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

OU to require weekly asymptomatic testing for select individuals

Ohio University President Hugh Sherman announced updated COVID-19 protocols Sunday, including changes in the university’s testing requirements. 

Regardless of vaccination status, all students living in residence halls and all members of sororities and fraternities on campus are required to participate in weekly asymptomatic testing, according to a university-wide email. 

The updates come as the omicron variant continues to drive COVID-19 transmission and infection. In the email, Sherman stressed the university’s dedication to in-person learning as a key reason for the new protocols. 

Additionally, all students with approved exemptions for OU’s vaccination mandate or those who have not yet taken action on the mandate are also required to participate in weekly asymptomatic testing. 

During the Fall Semester, only those who were not yet vaccinated were required to test weekly. Vaccinated students were not required to participate in the asymptomatic testing. 

Last week, OU updated its mask mandate to recommend students wear high filtration masks, including KN95 or equivalent masks and three-ply surgical masks. The university additionally announced that all students — both on- and off-campus residents — were required to take a COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus. 

Sherman also said in-person meetings and gatherings outside of classes should be held virtually. Concession stands at university-related events will be closed, and events held in-person should not feature food and drinks, according to the email. 

@mollywmarie

mw542219@ohio.edu 

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