Guidance For a Safe Semester
The public health measures that have kept our campuses safe throughout the pandemic are more important than ever. Please review all of OHIO’s COVID-19 Public Health Measures so you are up to date on campus protocols and resources.
Get Vaccinated and Boosted
All OHIO students, faculty and staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption. The University strongly encourages all fully vaccinated students, faculty, and staff to get a booster shot as soon as they are eligible.
Students, faculty, staff, and visitors to all OHIO campuses are required to wear masks indoors. We all have a shared responsibility to hold each other accountable for the public health measures that will help keep our community safe.
All students, staff and faculty who test positive for COVID-19, experience symptoms, or are exposed must follow the OHIO COVID-19 Protocol.
If you are aware of a COVID-19 exposure or positive individual complete an incident report form regardless of whether you believe it has been previously reported by someone else. Do this for each person (faculty/staff/student) who reports their illness or exposure to you.
Tips for interacting with students and colleagues
- Communicate OHIO’s mask policy and make it clear that it will be enforced.
We recommend that faculty and staff communicate and repeat the mask-wearing requirement in opening remarks during the first week of class, at department meetings, and when welcoming individuals to an event or outing. Share with students and staff the expectation and the consequences of noncompliance: Addressing OHIO’s Mask Expectations.
- Use assigned seats and/or track seating.
Assigned seating or records of who sat where will assist with contact tracing and minimize disruption to the learning environment, department or organization if someone tests positive for COVID-19, as it could result in fewer individuals needing to quarantine. If you use small groups, please track (or ask students and participants to track) who is in each group during a given class or activity. Other options include setting a minute or two aside at the beginning of each class, meeting or activity to ask participants to identify and record the names of individuals who are sitting near them; passing around a blank seating chart for individuals to complete if your seating assignments change frequently; or creating “pods” of individuals who will sit near each other and work together during the semester (or portion of the semester).
- If you are concerned about feeling crowded in a classroom or other learning environment, explain how you would like students and colleagues to approach you with one-on-one questions.
Options include asking individuals to approach you one at a time; requiring that they maintain physical distance if a line forms; and using office hours or digital means (email, Teams) for one-on-one conversations.
Suggested language to include in syllabi or other documents
COVID Operations has prepared the information below for faculty and staff to cut and paste into syllabi or other organizational documents, or to adapt as they wish.
We recommend that faculty and staff communicate and repeat the mask-wearing requirement in opening remarks during the first week of class, at department meetings, and when welcoming individuals to an event or outing. As with other important rules, repeating the message helps people absorb the message and identify with a community effort.
Classroom (department, etc.) COVID-19 policies
Ohio University is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment for all members of its community – students, faculty, and staff – regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
All members of the OHIO community are expected to take certain precautions in classrooms and elsewhere on campus to keep each other safe:
- All individuals are required to wear masks in indoor public spaces on campus, including classrooms.
- All OHIO students, faculty and staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption. The University strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to get a booster shot.
- If you are on the Weekly Testing Pathway as part of the COVID-19 Testing Pathway Program, you are expected to adhere to your required testing schedule.
- Complete a daily COVID-19 symptom assessment and do not come to class or participate in an activity if you feel sick, even if you are vaccinated against COVID-19.
- If you test positive, feel sick or suspect exposure to COVID-19, it is your responsibility to follow the OHIO COVID-19 Protocol.
If you do test positive or need to isolate or quarantine this semester, after you have taken care of yourself and followed all the steps in the OHIO COVID-19 Protocol, please email me so that we can develop a plan for you to receive necessary information. COVID-related illness, quarantine, isolation, and remain-in-room directives are legitimate university absences, and I will work with you to manage your academic or work requirements and connect you to resources.
If you feel that your class or work performance is being impacted by COVID-19, please talk with me and/or contact COVID Operations by phone (740.566.8445) or email (COVIDoperations@ohio.edu) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends. The University has resources available to help with quarantine and isolation support, as well as access to COVID-19 testing, counseling services, food assistance, and more.
Suggestions for Hosting a COVID-Safe Event
Crowded settings, indoors or outdoors, increase the chances for transmission of disease including the virus that causes COVID-19. Event planners should consider implementing strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 at events. COVID Operations has prepared suggestions to help those planning events. Hosting a COVID-Safe Event
Ordering PPE and other supplies
Each planning unit has identified one point of contact for coordination of all COVID-19-related supply needs. All PPE requests must be made through this planning unit contact. Faculty and staff who would like to order supplies including masks, hand sanitizer, wipes and other materials should directly contact their planning unit contact.
Actions we can all take to make campus safe
Providing a robust campus experience requires that we continue with a layered approach to prevention that includes vaccination, masking, testing, isolation and quarantine, and other public health measures.
Here are some more things the University is doing to keep us all safe:
- Requiring and offering COVID-19 vaccinations
- Encouraging COVID-19 vaccine boosters
- Testing unvaccinated individuals
- Requiring all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to wear masks indoors
- Providing quarantine and isolation housing for residential students
- Providing support from COVID Campus Liaisons for anyone affected by COVID-19
There also are a number of things you can do to keep yourself and our whole campus community safe:
- Get vaccinated against COVID-19 and get a booster as soon as you are eligible
- Wear a mask
- Avoid crowded indoor gatherings
- Wash your hands often
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Stay home and call COVID Operations if you don’t feel well: (740) 566-8445