Protect the Nest 2021 Spring Semester Testing Protocol Frequently Asked Questions (Archived May 17, 2021)

For the health and wellness of our entire campus community, Otterbein is requiring COVID-19 testing for all students who plan to be on campus for any purpose for the 2021 Spring Semester. Please see the information below for some common questions you may have about this testing protocol.

Last Updated: January 13, 2021

Why is this different than fall semester?
This new COVID-19 protocol has been added because the prevalence of COVID-19 is greater than it was in the fall. Community transmission in central Ohio and where students live or traveled over winter break is at a different stage. We are working to re-establish the safest campus environment we can achieve. Testing protocol continuing during the semester can closely monitor the health of our campus community.

I’m a graduate student, do I need to be tested?
If you are a graduate student who will be on campus for any reason during spring semester, you must be tested unless you meet the factors for exemption as outlined in the testing requirements.

Why are students allowed to move into on-campus housing before taking a COVID-19 test?
We have provided multiple move-in days to keep light traffic and proper social distancing during students’ return to the residence halls. As a result, it was determined that offering testing the day before classes was the best option. Prior to testing and while awaiting test results, undergraduate students should avoid contact with others and residential students should limit leaving your residence hall to in-person classes, carry-out meals, work, and emergencies until they receive a negative test result. Additionally, students can test before they arrive (between Jan. 13-17), and send their test results to along with their name and student ID number.

Why is the Ohio National Guard doing the testing?
COVID-19 testing conducted by the Ohio National Guard is a service provided by the State of Ohio. Many universities across the state have already successfully utilized these testing events. Taking advantage of this resource allows us to maximize student safety to quickly and efficiently test a large number of students. We expect a pre-scheduled test should be completed within 15 to 30 minutes.

What if I can’t make the pre-testing date of Jan. 18?
Please contact the COVID Support Hotline at for your options.

Do I need insurance to be tested at this event?
This is a free event. You do NOT need insurance and you don’t have to provide insurance information.

Will there be testing protocols in place throughout the semester?
Yes. After our initial round of testing the first week of the semester, Otterbein’s protocol for symptomatic and asymptomatic testing will continue throughout the spring with weekly updates available on the 2021 Spring Semester Dashboard. Testing for students experiencing symptoms or those who are referred for testing by the COVID-19 Support Team will continue to be offered. As per Franklin County Public Health recommendations, random, asymptomatic testing of three percent of our student population each week will also continue. Additionally, Otterbein student athletes will be tested according to current NCAA guidelines.

I have a reason for refusing to be tested. Can I appeal?
Students will NOT need a COVID test if:

  • They tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days (since Oct. 20, 2020) and have emailed proof of the positive test result to by Jan. 15, 2021. If you have any concerns about receiving your test results before Jan. 17, please email
  • They have received both doses of your COVID-19 vaccine and have emailed proof of the vaccine to by Jan. 15, 2021.
  • They will not be on campus for any reason during the 2021 spring semester. This means they will not have any in-person classes, work, or involvement in on-campus activities.

If you have a reason to refuse testing other than those provided, contact the COVID Support Hotline at

If I refuse to be tested, can I change my schedule to remote classes only?
If you refuse to be tested and do not qualify for an exemption, you will not be permitted to take in-person or hybrid classes. If you want to drop your in-person and hybrid classes, you can choose to enroll in online-only classes that have seats available. Contact your academic advisor for your options.

Are faculty and staff being tested, too? Why or why not?
Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in COVID-19 testing but are not required. We have no evidence of COVID-19 transmission by employees.

What kind of testing will be offered on Jan. 18?
The standard PCR test with a mid-nasal swab will be offered at the COVID-19 testing event on campus on Jan. 18. The results take 48-72 hours once the samples are received at the lab. Your test results will be communicated through the registration process with an outside lab. More information about the registration process and notification of test results will be available soon.

If I get tested at the start of the semester, will I have to be tested again if I am randomly selected for asymptomatic testing during the semester?
Yes. The testing at the start of the semester is intended to re-establish the Otterbein campus “bubble.” Our asymptomatic testing protocol will continue throughout the semester as it did during fall semester.

What will happen if I am placed on suspension for not meeting the testing requirements?
Those who fail to meet these COVID-19 testing requirements will be placed on interim suspension (temporary suspension) and referred for a student conduct hearing. Suspended individuals will not be permitted to attend in-person class, participate in student activities, work on campus, or live on campus until a hearing can be held. Interim suspension can be lifted prior to a hearing by taking a Covid test and sending the test result to Students who have missed the January 18th testing date should contact the Covid Support Line at 614-823-1586 or if they need assistance in scheduling a test. Students who fail to submit test results prior to thier scheduled hearing may be suspended from the University for the entire spring semester. (Students do not receive reimbursement for housing/dining charges, fees, and tuition fees when they are placed on interim suspension.)

Where can I get a test off campus if I can’t make the event on Jan. 18?
If you would like to be tested off campus, here is a list of some nearby testing locations.

Testing Location Address Phone Hours Distance Types of Testing Price Notes
CareFirst Urgent Care 123 Westerville Plaza, Westerville, OH 43081 614-948-2065 M-S: 8:00am – 8:00pm 1.17 miles Rapid & PCR Rapid: $125 without insurance
With insurance: $0
No appointment required
Westar Urgent Care 444 N. Cleveland Ave. Suite 130, Westerville, OH 43081 614-839-1118 M-F: 9:00am – 8:00pm (request 10am – 7pm)
S&S: 9:00am – 6:00pm
1.6 miles Rapid & PCR Rapid: $150 without insurance (Test + Office visit)
PCR: Insurance required
Offers online check-in
CVS – Park Road, Worthington 711 Park Rd, Worthington, OH 43085 614-841-0336 M-F: 9:00am – 8:00pm
S&S: 10:00am – 6:00pm
2.4 miles PCR – self swab With insurance: $0
Without insurance: Varies
By appointment only; offer drive-up
Walk-In Urgent Care 1085 Polaris Pkwy Columbus, OH 43240 614-505-0778 8:00am – 8:00pm (last COVID test at 7pm) 4.0 miles Rapid With insurance: Copay
Without insurance: $175
Walk-in or online check-in
CVS – Polaris 9151 S Old State Rd, Lewis Center, OH 43035 614-846-8027 M-F: 8:00am – 9:00pm
Sat: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sun: 10:00am – 6:00pm
6.6 miles Rapid & PCR – self swap With insurance: $0
Without insurance: Varies
By appointment only; offers drive-up
Kroger – The Little Clinic 7345 State Route 3, Westerville, OH 43082 614-794-5560 M-F: 8:00am – 7:30pm
Sat: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Sun: 9:30am – 5:00pm
2.0 miles Antibody Testing – Rapid & Laboratory Rapid: $25
Laboratory: $140
Rapid: 20 min results; Laboratory: 3-5 days