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Ohio University leaders share updated COVID-19 protocols for fall

St. Clairsville, Ohio (August 5, 2021) In just under three weeks, Ohio University will begin face-to-face classes and return to a more normal learning environment.  Dr. David Rohall, Dean of OHIO Eastern said he and the faculty and staff are looking forward to students return to in person classes this fall.

“We know that our students are all excited to return to Ohio University Eastern campus, and we share their excitement. We are looking forward to working together to make it a healthy fall semester,” he said.

Ohio University leadership - Dr. Hugh Sherman, president; Dr. Gillian Ice, special assistant to the president for public health operations; and Ken Johnson chief medical affairs officer and executive dean of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine - - sent a letter to faculty, staff and students communicating updated COVID protocols for fall.

“The University has been closely watching the recent shift in COVID-19 transmission rates here in Ohio and across the country,” the letter stated. “As you have likely seen in reports from national health experts, recent data indicates that breakthrough infections, though rare, can occur in vaccinated individuals and that even vaccinated individuals may be able to spread the Delta variant.”

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our public health decisions have been based on developing science, local epidemiology, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ohio Department of Health, and our local health departments. Consistent with several peer institutions in the state of Ohio, Ohio University is updating mask protocols to protect the health of all Bobcats and to reflect updated guidance from the CDC.”

Effective August 5, students, faculty, staff, and visitors to all OHIO campuses are required to wear masks indoors in public/shared spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Masks also are required when entering, exiting, or standing in line to enter an indoor campus facility and are recommended outdoors for unvaccinated individuals who cannot maintain physical distance. There may be some cases where the University will require masking of everyone outdoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Dean Rohall said Ohio University Eastern will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 on campus, prepared to again adjust to university policy as conditions warrant.