COVID-19 Resources

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COVID-19 Information and Resources

Updated November 20, 2020

Below is a collection of information on COVID-19 closures, policies, and resources. These policies and resources are ever-changing, so if you would like to add something or request an edit, please email english.communications@osu.edu.

If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact:

Main Ohio State University Websites

Wexner Medical Center Coronavirus Information and Updates
Safe and Healthy Buckeyes: Information for Ohio State Students, Faculty and Staff

Ohio State University COVID-19 Dashboard
Office of Academic Affairs Calendar and Chart of Academic Decisions
 

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General Information

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On September 11, 2020, Provost Bruce McPheron sent out an email with the following information about the Spring 2021 class schedule:

  • Classes will begin January 11, 2021
  • The first two weeks of classes (Jan. 11-22) will be online so that members of the university community have ample time to quarantine prior to any in-person sessions.
  • There will be no spring break.
    • Instead, there will be two instructional breaks — on Tuesday, Feb. 9, and Wednesday, March 31 — where there will be no classes. This approach will keep our community together throughout the semester and reduce travel-related exposures.
  • Classes will end April 21 with a reading day on April 22
  • Final exams will take place April 23-29.
  • Commencement will take place May 9 in a format to be determined based on safety guidelines in place in the spring. 
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  • Registrar's Academic Calendar
  • Autumn Semester 2020 Dates:
    • First day of classes: Tuesday, August 25
    • Last day of classes: Friday, December 4
    • Last day of in-person, on-campus instruction--ALTERED AS OF FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20: In-person on-campus instruction ends Friday, November 20 at 6pm 
    • Final Exams (accomplished through distance methods): December 7-11
    • Eliminated student holidays: Fall break (originally scheduled October 15-16) and the day before Thanksgiving (Wednesday, November 25). Classes WILL be in session on these days.
    • Holidays that WILL be observed: Labor Day (September 7) and Veterans Day (November 11)
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In light of COVID, the Office of Undergraduate Education posted a disability statement with accommodations for COVID on their Faculty and Staff Resources page:

"The university strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. In light of the current pandemic, students seeking to request COVID-related accommodations may do so through the university's request process, managed by Student Life Disability Services. If you anticipate or experience academic barriers based on your disability (including mental health, chronic, or temporary medical conditions), please let me know immediately so that we can privately discuss options. To establish reasonable accommodations, I may request that you register with Student Life Disability Services. After registration, make arrangements with me as soon as possible to discuss your accommodations so that they may be implemented in a timely fashion. SLDS contact information: slds@osu.edu; 614-292-3307; slds.osu.edu; 098 Baker Hall, 113 W. 12th Avenue."

On August 28, the Office of Undergraduate Education released updated guidance on absences [pdf], in light of the COVID pandemic. The guidance includes the following sample syllabus statement:

"Continuous engagement with this course is essential to learning the material. Students are expected to attend class and engage with assignments and discussion prompts for every scheduled meeting, participating at least once per week for courses with fully remote participation. Students who need to miss class or who are not able to participate due to illness (COVID-19 or other illnesses), exposure to COVID-19, care for family members exposed to COVID-19 or other reasons are expected to contact the instructor as soon as possible to arrange for accommodation. Students in special situations or those requiring specific, long-term or other accommodation should seek support from appropriate university offices including but not limited to: Student Advocacy, Student Life Disability Services and the Office of Institutional Equity"

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  • Autumn 2020 Course Assurance Form--please fill out this form for NEW DL courses for Autumn 2020. Please note the following:
    • Only courses that will be offered entirely online (DL) need to go through the Autumn assurance process (DH and HY courses are exempted, as are those that combine a DL lecture and an in-person or hybrid component).
    • Courses that have previously been approved for permanent DL status, or that went through the assurance process for Summer 2020, are exempted from the Autumn assurance process.
    • Courses that are currently under review for permanent DL status at ASCC do not need to be resubmitted for the assurance process.
    • Independent studies, thesis research hours, and similar small courses (usually ending in 98 or 99) do not need to be submitted.
    • Courses only need to be reviewed once.  If a course is being offered by more than one instructor, or on more than one campus, only one submission must be made.  Regional campuses will only need to submit forms and syllabi for courses that are not being offered in a DL mode in Columbus.
    • Submit completed forms to Megan Lemming (.5) by August 14th.
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From an email sent June 16, 2020:

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has presented us with many challenges, but we remain encouraged as the university begins to grant select exemptions to return, including research's staged reactivation that moved to a new stage on June 1.

Facilities Operations and Development (FOD) will support user needs by offering a tailored approach to clean and disinfect facilities. FOD follows CDC best practices for higher education institutions and uses proper disinfectant and cleaning supplies, but we all need to do our part to promote health and safety. 

To protect others, we all need to wear facemasks in any indoor space other than a private office. Building occupants should wash their hands regularly and practice physical distancing. FOD will clean bathrooms and disinfect high touch point areas at least twice a day, including door handles, faucets, handrails and other commonly touched surfaces in high traffic areas. 

Specific cleaning protocols will continue to evolve in alignment with central guidance from the university's Transition Task Force. Everyone should review the current guidelines for specific building spaces to determine which areas they are responsible for disinfecting:

  • Individual Offices - Individuals will continue to be responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their own workstations. For employees who occupy single offices, we ask you to please empty your own deskside trash and recycling bins into centrally located containers. This will limit foot traffic in and out of your office. 
  • Research Labs - Lab benches and sinks will remain the responsibility of the lab employees. Shared spaces and high touch surfaces will require more frequent disinfection and cleaning. Individuals should clean and disinfect shared workspaces before and after use.
  • Kitchen and Break Areas - Building occupants utilizing break rooms or kitchens should wipe down surfaces after each use, including handles and buttons on water coolers, microwaves and refrigerators. 
  • Conference Rooms - Virtual meetings are a preferred alternative. If in-person meetings must be held, users are responsible for wiping down conference room high touch surfaces after each use. 

Disposable facemasks can be discarded in waste baskets. Cleaning supplies for all the above areas are the responsibility of building occupants or may be provided by your college or unit. In limited circumstances, FOD may provide cleaning supplies, when available. Guidance for studios will be coming soon. Please contact your zone leader with any questions.

Thank you in advance for working with us to prioritize the health and wellness of your fellow Buckeyes. 


Peter Calamari
Assistant Vice President 
Facilities Operations and Development 

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You may be wondering how best to clean electronics and keyboards. Here is some guidance for keyboards specifically, but much of it applies to cleaning other electronic items:

Best

Keyboard cover and CDC-approved cleaning wipe or spray used on the cover

Good enough    

  • No cover, alcohol-based wipe , containing at least 70% alcohol, used directly on the keyboard
  • No cover, disinfecting wipe (non-bleach), used directly on the keyboard
  • No cover, disinfecting spray (non-bleach), applied to a cloth which is then used on the keyboard

To clean keyboards, the CDC recommends alcohol-based wipes, containing at least 70% alcohol. Do not use sprays unless applied to a soft cloth first, then used as a wipe, as keyboards are generally not sealed against liquid intrusion. Other disinfecting wipes are probably okay, as long as they don’t contain bleach, but the alcohol ones would be best.

The CDC also recommends the use of flexible keyboard covers to make the cleaning more effective, since keyboards are notoriously dirty and difficult to clean – a bad combination. If no cover is present, wipes should do, so long as they’re used every time.

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  • In-person events at Ohio State are canceled through July 6. Many scheduled events have been postponed or reformatted. See our Events page for more information on specific department events.
  • Travel Restrictions and Reporting:
    • The Ohio State University has issued travel restrictions for all university-sponsored international travel. University-sponsored domestic air travel is limited to business essential travel and is approved on an as-needed basis.
    • Travel reporting: For information on travel reporting, see “Travel Restrictions” on the OSU Student, Faculty and Staff Coronavirus site.
  • eRequests: Only essential purchases are being approved. All eRequests must now be approved by Kim Kinsel, Chief Administrative Officer.
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  • Telework
    • On March 22, 2020, President Drake declared a university state of emergency that allows flexibility for employees to continue to telework and maintains only critical services and research. This designation applies to Columbus campus, regional campuses and Wexner Medical Center.
    • As of June 25, 2020, telework agreements for Arts & Sciences have been extended as needed.
    • Information is available through HR on employee leave options during COVID-19.
  • Building Access
    • Many buildings on the Columbus campus are now reopened, although the university remains under a state of emergency.
    • Beginning August 14, a daily health check will be required for all students, faculty and staff reporting to campus. To find out more, visit the Daily Health Check webpage.
    • Information on available dining options can be found on the University Dining Services website.
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  • Please take care of yourself and your loved ones first
  • Email Wayne Lovely (.9) or Robyn Warhol (.1) ASAP
  • We will work with others in the department (as appropriate) to find someone to cover your duties
  • We will follow up with you regarding the appropriate forms to fill out and benefit options like Family Medical Leave.
  • You can complete necessary paperwork when time allows
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  • CFAES COVID-19 Hub (a collaboration between the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and OSU Extension--a comprehensive list of COVID-19 information and resources)
  • Keep Teaching (for instructors)
  • University Institute of Teaching and Learning (for instructors; includes several newly added resources on online teaching and newly-created Communities of Practice for online instruction)
  • Keep Working (for staff)
  • Keep Learning (for students)
  • Keep Well (for employees)
  • Collection of HR Resources (for employees)
  • Keep Researching (for researchers; primarily intended for research related to COVID-19 and its impacts)
  • University Library Resources available during COVID-19
  • Additional library information:
    • All OSU library locations will be open beginning today, August 25.
    • The stacks will be closed at all locations. Request items for delivery via the online catalog and they will be delivered to your selected library location or office. OhioLINK and physical Interlibrary loan requests may take longer than usual.
    • You can return materials at the drop box located on the west side of Thompson Library. You can also use designated return areas near the circulation desks at any of the library locations. Returned materials will be quarantined for five days and will remain on your account until quarantine is complete and they have been checked in. For specific questions about your account, you can email circadm@osu.edu
    • Please contact curators Jolie Braun (.338) or Eric Johnson (.4156) about accessing special collections materials in the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library. Please write to cartoons@osu.edu about accessing materials in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.
    • Purchase requests: Faculty and graduate students can request materials for research or teaching by contacting me or by submitting the Recommend a Purchase form. Please note that print requests will take significantly longer than e-books to arrive due to quarantine protocols. Film requests can go directly to the Streaming Media Request form
    • Course reserves: We will not be able to offer print course reserves this semester due to the need to isolate items for several days after use. Please contact me for online alternatives.

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Undergraduate Resources and Information

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  • The Counseling and Consultation Service has several resources for getting in touch with counselors and for mental health tips
  • The Buckeye Peer Access Line (PAL) is a non-emergency talk line that provides a space for students to engage in brief phone conversations in order to gain support and learn about campus resources. Student volunteers are available to provide peer-to-peer assistance that promotes and enhances student development and well-being. Call 614.514.3333 Monday-Friday, 8 pm-midnight to speak with a PAL. For more information, visit their website.
  • The Dennis Learning Center offers peer academic coaching to help students adjust their study and motivation strategies for taking their classes virtually and while at home. Students can schedule an appointment for an individualized consultation on CarmenZoom.
  • The Office of Student Life has compiled a list of COVID-19 resources and COVID-19 FAQs for undergraduate students. 
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Drop-in Spaces on Campus for Attending Zoom Classes

For students who have both online and in-person classes and need to find a space on campus to attend back-to-back classes, please see this list of Drop-In Spaces.

Small-capacity physically-distanced classrooms, which do not have courses scheduled in them, are being made available for students to drop-in on a short-term basis. These should not be used as long-term study spaces, but in the case where a student has back-to-back online and in-person courses, they can drop into the space for the online course session. 

If you use these rooms, leave all furniture in the space marked by the physical-distancing stickers. In addition, there should never be more people in these spaces than the capacities posted. In addition to physical distancing, Ohio State requires masks and recommends frequent hand sanitizing, in alignment with public health guidelines.

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Graduate Academic Resources and Information

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  • Video exams are allowed during this semester and will not require a petition. Please work with your graduating students completing a candidacy exam, thesis, oral exam or dissertation defense and be as flexible as possible.
  • Please be aware that flexibility for remote examinations and online format review will be extended through end of Summer 2020.
  • Advice from Director of Graduate Studies Aman Garcha on organizing and completing video exams:
    • The faculty member who schedules the defense/exam can enable “the waiting room” in Zoom and use it when faculty are deliberating.  The “waiting room” function should be turned on before the meeting begins.  The attached pdf gives you some instructions on how to use it.
    • Alternatively, faculty can have the student “leave the meeting” altogether.  Then the advisor can text or email the student to rejoin when the deliberation has been completed.
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  • Arts and Sciences is approving requests from graduate students to delay or redirect (with advisor approval) their academic year 2019-20 grant towards a different project if they are unable to complete their original proposal.  No need to seek College approval; graduate students can manage change internally with their department.
  • Given that many of these projects may be canceled or postponed past this fiscal year (June 30), the College will allow students to use their approved grant for academic year 2019-20 in academic year 2020-21.
  • Impacted students from academic year 2019-20 will have the option to apply again for a new grant in academic year 2020-21 (typically the College only permits one grant request per fiscal year).
  • The College will keep the grants application open through the last day of classes (April 24) for any non-travel related grant requests.

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Resources for Community Members in Need

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  • ASC Student Wellbeing Resources has several resources, many of which are highlighted on our page as well.
  • Counseling and Consultation Services has provided a number of COVID-19 updates.
  • The Buckeye Peer Access Line (PAL) is a non-emergency talk line that provides a space for students to engage in brief phone conversations in order to gain support and learn about campus resources. Student volunteers are available to provide peer-to-peer assistance that promotes and enhances student development and well-being. Call 614.514.3333 Monday-Friday, 8 pm-midnight to speak with a PAL.
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  • Buckeye Food Alliance (Food Pantry)
    • The Buckeye Food Alliance will be extending hours beginning on Monday, March 23, and will run solely out of the Lincoln Tower location (Rm. 150). Hours of operation for the remainder of Spring Semester:
      • Monday 10a-2p
      • Tuesday 4p-8p
      • Wednesday 4p-8p
      • Thursday 10a-2p
      • Friday 11a-3p 
    • As always, if these hours do not work for visitors, they can email Nick Fowler (.318) to schedule an appointment for their visit.
    • Anyone interested in donating to the food pantry should email Nick Fowler (.318). No one should show up at Lincoln to donate without first coordinating with Nick.
  • Students can apply for a Together as Buckeyes Emergency Grant
  • Buckeyelink’s website has information about emergency short term loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Student workers who have lost their jobs should file for unemployment. Their advisor can certify them as a student for the application.

**Community members can also donate to the emergency fund referenced above, or donate to the COVID-19 fund for any college in the university.**

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Community Mediation Services Tenant/Landlord Mediation: CMS provide tenants at imminent RISK OF EVICTION and their landlords with mediation services so the tenant may establish a payment plan to get caught up on back rent or arrange to relocate into alternative stable housing and avoid an eviction. CMS also works with tenants that receive an eviction notice with mediation services to amicably settle the situation before an eviction judgement. While CMS does not supply tenants with rental assistance, they provide useful resources and contacts with organizations that do provide these services if needed.

Contact: Marcus Salter, Housing Stability Specialist (614) 228-7191x15 or MSalter@communitymediation.com

The Legal Aid Society of Columbus: LASC provides advice and representation for tenants residing in private or subsidized housing. They provide this advice to tenants anytime between the initial hardship, to the eviction being filed, to legal representation at eviction court. Similar to CMS, they do not provide rental assistance, but can legally change the outcome of your case, and often times they are successful in keeping an eviction off of someone’s record. They are also a good resource, along with the City Attorney’s office, for potential retaliatory evictions.

Contact: LASC Intake Department (614) 241-2001 or complete an intake form online

Broad Street Presbyterian Church COMPASS Program: COMPASS provides services to prevent homelessness and stall evictions, allowing families to remain in their homes. We also refer individuals and families to other agencies within the community. They provide rental assistance and utility bill assistance for individuals not in default. This organization has a smaller financial capacity compared to others on this list, but they are a local partner and can often get money out the door in a timelier manner.

Contact: BSPC general intake line (614) 221-6552

IMPACT Community Action Emergency Assistance Program: IMPACT’s EAP provides supportive services that deliver crisis intervention strategies to stabilize households and strengthen self-sufficiency. All Emergency Assistance Programs/Services serve Franklin County households that are at or below 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and most households must have a qualifying emergency to receive assistance. This includes rental/mortgage and utility assistance. Additionally, IMPACT offers case management if necessary.

Contact: Latisha Chastang, Director of Emergency Assistance (614) 453-1711 or lchastang@impactca.org

 

COAAA Housing Assistance Program: The HAP program includes preventative efforts to reduce eviction, displacement, and homelessness for Columbus older adults. The focus is diversion, which is keeping older adults out of the shelter, as well as prevention, to keep from reaching a housing crisis. The funding supports preventive measures for homelessness for Columbus residents 50 and older. This funding was committed to by City Council in 2019 and is subject to additional dollars in 2020. Rental and utility assistance are the key components to this program.

Contact: Lynn Dobb, Professional Education Manager (614) 645-3885 or ldobb@coaaa.org

 

Community Shelter Board HOME4GOOD Program: CSB partners with area landlords to house families exiting the shelter system. Currently 600 families placed into apartments in the past 12 months. This initiative allows benefits for a tenant such as rent and deposit assistance to stabilize families and assigned caseworkers for support. Supports for the tenant include quickly filling vacancies and free marketing for landlords with available units

Contact: Heather Jones, Community Housing Manager (614) 715-2551 or hjones@csb.org

 

Franklin County Emergency Assistance (PRC): There are three program categories in PRC, with one of them being “One-time or Short-Term Assistance”. This emergency assistance provides one-time financial aid with emergency situations. You must have at least one minor child or a pregnant woman living in your home and be at or below 165% of poverty to qualify for PRC one-time emergency assistance.

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