Gillian Ice, special assistant to the president for public health operations, announced Tuesday that weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing will no longer be required at any of Ohio University’s campuses starting March 21.
In a university-wide email, Ice wrote that a decline in coronavirus cases and the high vaccination rate of students, faculty and staff at OU contributed to the decision to end the weekly testing requirement.
Starting Monday, the university plans to move to a new testing strategy, which encourages those with known or potential exposures to complete an asymptomatic test regardless of vaccination status. Ice said that approach is expected to increase the efficiency of OU’s testing resources.
The removal of the weekly testing requirement comes two weeks after the university announced it would no longer require masks in a majority of campus settings. Masks are still required in classrooms, studios, labs, clinical settings and university transportation across all of its campuses. The Chillicothe and Southern branches still have full masking requirements in place.
In her email, Ice also recommended students, faculty and staff get an asymptomatic test before March 21 because of people traveling over spring break. Asymptomatic tests can be scheduled at the Vault Health testing center in Shively Hall on East Green or at CVS, and students on regional campuses may pick up a Vault Health test kit.
“As the University continues to respond to the ever-changing conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel grateful for our University community’s commitment to maintaining a healthy campus,” Ice said in the email. “I look forward to all the good things we will enjoy together in our collective future.”