Autumn 2021 Testing Strategy
Testing will be an important part of Ohio State's return to robust in-person operations. Below is a summary of testing requirements and availability for the autumn semester.
Testing requirements for students include testing before arrival, testing upon arrival for students living in residence halls on all campuses and for students visiting the Columbus campus for any reason, and weekly testing for unvaccinated students.
Weekly testing for unvaccinated students: Unvaccinated students or students who have not shared their vaccination status — including all students on the Columbus campus and regional campus students who live in university housing — are 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 weekly.
Employee testing: Weekly COVID-19 testing continues to be available for asymptomatic faculty and staff on the Columbus campus. Testing takes place at Jesse Owens North and can be scheduled through MyChart.
At-home test kits: At-home test kits are also available at locations on the Columbus and regional campuses. This supplemental testing option is for individuals who do not participate in routine on-campus testing.
Anyone who has symptoms, tests positive or is assigned to quarantine due to an exposure must not navigate campus or participate in any campus activity, including attending class or taking part in co-curricular experiences, on or off campus.
The university continues to monitor conditions in the campus community by testing for the prevalence of COVID-19 in the university population to inform decision making. Regular testing also identifies people with COVID-19 who do not have symptoms, preventing further spread of the disease on campus and in the broader community.
Importantly, testing enables robust contact tracing, which will help further interrupt transmission of the virus by confirming that exposed individuals are quarantined and tested. Vigilance in testing and contact tracing will put university leaders in the best position possible to make informed decisions about community health and safety, and adjust safety measures as needed.
Should there ever be a shortage of testing supplies, symptomatic individuals and members of at-risk or vulnerable populations will remain the highest priority for testing.
Compliance with testing, isolation and quarantine procedures is expected as one of the conditions of being enrolled in classes regardless of course delivery and living on campus.
To most efficiently and effectively serve our campus community and support our COVID-19 testing strategy, the university has transitioned the surveillance testing program to an on-campus lab and scheduling/results delivery tool. Starting in the spring semester, all students and selected faculty and staff members will use the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center MyChart patient portal to schedule COVID-19 test appointments and receive results.
This change allows the university to test and process results more quickly and affordably and improve the on-sit experience at the Jesse Owens North testing facility and regional campus testing facilities.