Researchers

Without your ingenuity and spirit of discovery, Ohio State could not fulfill its potential to improve people’s lives through research. Whether you’re working on a campus or remotely, the information, resources and links below will help you continue your work while staying safe and staying healthy — and playing your part to keep your friends, family and colleagues healthy — at work and at home.

The Office of Research has a Research Recovery Plan for Staged Reopening that outlines reopening laboratories, studios and research spaces in a staged approach. This site includes updates and FAQs specific to researchers.

Information about…

Updates

View all updates

Frequently asked questions

For additional information and FAQs applicable to all Ohio State faculty and staff, please visit the Faculty and Staff page. For information specific to researchers, please visit the Office of Research's Staged Approach to Returning to On-Campus Research page.

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Academic Calendar

What is the academic calendar for autumn semester?

Autumn semester started Aug. 25, and the last day of finals will be Dec. 11. There are several changes to the calendar:  

  • In-person, on-campus instruction will end before Thanksgiving, on Wednesday, Nov. 25.   
  • The final week of classes (Nov. 30 to Dec. 4) and final exams (Dec. 7-11) will take place through distance methods.   
  • Fall break (Oct. 15-16) will be canceled, and classes also will take place the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 25). The university still will observe Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and Labor Day (Sept. 7).  


The autumn commencement date and format will be announced at a later date.  

What is the academic calendar for spring semester?

Ohio State’s campuses will continue to be open in the new year, and classes will take place through a mix of in-person, online and blended teaching. The first week of classes, scheduled for Jan. 11-15, will be online, and spring break will be replaced by two instructional breaks on Feb. 9 and March 31. This approach will enable us to keep our community together throughout the semester and reduce travel-related exposures. Classes will end April 21, and final exams will take place April 23-29.

Commencement will take place May 9 in a format to be determined.

Daily Health Check

Do I have to track my temperature each day?

A daily health check to report body temperature and health status is required for all students, faculty and staff each day they come to campus or work in the community on behalf of the university. Requiring a daily check of all on-campus individuals helps the university to quickly identify any possible outbreaks from those exhibiting symptoms and move quickly to prevent transmission.

This daily check can be reported through the Ohio State mobile app or compass.osu.edu. Thermometers are part of the return-to-campus PPE safety kits provided to students, faculty and staff. The kits include one disposable mask, two reusable masks, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Accountability measures will be in place for those who refuse to complete the training or abide by required health and safety guidelines.

Health Reporting doesn’t show up in Compass for me

Health Reporting doesn’t show up in the Ohio State App for me

  • Make sure you are logged into the Ohio State app.
  • Navigate to the “About You” tab and, if it still isn’t present, update your app.
  • If you are unable to update your operating system to iOS 13+ or Android 7+ use compass.osu.edu in your mobile browser to complete your reporting.

 

How long will my health passport last?

The form resets every 18 hours. You should plan to report your health status daily through the Ohio State app or compass.osu.edu.

How often do I have to report health information?

Once daily when you plan to be on campus or engage with the community on behalf of the university.

Is daily health check data being used for research purposes?

There will not be research done using this data without following appropriate IRB procedures.

Is this HIPAA Data?

No. The university has determined that this is not HIPAA data. It is however sensitive personal data which is protected by our institutional data policy and privacy principles.

Should I use the Ohio State app or Compass?

  • Use whichever tool you’re most comfortable with - both the Ohio State app and Compass display and allow you to update your health reporting details. Information updates across tools so you can use both options interchangeably. 
  • The Ohio State app is free to download in the Apple App or Google Play store for devices running iOS 13/Android 7 or higher. 
  • Compass can be accessed through any web browser by visiting compass.osu.edu.

 

What steps should be taken if an employee becomes sick with COVID-19 symptoms?

The university requires all employees who can do so to work from home. For those physically working on-site in critical areas, employees who are sick should remain out of the workplace until:

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Symptoms have improved

 

Who is required to complete the daily health check?

A daily health check to report body temperature and health status is required for all students, faculty and staff each day they come to campus or work in the community on behalf of the university. Requiring a daily check of all on-campus individuals helps the university to quickly identify any possible outbreaks from those exhibiting symptoms and move quickly to prevent transmission.

Who will be able to see what employees report?

Technical team: A small number of IT staff who support the apps and secure the data.

Manager reports: Your manager only receives an email if your status is red. Your manager does not receive any specific information about you, just that your status was such that you should stay home.

Monitoring team: The university’s designated health-monitoring team will be able to access data for university-wide health forecasting.

Will I need to show my health passport to someone to gain entry to a building?

Not all buildings will require you to present your health passport for entry. It will vary from building to building. 

Graduate Studies

What is Ohio State’s COVID-19 testing program?

Ohio State has implemented a comprehensive testing program, including:

  • Surveillance testing consisting of mandatory weekly testing of all students at all ranks who live in residence halls or university-managed housing coupled with regular testing of samples of asymptomatic undergraduate, graduate and professional students who live off campus;
  • Voluntary testing of asymptomatic faculty and staff;
  • Targeted testing if COVID-19 hotspots are identified;
  • Sharing of aggregate information in a way that protects individuals’ medical and educational privacy;
  • Keeping university leaders and the public up to date about the virus’s spread and informing decision making throughout the semester.


The university is also partnering with the Wexner Medical Center and third-party provider Vault to work toward the use of “pooled” testing, whereby multiple samples from five to 10 individuals can be evaluated for COVID-19 in a single test. This method allows for more people to be tested quickly using fewer resources. 

Compliance with testing, isolation and quarantine procedures is expected as one of the conditions of returning to campus. Failure of students to comply may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to non-residential spaces and a report to Student Conduct. There will be no direct costs to students participating in surveillance testing.

Ohio State has implemented a comprehensive testing program, including:

  • Surveillance testing consisting of mandatory weekly testing of all students at all ranks who live in residence halls or university-managed housing coupled with regular testing of samples of asymptomatic undergraduate, graduate and professional students who live off campus;
  • Voluntary testing of asymptomatic faculty and staff;
  • Targeted testing if COVID-19 hotspots are identified;
  • Sharing of aggregate information in a way that protects individuals’ medical and educational privacy;
  • Keeping university leaders and the public up to date about the virus’s spread and informing decision making throughout the semester.


The university is also partnering with the Wexner Medical Center and third-party provider Vault to work toward the use of “pooled” testing, whereby multiple samples from five to 10 individuals can be evaluated for COVID-19 in a single test. This method allows for more people to be tested quickly using fewer resources. 

Compliance with testing, isolation and quarantine procedures is expected as one of the conditions of returning to campus. Failure of students to comply may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to non-residential spaces and a report to Student Conduct. There will be no direct costs to students participating in surveillance testing.

Health and Safety

Are masks required when exercising?

Indoors or outdoors, exceptions are made for those participating in strenuous exercise or taking part in performance-based classes. Face masks are required at all times in the recreation facilities except during strenuous exercise and when in the pool.

Are masks required?

Face masks must be worn on Ohio State’s campuses. Face masks must be worn in indoor settings, including, but not limited to: classrooms, residence halls, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses, shared vehicles and common areas such as lobbies, study spaces and laundry facilities on all Ohio State campuses. The number of individuals in any indoor space should be limited to facilitate physical distancing. Masks must also be worn in outdoor settings, even when individuals can maintain appropriate physical distancing.

Indoors or outdoors, exceptions are made for those dining, participating in strenuous exercise or taking part in performance-based classes. As an added safety measure, open-air tents are being set up on campus for use by arts, dance and music classes as well as certain courses with extended outdoor activities in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Masks will not be required for classes in these open-air tents. Additionally, there is an exception for university staff working outdoors for long periods of time who are able to maintain appropriate physical distancing and have a mask available if needed.

As part of the safe return to campus plans, return-to-campus PPE safety kits are being provided to students, faculty and staff at no cost before classes resume. The kits 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. The university has also compiled recommendations for other types of appropriate face masks that meet health standards.

Face masks must be worn on Ohio State’s campuses. Face masks must be worn in indoor settings, including, but not limited to: classrooms, residence halls, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses, shared vehicles and common areas such as lobbies, study spaces and laundry facilities on all Ohio State campuses. The number of individuals in any indoor space should be limited to facilitate physical distancing. Masks must also be worn in outdoor settings, even when individuals can maintain appropriate physical distancing.

Indoors or outdoors, exceptions are made for those dining, participating in strenuous exercise or taking part in performance-based classes. As an added safety measure, open-air tents are being set up on campus for use by arts, dance and music classes as well as certain courses with extended outdoor activities in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Masks will not be required for classes in these open-air tents. Additionally, there is an exception for university staff working outdoors for long periods of time who are able to maintain appropriate physical distancing and have a mask available if needed.

As part of the safe return to campus plans, return-to-campus PPE safety kits are being provided to students, faculty and staff at no cost before classes resume. The kits 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. The university has also compiled recommendations for other types of appropriate face masks that meet health standards.

Face masks must be worn on Ohio State’s campuses. Face masks must be worn in indoor settings, including, but not limited to: classrooms, residence halls, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses, shared vehicles and common areas such as lobbies, study spaces and laundry facilities on all Ohio State campuses. The number of individuals in any indoor space should be limited to facilitate physical distancing. Masks must also be worn in outdoor settings, even when individuals can maintain appropriate physical distancing.

Indoors or outdoors, exceptions are made for those dining, participating in strenuous exercise or taking part in performance-based classes. As an added safety measure, open-air tents are being set up on campus for use by arts, dance and music classes as well as certain courses with extended outdoor activities in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Masks will not be required for classes in these open-air tents. Additionally, there is an exception for university staff working outdoors for long periods of time who are able to maintain appropriate physical distancing and have a mask available if needed.

As part of the safe return to campus plans, return-to-campus PPE safety kits are being provided to students, faculty and staff at no cost before classes resume. The kits 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. The university has also compiled recommendations for other types of appropriate face masks that meet health standards.

What kind of safety measures is the university taking?

The resumption of full operations on Ohio State campuses includes a combination of the use of appropriate face masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, limited density in indoor spaces, control of the flow of traffic into and around select high-traffic buildings, continued employee teleworking when possible, testing, symptoms tracking and contact tracing. 

The university has distributed free return-to-campus kits to students, faculty and staff that include face masks, hand sanitizer and a body thermometer. 

Ohio State has published guidelines and requirements on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes site that detail the measures to be taken by the university and the requirements for all individuals to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of the community. Members of the campus community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors, signed a pledge to affirm their understanding of what is needed to help fight the spread of the virus and their intention to do their part. Accountability measures are in place for those who refuse to complete the training or abide by required health and safety guidelines. The university has also launched a sustained public information initiative. These efforts are based on guidance from federal, state and local health authorities and recommendations of the safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup of the university’s COVID-19 transition task force. 

The resumption of full operations on Ohio State campuses includes a combination of the use of appropriate face masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, limited density in indoor spaces, control of the flow of traffic into and around select high-traffic buildings, continued employee teleworking when possible, testing, symptoms tracking and contact tracing. 

The university has distributed free return-to-campus kits to students, faculty and staff that include face masks, hand sanitizer and a body thermometer. 

Ohio State has published guidelines and requirements on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes site that detail the measures to be taken by the university and the requirements for all individuals to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of the community. Members of the campus community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors, signed a pledge to affirm their understanding of what is needed to help fight the spread of the virus and their intention to do their part. Accountability measures are in place for those who refuse to complete the training or abide by required health and safety guidelines. The university has also launched a sustained public information initiative. These efforts are based on guidance from federal, state and local health authorities and recommendations of the safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup of the university’s COVID-19 transition task force. 

What will happen if someone doesn’t comply with required health and safety guidelines?

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. They are available here.

Miscellaneous

How will the university determine if it is necessary to move to fully online courses and close residence halls?

All Buckeyes want the same thing — to return to on-campus instruction, research and other campus activities as safely as possible and in a manner that gives everyone peace of mind. Accomplishing this goal means every member of the university community must work Together As Buckeyes. In order to remain open this fall, the virus must be controlled as measured by a range of qualitative and quantitative metrics. Residence hall spaces and hospital beds available must be preserved for quarantine, isolation and treatment. If the rate of infection and hospitalizations is not reduced, the university will return to remote instruction and will have to close residence halls. Avoiding this means every Buckeye will have to shoulder a measure of the burden and adhere to stricter health and safety guidelines.

Is the Wexner Medical Center open?

Yes. Health plan members and others seeking care should read more about patient safety and new policies before their next visit.

What preparations is the university making in case in-person operations must be suspended again?

The university recognizes the need for contingency plans, and we are preparing for a variety of situations. Both prior to COVID-19 and as a response to it, Ohio State has developed a strong capacity for online operations that includes websites and resources devoted to supporting learning, teaching, work, research and more. We continue to build on those capacities.

Personal Protection and Hygiene

Are masks being provided or do I need to find my own?

Face masks are part of the return-to-campus PPE safety kits being provided to students, faculty and staff at no cost before classes resume. The kits will include one disposable mask, two reusable masks, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. Students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to use the masks provided in the return-to-campus kits. The university has also compiled recommendations for alternative face masks that meet health standards as well as guidelines for cleaning cloth face coverings.
Testing

Can the university use my COVID-19 test results for research?

Contact tracers are only permitted to use your information for the university’s pandemic response. COVID-19 or pandemic research must go through a separate review and approval process, which is governed by the university’s Human Research Protection Program.

Transition Task Force

What is the role of the safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup?

The safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup uses a data-driven approach to recommend to the transition task force robust safety protocols and other measures to protect the health of the Buckeye community and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Transportation

What are the details of CABS service during autumn semester?

CABS is limiting occupancy to support safety and physical distancing guidelines related to COVID-19 and has reallocated more buses to move people in smaller quantities. The university is offering two routes during daytime hours. The Med Center Express and a new Buckeye Loop prioritize transporting individuals parking in the Buckeye Lot or West Campus Carmack Lots. Academic core service is not be provided during the daytime but resumes after 7 p.m. via the East Residential and West Campus routes.

Please visit Transportation for additional information and updates.

What steps is CABS taking to ensure the health and safety of riders?

CABS is helping protect the safety of passengers through operational changes, including:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting all buses and high-touch surfaces at least twice per day, including handrails and poles
  • Taping off CABS seats to promote physical distancing and limited occupancy
  • Checking driver health before they start their shift
  • Ensuring all CABS drivers wear face masks
  • Requiring all riders to wear face masks
  • Requiring all riders to board and exit from the rear door
Travel

Is all university travel canceled?

Domestic and international travel restrictions, initially announced in March, have been extended until December 31, 2020. All previously approved travel prior to that date must be canceled. Exemption processes and elevated approvals related to travel restrictions are available under specific circumstances. For more, visit the Business and Finance website.

Is study abroad canceled?

The university has taken the difficult step of canceling all education abroad programs for the autumn semester. Ohio State will continue to monitor federal guidance and resume these important teaching-and-learning experiences once it is advisable to do so.

Workplace

Are workplace accommodations available for employees at higher-risk?

The Office of Human Resources will work with employees who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, and their supervisors, to attempt to find workplace modifications that address the employee’s concerns. Through a COVID-19 accommodation request, which is a secure intake process, individuals will be asked to:

  • Identify and attest that their health or other factor place them at greater risk of serious illness if they contract the COVID-19 virus.
  • Provide details about their work environment concerns.
  • Indicate what needs and resources they feel are necessary to perform their job safely.


For more information and directions for how to request a COVID-19 related accommodation, please visit: https://hr.osu.edu/coronavirus/accommodations/

Can I hold an in-person meeting with my team?

Virtual meetings/events are recommended when physical distancing guidelines cannot be met. When holding in-person meetings, the room selected must be large enough to meet physical distancing guidelines for all parties. Be creative and utilize technology — such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom or WebEx — to facilitate meetings.

How do I manage shared equipment, like printers and fax machines that are used by multiple people?

Please remind faculty and staff to wipe down shared equipment such as printers, copiers, fax machines, phones or other shared office equipment and supplies following use. Appropriate physical distancing should be followed if multiple individuals are using shared equipment at the same time. However, this may also be a good time to assess if there are ways to reduce the use of shared office equipment.

When will employees return to campus?

At this time, all non-essential university employees who are not part of an exempted operation or function are to continue teleworking and remain off campus. Employees may be instructed to return to campus as needed as part of a phased approach under the direction of the transition task force. It also is expected that some employees will continue to telework, when operationally feasible and practical. More details will be shared when available.

Resources


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.