Astronomy Return to Campus Information


Astronomy Department Return to Campus Information

Updated: 2021 July 7

The university state of emergency declared in March 2020 ended officially on 2021 July 1. 

Students, staff, and faculty are no longer required to complete daily health checks when they are well, but all employees should stay home instead of coming to work if they are experiencing symptoms of illness. 

There are still a few protocols still in place until further notice as we continue the reactivation of campus during the summer to prepare for the start of the Fall 2021 semester.

Masking Requirements

Effective June 9, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors on campus except in Wexner Medical Center facilities and on public transportation, in accordance with public health guidelines.  "Fully vaccinated" means 2 weeks since the last dose of a 2- or 1-dose course.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are required to continue to wear masks and maintain safe distancing.

Effective May 17, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors on Ohio State campuses. The university continues to strongly recommend that unvaccinated people wear masks when they cannot maintain safe distancing.

Vaccination Status

To help OSU refine their continuing public health response, the university is asking employees to voluntarily share their vaccine information.  

This information will be used for contact tracing, isolating/quarantining or other individual case decisions in the event of a COVID-19 exposure, as aggregate data to determine the percentage of vaccinated Ohio State students, faculty and staff, and to drive decisions on public health measures needed for the Ohio State community.

Campus Visits

The department is now open for full occupation, with the continuing requirement that everyone must observe all university masking, distancing, and personal hygiene protocols, though daily health checks are no longer required as of July 1.  Guidance will continue to evolve during the summer as we continue the steady reactivation of campus operations in the lead up to the start of the fall semester, so watch these pages for updates.

  1. All astronomy department offices on the 4th floor of McPherson lab are open for occupancy.  We encourage those assigned to multi-person offices to talk with their office mates and consider sharing their vaccination status with each other so that you can be confident everyone in your office stays safe and healthy.

  2. Vaccinated persons do not need to wear masks or observe distancing while in the department.  Unvaccinated persons are required to wear masks indoors and maintain proper distancing at all times on campus, and are strongly recommended to continue wearing masks outdoors when proper distancing is not possible.

  3. We will be announcing plans to re-open the conference rooms soon.  We need extra time to reconfigure them and get them cleaned after 16 months of being closed up.

  4. The kitchen has been re-opened for limited use, the limitations having mostly to do with having sufficient supplies and volunteers to keep the kitchen clean (department staff, not physical facilities personnel, are responsible for kitchen cleaning).  Coffee service will not resume until we obtain new supplies and renew contracts canceled at the start of the pandemic, including changing filters and getting the equipment checked.  It is unlikely that coffee service will resume until at least start of the Fall semester.


COVID-19 vaccines are now available to everyone in Ohio age 12 and older. If you haven't already, we encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible but it is not required.  The higher the campus vaccination rate, the sooner we can get back to "normal" activities.  Complete this simple form to voluntarily share your vaccination status with the university to assist in planning.

The campus vaccination center at the Jessie Owens North Recreation Center is open to all OSU students, staff, and faculty. Appointments can be scheduled through MyChart or by calling the Wexner Medical Center COVID-19 hotline at 614-688-VAXX (614-688-8299).


If you regularly come to campus to work and interact with others, consider taking part in the voluntary asymptomatic COVID testing . This will help campus health officials keep track of asymptomatic spread,  particularly in light of concerns about the Delta variant of COVID-19.  You can schedule a weekly appointment via MyChart.

Please read the university's guidance for OSU students, faculty, and staff on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website for the latest news.

Business Travel

Effective 2021 July 1, the university will allow business-related travel in line with updated health and safety requirements and OSU's continued concerns regarding fiscal responsibility. Details are available on the OSU travel page.

Please work with Kristy to help navigate the changes in the way we arrange business travel after the long hiatus, the system is very different than it was.

If you are planning to travel please consult the CDC Travel Guidelines before you go to review good practices.