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Ohio State To Require Students Living On Campus To Take COVID Test When Returning For Classes

Aerial view of The Oval on Ohio State University's campus
Ohio State University
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Ohio State University

All Ohio State University students living in on-campus housing will have to take a COVID-19 rapid test when they arrive for the spring semester beginning Monday.

The new guidance says those who test positive will not be able to move into dorm rooms and must isolate for five days at home or in a local hotel. Limited beds in the on-campus isolation residence hall will be prioritized for out-of-state students on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tests will also be delivered to fraternity and sorority houses this week for students to complete when return to campus.

The university will also require weekly PCR tests throughout the semester for some students and employees. The weekly tests, must be completed by the following groups:

  • All students living in university housing on all campuses, regardless of vaccination status.
  • All student members of sororities and fraternities, regardless of vaccination status.
  • All students and employees who have an approved exemption for the university’s vaccination requirement.
  • All students and employees who have taken no action on the university’s vaccination requirement.

In-person classes will continue to be offered. The university is encouraging faculty to offer flexible arrangements for students who are sick, in isolation or in quarantine.
Ohio State is also stopping the sale of concessions at sporting events, but officials say water will be provided. Spectators will also be unable to bring food or beverages into athletic facilities.

Seating capacity at on-campus dining halls will be limited to 40% capacity to allow for physical distancing. The university will expand grab-and-go options, with mobile ordering.

The university is encouraging all students, faculty and staff to receive a COVID-19 booster before the start of spring semester or as soon as they are eligible. Booster shots will be available by appointment at Jesse Owens North Recreation Center.

Ohio State will hold a virtual town hall on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. to discuss the plan.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.