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Ohio University Housing Advisory System

Ohio University’s Housing Advisory System for residence halls was developed in consultation with Ohio’s other public universities, and in particular with advice from our colleagues at Miami University, where a similar plan was implemented.  

This Housing Advisory System runs concurrently with the Isolation Housing provided for students living on-campus who have (1) tested positive for COVID-19 or (2) are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are awaiting test results; and with Quarantine Housing provided for students living on-campus who have (1) traveled to campus from travel advisory risk areas, or (2) been classified as high-risk through direct exposure to COVID-19 by a contact tracer.

Find information regarding current alert levels for individual residence halls, as well as other housing-related data, on OHIO's COVID-19 dashboard.

OHIO COVID-19 Dashboard

Residence Hall Risk Levels

OHIO uses a color-coded alert system to identify the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in residence halls. Our color-coded system was developed in consultation with local public health officials.

Students will receive email notification if their residence hall risk level escalates on the color-coded alert list.

Although residence hall positivity rates may fluctuate from day to day, once a hall’s risk level escalates, safety measures may still apply even if a hall’s risk level de-escalates.

Level 1: Yellow – There are no known positive cases in the residence hall in the last seven days. Please exercise caution to avoid bringing the virus to the hall. Practice physical distancing, wash your hands often, and wear a face covering.

Level 2: Orange – 0.1-4.9 percent of the residents in the residence hall have tested positive in the last seven days. Follow public health guidelines to avoid becoming infected or unknowingly infecting others. Practice physical distancing, wash your hands often, and wear a face covering.

Level 3: Red – 5-9.9 percent of the residents in the residence hall have tested positive in the last seven days, but there is not yet statistical evidence of a cluster. You are at a significant risk of becoming infected in the hall and must take aggressive action in limiting time spent with others outside of your roommate. Visitors are prohibited. Practice physical distancing, wash your hands often, and wear a face covering. You may be required to participate in additional asymptomatic testing as warranted based on virus transmission.

Level 4: Purple – 10 percent or more of building residents have tested positive in the last seven days. There is a significant number of COVID-19 cases in the residence hall and those living there are at an elevated risk of becoming infected. OHIO will implement a Remain-in-Room (RIR) plan designed to stop the spread of the infection on each residential floor.

Students living in a residence hall with a Level 4: Purple designation will be advised via email and a virtual hall meeting with their Housing and Residence Life Hall professional staff, and placed on a Remain-in-Room plan until it is determined through our testing protocol that spread has been contained. We will update you when the RIR plan has been lifted, but you can expect this to be in place for up to 14 days.

When a residence hall is placed under the Remain-in-Room plan, students should not leave their residence hall room except for essential matters (e.g. bathroom, medical appointments, COVID testing as required, emergencies, contactless food delivery, and dining hall visits). When leaving their room for any of these purposes, residents must wear a mask and should maintain physical distance of at least six feet. Additionally:

  • No visitors will be allowed. Do not visit anyone else's room.
  • Residents should not leave the building to attend classes in person or participate in other face-to-face activities, such as going to work. 
  • Do not use residence hall lounges/common rooms, study rooms, or common kitchens. 
  • This chart describes allowances for isolation, quarantine, and remain-in-room scenarios.
  • You may be required to participate in additional asymptomatic testing as warranted based on virus transmission.

QUARANTINE – If the Remain-in-Room Plan is not effective in controlling COVID-19 transmission, the Athens City-County Health Department may order a mandatory quarantine for all residents. Whereas quarantine occurs under the order of the county health commissioner, the Remain-in-Room plan is a precaution the University will take to control spread in the case of an outbreak in a residence hall or on a residential floor.

The above steps are essential in containing and halting the transmission of COVID-19.

The plan is best able to contain spread when 100 percent of the affected population participates fully. We hope the housing advisory system will allow students to return to daily activities more quickly than a mandatory quarantine.