Students will be given two hours to collect their belongings and completely move out of residence halls as part of the effort to contain COVID-19, the university announced in an email Friday.
Students are asked to schedule a move-out time between March 14 and 22, the week of Ohio State’s extended spring break. There are approximately 14,000 students who currently live in residence halls, Dave Issacs, university spokesperson, said in an email.
The university announced Thursday that students needed to move out of residence halls and face-to-face classes would be suspended and moved to a virtual format for the remainder of the spring semester.
The email also advised students to limit the number of people who assist them in moving out and adhere to their chosen move-out window. The suggestions come with recommendations from Gov. Mike DeWine on social distancing. The university’s approach aims to limit the number of people on campus at any one time, according to the email.
“We hope that everyone involved in move-out will engage in social distancing,” Isaacs said.
Dining halls will operate on an adjusted spring break schedule during the week of move out, Isaacs said in an email.
Students who are unable to return to a permanent residence can fill out a housing exemption request available through the Office of Student Life here.
Exemptions will be made for students who cannot return home and will be evaluated case by case, Isaacs said.
Per DeWine’s request, the exemption requests will include health screening questions for students, including if students have traveled to affected countries, been on a cruise or attended a large conference in the past 14 days.
The fifth case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Ohio Thursday, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s website. There have been no confirmed cases of the virus at Ohio State. There are 1,268 confirmed cases and 33 deaths in the United States as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
“These are unusual times and we certainly acknowledge that being anxious and concerned is a very normal reaction,” Isaacs, said. “There is a great deal of uncertainty. We recognize that this is not a typical experience and that it can be disappointing and disruptive.”
Students who are granted the exemption will have to relocate to designated late-stay residence halls that are still being identified, according to the housing exemption request portal.
“We as a university can and will do everything we possibly can to support our students,” Issacs said.
Click here to view our continuing coverage of COVID-19.