This is just a short message to follow up on the June 9, 2021 “Return to campus guidance and protocol updates,” announcement from Paul Patton, Senior Advisor to the President, Interim Senior Vice President, Talent, Culture and Human Resources.
In Wednesday’s message, the university included new guidance for masking across campuses – in accordance with public health guidelines. While we are still awaiting guidance for autumn semester 2021, the following applies immediately.
In keeping with our commitment to safety, our protocol—screening via temperature and Covid-19 questions and medical mask requirement—will continue for students, staff, and faculty in all our clinical care facilities and settings, on- and off-campus. This will include all patient-oriented research areas and the preclinic. Visitor access will remain limited.
Elsewhere, we will adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and new Ohio State guidelines, namely that people who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear masks on Ohio State’s campuses, and individuals who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to physically distance. Individuals who are not vaccinated are required to continue wearing masks and physically distance themselves from others. Of course, people who are fully vaccinated can choose to wear a mask and practice physical distancing as they choose. Mask wear will carry no stigma in the College of Optometry.
The best estimate of vaccination rate in our college is upwards of 85%. Vaccination for Covid-19 is strongly encouraged. (For access to vaccination, see https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu/vaccine.) Likewise, I expect that those of you who are not vaccinated will be honest and will comply with the requirements above—mask wear and physical distancing when you are indoors in our facilities. It is also recommended that people with unvaccinated children and vulnerable family members at home continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing for the safety of their loved ones.
The university asks that employees voluntarily share their vaccine information by completing this form https://go.osu.edu/VoluntaryVaccineInfo
This information will be used for contact tracing, isolating/quarantining or other individual case decisions in the event of a COVID-19 exposure, as aggregate data to determine the percentage of vaccinated Ohio State students, faculty and staff, and to drive decisions on public health measures needed for the Ohio State community.
The college’s Executive Committee will continue to lead planning and preparations for our return to campus and teaching in the autumn semester. As outlined in the announcement, we will communicate these plans to the college no later than July 15. Watch your email for updates.
The Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website continues to be a valuable resource of information, including details about the Autumn Campus Reactivation.
Thank you for all your hard work, dedication, and tenacity during the past 15+ months and now your continued patience as we plan for a safe return to campus. I appreciate your understanding and support as we continue to navigate this ever-changing situation. As always, let me know if you have any questions.
Karla Zadnik, OD PhD
Dean and Glenn A. Fry Professor in Optometry and Physiological Optics
The Ohio State University College of Optometry
635 Fry Hall
338 West Tenth Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210