Masks at Ohio State University Will Be Optional Starting March 11

United States North America COVID-19 Higher Education News by Erudera News Mar 10, 2022

Ohio State University

The Ohio State University says it will be lifting the current mask requirement beginning March 11.

Masks will be optional at most Ohio State University spaces starting at 6 p.m. Friday, including residence halls, dining facilities, classrooms, offices, and the Ohio Union, reports.

However, according to the university’s website, masks in the clinical health care setting, including at the Wexner Medical Center, COVID-19 testing locations, child care centers, and on public transportation, will still be required.

“For most spaces, the updated masking policy will take effect at 6 p.m. on March 11, with the start of the university’s spring break. Public events, such as those that take place at the Schottenstein Center and the Covelli Center, are mask optional, effective immediately,” a statement published on Ohio State University’s website reads.

University notes that in spaces where masks will be optional, students, university employees, and visitors are free to decide if they want to continue wearing a mask or not “unless they are Wexner Medical Center employees who received an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.”

University employees are still required to wear masks while inside any medical center facility.

Over 93 percent of university community members are already vaccinated, according to the university’s dashboard, while 25 percent said they had received a booster shot to increase protection against COVID-19.

The number of positive cases in Ohio State continued to drop throughout the semester and as of March 6, the seven-day average positivity rate stood at 0.6 percent, dropping from 8.5 percent on January 19. 

Despite lifting the mask requirement, Ohio State continues to urge all its community members to take measures against the COVID-19 – receiveing vaccination and booster shots.

“Through the first week of April, students, faculty and staff who report their booster shots to the university are eligible for prizes in the Buckeye Booster Drawing,” the university stressed.

Ohio State says it will continue maintaining its COVID-19 surveillance testing program, which includes weekly testing of students in university housing, in social fraternities and sororities, and of those with approved exemptions to the university’s vaccination requirement.

Employees who have received an approved exemption are also required to perform a weekly COVID-19 test.

Under the new policy, students and employees should continue wearing masks in the following university spaces:

  • In clinical settings
  • At COVID-19 testing centers
  • In child care centers
  • On transportation

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