Protect the Nest Weekly Update for Students – January 29, 2021

Posted Jan 29, 2021

This update is intended to keep you informed of the latest developments from our Protect the Nest Team. Please visit for additional general and student-related information. If you have questions or concerns, contact the COVID Hotline at 614-823-1586 or


  • Students who participated in the testing event on campus do not need to send their results to the COVID Support Line. Student Affairs already has your results.  
  • Before you come to campus each day, don’t forget to complete your self-screening assessment. Download this guide, which has important information and a checklist. 
  • It’s cold and flu season. This year, some of the common symptoms overlap with COVID-19 symptoms. If you are feeling ill, don’t take any chances — stay home!  
  • If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact the COVID Hotline at 614-823-1586 or and let our Student Affairs staff and OhioHealth representative advise you on your next steps. 

Study Spaces on Campus 

If you are looking for a space to study or take a break between, we’ve compiled a list of computer labs and campus spaces students can safely use: 

Check Computer Lab Availability (O-Zone, login required)

Campus Spaces: 

  • Outdoor areas. 
  • Campus Center: Lounge. 
  • The Point: Various locations. 
  • Towers Hall: Commuter Lounge.
  • Roush Hall: Fisher Gallery first and second floors.
  • Library: Various location. 
  • Battelle Fine Arts Center: Lounge 
  • Science Center: Lobby, second floor lounge. 
  • Art and Communication Building: Lounge in the northwest corner (adjacent to radio broadcast booth).

Classroom Seating 

Furniture in classrooms cannot be moved in order to maintain COVID-19 safety measures and capacity. If you find that the furniture in a classroom has been moved, please contact Tara Chinn at  

Dining Hall Reopens Jan. 31 

The Cardinals Nest dining hall will return to full service with limited seating available starting Jan. 31.  

Group Meetings on Campus 

We encourage all members of the campus community to meet virtually when possible, but we understand that some organizations and clubs will want or need to meet in person. Our general guidelines will apply, including adhering to room capacity, wearing facial coverings, maintaining social distance, not moving furniture and sanitizing the space before and after use. Additionally, in-person group meetings of any size must have a faculty or staff member present. Anyone planning an event or gathering larger than a meeting on campus should consult the Office for Events and Conferences. 

Athletic groups are allowed to meet in larger numbers and closer proximity because students and certain staff in Athletics are operating under strict NCAA guidelines that includes a rigorous testing protocol to monitor for any spread of COVID-19. Each team returned to campus in a three-phased approach to slowly and safely increase their “bubble” size.  

Why were employees not required to be tested for COVID-19 at the start of spring semester?   

Employees differ from our students as they do not live together in residential halls or regularly attend social gatherings or in-person campus events with students.   

We have implemented many strategies to create safe work environments on campus, including requiring social distancing, daily self-assessments, and facial coverings; re-configuring offices and classrooms; allowing some employees to work or teach from home and rotate schedules; and supporting virtual meetings and classes. Our protocols for employees are based on guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and Franklin County Public Health (FCPH).

Thanks to these strategies, the number of employees who have tested positive remains very low and we have not had any cases of on-campus employee transmission. Each of our cases involved off-campus transmission, mostly from family members. Based on our data, FCPH agreed with our decision not to make employee testing mandatory.    

While it was not mandatory, we did encourage our employees participate in the National Guard testing events. On the first testing date, we had 52 employees take tests, with 0 positive results.  We will continue to closely monitor our employee numbers and will take appropriate steps based upon the data.