Astronomy Return to Campus Information


Astronomy Department Return to Campus Information

Updated: 2021 Sept 10

Ohio State now requires every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The deadline for all Ohio State students, faculty and staff to have at least the first dose is Friday, October 15, 2021. For people receiving a two-dose sequence, the second dose deadline is November 15, 2021.

Please see the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website for more information about the vaccination requirement, and for the latest guidelines and protocols.

Masking Requirements

All persons, vaccinated and not, must wear masks indoors on campus and on public transportation, in accordance with CDC guidelines.  "Fully vaccinated" means 2 weeks since the last dose of a 2- or 1-dose course. Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors on Ohio State campuses.

The university strongly recommends that unvaccinated people also wear masks outdoors when they cannot maintain safe distancing.


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.

OSU requires every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19.  Please see

About the Vaccination Requirement

for information on how to get vaccinated.  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).

Vaccination Status Reporting

To make informed decisions related to COVID-19 and further enable contact tracing, Ohio State is requiring everyone to report whether or not they have been vaccinated. Everyone who is able is strongly encouraged to get their COVID-19 vaccination. More information about how to get vaccinated is available at

Report your Vaccination Status

For staff and faculty, please check the Employee Health Record form to confirm whether your vaccination information is on file to meet the Oct. 15 deadline to have at least one shot or receive an exemption. All students, faculty and staff must meet this requirement. If you entered your vaccine information before Sept. 1, you must re-enter your information through this system. Previous reporting systems used by the university and Wexner Medical Center to collect COVID-19 vaccination information do not meet the requirement.


Testing requirements include student testing before arrival, testing upon arrival for students living in residence halls on all campuses and for students visiting the Columbus campus for any reason, and weekly testing for unvaccinated students. Anyone who has symptoms, tests positive or is assigned to quarantine due to an exposure must not navigate campus or participate in any campus activity, including attending class or taking part in co-curricular experiences, on or off campus. Employee testing remains available. See the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes page for testing requirements before you arrive on campus.

Staff and faculty who regularly work on campus and interact with students should 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 protocols as these change frequently.

Campus Visits

The department is now open for full occupation, with the continuing requirement that everyone must observe all university masking, distancing, testing, reporting, and personal hygiene protocols.  Guidance will continue to evolve during 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. All persons must wear masks while in the department.  Unvaccinated persons are required to maintain proper distancing at all times on campus, and are required to continue wearing masks outdoors.

  3. Unvaccinated students — including all students on the Columbus campus or and regional campus students who live in university housing — will be required to test weekly as the academic year begins. Students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and reported their status to the university will not have to test. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, OSU will test vaccinated and unvaccinated students with the same protocols.

  4. Conference rooms are open only for scheduled use.  Sign up using Outlook calendars setup by Kristy.  Ad hoc use of conference rooms (without advanced signup) is currently not permitted.  The main conference room is not yet available for eating lunch, even by groups who have signed up in advance.

  5. The kitchen is open for limited use.  The limits are primarily because the department relies on volunteers to keep the kitchen clean (department staff, not physical facilities personnel, are responsible for kitchen cleaning). It is unlikely that coffee service will resume so long as masking is required for all persons, and the coffee making equipment and supplies are not to be used.

Business Travel

The university currently allows 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.