Ohio University

COVID-19 Testing Pathway Program: Your questions answered

Since launching the COVID-19 Testing Pathway Program for students, faculty, and staff this week, OHIO COVID Operations has received many questions about program details. The information below covers the most common inquiries. 

Testing Pathway participation requirements

Selecting a pathway is required for all students, faculty, and staff who access any OHIO campus. The only individuals who do not need to select a pathway are those students enrolled College Credit Plus or OHIO OnlineTM, and those faculty and staff who will continue working fully remotely during fall semester and beyond.

Testing Pathway communication details

  • Once you have completed your Testing Pathway selection, you will receive an automated email acknowledging receipt of your submission. Please save this email for your records. 
  • COVID Operations staff will review your Testing Pathway selection and send you a confirmation email with appropriate testing information based on your selection and campus location. Please save this email for your records.
  • If you complete an exemption or accommodation request (details below), a COVID Campus Liaison will contact you via email to confirm the details of your request. You will need to log in with your PID (students) or employee ID (faculty and staff) to view this communication.
  • COVID Operations will share important information and updates via email and phone. Students, faculty, and staff should email COVIDoperations@ohio.edu to opt back into communications from COVID Operations if they previously opted out, or check their junk folders if they haven’t opted out or received the emails. Details on these communications are available here

Regional and extension campus testing details

Students, faculty, and staff on regional and extension campuses can pick up Vault Health at-home test kits on each campus. Individuals may take their tests by logging into Zoom at home, in any available campus facility, or in their vehicle (WiFi has been extended to most parking lots). Details about regional and extension campus test pickup locations, how to prepare for the tests, and how to take the tests are available here.

Athens campus testing details

Students, faculty, and staff on the Athens campus can schedule their tests using an online scheduler. The Vault Health testing location is at the University’s Golf and Tennis Center next to the Ping Center. Details about how to schedule tests on the Athens campus, how to prepare for the tests, and how to take the tests are available here.

Monthly and weekly testing criteria

The Testing Pathway Program’s official start date was May 10, 2021. 

  • Those on the Vaccination Pathway must test once every 30 days beginning May 11. COVID Operations will send reminders to individuals on the vaccination pathway each month.  Individuals are responsible for scheduling/ordering and completing the test every month.
  • Those on the Testing Pathway must test once every seven days beginning May 11. Individuals are responsible for scheduling/ordering and completing the test every week. 

When to submit an exemption request

Testing exemptions and accommodations are available for those who will be absent from campus for extended periods, for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, and for other circumstances.

  • If you are on the Weekly Testing Pathway, you do not need to submit an absence exemption request unless you will be away from campus for more than seven days (causing you to miss one or more of your required weekly tests).
  • If you are on the Vaccination Pathway, you do not need to submit an absence exemption request unless you will be away from campus for so long that you will miss your 30-day testing window.
  • If you are participating in only one of the two summer sessions, you do need to submit an absence request for the session you are not attending.
  • If you indicated you would be on campus this summer when you selected your pathway but will no longer be using campus facilities this summer, you need to submit an absence request for the full summer semester. 
  • If at any time you test positive for COVID-19, you can submit a request for exemption from testing for 90 days from the date of your first positive test result (the date that you began isolation). If you will not be on campus this summer, you do not need to request an exemption from testing during the summer.

When to submit a change request

Students, faculty, and staff members should change their testing pathway choice if their circumstances change. Individuals can submit a change request based on any of the following events:

  • You previously did not intend to visit campus but now will be doing so
  • You have been vaccinated against COVID-19 (please do not submit this change request until after you have received the second vaccine dose of a two-dose series, as you will need to upload your complete vaccination record as part of the change request)

Use the correct email address and full PID

It is important to use the correct email address and your PID when participating in Vault Health testing:

  • You must use your OHIO email address for all testing-related communications.
  • If you are both an employee of the University and enrolled as a student, use your faculty/staff email address in all testing-related communications (selecting your pathway, registering for a Vault Health test, etc.).When you log in to Zoom to take a test (regional/extension campuses) or when you visit the testing facility on the Athens campus, be sure to include all 10 characters that appear in your PID, including the leading P (e.g., “P123456789”). Your PID is located on your OHIO ID card, or you can look it up online; it also was included in the email confirmation you received for your Testing Pathway. 

Those who do not pick a pathway will test weekly

COVID Operations will assume that any student, faculty, or staff member who has not selected a pathway is not fully vaccinated and will expect that individual to follow the Pathway Program instructions for testing weekly. Failure to complete the test weekly may result in access restriction or disciplinary action as part of the testing noncompliance process.

Testing compliance process for OHIO students, faculty, and staff

COVID Operations will regularly run compliance checks based on testing frequency compared to pathway selection, in addition to checking campus facility access logs. If an individual is found to be out of compliance based on their pathway selection or based on their access of facilities when they had indicated they would not be on campus, a COVID Campus Liaison will be in touch with information on how to regain compliance.

Students: Continued noncompliance will result in additional warnings and could result in campus access restriction and/or referral to the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility. 

Faculty and staff: Continued noncompliance will result in additional warnings and COVID Operations alerting supervisors and University Human Resources. Individuals who do not comply with testing may face campus access restriction and/or disciplinary action.

COVID Operations staff are available by email (COVIDoperations@ohio.edu) and phone (740-566-8445) to answer any questions you have about COVID-19 testing or other COVID-related concerns.