Important update about Otterbein COVID-19 protection measures and returning to campus for the 2022 Spring Semester

Posted Jan 05, 2022

Dear Otterbein Students, 

We are excited to welcome you back to campus for spring semester! We are starting the semester in-person on Monday, Jan. 10, as scheduled. We are able to do so thanks to YOU!  

With our community’s high vaccination rate and protocols developed in consultation with public health officials, we have kept campus transmission rates far below local, regional, and national trends throughout the entire pandemic. We are continuing to monitor data and work closely with the Ohio Department of Health, Franklin County Public Health, and OhioHealth.  

Based on current guidance, we will start the semester with a few safety measures in place to keep our campus community healthy. 

Testing Requirements 

All residential students, including all students residing in Greek houses, must test negative for COVID-19 before they will be permitted to move back into their residence. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days are exempt from return-to-campus testing for spring semester. Residential students have three options: 

  • You can get tested before returning to campus at a provider of your choosing. If you utilize this option, your test must be conducted within 72 hours of returning to campus, and your test results, name, and student ID number must be emailed prior to your arrival to Both PCR and rapid test results will be accepted. At-home tests are only accepted if there is written confirmation of results; this type of test is proctored by a trained individual virtually. 
  • You can take a COVID-19 test upon arrival. You must pre-register for a time at the Testing Center (see detail below). 
  • You can send proof of a positive COVID-19 result dated within the past 90 days, along with your name and student ID number, to prior to your arrival on campus. 

All unvaccinated but exempted students (health or religious exemptions) will be tested weekly during spring semester. The first test must be completed before classes start on Monday, Jan. 10. 

Other select high-density groups, like student-athletes and performers, will be contacted with any specific testing requirements.  

Students who plan to take a test upon arrival or before the start of classes must schedule a test with the on-campus Testing Center. The Testing Center will be open on Friday, Jan. 7, from 9-10:30 a.m. and 1-5 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 9, from 12-5 p.m. Register for a time online using this form. Please note: 

  • The Testing Center is located at 172 W. Main St. Check-in is on the back ramp and testing will take place on the front porch. Please bring your Cardinal Card to show at check-in.  
  • The test is free and takes just a few minutes.  
  • BEFORE ARRIVING, please download the NAVICA app in your phone’s app store. This app is how you check in-with the team and receive your results. 
  • If you test positive, Student Affairs staff and the COVID-19 Support Team will immediately support you through the next steps. 
  • If you have any additional questions, please call the COVID-19 Support Team at 614-823-1375 or email  

Residential students who have been living on campus during winter break (Commons, theme house, Greek house, and other winter break residents), we ask that you schedule your test for this week since you are already on campus. Testing will be available Wednesday and Thursday from 9-10:30 a.m., and Friday from 9-10:30 a.m. and 1-5 p.m. Register for a time online using this form and follow the instructions above. 

Masking Requirements 

Masking requirements remain in place for all indoor shared spaces on campus. This includes classrooms, the library, residence halls, hallways, and staircases. 

Residential students, please remember to wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet away from other students while moving in. And remember that all campus guests must complete a self-assessment and wear a mask at all times in the residence halls. 

Food Service 

For your safety, food service will start the semester with grab-and-go only — seated dining areas will be closed.  

Classroom Seating 

Instructors will be enforcing a seating chart to assist our contact tracing team if a student tests positive for COVID-19. Please assist your instructors by sitting in the same seat each time the class meets. 

In addition to COVID-19 testing, as we all return to campus, it’s important to remember the practices that keep us together on campus — the Cardinal Community Responsibilities: 

  • Perform a daily self-assessment. Don’t come to campus if you have two or more of the following symptoms unrelated to a chronic condition: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.  
  • Wear facial coverings. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear facial coverings in classrooms and other common spaces indoors, if it is safe to do so, and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.   
  • Practice social distancing. Stay 6 feet from other people whenever possible.  
  • Keep it clean. Clean your workspace or common spaces with the provided sanitizing supplies.  
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.  
  • Share concerns via anonymous reporting page. If you have concerns or suggestions, you can report them anonymously through the reporting page on Ozone – COVID-19 tab.   

Your health and safety remain our main priority. We are grateful for our community’s high vaccination rate, since public health officials tell us it is the most effective way to prevent severe illness or hospitalization. You have demonstrated your commitment to keeping our campus community safe and healthy, and for that, we sincerely thank you. 

Please review this information thoroughly and let us know if you have questions.  We want to ensure a safe return to campus for everyone to stay safe and stay healthy so we can stay together on campus for the entire spring semester.  


Dawn Stewart 

Vice President for Student Affairs 

Director of Athletics