Personal Safety Practices

Mask Etiquette

Face mask requirements

Ohio State continues to respond to changes in public health guidance. Ohio State’s guidance on face masks was last updated April 19, 2022.

  • Masks are optional in most settings on all Ohio State campuses, including general-purpose buildings, residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, offices, the Ohio Union, and on public transportation. Masks are also optional outdoors. (Read guidance for individuals for specific circumstances)
  • Masks are required in clinical health care settings (including at the Wexner Medical Center), COVID-19 testing locations and child care centers.

Public events, such as those that take place at the Schottenstein Center and the Covelli Center, are mask optional, effective March 8, 2022.

GUIDANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS

In settings where masks are optional, students, faculty, staff and visitors can decide on an individual basis whether or not they will continue to wear a mask – with the exception of the following situations.

  • If you test positive or are exposed to COVID-19: Individuals must follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines — including those related to wearing a mask for at least 10 days — if they test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone with the virus.
  • If you are a Wexner Medical Center employee who has received an exemption from the university’s vaccination requirement: You must wear a mask inside any medical center facility. Please see the Wexner Medical Center website for more information.

For those wearing masks, guidance on the best type and fit continues to evolve. University community members are encouraged to regularly check the CDC guidance on masks and other health and safety measures.

The university continues to distribute masks at various locations on campus.

Mask Guidelines

LocationPolicy

Indoor public spaces - including general-purpose buildings such as the Ohio Union and University Libraries, residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, academic buildings, offices, recreation centers, athletic facilities, and meeting and event spaces

Masks optional
Outdoor public spacesMasks optional

Clinical settings where patient interactions occur - including at the Wexner Medical Center, Student Health Services and other university clinics

Masks required

COVID-19 testing centers – including Jesse Owens North

Masks required

Transportation – including CABS and shuttle buses

Masks optional

Child care centers– including the Nisonger Center

Masks required

 

Face masks available around campus

Photo of a surgical/procedural maskFree face masks are available for students, faculty and staff at a variety of campus locations including: all residence halls, all recreation facilities, most university libraries and the Ohio Union information desk. Masks can be picked up during business hours and details about locations are below. Masks are also available at primary entrances of academic, administrative and research facilities on the Columbus campus.

University Libraries

Masks are available at circulation desks in the university libraries listed below. Hours can be found on the University Libraries website.

Recreation Centers

Masks are available at entrances of all recreation facilities.

Ohio Union

Masks are available at the Ohio Union Information Desk.

Regional Campuses

Masks also are available at the testing sites at each of Ohio State’s regional campuses and at the following locations:

  • Lima: Nutrien Welcome Desk of the Perry Webb Student Life Building
  • Mansfield: Campus Recreation Center
  • Marion: Alber Student Center
  • Newark: Adena Recreation Center
  • Wooster: Student Activity Center

Single-Use Mask Disposal

Please dispose of single-use masks in the trash, not on the ground. While disposable masks protect us from disease, they also can harm the environment when not properly discarded. You can help by properly disposing of your soiled, torn or saturated masks. More inforamtion is available on the Environmental Health and Safety website

Health Reporting

Ohio State students, faculty and staff are no longer required to complete the daily health check when they are well. All employees should stay home instead of coming to work if they are experiencing symptoms.

Note: Wexner Medical Center faculty and staff, as well as students with clinical responsibilities in hospital facilities, are required to use the Ohio State app or compass.osu.edu to report if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms prior to their scheduled workday. Daily reporting is not required when they are well or on days where they are not scheduled to work.

Symptoms of COVID-19

A daily health check is the most effective way to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, which include the following:

  • A fever of 100°F or higher
  • Respiratory symptoms, such as dry cough or shortness of breath
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Muscle or body ache
  • Chills 
  • Loss of taste or smell

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Keep in mind, many people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and are able to recover at home.

If you have had COVID -19 (Coronavirus) it is important to know:  

  • Coronavirus may cause heart muscle inflammation called myocarditis 
  • Vigorous exercise with myocarditis can increase risk for heart rhythm problems
  • Once viral symptoms resolve, it is important to slowly increase the intensity of your exercise being aware of any heart symptoms

If you have heart symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, abnormal heart beats, near passing out or passing out, please seek medical help.

Hand hygiene

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 has made hand sanitizer widely available across Ohio State’s campuses.

Accommodations

The university is committed to ensuring that individuals who are vulnerable to COVID-19-related challenges or who face particular challenges because of the pandemic can learn and work as safely as possible. Additional information and guidance is available on the Accommodations Related to COVID-19 page.

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

Accountability measures

Accountability measures are in place for those who 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.


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.