Plans announced to resume in-person classes for autumn semester

Dear Ohio State Community:

Today, we announced that we will resume in-person classes for the autumn semester.

The resumption of full operations on our Ohio State campuses will include a combination of several important health-and-safety factors. These include the use of appropriate face coverings, physical distancing, hand hygiene, limited density in indoor spaces, control of the flow of traffic into and around buildings, continued employee teleworking when possible, testing, symptoms tracking and contact tracing. A teaching-and-learning approach that combines in-person and distance methods is also being developed, and our academic calendar will be adjusted.

We understand this raises many immediate questions, and there is much additional work to finalize in the coming weeks. We anticipate finalizing elements as we learn and progress throughout the summer while continuing to utilize a phased return-to-campus approach.

We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we work together as Buckeyes to resume on-campus operations as safely and seamlessly as possible.

At this time, all non-essential university employees who are not part of an exempted operation or function are to continue teleworking and remain off campus. Summer-term classes will continue to be virtual only.

COVID-19 will be with us for some time, and we must strike the proper balance of risks, including those related to health as well as social and economic harms. Above all, we are dedicated to advancing our core mission, including providing the best possible university experience for our students while operating under a set of circumstances that no one has experienced before. We have learned that we can take advantage of online learning to provide innovative educational opportunities, and that will continue to be a part of the solution. At the same time, rich, immersive educational experiences that cannot be recreated online — such as labs, studios, field studies, performances and clinical activities — will remain possible.

Our gratitude goes to our COVID-19 transition task force for its work. We will continue to take steps guided by the work of our task force along with input from city, state and federal officials.

As always, we will share regular updates.

Michael V. Drake, MD