The most recent Order from the Ohio Department of Health could require college students to be sent to isolation facilities by health officials even when they do not test positive for COVID-19.
The order was signed by Ohio Health Director Lance D. Himes late Monday, August 31.
Removal to a Covid facility could be required if the student lives in a dorm or in a situation with a shared bathroom or bedroom that does not meet isolation criteria established by health officials.
Per the order, anyone testing positive for covid who does not require hospitalization can be ordered into isolation.
Additionally, anyone who has been exposed to COVID and anyone who is asymptomatic but deemed “high-risk” can be ordered to isolation as a precautionary measure.
Students exiting hospitals also could be required to isolate in such a facility, said the order.
Quarantined students cannot leave an isolation facility until they have a written release from health officials. Each educational institution would decide if parents or other visitors would be authorized to enter the facility, per the order.
No isolated or quarantined student can leave the premises to which he has been restricted without written permission, according to the order.
See the order here.
Public colleges and universities have been directed to make available vacant sturctures for isolating students. The educational institution is to impose restrictions on the use and access to these structures, the order said.
Ohio State University is conducting mandatory testing of 8,000 students each week through their “surveillance testing program.”
“The university will test a randomly assigned sample of 8,000 undergraduate students each week, who will be asked to take a COVID-19 diagnostic saliva test at Jesse Owens North,” said the OSU document.
“This is a required program. Failure to respond and schedule a test may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to university spaces and a report to Student Conduct.”
Calls to several other public Ohio colleges and universities have not yet been retuned, but many others reportedly are not conducting COVID testing.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported that Miami University is conducting mandatory COVID-19 testing of students living on campus,
Crawford said he and Dean of Students Kimberly Moore assure that students who test positive won’t be punished, nor will information gleaned from contact tracing be used to reprimand students. Failing to schedule a test, however, has consequences, he said:
“Students who refuse testing must withdraw from their face-to-face classes this term and complete their remaining classes remotely,” Crawford said.
This article was updated on 9/6/2020