Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Residential students prepare for move-in during COVID-19

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include the dates of move-in.

With COVID-19 protocols reinstated and a potential surge in coronavirus cases due to rising transmission levels in Athens County, Ohio University students face a pandemic-centered move-in.

On Aug. 4, OU announced it will require all individuals to wear a mask inside public spaces on campus, regardless of vaccination status. 

In accordance with this policy, masks are required to be worn while indoors during move-in by both students and their guests. This fall, move-in is taking place from Aug. 19 to Aug. 22. Masks are not required to be worn outdoors, but are strongly encouraged, Jneanne Hacker, interim executive director of Housing and Residence Life, said. 

OU also announced Aug. 4 it will require all students moving into residential halls on campus to participate in asymptomatic testing within 24 hours of moving in. Testing is conducted out of Shively Hall on East Green. 

The number of guests allowed to accompany incoming residential students on move-in day are not limited, except during check-in, Hacker said. During this time, students will be directed by staff to the office of their assigned hall. Those accompanying the student will not be permitted to assist them when checking in.

In order to combat the increased density within residence halls during move-in, OU has designed the move-in schedule and check-in experience to allow for social distancing between individuals, Hacker said. 

Despite these COVID-19 protocols, a surge in cases following move-in is possible, Gillian Ice, special assistant to the president for public health operations, said. 

“We do not yet know the vaccination rate of all students but because we expect many students to be unvaccinated, we are likely to see an initial surge about a week or two after move in,” Ice said in an email. 

However, Ice said the university has systems in place to manage a surge in cases and is confident everyone will work together to keep one another safe and to bring the cases down if they increase. 

“Quarantine and isolation housing will be available for all residential students, and we are requiring physical distancing in classrooms for everyone, and in all other indoor public spaces for unvaccinated individuals,” Ice said in an email. 

In July, OU implemented a five-week prize winning contest for students who are vaccinated and have their vaccine registered on the Testing Pathway website. 

“I do appreciate the school having the vaccinated giveaways and stuff,” Reebha Chetty, a freshman studying exercise physiology, said. “But there's still always going to be a number of people that aren't vaccinated, so there's still a risk there.” 

However, Olivia Rohling, a freshman studying journalism, said she is feeling confident as move-in begins due to her vaccination. 

Those who are vaccinated will not be subjected to weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing throughout the semester, besides upon arrival to campus. Those who are unvaccinated will be required to report for weekly testing in Shively Hall. 

Ice said the university is doing everything it can to make Fall Semester as normal as possible.

“I'm definitely excited for freshman year,” Rohling said. “It's definitely gonna be better than my senior year of high school.” 


Molly Wilson

News Editor

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH