ATHENS, Ohio — Ohio University announced Monday they will welcome back all students to its campuses starting with the fall semester.
President M. Duane Nellis credited the university’s COVID Operations team for their work during the last several months and the students for keeping each other safe to maintain a positivity rate under 4% and avoiding outbreaks during the spring semester.
“With recent successes in mind, and with COVID cases currently dropping in Ohio and across the country as vaccines are deployed, we are planning to welcome all students to our campuses, to significantly increase face-to-face course offerings, and to have fully open residence halls on our Athens campus this fall,” Nellis said.
Nellis said the university has already started to phase in on-campus activities and recently increased the number of available campus visits for prospective students including plans to host in-person orientation this summer with smaller groups.
“While we should not expect University life to fully return to a pre-pandemic normal, we can all look forward to a more normal summer and fall,” Nellis said.
To keep students safe in the fall semester, Nellis said they expect to only offer double and single rooms in the residence halls and maintain isolation space for students who test positive or are exposed. Testing will be required to move-in for all students.
Additionally, Nellis said the university will continue to follow the most up-to-date guidelines from the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention related to masks, public gatherings and social distancing.
“We know this news will be celebrated by many, while some students, faculty, and staff might be anxious about this shift. Know that we remain deeply dedicated to maintaining a safe and healthy campus, and we would not be making these plans if we had not seen such success over recent months,” Nellis said.