ATHENS, — Ohio University Housing and Residence Life has moved residents of Boyd Hall into quarantine Friday, Oct. 9 until Tuesday, Oct. 21 under order from the Athens City-County Health Department due to possible exposure to COVID-19.
Residents of Boyd Hall were ordered to quarantine after 19 of the hall’s 94 residents tested positive for COVID-19. All COVID-19 positive students who were living in Boyd Hall were immediately relocated to isolation halls on campus. The remaining Boyd Hall residents were considered close contacts based on their shared living space and typical shared activities, which met the household definition the state provides for close contacts.
In accordance with our COVID-19 public health protocol, Housing and Residence Life is working to assign the remaining students to one of the University’s quarantine halls effective immediately.
“Our students’ safety, and that of our community, is paramount in every discussion and decision that we make,” President M. Duane Nellis said. “We have planned for this potential situation. And while we wish that no one is put in this situation, we are acting swiftly to get our students who are impacted by the health order into appropriate spaces and limit the chance that other students in the residence hall would contract the virus and unintentionally spread it to others.”
Ohio University has a two-prong testing strategy. Individuals who call the COVID-19 Hotline and who are symptomatic are referred to testing; these numbers are captured in the COVID-19 Hotline testing numbers. Second, asymptomatic testing is currently being conducted on the Athens Campus. Individuals on the Athens campus may be randomly selected to be tested even if they are showing no symptoms. This asymptomatic testing allows us to identify people who may be carrying the virus but are unaware of it, thus helping us prevent outbreaks before they can grow. This strategy helped us to identify the cluster of cases in Boyd Hall early, mitigating risks to others and our community.
Meals and other University resources will be provided to students through the quarantine period, and the University is working with students and their instructors to support continuing their coursework remotely during quarantine.
Anyone who believes they were exposed to a COVID positive person or who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact the Ohio University COVID Response Hotline at 877-OU-COV19 (877-682-6819).
Information provided by Ohio University.