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COVID response updates

Submitted by Kris Boone,

As you know, for the start of spring semester, we had to put some extra safeguards in place in response to the omicron variant. The good news is that those temporary measures have already proven to be helpful, as we have seen a consistent decrease in positivity rates among our student and employee populations. 

Here are some updates about our pandemic response guidance:

Events and gatherings

  • We are in a position to begin the transition back to in-person activities. If you want to make the switch, we strongly urge you to incorporate measures that will promote adherence to: local/university mask mandates, appropriate physical distancing, availability of PPE and hand sanitizer, limited distribution of literature and other items, and any other recommendations your event planners, coordinators and public health advisors may have.
  • We will also relax restrictions on food and drink at events and gatherings. If you decide to have food and drinks, we continue to encourage pre-packaged items and properly spaced seating/standing areas for eating/drinking and masking between bites and sips.  

Athletic concessions

  • Starting with the February 3 men’s basketball game in the Schottenstein Center against Iowa, concessions will resume at all athletic events, with the full menu available for events later in February. 


  • If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, please use caution and be aware of any new symptoms when you resume exercise. If you had significant symptoms, you should discuss the situation with your primary care provider prior to resuming high-intensity exercise.
  • We know that wearing a mask during strenuous activity can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. Beginning February 1, masks will be strongly recommended but not required for members who have no COVID-related symptoms and are taking part in strenuous activity (except for swimming for which masks are not required).
  • When members or visitors are not strenuously exercising, masks must be worn at all other times and in all other spaces throughout the recreation facilities. 

As always, we will continue to monitor the path of the virus, its effects and expected impacts, and federal, state and local guidance. We will always quickly pivot to make the necessary adjustments as we go through the semester. And don’t forget: if you are eligible for a booster, appointments are available on the Columbus campus, at the Wexner Medical Center and statewide. Those who get a booster can enter the Buckeye Booster Drawing. Weekly, the university will award $100 gift cards to 50 students who have received their booster shot and entered the drawing. You only need to submit the entry form and booster information once to be eligible for each drawing.