Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website

Dear Ohio State Community:
We hope you and your families are safe and well heading into this Independence Day weekend.
As you know, yesterday was Dr. Drake’s last day as president of Ohio State. On behalf of the university, we express once again our gratitude to Michael and Brenda for their leadership over the last six years. Dr. Drake will remain as a member of our faculty, and we look forward to more time together. On Sept. 1, Kristina M. Johnson will start as the 16th president of Ohio State, and the university will continue to ensure alignment with her during this transition period. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Johnson and her wife, Veronica Meinhard, to our Buckeye community.
We will continue to provide you with regular updates on the university’s phased approach for a return to on-campus operations for the autumn semester. As a reminder, all non-essential Ohio State employees are to continue teleworking and remain off campus unless part of an exempted operation or function. Summer-term classes will continue to be virtual only.
The holiday weekend will remind us how much we all miss the type of celebrations that were possible in the pre-COVID era, and we thank you for continuing to find creative ways of connecting with friends and family during the pandemic. As we know from the evidence around the country, we must remain vigilant in following public health guidance to protect ourselves and one another.
Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website

We are committed to supporting the Ohio State community as we prepare for on-campus operations. To assist students, faculty, staff and visitors, we are pleased to launch the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website today. The site includes information and details related to physical distancing, campus readiness, classrooms, workspaces, housing, dining, personal protection and hygiene, mental health and wellness resources, travel and several other areas. The university will continue to evaluate recommendations based on evolving conditions, and the site will reflect any updates.

For more, visit

Some highlights from the website:

  • Everyone should, wherever possible, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others in any public space.
  • Face masks must be worn in indoor settings. Masks must be put on before entering enclosed or indoor spaces including, but not limited to, classrooms, common areas, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses and shared vehicles. Masks must also be worn in outdoor spaces where individuals cannot maintain appropriate physical distancing.
  • A daily health check to report body temperature and health status will be required for all faculty, staff and students each day they intend to be on Ohio State’s campuses in the autumn. This daily check will be reported through the Ohio State mobile app or for members of the academic community. Wexner Medical Center employees should continue to use the health system’s health monitoring tool.
  • BuckeyeLearn health and safety training modules are currently in development and must be completed by students, faculty and staff before they return to Ohio State’s campuses for autumn semester or, when coordinated with their manager, as part of their initial on-campus work. Accommodations will be made for those without access to a computer to complete the training.
  • Ohio State students, faculty and staff will be required to complete a commitment pledge to promote a safe and healthy campus community. A committee of the transition task force is finalizing the pledge.
  • Accountability measures will be in place for those who refuse to complete the training or abide by required health and safety guidelines.

The university will continue to monitor conditions and consult with local and state health authorities to refine recommendations and requirements as needed.
Thank you to our many colleagues across the university for their careful planning efforts focused on safety and the advancement of our land-grant mission.

State of emergency extended, interim furlough policy adopted

The university state of emergency is extended through July 11, enabling Ohio State to utilize Disaster Leave (Policy 6.28). Additionally, the Interim Furlough Policy 4.50 goes into effect today. While the interim policy has been adopted, plans for university-wide furloughs are not imminent at this time. The interim policy outlines a process that colleges and units must pursue in order to implement a furlough, and the Board of Trustees would have final approval of a university-wide furlough implementation. Read more on the Human Resources website.

In-person university events

As shared, the university has convened a group through the COVID-19 Transition Task Force to evaluate in-person events on our campuses beyond July 6 in coordination with guidance from the state of Ohio. Per state guidance, which has been extended through the end of this week, gatherings of more than 10 people remain restricted on our campuses at this time with limited exemptions for weddings and additional events. We will provide more information, based on state guidance and the work of our events group, when it is available.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to excellence in everything you do.

Bruce A. McPheron, PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost

Harold L. Paz, MD, MS
Executive Vice President and Chancellor for Health Affairs
CEO, Wexner Medical Center