The following message was sent to all Ohio State students, faculty and staff on Monday, January 10, 2022.
Welcome to another wonderful semester together and in person. I hope each of you had the chance to recharge during the break and cheer on the Buckeyes during their record-breaking Rose Bowl victory! Whether you’re looking ahead to graduation in May, returning to the classroom to engage with our talented students (like I will be on Wednesday!) or kicking off your first — or 50th — year with us, I am excited to continue advancing our collective excellence as one Buckeye family.
We all know that we are in the midst of a surge in coronavirus infections due in large part to the highly contagious Omicron variant. While it spreads far more rapidly than previous versions of the virus, it reportedly causes less-severe symptoms, on average, in those who become ill. Even so, we must remain vigilant to keep each other healthy and maintain the robust in-person teaching and learning, research and engagement opportunities that are a signature part of the Ohio State experience.
New health protocols for spring semester are in place to help us achieve this goal. Please mask up when you are indoors, regularly wash your hands, and get tested and stay home when you feel sick.
I also encourage you to sign up for your COVID-19 vaccine booster as soon as you are eligible. Members of the Ohio State community can schedule appointments for a booster at Jesse Owens North on our Columbus campus. Many opportunities also exist for those on our regional campuses to receive boosters at locations across the state.
By taking these steps, we can weather this storm, help our colleagues on the front lines of this pandemic and remain together on our campuses throughout the semester.
I am always proud of how our university community thrives in the face of challenges. Evidence of that is found in the daily perseverance of our health care providers, the unrelenting discoveries of our scholars and the incredible success of our graduates. Even during the pandemic, each graduating class continues to be more astounding than the last — raising the bar ever higher for those who follow. If these Buckeyes can do it, so can all of us.
Thank you for helping make this university a truly special place, for looking out for one another and for expanding the impact of our work every day. Best wishes for a healthy and fantastic semester.
Kristina M. Johnson, PhD