COVID-19: return-to-campus testing updates

COVID-19 vaccine administration at Ohio State will continue to focus on Wexner Medical Center front-line clinical staff and those most vulnerable to the virus as a national rollout continues. We will continue to protect ourselves and others in 2021 by following the same safe and healthy requirements that enabled us to complete the autumn semester on our campuses: wearing face masks, staying 6 feet apart, avoiding large gatherings, and practicing good hygiene. 

As a reminder, we are currently planning for the first two weeks of spring semester classes – January 11-22 – to be conducted virtually. The situation is very fluid, and we will continue to evaluate conditions in coordination with state and local officials, making any necessary changes as required. All students are requested to self-sequester for 10 days before returning to their on-campus residence and/or to in-person engagements on campus.

Testing remains a critical component of our plan to return and remain on campus together. Yesterday, students began receiving email messages about the following spring testing protocols.

Students living in residence halls and members of the sorority and fraternity community

  • All students returning to residence halls on all campuses in the spring and all members of the sorority and fraternity community will be required to take a university-provided COVID-19 test at home prior to their arrival.
  • These students will also need to schedule and take a second test when they arrive on campus and prior to moving into a residence hall or other facility.

Columbus campus students living off-campus (regardless of location)

  • All off-campus students will be required to test weekly at Jesse Owens North, starting when they return to Columbus to either live or visit campus for any reason. 
  • After the first test, off-campus students will begin testing weekly, with the goal of receiving two negative COVID-19 tests before resuming in-person classes and/or any on-campus activities or interaction with other students and campus community members. (Students are not permitted to test more than once a week.) 

For additional information, including required weekly student-testing protocols for on- and off-campus students, please visit the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

For faculty and staff, we will continue to prioritize testing for those whose job responsibilities require them to have consistent and/or sustained in-person contact with other campus community members. All employees are also encouraged to take advantage of our voluntary testing program to help keep yourself and the members of your household safe.

Finally, our football Buckeyes will play January 1 in the Sugar Bowl after winning a fourth-straight Big Ten Championship this past weekend. This is an incredible achievement under normal circumstances. Of course, this year has been anything but normal, which elevates this milestone still further. We congratulate our student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff for all that they have accomplished. We are proud of you and recognize the hard work, discipline and dedication it took to get to this moment. We also thank members of our community for helping to slow the spread of the virus by “homegating” throughout this unusual year. Let’s continue to do so as our Buckeyes take the field in 2021. O-H!