Ohio University announced Monday it plans to invite all students back to campus for the upcoming Fall Semester as coronavirus case numbers continue to drop in Ohio.
The semester will include more in-person classes, and residence halls will be fully opened, according to a university-wide email. OU also plans to hold Bobcat Orientation in person this year after the event was moved online for the class of 2024.
The university will continue to follow the guidelines of state and national public health experts, according to the email.
“While we should not expect University life to fully return to a pre-pandemic normal, we can all look forward to a more normal summer and fall,” OU President Duane Nellis said in the email.
Students who choose to come to the Athens campus in the fall will be offered double and single dorms for housing. OU will also maintain halls for students who test positive or are exposed and need to be quarantined or isolated, according to the email.
Classes will be offered in multiple modalities, including face-to-face instruction, a hybrid model and an entirely virtual method, depending on class size and other factors.
Nellis reminded students and staff that measures and protocols, including the requirement for facial coverings and social distancing on campus, will still be implemented.
“We know this news will be celebrated by many, while some students, faculty, and staff might be anxious about this shift,” Nellis said in the email. “Know that we remain deeply dedicated to maintaining a safe and healthy campus, and we would not be making these plans if we had not seen such success over recent months.”
Even with this news, Nellis made clear that developments with different strains of COVID-19 and nationwide vaccination efforts may shift OU’s plans for the fall.
“Nonetheless, we are optimistic and truly thrilled to be planning toward a more familiar summer and fall,” Nellis said in the email.