COVID-19 update: Cases in Columbus increase, Ohio State continues to monitor spread for spring plans

The Lantern
As COVID-19 cases rise in Columbus, Ohio State is monitoring the spread to make changes to spring semester plans if necessary. Credit: Courtesy of the Wexner Medical Center

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the Columbus area due to the omicron variant, and Ohio State is monitoring the spread and will adjust safety measures for the spring semester if needed.

As of Monday, about 12,000 people in Franklin County have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past two weeks, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s website . University spokesperson Ben Johnson said in an email that while Ohio State does not currently plan to change virus precautions, the university is keeping a close eye on cases.

“Ohio State is monitoring the situation closely and will make adjustments to health and safety protocols as needed based on the latest scientific evidence and public health guidance,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the university currently has no plans to switch to fully virtual instruction or require a booster shot.

In the past two weeks, Ohio reported about 125,000 total COVID-19 cases, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s website .

Ohio is the top state for COVID-19 hospitalizations per capita, with 43 per 100,000 positive cases hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website .

The university requires all Ohio State community members to receive a COVID-19 vaccination and wear masks in indoor spaces . According to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard , 92.5 percent of Ohio State students, faculty and staff have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The university will require a COVID-19 test after winter break for students who live on campus or in university-sponsored housing. Students must complete a test by Jan. 14.

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