ATHENS, Ohio — Ohio University Housing and Residence Life is moving residents of both Jefferson and Tiffin halls into quarantine on Tuesday, Oct. 13 until Sunday, Oct. 25, under order from the Athens City-County Health Department due to possible exposure to COVID-19.
According to a news release from the university, residents of Jefferson Hall were ordered to quarantine after 16 of the hall’s 69 residents tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, residents of Tiffin Hall are being moved to quarantine housing after 22 of 78 residents tested positive.
All COVID-19 positive students living in both Jefferson and Tiffin were immediately relocated to isolation halls on campus. The remaining residents of each hall 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 OHIO’s COVID-19 public health protocols, Housing and Residence Life is working to assign the remaining students to one of the University’s quarantine halls effective immediately.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is for our University community to follow University policy and adhere to public health guidance to keep our students, faculty and staff safe,” President M. Duane Nellis said. “The increasing numbers of COVID cases we are seeing in our residence halls should serve as a wake-up call to our students. Now more than ever, we need to follow necessary health practices to keep our community safe, protect our own families and friends, and ensure business continuity.”
As part of its COVID-19 response, Ohio University has implemented 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 unaware of it, thus helping us prevent outbreaks before they can grow. This strategy helped us to identify the cluster of cases reported last week 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. For more information about quarantine and isolation housing at Ohio University, visit https://www.ohio.edu/coronavirus/quarantine-isolation-housing.
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.