Personal Safety Practices

Face mask requirements and exceptions

Ohio State continues to respond to changes in public health guidance. In accordance with public health guidelines, Ohio State has adjusted its mask requirements:

  • Indoor masking: Effective June 9, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors, except for in Wexner Medical Center facilities, Student Health facilities, colleges and units with public facing clinical operations, and on public transportation, in accordance with public health guidelines. Individuals who are not vaccinated are required to continue wearing masks indoors.
  • Outdoor masking: Effective May 17, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors on Ohio State campuses. The university continues to strongly recommend that unvaccinated people wear masks when they cannot maintain safe distancing. Note that individuals are fully vaccinated 14 days after their final dose of vaccine.

At the Wexner Medical Center, there are additional safety measures and masking guidance in place.

Anyone who feels most comfortable continuing to wear a facemask regardless of their vaccination status is welcome to do so. 

Mask Guidelines

LocationFully vaccinatedNot fully vaccinated

Indoor public spaces – including classrooms, research labs, offices, campus buildings, recreation centers, dining facilities, residence halls, childcare centers, meeting and event space

Masks not requiredMasks required
Outdoor public spacesMasks not requiredMasks recommended

Transportation – including CABS and shuttle buses

Masks requiredMasks required

Wexner Medical Center facilities (including the Nisonger Childcare Center), Student Health facilities and colleges and units with public facing clinical operations

Masks requiredMasks required

The university has compiled guidance on how to respectfully encourage compliance with face mask guidelines on campus.

Face masks available around campus

Free face masks are available for students, faculty and staff at a variety of campus locations including: 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.

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

Alternative face masks and cleaning guidelines

Face masks are part of the return-to-campus PPE safety kits provided to students, faculty and staff. Campus community members are strongly encouraged to use the face masks provided to them by the university. Disposable procedure masks supplied by the university should be discarded if they are soiled, torn or saturated. Please dispose of these masks in the trash, not on the ground. 

Ohio State has also issued recommendations for alternative face masks that meet university standards and guidelines for cleaning cloth face masks

Physical distancing

Fully vaccinated individuals are also no longer required to physically distance.

Individuals who are not vaccinated are required to continue wearing masks indoors and physically distancing at all times. 

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.

Accomodations

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.