COLUMBUS, Ohio (News Nation/WCMH) — Students began moving into dorms at The Ohio State University on Tuesday, which marked the first day of a 12-day period in which they could move in during their reserved one-hour window.
“I’m excited to get back to my educational experience,” Amanya Paige, a second-year student told News Nation affiliate WCMH.
The beginning of the move-in process came one day after OSU President-Elect Kristina Johnson announced a number of new safety protocols geared toward slowing the spread of COVID-19.
The measures include limiting class sizes to no more than 50 people and beginning the process of ensuring that all students who live on campus participate in weekly COVID-19 testing.
An OSU spokesperson said the university is currently building a pool-testing program to make that possible.
“We are fortunate to have the talent, expertise, equipment and resources of a world-class research university with one of the best medical centers in the country,” Johnson wrote in a letter to the campus community.
“This has enabled us to pursue a comprehensive testing program for our campuses, in which participation will be mandatory for all students living on campus or in university managed housing,” Johnson said in the letter. “Students may opt out of the testing program, but this may result in moving to fully online courses, and those students may not be able to live in university housing. We will also offer testing to students living in high-density, aggregated housing, as well as faculty and staff who are working on our campuses.”
Many students said they applaud the university for stepping up its testing efforts.
“Testing for coronavirus is going to be very pertinent in order for us to stay open and in order for us to ensure that the students are being safe because we are living in such close quarters,” Paige said. “It’s important for us to be aware of who is positive and who is not positive so that we can take the proper measures in order to ensure that we are safe on campus.”
Parents also expressed support for the increased testing.
“Being prepared and knowing what’s happening, to the best of our abilities, is the best way to fight this,” said Jody Cadena.
The university is requiring everyone on campus to wear a face mask both indoors and outdoors even when social distancing can be practiced.