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COVID-19 update: summer term and transition planning

New message updates state of emergency, university planning

Summer term is underway at The Ohio State University, virtual learning continues and the university is developing a plan to return to campus. Today, President Michael V. Drake extended the university’s state of emergency order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ohio State continues to update a website with information about the pandemic. The university will also respond to an email account where general questions about COVID-19 can be directed: coronavirus@osumc.edu

Drake sent the following message on May 16:

Dear Ohio State Community:

This week marked the start of the summer term. We will continue to teach and learn virtually throughout the term. At the same time, the university’s COVID-19 transition task force is exploring and developing plans for the fall and beyond.

While information continues to evolve and we will need to be flexible, our current goal is to have an announcement of our plans for the autumn semester by mid-June. Updates and information about the transition process are available on the task force website.

As a reminder, students, faculty and staff can access resources and support at the Keep Learning, Keep Teaching and Keep Working websites. Further educational resources for faculty are available through the University Institute for Teaching and Learning.

State of emergency and transition updates

The university state of emergency, which enables us to utilize Disaster Leave (Policy 6.28), will be extended through Saturday, May 23. At this time, all in-person university events are canceled through July 6, and all non-essential university employees are to continue teleworking and remain off campus, physical distancing and taking all other precautions to stay safe.

In coordination with city, state and federal guidance, the transition task force is developing a phased approach to resuming on-campus operations.

As shared, a limited number of essential academic and clinical operations have resumed, including elective procedures at the Wexner Medical Center that do not require an overnight stay. To facilitate this additional patient traffic, changes to the transportation and parking systems will go into effect on Monday with select Transportation and Traffic Management employees returning to work on campus under established safety protocols.

Additionally, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced this week that child care facilities can reopen with specific safety measures beginning May 31. We anticipate reopening our child care services in a phased approach in order to meet requirements for reduced numbers of children per classroom and other state guidelines. We have reached out to families to help identify their current child care needs. The governor continues to announce plans for the gradual reopening of various activities and facilities. The task force is taking this guidance into consideration as we continue our transition process. We will share updates and decisions as planning progresses.

Together As Buckeyes

Finally, please take a moment to read and watch stories highlighting the extraordinary perseverance of Buckeyes during this pandemic. Even while we remain physically apart, we are Together As Buckeyes in so many important ways. That will not change.

COVID-19 is affecting many areas of our lives, including how we will operate as a university moving forward. We will continue to make our best, data-driven recommendations while monitoring and adjusting based on evolving information. Your patience, flexibility and ongoing dedication to our mission is greatly appreciated during a time of unprecedented uncertainty.


Michael V. Drake, MD

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