Today's Update: Thursday, November 5

November 5, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, The time is rapidly approaching when most of our students will leave campus for Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks and not return until January. Yesterday, I sent an email to students encouraging them to prepare now, with COVID-19 continuing to be a global pandemic, for their break plans.  

We are encouraging students to be tested in the days leading up to their departure for Thanksgiving Break. Getting a test will help increase their chances of not taking COVID-19 home to their loved ones.  

The university’s surveillance testing program for both on- and off-campus residents will continue through the week of November 16. There will also be some open testing available that week and on Monday and Tuesday, November 23 and 24. Results are typically delivered within 24-72 hours.  

Students are encouraged to leave for their Thanksgiving destination as soon as possible after receiving a negative test result, and to sequester themselves until they do leave. They should basically act as though they are positive until the test results are received. The goal is to limit exposure to any other person, including roommates. We are suggesting they wear a mask in their room or apartment if other people are around.  

It will also be important for students to remember that a negative test result is only for a moment in time, so it’s important that they keep up with all the safe and healthy behaviors while away on break (we all should!). 

For students staying over the break, testing will be available throughout. 

Plans are also underway for the Spring semester return. As you know, the first week of spring semester will be fully virtual, and the first day of in-person classes will be Tuesday, January 19. We are asking students to self-sequester to the best of their ability for two weeks before returning to campus, especially limiting exposure to people outside their household to reduce the potential for infection.  

Both on- and off-campus residents will be part of a testing protocol when they return. They’ll get details of that procedure later.  

You will be able to read all the details of our plan on the university’s Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website ( and on the Student Life website. It’s the latest in our Scarlet and Great effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.