Ohio State News Alert: COVID guidance updated for summer term
Focus remains on vaccination and boosters; asymptomatic testing to be optional
The Ohio State University
With the start of summer term, The Ohio State University is updating its COVID-19 protocols based on the state of the pandemic and federal, state and local guidance.
While the university continues to require that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against COVID-19, Ohio State will be shifting to a voluntary testing program for the summer starting on Monday, May 9. Masks remain optional in most indoor spaces.
The university’s COVID-19 response is always subject to change. Throughout the pandemic, Ohio State has followed guidance from the U.S. 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 guidance.
The following guidance will be in place for the start of summer 2022:
As of Monday, May 9, the university will be suspending its required testing program for asymptomatic individuals.
During spring semester 2022, students were required to test weekly if they lived in university residence halls; were members of social fraternities or sororities; or received exemptions from the university’s vaccination requirement. Faculty and staff who received exemptions were also required to test. Starting Monday, individuals are not 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 about ordering free at-home tests as well as other testing resources. The Wexner Medical Center COVID testing site also provides information and resources.
Other testing 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 testing center at Jesse Owens North will close after Friday, May 6. For information about availability and how to schedule appointments, see the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes testing page.
- Antigen tests are available at various locations on all campuses while supplies 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 be providing Vault tests to faculty and staff who currently receive them.
While routine weekly testing will no longer be required, individuals may be required to complete a test to be released from isolation or quarantine after a positive COVID test or exposure.
Ohio State has maintained a vaccination rate exceeding 93% since establishing a vaccination requirement, and the university strongly encourages students, faculty and staff to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance about booster shots.
Students and employees must either complete their primary vaccination series or receive an exemption to complete the vaccination requirement. Students who are starting at Ohio State this fall must complete the requirement by May 31 to fully participate in orientation and schedule in-person courses. Students who do not complete the vaccination requirement may not take courses with in-person components.
Booster shots, which are under emergency use authorization from U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are currently voluntary. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to share their booster information through the university’s reporting tools to help guide the university’s ongoing response to the pandemic.
Masks are optional in most indoor spaces on Ohio State University campuses, with the exception of clinical health-care settings and child-care centers. The mask-optional policy applies to locations including classrooms, residence halls, dining facilities, offices, the Ohio Union and public transportation. While masks are not required in these settings, individuals are welcome to wear them. Masks are available at various university locations.
Masks remain a requirement:
- In clinical settings where patient interactions occur – including at the Wexner Medical Center, the Wilce Student Health Center and other health care clinics. This includes corridors, lobbies and nursing stations of the hospital and ambulatory clinics. Please see the Wexner Medical Center website for detailed information about its mask policy.
- At the COVID-19 testing center in the Biomedical Research Tower.
- In child-care centers, including the Nisonger Center at the Wexner Medical Center.
Symptoms or Illness
Individuals should stay home if they are feeling 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.