Today's Update: Thursday, November 12

November 12, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, If you heard Governor DeWine’s message yesterday, you know we are at a critical time in the spread of COVID-19. Failing to get it under control in the immediate future could mean more restrictions in Ohio and could even impact spring semester at Ohio State and other colleges and universities in Ohio.   

Our student and employee positivity rates are better than the state averages, but if you’ve looked at the university’s COVID-19 dashboard on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website lately, you see the Ohio State infection trends have not been going in the right direction. That’s not surprising, given increases are occurring in Franklin County, the state of Ohio and throughout the nation. Still, we must continue to bear down and keep up our efforts at containing the spread of this disease.  

For instance, earlier today we announced to student organizations that we would once again suspend all in-person gatherings and events of any size (you may recall a few weeks ago we opened the opportunity for in-person programs of ten or fewer). 

I also want to share with you a letter sent to all students last week by Student Life Student Health Services Director Dr. Gladys Gibbs and College of Public Health Dean Dr. Amy Fairchild.  The message is simple—Together as Buckeyes, we can do this….and really we must. 

Keep up the Scarlet and Great effort, and please let me know if you have any ideas that may help advance the health and safety of our community as we finish out the semester.   

Dear students,  

As we move into our final weeks of the semester amid rising cases of COVID-19 throughout Ohio and the nation, it’s more important than ever that we stay Together as Buckeyes and continue to do all we can to fight the spread of the virus. We must act not only for ourselves and our campus community, but for the health and safety of friends and family we may be visiting in the coming weeks.  

Increases in COVID-19 cases in surrounding communities and throughout the state are growing more concerning by the day. 

We’ve also found evidence of rising cases at Ohio State, particularly in our off-campus student community, and are concerned that the trend could become more significant on campus, especially if students attend large gatherings. Nothing is inevitable about this virus. It remains within your power to help control its spread on and around campus. 

If you live off campus, please diligently follow all safe and healthy guidelines, particularly in limiting gatherings to fewer than ten people  — the smaller the better — and maintain physical distance. 

As a reminder: Masks — worn properly over your nose, mouth and chin — remain one of our greatest tools in protecting not only ourselves but others, including those most at risk of hospitalization and death. Physical distancing of 6 feet or more further reduces the spread and is increasingly important if you are eating together. Limiting indoor gatherings and staying with the same small group, ideally your roommates, when you do gather is another powerful tool. 

We know this is a sacrifice. This is not how anyone wants this semester to be. But we also believe in the determination, power and selflessness of our Ohio State community. We owe it to ourselves, our friends, our families and our community to do what’s not only best, but what is necessary. 

This is like halftime and we’re tied with Michigan. This is the time to put everything you have into the fight. 

With warm thanks for all you have done and continue to do in the name of public health. 

Together As Buckeyes, 

Gladys M. Gibbs, MD, MS 

Director, Student Life Student Health Services 

Amy Fairchild, PhD, MPH 

Dean, College of Public Health 
Professor, Health Services Policy & Management