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Cutler Hall on Ohio University's campus in Athens, Ohio.

OU announces additional Fall Semester guidelines amid coronavirus concerns

Ohio University announced Friday some of its current guidelines for safely reopening campus in the fall with plans to bring further recommendations to the Board of Trustees later this month.

OU President Duane Nellis has developed eight working groups composed of students, faculty and staff to provide different perspectives on how to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus on campus. Co-chairs of those groups, along with leaders of the five senates on campus and campus managers, make up a Coordinating Council that will present recommendations to the Board on June 19. 

The council previously submitted preliminary reports to Nellis on June 1 and will have full reports prepared by June 15, according to a university-wide email. 

OU is still operating with the goal of bringing all students back to campus.

“While we’re still working out the details, one thing that we do know for sure is that this Fall Semester is not going to look like last fall or any Fall Semester before,” Nellis said in a video. “But this is an opportunity for all of us to work together to discover our new normal.”

In order with social distancing guidelines, OU will be modifying course delivery in the fall. Changes may include in-person classes being taught in larger classrooms and rotating between online and in-person instruction, according to the email.

Faculty and staff members will also have opportunities to work from home to keep campus density down and protect those who may be in high-risk groups. 

Residence and dining halls will also face changes. All dorms will have advanced safety protocols put in place, and dining halls will offer online ordering and carry-out. 

Nellis said everyone will need to “embrace a personal responsibility for contributing to public health” through wearing masks when recommended, social distancing, monitoring for personal symptoms for the virus and complying to all other public health requirements.

Additional details of the preliminary plans and guidelines can be found on the university’s new fall planning website


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