New: Coronavirus update on classes, housing, spring break and travel
University-wide communication related to the COVID-19 outbreak
The Ohio State University
Editor’s note (March 24): The university has suspended all university-sponsored international and non-essential domestic travel until further notice. All travel that has been scheduled through June 30, 2020, must be cancelled, and no new travel may be booked until further notified.
The Ohio State University announced new information for students, faculty and staff in response to the international viral outbreak of 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19).
President Michael V. Drake issued a new university-wide letter on Thursday that updates university guidelines. The details are as follows:
Dear Members of the Ohio State Community:
Thank you for your cooperation and collaboration related to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). The university remains committed to the health and well-being of our community. Though there have been no confirmed cases at Ohio State, every step we take as a university is aimed at reducing any potential spread of the virus and ensuring the continuation of our academic mission.
We have a large student population and global reach that require us to manage this issue while taking a variety of circumstances into consideration.
Below are several steps the university is taking today following consultation with experts within our university community, and continually evolving guidance from city, state and federal officials.
We are suspending face-to-face classes and transitioning to virtual learning for the remainder of the semester — and will be facilitating a scheduled and orderly process for students to move out of the residence halls. To aid this process, we are extending spring break by one week through Sunday, March 22. Finally, we are sharing new reporting and quarantine restrictions related to travel.
- Beginning Monday, March 23, instruction will be virtual for the remainder of spring semester. Exceptions will be made only for certain clinical experiences or field work in which students are actively serving patients or clients. Academic leaders from those programs will be contacting students with specific information. Further resources are available at the Ohio State Keep Learning website.
- All undergraduate students living in university housing — whether they remain on campus at this time or are currently traveling for spring break — will be required to return for the remainder of the semester to their permanent home residences, or a non-campus or alternative housing arrangement. This does not pertain to students living in family housing.
- University housing residents who are away on spring break should not report directly back to their on-campus residences. Tomorrow morning, you will receive a message from the Office of Student Life asking you to schedule a move-out time between Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 22. Time slots will be strictly enforced to ensure appropriate and safe social distancing. Information will be available at go.osu.edu/2020moveout.
- If you are among those students who did not leave campus for spring break and are here at this time, we will support you in your scheduled move-out process with the objective to have this process completed on Sunday, March 22.
- We understand that there will be exceptions and extenuating circumstances. We will work with students who are not able to return home during this time period on an individual basis. Residence halls and some dining locations will remain open during this process. Additional communications will follow shortly from University Housing in the Office of Student Life.
Extension of spring break
- To facilitate these changes, we are extending spring break for one week through Sunday, March 22. Faculty and staff are encouraged to use the extended week to prepare further for virtual course work. Resources are available at the Ohio State Keep Teaching website
Returning from travel
- Based on the new level 3 travel warning for Europe from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio State is requiring that students, faculty and staff currently traveling in one of those countries self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the United States.
- During the 14-day self-quarantine period, you are not permitted to come to work, attend our limited non-virtual clinical or field experiences, or participate in any other campus or community activities. If extenuating circumstances prohibit any student currently living in university housing from observing self-quarantine off campus, please contact University Housing for support and guidance at firstname.lastname@example.org
Once again, there will be additional communications as we learn more. Please check our website for all updates and additional information. You can also address your questions to email@example.com.
These are extraordinary times. I am gratified by the flexibility and spirit of cooperation we have experienced from our students, faculty, staff and parents. We are all in this together, doing our very best to keep our students and community safe while continuing to support their academic progress. Thank you all very much.
Michael V. Drake, MD
Keep Our Campus Healthy
The best way to prevent the spread of any type of infection is to practice routine hygiene etiquette:
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. Use alcohol hand rub as a backup.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Throw away your tissue after one use.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you are ill, stay home. Keep a safe 6-foot distance from others to prevent disease spread.
- If you are seriously ill, seek medical advice.
- Complete and stay up-to-date on your Ohio State vaccination requirements.
For more information, visit go.osu.edu/immediate-care.