COVID-19 Transition Task Force

Ohio State is actively engaged in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and is moving forward into a safer future. We established a post-pandemic operations task force to engage in rigorous planning to accelerate our return once it is safe to do so.

President Michael V. Drake

Recent announcements

Beginning in June, The Ohio State University will transition to a new stage of the research recovery plan for reopening on-campus research labs, studio and field activities. College leadership has been asked to complete and approve a staged planning template for each department detailing how each stage will be implemented. Before returning to campus, all faculty, staff and students will be asked to complete a form acknowledging their responsibilities, view an online training module and have approval from their college. More information on each of these requirements will be available soon. 

Phased approach to return to campus

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced a phased plan to begin bringing Ohioans back to work and reopen businesses. The task force is working to develop a phased transition back to on-campus operations. In addition to closely monitoring state and federal guidance, the task force will use a data-informed approach for recommending when it is safe to begin transitioning back onto campus. Ohio State will share regular updates and decisions as the task force’s work progresses.

All in-person university events are canceled through July 6, and non-essential Ohio State employees who can do so should continue teleworking.

A limited number of key academic, clinical and operational functions have resumed, including elective procedures at the Wexner Medical Center that do not require an overnight stay. Limited returns to campus are reviewed by a group of appropriate leaders and members of the safe campus and scientific advisory team chaired by Amy Fairchild. Exemption proposals recommended for implementation are shared with President’s Cabinet and are brought forward to the president and provost for approval.

While the information about the virus continues to evolve, and we will need to be flexible, the university’s tentative goal is to announce a centralized operations plan for the autumn semester by mid-June.

About the task force

The task force aligns planning across the wide spectrum of functions and operations necessary to the university’s return to on-campus operations. Within the task force are multiple subgroups focused on the central coordination of key planning areas. Task force members lead teams in their own areas with involvement from faculty, staff and students where appropriate.

Principles

Mission and Values – We will embody the university’s mission and live our values – excellence; diversity in people and of ideas; inclusion; access and affordability; innovation; collaboration and multidisciplinary endeavor; and integrity, transparency and trust.

Safety – Our top priority is the health and safety of Ohio State students, faculty, staff, patients, visitors and the entire community. The Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory Subgroup is using a data-informed approach to develop recommendations guiding how and when to resume operations and transition staff, faculty and students back to all campuses. Evidence-based measures will be taken to protect public health and will remain in place as long as needed.

Evidence and data – Task force recommendations are based on the best available scientific evidence and guidance from university experts and local, state and federal public health officials.

Flexibility – The university will continue to monitor health and safety conditions and remain flexible to adjust action plans as needed.

Transformation – As necessary, Ohio State will adopt new practices and policies that foster organizational resilience and best position the university to effectively sustain the academic and research missions while protecting public health and safety.

Coordination – Decisions relating to the transition back to all university campuses will be made by the president under the authority of the Board of Trustees and in coordination with local, state and federal authorities and associations.

Coronavirus overview

Learn more about Ohio State’s response to COVID-19.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact coronavirus@osumc.edu.

Leaders and subgroups

Learn more about the task force leadership and subgroups that are focused on the central coordination of key planning areas for a safe return to campus.

FAQs

Recommendations from the task force are provided to the president and the Ohio State Board of Trustees. All decisions will be made by the president and Board of Trustees in coordination with the governor of Ohio, local governments, Ohio Department of Higher Education, Inter-University Council of Ohio, Ohio Department of Health and health care entities, and national associations and governing bodies.

The safe campus and scientific advisory subgroup is using a data-driven approach to recommend to the task force when it is safe to begin transitioning back onto campus as well as robust safety protocols and other measures that will be in place for that return.

The task force is working to develop a phased transition back to on-campus operations. In addition to closely monitoring state and federal guidance, a data-driven approach is being used to recommend when it is safe to begin transitioning back onto campus. Regular updates and decisions will be shared as they progress.

The current tentative goal is to have an announcement by mid-June on fall semester plans.

For now and until further notice, all in-person university events are canceled through July 6, and non-essential employees are to continue teleworking and remain off campus, physical distancing and taking all other precautions to stay safe.

A limited number of key academic, clinical and operational functions have resumed, including elective procedures at the Wexner Medical Center that do not require an overnight stay. Limited returns to campus are reviewed by a group of appropriate leaders and members of the safe campus and scientific advisory team chaired by Amy Fairchild. Exemption proposals recommended for implementation are shared with President’s Cabinet and are brought forward to the president and provost for approval

The task force is working to develop a phased transition back to on-campus operations. In addition to closely monitoring state and federal guidance, the task force is using a data-informed approach for recommending when it is safe to begin transitioning back to campuses.

Photo of the seal on the Oval

Leadership and Committees

The Ohio State University is a large and diverse institution that benefits from the insight and engagement of a variety of stakeholders.