campuses. More information is available on the Testing, Tracing and Quarantine page.
  • Aug. 11:  The university is committed to ensuring that individuals who are vulnerable to challenges related to COVID-19 or who face particular difficulties because of the pandemic can learn and work as safely as possible. More information on how to submit requests for academic or workplace accommodations can be found on the Accommodations page.
  • Aug. 7:  Ohio State is developing a method to implement a pooled testing program, which will enable the university to significantly expand surveillance testing while continuing to preserve adequate testing capacity for symptomatic individuals at the university and in the broader community. Additional information is on the Testing, Tracing and Quarantine page.
  • Aug. 7:  The university has adjusted the Together As Buckeyes Pledge to clarify that while the pledge states that Ohio State’s values are fundamental guiding principles of the institution, there is no requirement for individual affirmation of those values in the pledge. No changes have been made to the health and safety expectations outlined in the pledge. By signing the pledge, an individual is agreeing to comply with these health and safety expectations. This change does not require those who have already completed the training and signed the pledge to take any further action. Further information can be found on the Training and Pledge page.
  • Aug. 7:  Return-to-campus kits are being provided to students, faculty and staff at no cost before classes resume. The kits include one disposable mask, two reusable masks, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Students living in residence halls will receive their kits when they move in. Regional campuses are also receiving thousands of kits for students, faculty and staff. For faculty and staff, return-to-campus kits are available through the university’s eStores program. Departments can procure the kits for faculty and staff before they return to campus. Please see Campus Readiness for additional information.
  • Aug. 7:  The size of in-person classes will be further limited to no more than 50 students. Sections with more than 50 students will be making adjustments in course delivery among in-person, online and blended learning opportunities. This is part of the university’s comprehensive effort to limit population density across all campuses and protect our communities. More information is available on the Classrooms page.
  • Aug. 6: Ohio State has implemented a broad range of health and safety measures to support instructors and enable successful teaching and learning this semester. Please see the Teaching page for information, resources and FAQs for instructors.
  • Aug. 5:  The university launched a COVID-19 surveillance testing program for undergraduate students on the Columbus campus. This is part of the university’s multi-pronged strategy to mitigate and monitor the spread of COVID-19. The purpose of this testing program is to allow the university to monitor and address real-time trends and prevalence, and make timely decisions on intervention and response. More information is available on the Testing, Tracing and Quarantine page.
  • Aug. 5:  A base signage package focused on physical distancing, masking and hand hygiene has been deployed inside campus buildings. Additional signage, including wayfinding, directional or line queuing is the responsibility of colleges and departments and is available on the UniPrint website. Please utilize only the approved university signage to ensure a uniform message and recognizable look. Signage not adhering to university standards may be removed.

July 2020

  • July 31:  Students, faculty and staff are required to complete an online training course and the Together As Buckeyes Pledge. The 10-minute training is now available through BuckeyeLearn, and the pledge must be signed upon completion of the course. More information can be found on the Training and Pledge page.

  • July 31:  As part of plans to return to on-campus operations in autumn, the university is implementing a testing program. Ohio State’s testing strategy will combine: surveillance testing to monitor COVID-19 in random samples of asymptomatic undergraduate students; testing of symptomatic and exposed students, faculty and staff; voluntary asymptomatic testing for faculty, staff, graduate students and professional students; targeted testing should COVID-19 hotspots be identified; and a tool that will enable the university to share aggregate information with the public in a way that protects individuals’ medical and educational privacy. More information can be found on the Testing, Tracing and Quarantine page.

  • July 31:  The Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) continues to limit occupancy to support safety and physical distancing guidelines related to COVID-19 and must reallocate more buses to move people in smaller quantities. Beginning on August 24, the university will offer two routes during daytime hours. The Med Center Express and Buckeye Loop will prioritize transporting individuals parking in the Buckeye Lot or West Campus Carmack Lots. Academic core service will not be provided during the daytime but will resume after 7 p.m. via the East Residential and West Campus routes. All riders must wear masks. More information can be found on the Transportation page.
  • July 28:  The university has compiled additional guidance regarding alternative face masks, the cleaning of cloth face coverings and respectful face mask compliance. More information can be found on the Personal Protection and Hygiene page.
  • July 24:  Accountability measures will be in place for those who do not complete the training and sign the pledge, or choose not to abide by required health and safety guidelines. These accountability measures may range from additional training and informal coaching to formal disciplinary action based on existing structures for students, faculty and staff.
  • July 23:  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced this week a new travel advisory, recommending that Ohioans self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from any state or territory with a COVID positivity rate greater than 15%. This list currently includes: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas. The university is reviewing this new advisory, and we will keep you informed on how these changes may impact Ohio State’s travel guidelines.
  • July 22:  Digital Flagship technology kit distributions will be conducted in a way that is safe and healthy for students and staff. Students who are eligible for a technology kit, which includes an iPad Air, Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard and protective case, will receive communications directly with more information. All distribution details are subject to change in alignment with university reopening policies. Visit the Digital Flagship website for more information.
  • July 17:  The university has compiled a wide range of research-based intervention strategies and resources that can help build resiliency and enhance mental, emotional and physical health and well-being throughout the return to campus. Learn more on the Mental Health and Wellness page.
  • July 17:  The Office of Student Life released guidance for student organizations to be successful in the 2020-2021 academic year. Information will also be regularly updated on the Student Activities webpage.
  • July 10:  In-person events at Ohio State may be held at a limited number of venues, provided the events comply with building reopening requirements and all rules mandated by the university, and state and local governments. Virtual events should continue to be conducted when feasible as the health and safety of our community remains our top priority. If an event must take place in person, appropriate measures, such as physical distancing, must be observed. Additional guidelines are available on the Events page.
  • July 9:  Student Life Recreational Sports is preparing to offer recreational spaces for use in autumn semester. In addition to all available federal, state, local and university guidelines, Student Life Recreational Sports will also follow the guidance of national sports governing bodies to ensure physical distancing practices and other safety protocols are in place.  Additional information is available on the Recreation page.
  • July 1:  All critical faculty and staff coming to campus must check their temperature and assess any symptoms before reporting to work. Read more about the steps you need to take to keep our workforce healthy and control the spread of COVID-19. More information is available for employees of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center at OneSource.

May 2020

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.