July 31 Message to Undergraduates: For undergraduates coming from Ohio travel advisory states

To All Undergraduates,

Below is an email sent earlier today to students living in the nine states cited in Ohio’s travel advisory, issued July 22 (if you already received that email, you do not need to read any further). Gov. Mike DeWine will be updating the list of affected states every Wednesday afternoon; this week (July 29) two states came off the list.

In light of the fluidity that this development adds to an already rapidly changing situation, we wanted to alert you to the procedures involved in the event your state joins the list on subsequent Wednesdays prior to the start of the semester.

Please note: Ohio’s standard for including states on its advisory is a 15 percent positive test rate; as of this writing, more than three dozen states have rates below 10 percent.

Unless you are in one of the states cited in this week’s advisory (Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina), you do not need to take any action at this time. As new information becomes available, we will continue to update you.

Good afternoon. We write today with additional information regarding a required 14-day quarantine for students leaving from a state that is included in Ohio’s Travel Advisory. We first thank you for your patience and understanding in what is a fluid situation.

Note: Students traveling from outside the United States should fill out this form, and will be contacted separately.

On Wednesday afternoon, Ohio updated its Travel Advisory, removing Georgia, Puerto Rico and Texas, and adding Kansas. To address what is becoming an increasingly complicated situation as we comply with Ohio’s Travel Advisory, the university has decided that students will need to quarantine for 14 days if the state they are in on the day of their departure is on Ohio’s Travel Advisory.

In those situations, students who return to campus and who will live in residence halls or Greek housing have two choices:

  1. Quarantine through the university in a nearby hotel.
  2. Quarantine on their own in Ohio or a state that is not on Ohio’s Travel Advisory at the time of their departure from that state. Students will have to attest in writing that they completed a 14-day quarantine upon checking into their residence halls or Greek housing. Lodging accommodations In Ohio can be found online.

For those who choose option one, we will try to accommodate you to the extent possible.

Arrangements for Quarantine through the University: Arrive on Aug. 9

  1. Students will quarantine in a hotel adjacent to campus. The university will cover the cost of the hotel and three meals a day. Students cannot quarantine in residence halls or Greek housing, even if they have their own rooms and bathrooms. Students are responsible for transportation to campus and/or the hotel.
  2. Students who would like to drop off belongings to their residence halls or Greek housing prior to going to their assigned hotel should check in at the North Area Office (Wade) or South Area Office (Carlton) to obtain temporary access to their assigned room. Students will be notified of their hotel assignments in advance.
  3. For their 14-day hotel stay, students should bring a bag that includes clothes, toiletries, medicine, laptops, electronics and chargers, snacks and drinks, etc. All hotel rooms have mini-fridges and free Wi-Fi.
  4. Students will not share hotel rooms, nor can they have guests.
  5. Quarantining in a room means that students will not leave their rooms for the duration of the 14 days. They also will not have access to common spaces in the hotel, including laundry facilities. Please note that hotel rooms are all non-smoking.
  6. Bon Appetit will deliver three meals a day to students’ rooms. Each evening, students will receive a hot meal along with breakfast and lunch for the next day. Students’ dietary needs will be accommodated. Students will not be able to order take-out food.
  7. All students will be tested for COVID-19 shortly before their quarantine is complete. The university will contact students and provide transportation for testing. If students test negative for COVID-19, they will proceed to move into residence halls or Greek housing on Aug. 23, assuming they began quarantine on Aug. 9. (Students who test positive will be isolated on campus, per university protocol.)
  8. At the end of their quarantines, students will check out of their rooms, and the university will provide transportation to their residence halls or Greek housing.
  9. While in quarantine, students’ navigators will check in with them daily. Various units in Student Affairs and Student Success will provide virtual programming for students who choose to participate. First-year students will participate in orientation remotely.
  10. The university will have an unarmed security guard at each hotel.
  11. During their quarantine (as during the semester), students can contact the Office of Student Affairs or the Dean of Students and University Health and Counseling.
  12. If students decide they do not want to complete quarantine due to a family emergency or other reason, they may leave. However, they will need to go through the entire quarantine process when they return to campus, if the state they are in on the day of their departure is on Ohio’s Travel Advisory.

Next Steps

Many students responded to our July 29 email indicating whether they would return to campus to live in the residence halls or Greek housing.

For those students who completed the form: If you have changed your mind about returning to campus, please fill it out again.

For students who have not completed the form and wish to live in the residence halls or Greek housing: Please complete your form.  

We ask that you complete the form by 5 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Aug. 1. For students who indicate that they will return to campus and quarantine, we will follow up with information about dropping off belongings on campus and check-in information for their assigned hotels.

We again thank you for your patience.

Lou Stark
Vice President for Student Affairs

Sara Lee, MD
Executive Director for University Health and Counseling Services