Updated COVID Guidance for Summer Term

With the start of the summer term, The Ohio State University is updating its COVID-19 protocols based on the status of the pandemic and federal, state, and local guidelines.

As the university continues to require all students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Ohio State will transition to a voluntary summer testing program beginning Monday, 9 may. Masks remain optional in most indoor spaces.

The university’s COVID-19 response is always subject to change. Throughout the pandemic, the State of Ohio has followed the advice of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health as well as federal, state and local policy.

The Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website is regularly updated to reflect current guidelines.

The following guidelines will be in place for early summer 2022:

COVID-19 testing

Starting Monday, May 9, the university will suspend its mandatory testing program for asymptomatic people.

During the spring 2022 semester, students were required to test weekly whether they lived in halls of residence; were members of social fraternities or sororities; or received exemptions from the university vaccination requirement. Faculty and staff who received exemptions were also required to take tests. From Monday, individuals are no longer required to test.

The university encourages students, faculty, and staff to have COVID-19 tests on hand in case they are needed. The federal covid.gov website provides information on ordering free home tests as well as other testing resources. the Wexner Medical Center COVID Testing Site also provides information and resources.

Other test updates:

  • For the summer, PCR testing for asymptomatic individuals will continue to be available on the Columbus campus at the Biomedical Research Tower, 460 W 12th Ave. The Jesse Owens North testing center will close after Friday, May 6. For more information on availability and how to schedule appointments, see the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes Test Page.
  • Antigen tests are available at various places on all campuses while stocks last.
  • Because employees are no longer required to test based on their exemption status or non-compliance with the vaccination requirement, the university will no longer provide Vault tests to faculty and staff who currently receive them.

Although routine weekly testing is no longer required, individuals may be required to take a test to be released from isolation or quarantine after a positive COVID test or exposure.

Vaccination

Ohio State has maintained a vaccination rate above 93% since establishing a vaccination requirement, and the university strongly encourages students, faculty and staff to follow Advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on booster shots.

Students and employees must either complete their primary vaccination series or receive an exemption to complete the obligation of vaccination. Students starting at Ohio State this fall must complete the requirement by May 31 to fully participate in orientation and schedule in-person classes. Students who do not meet the vaccination requirement cannot take courses with in-person components.

Booster shots, which have emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration, are currently voluntary. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to share their callback information via university reporting tools to help guide the university’s ongoing response to the pandemic.

Masks

Masks are optional in most indoor spaces on The Ohio State University campuses, with the exception of clinical care facilities and daycares. The mask-optional policy applies to locations including classrooms, residence halls, dining halls, offices, Ohio Union, and public transportation. Although masks are not mandatory in these contexts, individuals are encouraged to wear them. Masks are available at various academic institutions.

Masks remain a requirement:

  • In clinical settings where patient interactions occur, including Wexner Medical Center, Wilce Student Health Center, and other health care clinics. This includes corridors, lobbies and nursing stations in hospital and outpatient clinics. Please consult the Wexner Medical Center website for detailed information on its mask policy.
  • At the COVID-19 Test Center in the Biomedical Research Tower.
  • In nurseries, including the Nisonger Center at Wexner Medical Center.

Symptoms or disease

People should stay home if they feel sick and follow CDC Guidelines if they test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone with the virus. These guidelines include wearing a mask for at least 10 days.

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