Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Preparing for Thanksgiving and Winter Break

President Johnson shared an update on campus departure plans for Winter Break on November 15, 2020. Read more

COVID-19 continues to be a global pandemic, so as we enter the last few weeks of the semester it will be important for you to start preparing now for your Thanksgiving and Winter Break plans and to know your COVID-19 status to reduce your chances of taking COVID-19 home to your friends and family. To assist you in this process, please review these reminders and tips: 

On-Campus Students – Testing Before Break 

The university’s surveillance testing program for residential students will continue through the week of November 16. We encourage students to be tested in the days leading up to their departure for Thanksgiving Break. Open testing will also be available on Monday and Tuesday, November 23 and 24. Beginning November 23, residential students must schedule an appointment for testing through MyChart. If you have tested positive within the last 90 days, you should not test again unless instructed to do so by a public health official or a medical doctor.   

Students are encouraged to leave for their Thanksgiving destination as soon as possible after receiving a negative test result. 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 housing@osu.edu if you have questions related to the credit.

Off-Campus Students – Testing Before Break 

The university’s surveillance testing program for off-campus undergraduate, graduate and professional students will continue through the week of November 16. Students are encouraged to be tested in the days leading up to their departure for Thanksgiving Break. Open testing will be available to any off-campus student the week of November 16 and on Monday and Tuesday, November 23 and 24. Students must schedule an appointment for testing through MyChart. If you have tested positive within the last 90 days, you should not test again unless instructed to do so by a public health official or a medical doctor.   

Students are encouraged to leave for their weekend destination as soon as possible after receiving a negative test result. 

Student Football Raffle

For students who follow the departure checklist, you will be eligible to participate in a raffle to win a season ticket for the 2021-22 football season. To be eligible, you must either: (1) receive a negative test and depart campus by Friday, November 20 at 8 p.m.; or (2) receive two negative tests before you depart campus if you are staying to complete in-person labs or studio instruction the week of November 23; and 3) do not have a conduct record for violating our safe and healthy requirements. Approximately 250 season tickets will be given away.

Testing During Winter Break 

Residential students who plan to stay at the university over Winter Break and have received an exemption to live on-campus will be required to continue with the university’s weekly, mandatory COVID-19 testing at the Jesse Owens North testing center. Quarantine and isolation spaces will be made available over the break. Students must schedule weekly testing appointments through MyChart. 

Students who live off-campus may opt-in for a voluntary surveillance testing program over Winter Break. Students who sign up for this program will be given the opportunity to regularly test at the Jesse Owens North testing center. Test frequency will depend upon how many students volunteer for the program. To volunteer, complete the interest form at go.osu.edu/winterbreak_testing

Testing center hours of operation will be shared at a later date. Testing will not be available on days that the university is closed.  

Because this is a voluntary program, students who sign up and do not schedule/complete tests will not be penalized in any way. The university’s required off-campus surveillance program will resume at the start of Spring Semester. 

Scheduling Using MyChart 

To schedule a testing appointment, students will use the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center MyChart patient portal. Eligible students will receive an activation message to set up their Ohio State MyChart account, similar to what they did earlier this semester when registering for Vault. 

To use MyChart for testing before Winter Break, please use the following instructions: 

  • If you have not activated your account, please refer to the MyChart activation email sent by MyChart_DoNotReply@osumc.edu for instructions.  

  • For additional assistance setting up your account, email MyChartTechSupport@osumc.edu (may take up to 2 business days to respond), or call MyChart Support at 866-966-6975, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

Results are typically delivered within 24-72 hours. Students are strongly recommended to sequester as much as possible after their test and act as though they are positive until their results are received. Sequestering means staying in your residence as much as possible. The goal is to limit exposure to any other person, including your roommates. If you must be near your roommates, you should wear a mask even in your residence. To further limit exposure, make your own food or have it delivered. If you must go out, wear a mask at all times. 

Spring Semester Return 

As a reminder, the two weeks of Spring Semester will be fully virtual. The first day of classes will be Monday, January 11. Students will be asked to self-sequester to the best of their ability for two weeks before they move back into the residence halls. This means students should: 

  • Limit interactions with other people as much as possible, especially people who are not members of your household. Exposure to people outside your household increases the potential for an infection to be introduced. Also, if your family members work outside the household, you should limit contact with them.  

  • Wear a mask, even in your own home, when in the same room as a family member who works outside the house. 

  • Carefully consider your plans for return to campus. Avoid public transit if possible and if you must take public transit, wear a mask and use physical distancing. 

  • When you arrive back to campus, it is best if you wear a mask when interacting with your roommates until everyone can be tested. 

Students who live in university housing will be required to complete an on-campus re-entry COVID-19 testing protocol before returning to the residence halls. Off-campus students will also be part of a campus re-entry testing protocol. Details will be provided in the coming weeks. 

Staying Safe While You’re Away 

As more people spend time indoors and gather for holidays, and as we see an increasing number of COVID-19 infections in Ohio and the United States, our best defense as an extended Buckeye community is to maintain those safety precautions that are known to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. This is especially important for those who are most vulnerable to serious complications, including people with chronic health conditions and older adults.  

Though you may head home with a negative test result, your COVID-19 status could change as you are interacting with others and celebrating the holidays. Buckeyes are encouraged to follow the safe and healthy guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes keeping gatherings small and physically distant, and outside, if possible, sticking with the same small group and wearing masks (over your nose, mouth and chin) when not eating or drinking. If you begin to experience symptoms, sequester yourself from family members and others, and get tested. 

For more information on the university's testing strategy, please visit the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

Thank you for doing your part to help keep our campus community, and your friends and loved ones, safe and healthy!