Presidential Health Directives for the Ohio University Issued Pursuant to Interim Policy 44.102
Effective: August 26, 2020
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 his or her designee, in consultation with the Chief Medical Affairs Officer (“CMAO”) 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The health requirements promulgated under this policy may be modified or rescinded by the President or his or her designee at any time for any reason.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.
Community Health Directives
Pursuant to, and in compliance with Interim Policy 44.102, and in consultation with the Ohio University CMAO, I hereby issue the following Community Health Directives to be effective on the date set forth above:
1. Facial Coverings
a. All Ohio University students, faculty, and staff shall comply with the provisions of Interim Policy 44.102 related to facial coverings.
2. Presence on Campus
a. All Ohio University students, faculty, and staff are required to perform a symptom check and provide honest responses every day while living or prior to arriving on campus. If an individual receives a red status on the symptom check, that person must remain off campus or self-isolate in their residence on campus and seek immediate medical attention.
b. An individual who lives off campus and has received a red status on the symptom check, been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, develops symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19 shall not return to campus until they receive a return to work or return to class release from a medical professional, local health department, or community health resource sanctioned by the University.
c. An individual who lives on campus and received a red status on the symptom check shall: continue to self-isolate until receiving a release from a medical professional, local health department, or community health resource sanctioned by the University; comply with the terms and conditions of the Housing Contract and Quarantine or Isolation Agreement; and follow the instructions of University Officials.
d. If any faculty, staff, or student individual was on campus when experiencing COVID symptoms, began to experience symptoms within 48 hours of being on campus, subsequently learned they were exposed to COVID, or tested positive for COVID-19, the individual must report this information through Maxient to complete the COVID-19 Incident Report. The Incident Report may be submitted anonymously, though the University encourages including identifiable information for follow up services and support. This information will allow for a non-clinical case manager to arrange any necessary cleaning for housing, office, and other facilities for on-campus students, faculty, and staff; to identify hot spots for COVID infection; and to connect identified persons with services needed to successfully stay at home.
3. Participation in Contract Tracing Efforts
a. All Ohio University students, faculty, and staff are required to fully participate with contact tracing efforts by Ohio University and by the local health department.
4. Participation in Public Health Requirements for Quarantining or Isolating
a. 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 quarantining and/or self-isolating.
5. Gatherings and Social Distancing
a. Persons gathering with any number of persons not members of their household shall wear facial coverings in compliance with Interim Policy 44.102 and practice social distancing of 6 feet or more. This directive shall not apply if impracticable while engaged in University-sanctioned activities designated as such by the President, Athletic Director, or a VP/Dean.
6. Surveillance Testing
Ohio University has partnered with CVS Health to develop an asymptomatic testing program for students contacted by email and given instruction on how to schedule a COVID-19 test. Once contacted, the student is required to schedule and complete a test per the provided instructions. It is the intention of the University that all students with a presence on campus will receive an email to be tested at least once during the course of any given semester.
Students who fail to schedule or take a test when notified may be prohibited from attending face-to-face classes, accessing in-person campus services, or entering campus buildings until a COVID-19 test is completed. Students who refuse to be tested will be required to withdraw from face-to-face classes for the remainder of the semester and complete their classes remotely, unless granted an exemption per University process. Students living in residence halls who fail to comply with required testing shall be subject to the terms of their University Housing and Culinary Services Contract.
Additionally, asymptomatic testing will be available for University employees on a voluntary basis. Employees will be notified by email when they are on a list to obtain a test.
Further Guidance and Resources
- 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. Disciplinary action may vary, up to and including termination of employment.
M. Duane Nellis
President, Ohio University