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

  • A staged approach for re-opening research labs on campus is under way. Learn more about what you need to do before returning to a campus, including online training available. 
  • Students, faculty and staff were required to complete an online training course and sign the Together As Buckeyes Pledge before returning to campus or by Aug. 25. Additional information is available on the Training and Pledge page.
  • March 3: University leaders held a town hall on March 1 which covered information on university planning efforts related to the summer term and fall semester as well as updates on vaccination distribution efforts. You can watch it and read answers to questions that were submitted on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes COVID-19 Vaccination Information page. 

  • Feb. 25: Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson announced that planning is underway for a reactivation of its campuses this fall to offer safe and robust in-person experiences significantly expanded from current restrictions. The university will continue to follow all appropriate measures to promote the health and well-being of the community with the partnership and approval of local, state and federal health authorities. Details of the university’s reactivation plan will be announced in the coming months as leaders continue to study the latest data related to COVID-19 and public health. More information is on the Planning for 2021-22 academic year webpage.
  • Jan. 22: In a message to the university community, President Johnson shared an overview of the current available information about how the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed under the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Ohio. The university is working in close coordination with Governor Mike DeWine as well as state and local health experts. Current plans for vaccine distribution by the Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, along with general information and links for further vaccine information and guidelines from the state of Ohio are available on the COVID-19 Vaccine Information page.

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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Daily Health Check

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?

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.

Graduate Studies

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

Ohio State has implemented a comprehensive testing program that will continue to be an integral part of our safety protocols as students return to campus this fall. By identifying COVID-19 cases early, we can take action to limit the spread of the virus. Below are the plans for Autumn 2021:

  • Pre-arrival testing: All students living in university-managed housing on the Columbus campus and regional campuses as well as sorority and fraternity members on the Columbus campus will need to complete an at-home COVID-19 test within seven days before they return to Ohio State. Additional details about this process will be shared directly from the Office of Student Life.
  • Move-in testing: All Columbus campus students who will be on campus for any reason and all residential students on the regional campuses will be required to test for COVID-19 when they arrive. We recommend that students wear a mask until they receive results of a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Weekly surveillance testing: Currently, unvaccinated students — including all students on the Columbus campus or and regional campus students who live in university housing — will be required to test weekly as the academic year begins. Students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and reported their status to the university will not have to test. We will continue to monitor the impacts of variants of concern and may need to adjust the testing requirements for vaccinated students as new information is available. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, we will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students with the same protocols.

Ohio State has implemented a comprehensive testing program that will continue to be an integral part of our safety protocols as students return to campus this fall. By identifying COVID-19 cases early, we can take action to limit the spread of the virus. Below are the plans for Autumn 2021:

  • Pre-arrival testing: All students living in university-managed housing on the Columbus campus and regional campuses as well as sorority and fraternity members on the Columbus campus will need to complete an at-home COVID-19 test within seven days before they return to Ohio State. Additional details about this process will be shared directly from the Office of Student Life.
  • Move-in testing: All Columbus campus students who will be on campus for any reason and all residential students on the regional campuses will be required to test for COVID-19 when they arrive. We recommend that students wear a mask until they receive results of a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Weekly surveillance testing: Currently, unvaccinated students — including all students on the Columbus campus or and regional campus students who live in university housing — will be required to test weekly as the academic year begins. Students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and reported their status to the university will not have to test. We will continue to monitor the impacts of variants of concern and may need to adjust the testing requirements for vaccinated students as new information is available. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, we will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students with the same protocols.
Health and Safety

Are masks required?

For fully vaccinated people, masks are no longer required on Ohio State’s campuses except for in Wexner Medical Center clinical facilities, Student Health facilities, colleges and units with public facing clinical operations,  and on public transportation – in accordance with public health guidelines. 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. At the Wexner Medical Center, there are additional safety measures and masking guidance in place.

For fully vaccinated people, masks are no longer required on Ohio State’s campuses except for in Wexner Medical Center clinical facilities, Student Health facilities, colleges and units with public facing clinical operations,  and on public transportation – in accordance with public health guidelines. 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. At the Wexner Medical Center, there are additional safety measures and masking guidance in place.

For fully vaccinated people, masks are no longer required on Ohio State’s campuses except for in Wexner Medical Center clinical facilities, Student Health facilities, colleges and units with public facing clinical operations,  and on public transportation – in accordance with public health guidelines. 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. At the Wexner Medical Center, there are additional safety measures and masking guidance in place.

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

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.

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. 

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/

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?

The university is preparing to welcome more faculty, staff members, and graduate teaching and research assistants back to our campuses to foster the intersection of people and ideas. Ohio State prizes the residential experience, because it enables and empowers the university community to learn from one another in cross-disciplinary, innovative and intersectional ways.

At the same time, the university will take advantage of the opportunities where employees can work differently — through remote, hybrid or other work arrangements. With the lessons of the pandemic, the university is more equipped than ever to support flexible work arrangements and employees who require accommodations. This will require a balance of approaches, and the Office of Human Resources is working with leaders across campus to develop more specific guidance that allows managers to finalize decisions with their teams.


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.