Students at the Ohio State University will start the spring semester with virtual learning during the first two weeks which are Jan. 11-15 and Jan 18-22.
The announcement comes during a surge of COVID-19 cases in Ohio.
The campus and the medical center will be open during those weeks, a university spokesperson said.
The spokesperson also said there may be some in-person clinical program or fieldwork but that will be assessed on a case by case basis.
In a letter to the university community posted online, Ohio State President Kristina Johnson said the move-in date for students is Jan. 18.
Johnson wrote the school will look at the trending COVID-19 cases and at guidance from Governor Mike DeWine and health officials in December or January to determine if there is a need to extend the virtual start to the semester.
Johnson also asked students to follow the checklist below before leaving for winter break:
- Get tested for COVID-19 early this week. Once you receive a negative test and your classes are available by virtual or hybrid instruction mode, we strongly urge you to leave campus for winter break. For students living off campus and taking virtual-only or hybrid instruction, we also ask you to return to your permanent residences after testing negative for COVID-19, should you determine that is the safest environment for you to continue learning. We are asking for your help to de-densify our campuses in order to slow the spread of the virus. However, we understand that some students would like to leave as soon as possible, so we are asking faculty members to accommodate such requests.
- Students can contact email@example.com with questions about the move-out process. Update your move-out time on the housing portal. If you are able to depart our campuses by Friday, November 20, you will receive a five- day credit on room and board. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions related to the credit.
- If you need to stay on or off campus, plan to get tested again the week of November 23 and self-quarantine until you get your test results. Residence halls will remain open until November 25 for students who have in-person laboratories, studio classes or cannot change their plans to return home.
Johnson told the community, “You have worked tirelessly this semester to keep us Together As Buckeyes, following our safety requirements and utilizing both in-person and hybrid course models to reduce the density of our on-campus population. This is a deeply challenging time for us all, and we send our support to those battling this illness or grieving the loss of a loved one.”