Personal Protection and Hygiene

A thorough review of the evidence indicates that face masks protect others from spread of infection by intercepting large aerosol droplets that are released when exhaling, speaking, singing, coughing or sneezing.

Face masks must be worn on Ohio State’s campuses. Masks must be put on before entering indoor or enclosed spaces including, but not limited to: classrooms, common areas, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses and shared vehicles. Exceptions for indoor settings include single occupancy of a dedicated office, dining and some approved athletic/performance settings. Signage will designate appropriate face-mask removal zones for physically distanced dining, athletics, performances and other activities.

Masks also must be worn in outdoor spaces where individuals gather and cannot maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet between each person. Evidence suggests that momentary relaxation of physical distancing while outdoors (e.g., passing someone on the sidewalk) is not a significant source of transmission, but we encourage all Buckeyes to remain vigilant in protecting themselves, each other and the community. When in doubt, wear a mask.

All Ohio State students, faculty and staff are expected to meet the behavioral and safety expectations under the Safe Campus Requirements when they physically participate in any university activity, on or off campus. Failure to adhere to these requirements will be addressed through standard enforcement mechanisms.

Face masks will be part of the return-to-campus kits provided to students, faculty and staff in the autumn. The kits will include one disposable mask, two reusable masks, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Students, faculty and staff will be strongly encouraged to use the face masks provided to them by the university. See below for guidance on face mask alternatives and cleaning, and suggested ways to respectfully ask community members to comply with the face mask requirement.

Community members with particular needs for accommodations should contact Student Life Disability Services, the ADA Coordinator’s Office or the Office of Human Resources.

Colleges or departments may determine that additional signage is needed to reinforce face mask requirements. Approved signage is available to download or purchase on the UniPrint website and should be coordinated via the FOD or Wexner Medical Center signage coordinator.

Hygiene and special accommodations

Hands should be washed frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after touching common surfaces.

If soap and water are not available, 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used. The university is taking measures to make hand sanitizer widely available across Ohio State’s campuses.

The university will provide COVID-19 accommodations as appropriate for employees and students in high-risk categories identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Details about the COVID-19 accommodation process are being finalized and will be shared at safeandhealthy.osu.edu.

Accountability measures

Accountability measures will be in place for those who do not complete the training and sign the pledge, or choose not to abide by required health and safety guidelines. These accountability measures may range from additional training and informal coaching to formal disciplinary action based on existing structures for students, faculty and staff. They are available here.


Please reference this website for the most up-to-date guidelines. The university’s COVID-19 Transition Task Force’s Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory Subgroup will continue monitoring changing conditions and consult with local and state health authorities. Recommendations and requirements will be refined as needed.