Presidential Health Directives for the Ohio University Issued Pursuant to Interim Policy 44.102

Effective: May 19, 2022

Introduction

Interim Policy 44.102 provides Ohio University the ability to take appropriate action to address transmittable disease, epidemics, pandemics, and other threats to the health and safety of persons associated with Ohio University. Pursuant to the policy, the President, or their designee, in consultation with the Chief Medical Affairs Officer (“CMAO”) and Special Assistant to the President for Public Health Operations, has the authority to establish specific health requirements for community members appropriate to current community health risks. All community members at any Ohio University campus or location must comply with all specific health requirements promulgated under this Interim Policy 44.102. 

The health requirements promulgated under this policy may be modified or rescinded by the President or their designee at any time for any reason. Any changes related to these health requirements will be communicated via electronic mail to Ohio University students, faculty, and staff. 

What follows amends the prior Directives issued February 28, 2022. 

Community Health Directives

Pursuant to, and in compliance with Interim Policy 44.102, and in consultation with the Ohio University CMAO and Special Assistant to the President for Public Health Operations, I hereby issue the following Community Health Directives to be effective on the date set forth above.  

1. Face Coverings

The University may require students, faculty, staff, and visitors to wear face coverings (masks) based on disease levels and risk to OHIO campuses. Mask requirements are outlined on OHIO’s Mask Policy page.

2. OHIO COVID-19 Protocol

Any student, faculty, or staff member who lives on or off campus and experiences any of the following must follow the steps in the relevant section of the OHIO COVID-19 Protocol: Positive, Symptomatic, or Exposed

  • Tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status (positive). 
  • Develops symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status (symptomatic). 
  • Is in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, regardless of vaccination status (exposed).  

3. Adherence to Quarantine and Isolation Orders

All Ohio University students, faculty, and staff are required to fully comply with all health directives and guidelines issued by the local health department, Ohio University, their medical provider, and University-sanctioned health resources, as applicable, related to quarantine and/or isolation. If these directives are in conflict, Ohio University students, faculty, and staff are expected to adhere to orders from their local health department as the final authority. Any individual under isolation or quarantine orders will not participate in on-campus activities or enter campus buildings, other than an individual’s assigned quarantine or isolation housing. 

4. Participation in Contact Tracing Efforts

All Ohio University students, faculty, and staff are required to fully participate in contact tracing efforts by Ohio University and local health departments. Fully participating includes answering phone calls, Short Message Services (SMS) and emails. 

5. COVID-19 Testing

Any Ohio University student, faculty, or staff member may be required to participate in COVID-19 testing in the event of a potential exposure or outbreak, or when participating in internships, clinicals, field experiences, domestic and international travel, or other experiential learning activities.

6. COVID-19 Vaccination

Ohio University does not require COVID-19 vaccination for Ohio University employees and non-residential students. However, all OHIO students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and stay up-to-date on their vaccinations. 

Because of known risks associated with congregate living, the University requires students living in Ohio University residence housing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Students must verify in their University housing agreement whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccination or sign a waiver acknowledging the risks of not being vaccinated against the virus, as they are required to do for other residential housing vaccine requirements. 

Some experiential learning program partners, including clinical placement sites and study abroad programs and destinations, have COVID-19 vaccination requirements that students, faculty, and staff must meet to participate. Nonclinical students with experiential learning placements in clinical settings must also comply with program partners’ COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Requirements may include documenting proof of vaccination or going through an exemption process. Not complying with program partners’ COVID-19 vaccination requirements could prevent individuals from fulfilling academic and professional objectives. 

Further Guidance and Resources

  • COVID-19 Related Exemptions: https://www.ohio.edu/coronavirus/exemptions 

  • Student violations of Interim Policy 44.102 will be adjudicated through the Student Code of Conduct, thereby incurring disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion.  

  • Student organizations will be held to the same standards as individual students, faculty, and staff. Student organizations may be found in violation of Interim Policy 44.102 if there is a preponderance of the evidence that suggests that an organization, formally or informally, facilitated violations of the health directives issued by the State of Ohio, the local health department, or Ohio University. If found in violation of Interim Policy 44.102 the organization will face discipline up to and including suspension or expulsion from Ohio University. Failure to comply with Interim Policy 44.102 by faculty or staff will be addressed through the appropriate University disciplinary processes based on an employee's classification. 

President Sherman Signature

Hugh Sherman
President, Ohio University