Preparing for Thanksgiving and Winter Break

Dear Student

We’re almost there – all of your hard work and following the safe and healthy requirements has gotten us this far. Let’s keep it up and finish strong. As we enter the last few weeks of the semester, it is important for you to start preparing now for your Thanksgiving and Winter Break plans. With COVID-19 continuing to be a global pandemic, here are some things you need to know: 

COVID-19 testing before Thanksgiving break

  • The university’s surveillance testing program for off-campus students will continue through the week of November 16. 
  • We encourage students to be tested in the days leading up to their departure for Thanksgiving Break. Getting a test will help increase your chances of not bringing COVID-19 home to your loved ones. Open testing will be available to any off-campus student the week of November 16 and on Monday and Tuesday, November 23 and 24. (If you have tested positive within the last 90 days, you should not test again unless instructed to do so by a public health official or a medical doctor.)
  • Students must schedule an appointment for testing through MyChart. 
    • If you have not activated your account, please refer to the MyChart activation email sent by for instructions. For additional assistance, email (may take up to 2 business days to respond), or call MyChart Support at 866-966-6975, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • For details about how to schedule through MyChart, visit
    • Results are typically delivered within 24-72 hours. You are strongly recommended to sequester as much as possible after your test and act as though you are positive until your results are received. Sequestering yourself means staying in your apartment as much as possible. The goal is to limit exposure to any other person, including your roommates. If you must be near your roommates, you should wear a mask even in the apartment. To further limit exposure, make your own food or have it delivered. If you must go out, wear a mask at all times.
  • Students are encouraged to leave for their weekend destination as soon as possible after receiving a negative test result. 

COVID-19 testing over Winter Break

  • Students who live off-campus may opt-in for a voluntary surveillance testing program over Winter Break.
  • Students who sign up for this program will be given the opportunity to regularly test at the Jesse Owens North testing center; test frequency will depend upon how many students volunteer for the program.
  • Testing center hours of operation will be shared at a later date. Testing will not be available on days that the university is closed ( 
  • To volunteer, complete the interest form found at no later than Friday, November 20.

Returning to campus for Spring Semester

  • As a reminder, the first week of Spring Semester will be fully virtual
  • The first day of classes will be Monday, January 11. The first day of in-person classes will be on Tuesday, January 19.
  • Students will be asked to self-sequester to the best of their ability for two weeks before returning to campus. Sequestering means that you should:
    • Limit interactions with other people as much as possible, especially people who are not members of your household. Exposure to people outside your household increases the potential for an infection to be introduced. Also, if your family members work outside the household, you should limit contact with them. 
    • Wear a mask, even in your own home, when in the same room as a family member who works outside the house.
    • Carefully consider your plans for return to campus. Avoid public transit if possible and if you must take public transit, wear a mask and use physical distancing.
    • When you arrive back to campus, it is best if you wear a mask when interacting with your roommates until everyone can be tested.
  • Off-campus students will be part of a campus re-entry testing protocol. Details will be provided in the coming weeks.

Thank you very much for doing your part to help keep our campus community, and your friends and loved ones, safe and healthy. Together As Buckeyes, we will fight COVID-19.


Melissa Shivers, PhD

Vice President

Office of Student Life