For 2023 Autumn Semester:

Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine — Safe and Healthy Buckeyes | Ohio State (






New Qualtrics Covid Feedback Form:

As we enter the new year and the spring semester (Jan. 2022), a new Qualtrics form has been created to gather suggestions, concerns and questions related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here is a link to the survey:

COVID-19 Resources 

Faculty, Staff, and Students should consult these university websites for the most recent information:

General Health Information and Guidance 

If you have tested positive or are concerned you may have been exposed, please go to:Safe and Healthy Buckeyes information and guidancefor more information 

Who should I tell if I learn that I have or someone else has contracted COVID-19? 

  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a student, you should immediately contact Student Health Services at  Students are not required to report the specific reason for their illness, including COVID-19 infection, to their instructors.

  • If you have or suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are a GTA, follow the guidance provided by Prof. Tom Gramila: Contact your local primary care provider (PCP) for a health assessment and direction. If you do not have a local PCP, please schedule a tele-health appointment with Ohio State Student Health Services (SHS) with via My BuckMD and select COVID Symptoms as appointment reason-- If an Ohio State contact tracer determines you have been exposed as a close contact to someone infected with COVID-19, you will be contacted by the team and advised about quarantine and testing.

  • In addition, please note that these protocols for GTAs place the decisions regarding COVID issues outside the physics department, and instead into the hands of medical personnel. If you are quarantined or tested and are awaiting results, or you utilize this review procedure, please send information to your course manager and Tom Gramila. Describe your situation fully, including your current status and any appointments scheduled.You should also initiate the replacement instructor process, by emailing your class sub(s), listing the classes you will miss, and cc that email to your course manager, Gramila (gramila.1), and Kris Dunlap (dunlap.151). This direct routing avoids potential delays. Be sure to follow up with Gramila and the course manager as your situation progresses, so that we can solidify plans for your replacement for whatever duration is needed.

  • If you have or suspect you have COVID-19 and are a faculty or staff member, you should immediately contact Peggy Link in HR, link.39. If you have tested positive or are concerned you may have been exposed, please go to: Safe and Healthy Buckeyes information and guidance for more information .

  • Faculty, staff and students who are made aware of or suspect that someone else has COVID-19 should not share that information with others, with the exception of supervisors reporting to Human Resources.  

  • For contact tracing information, go to   If you are tested at an Ohio State site (either Student Health Services or a Wexner Medical Center swab station), you will be notified by phone or secure message via BuckMD about the positive result and will be provided initial guidance for the management of your illness.


Return-to-Campus Kits 

The Return-to-Campus Kits are now available in the Department of Physics. Read about them here: . There will be one kit per person and each person should arrange to pick up their own kit personally according to the following distribution plan: 

Faculty: Faculty who are on-site and working in PRB can pick up their RTC kits in the front office mail room (1040). A sign-out sheet is in the room and faculty should indicate they have retrieved their kit. 

Staff (including Postdocs and Lecturers): Staff, including Lecturers, who are on-site and working in Smith Lab can pick up their RTC kits in room 0039 (ASC Machine Shop) between the hours of 9:00am to 3:00pm M-F. A sign-out sheet is in the room and staff should indicate they have retrieved their kit. 

Staff, including Postdocs, who are on-site and working in PRB can pick up their RTC kits in conference room 1136 at their convenience when they are on-site.  This room is keyed to accept any Physics key to work at north door. A sign-out sheet is in the room and staff should indicate they have retrieved their kit. 

Staff who are teleworking do not need an RTC kit immediately and can contact the front office admin team to make arrangements to pick up a kit at a later time and on a case-by-case basis. 

GRA/GTA/UGrad:  All students are to pick up their RTC kits at one of the centralized University locations. Visit the site below for details and locations                                                                          8/24/2020 


Wellness Resources  

Information for Faculty, Staff, and Students: 


Faculty and Staff supervisor information                                                              

The following guidance was adapted from the FAQ section of the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website:              9/2/2020                                                                            

What are my responsibilities as a supervisor if an employee notifies me of possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection? 

  • Instruct the employee to not come to work or campus except to receive health care and to follow the steps outlined in the appropriate scenario described on the Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine page

  • Make arrangements for the employee to telework or for the employee’s duties to be covered as needed. 

  • Ensure the employee is aware of their leave options and has submitted the appropriate leave request. 

  • Do not notify other team members or others in your college or unit. Maintain the employee’s medical privacy. Assessing possible exposures and notifying those who are at potential risk is the responsibility of the public health contact tracing team. 

  • Notify your college or unit HR business partner – (you can identify the person by name to HR) Peggy Link 

What is considered an exposure to COVID-19? 

An exposure is when you have come in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. A contact tracer will advise you on whether you have been exposed and next steps. Close contact exposure with an individual with COVID-19 includes: 

  • Contact for at least 15 minutes at a distance of less than 6 feet from a person with COVID-19 in which one person in the encounter did NOT have personal protective gear (e.g. a properly worn face mask) 

  • Providing care at home to a person with COVID-19 without personal protective gear 

  • Direct physical/intimate contact with a person with COVID-19 (touching, hugging, kissing) 

  • Sharing of eating or drinking cups and utensils with a person with COVID-19 

To count as close contact, the exposure must occur in either the 48 hours prior to or the 10 days after the other person has developed COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19. 

Types of contact NOT currently considered an “exposure” to an individual with COVID-19 include: 

  • Sitting for 30-60 minutes in the same classroom, lecture hall or dining area as a COVID-19 positive individual at a distance of 6 feet or more while wearing a face mask 

  • Standing in line to order coffee behind an individual with COVID-19 for three minutes at a distance of 6 feet or more while wearing a face mask 

  • Studying on the same floor in the library with an individual with COVID-19 at a distance of 6 feet or more while wearing a face mask 

  • Walking past an individual with COVID-19 in the hallway of your residence hall or on the Oval 

Should the labs where the person infected be shut down and disinfected? 

The guidance from the CDC says that if the space is unoccupied for 7 days, only normal cleaning is necessary.    

OSU guidance states the same information (again, from the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website  FAQ section): 

What kind of cleaning will take place if someone gets COVID-19? 

The university’s approach to keeping shared spaces clean during the pandemic is based on scientific guidance to reduce the risks of exposure. Those measures will typically be adequate when someone tests positive. For example, classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected nightly. In some cases, such as those where an infected individual has an office with a door, it will make the most sense to not enter the space and suspend cleaning for an appropriate amount of time. 

In residence halls where students share a room, someone with COVID-19 would be moved to isolation and the other student would be moved to quarantine for 14 days. 

  • Department Note: Based on this guidance we think the answer to the lab closure is to close for 7 days to be sure that any potential virus would die out on all surfaces. While it's easy to disinfect a classroom and bring it back into service, it's much harder to do this with a lab, so  the 7- day policy is the best way to go, with spot cleaning of high- touch surfaces (keyboards, computer screens, etc.). Phil Davids contacted  FOD about their disinfection protocols and it seems like this can be arranged within a few days if needed, but we'd rather wait it out, to be sure the disinfectant will not damage equipment or (chemically) contaminate surfaces in the lab. 



Stage 5 and Office-Side PRB Reopening Town Hall 8/6/2020: