Personal Safety Practices

Mask Etiquette

Face mask requirements

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 August 2, 2021, students, faculty, staff and visitors to all Ohio State campuses and medical facilities are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status.
  • Outdoor masking: Masks are required outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain physical distancing. Vaccinated people are not required to mask outdoors.

Face shields may be worn along with, not in place of, face masks. Face shields are not an acceptable replacement for face masks.

Throughout the pandemic, Ohio State has adapted its actions based on new information and expertise from local, state and federal health officials as well as our own medical and public health experts. We will continue to follow this approach as we prepare for a robust, in-person experience in the upcoming academic year.

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 requiredMasks required
Outdoor public spacesMasks not requiredMasks required

Transportation – including CABS and shuttle buses

Masks requiredMasks required

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

Masks requiredMasks required

Individuals working alone in a private office/closed-door, private workspace do not need to wear a mask while in those spaces. Masks are required outside the office and if there is more than one person in the workspace.

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

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 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.


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.