Columbus campus testing updates
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
We have now reached the midpoint of spring semester, and our work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 continues to make me proud. The most recent report from the university’s Comprehensive Monitoring Team (CMT) shows that our collective efforts to wear masks, physically distance, practice good hygiene and avoid large gatherings are working. The lessons we learned through the fall have also positioned us better to quickly identify trends going in the wrong direction and address them.
This week has shown an uptick in our on-campus student positivity rate over the last seven days. It remains low at 1.02% and the total student positivity rate is currently under 1%. While these numbers are promising, the infection rate among on-campus students has doubled in just one week. The university is acting quickly to curb this increase in our positivity rate, which is being driven by cases on the Columbus campus. Therefore, starting Monday, March 8, students who live in university housing or university-managed facilities on the Columbus campus will be required to schedule and complete two COVID-19 tests each week until further notice. More details are available on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.
This increased testing will improve our ability to quickly identify COVID-19 cases, most of which are asymptomatic, and protect others from getting sick by isolating those cases and quarantining their at-risk close contacts. This step is possible because Ohio State’s on-site testing lab has ramped up considerably this semester.
It’s important to remember that we have found minimal evidence of people becoming infected while working, learning and teaching on campus.
We have much to look forward to in the coming weeks, including spring commencement and increased distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations in our state and across the country. In order to fully return to doing all that we love, including the potential of an in-person commencement, let’s continue to stay safe and healthy, Together As Buckeyes.
Kristina M. Johnson, PhD