June 25, 2021
A Message From President Sister Christine De Vinne, OSU
Today you are receiving the update we planned for campus safety protocols as of July 1, 2021. I hope this message finds you healthy and enjoying the long days of summer.
Most of you follow the changes in the state and national guidelines, so you know that CDC and the Ohio Department of Health no longer require masks or social distancing for vaccinated people. However, since we don’t know who is and who is not vaccinated in any given group of people, it is difficult to set enforceable policies to keep people safe here on campus. We continue to work to balance the needs and comfort levels of the many members of our campus community.
Given our ever-changing circumstances, here is what will continue for campus policy and what will change as of July 1, 2021:
- Continuing previous guidelines:
- Anyone who is not vaccinated is required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. This was announced in June and is in accordance with Ohio and CDC guidelines. Note that masks remain optional for vaccinated people as well.
- Surveillance testing continues. As before, if you provide proof of vaccination, you are exempt from surveillance testing.
- New as of July 1, 2021: In campus classrooms, labs, and meeting rooms, if 70% of any given class (students and faculty) or meeting attendees voluntarily provide proof of vaccination through email@example.com, the vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks in that class or meeting. Note that non-vaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks.
- New over the summer: Staff members in Facilities and IT are returning computers and furniture in classrooms, labs, and meeting rooms to accommodate 75% of room capacity. When these new room set-ups are complete, each room will have an area for unvaccinated students or meeting attendees to sit socially distanced from each other and from vaccinated classmates/attendees.
The COVID task force is exploring best ways to ascertain the vaccinated population on campus and will report back to you on this question. Meanwhile, students and employees wishing to voluntarily report vaccination status should email images of the front and back of their vaccination card to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have already submitted your card to bypass the surveillance testing, we still have your card and there is no need to resubmit it.
Campus-wide, the task force announces a goal of having 70% of all students, faculty and staff vaccinated before we reevaluate the guidelines above. This is in line with President Biden’s goal of having 70% of U.S. adults receive at least one COVID-19 shot by July 4. During July and August, as we hope to approach this goal within our campus community, the task force will continue to reevaluate our situation ahead of any new protocol announcements for the start of the Fall 2021 semester. You can help us prepare for updated protocols by sending your vaccination information to the email address noted above.
Thank you, again, for protecting yourselves and those around you, whether in class, at work, or in your family.