Planning is underway at The Ohio State University in Columbus for a “reactivation” of campuses for the 2021-2022 school year to offer in-person experiences significantly expanded from the current COVID-19 restrictions.
Continuing to follow health measures with the partnership and approval of local, state and federal health authorities, the university shared its plans for the upcoming educational year in a Feb. 25 news release. The plans will increase in-person teaching, learning and student activities; students in the residence halls; staff working on campus; in-person campus services and events; and fans in attendance at Ohio State football games and other athletic competitions.
“We have learned from our success in keeping our campuses operating safely over the last six months, creating the opportunity to broaden face-to-face interactions for students, faculty and staff,” OSU President Kristina M. Johnson stated in the release. “Our goal is to welcome more Buckeyes back to our campuses in the fall, safely and in person.”
Details of the university’s reactivation plan will be announced in the coming months as leaders continue to study the latest data related to COVID-19 and public health, the release said. Ohio State will develop contingency plans that account for a variety of scenarios.
Ohio State has operated its campuses during the pandemic in close coordination with state, national and university health experts. By implementing testing, monitoring, contact tracing and public health campaigns, Ohio State has aimed to minimize the spread of COVID-19 among the campus community. The university has conducted more than 400,000 student tests since the start of the current academic year in August 2020, and positivity rates have been held below 0.5% for more than a month.
In the 2021 spring semester thus far, there have been 1,299 COVID-19 cases out of 158,362 tests – a positivity rate of 0.82%.
Further details of the university’s pandemic response are available through the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website at safeandhealthy.osu.edu. To view OSU’s dashboard of COVID-19 cases and testing data, visit safeandhealthy.osu.edu/dashboard.