Ohio State will not allow unvaccinated individuals on campus come spring semester, following a universitywide announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine requirement Tuesday.
Students, faculty and staff who do not receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 15 and second by Nov. 15 will not be allowed to participate in on-campus activities. Faculty and staff may face confiscation of electronic resources for noncompliance, according to the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website .
“We know that there’s broad support for the requirement, and so we think we’ll have a successful implementation,” University spokesperson Ben Johnson said.
According to the website, current students who do not receive the COVID-19 vaccine or any incoming spring 2022 students will be barred from taking in-person classes or living in residence halls beginning spring 2022.
The website also stated that faculty and staff will face the removal of their electronic resources, such as computer and email access after failing to comply with reminders to complete the requirement.
The vaccine requirement deadline dates were set to align with the spring 2022 class registration dates, Johnson said. Students who are not vaccinated or do not receive an exemption by the deadlines will have to enroll in classes online for spring 2022.
“The online offerings are not the same as the in-person offerings, so that could require a change in the courses they’re taking,” Johnson said.
According to the website, university community members may need to resubmit their vaccination status following the universitywide vaccine mandate. Johnson said additional details on the COVID-19 vaccination reporting process will be announced in the coming weeks.
He said depending on an individual’s type of employment with the university, the consequences of noncompliance with vaccination requirements for staff or faculty will vary.
Individuals currently working remotely must receive the vaccine and report their status or face disciplinary actions, the website stated.
According to the website, exemptions will be accepted for health, personal or religious reasons on a case-by-case basis. Johnson said the university is still developing conditions for a personal exemption and the university is hopeful there won’t be a need for serious enforcement measures regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, especially with 73 percent of the university community being fully vaccinated thus far.
“We had a successful year last year when there was not a vaccine available and when we all had to take additional health and safety steps that are not required this year — physical distancing, not being able to gather in groups, things like that. We did that and we stayed together on campus because the community worked together and did the things that they know keep us safe and healthy and allow us to remain together on campus,” Johnson said. “We’re really optimistic that our students, faculty and staff will respond the same way to this requirement.”