Below you will find current information for Academic Year 2020-2021 on policies related to COVID-19.  Please be aware that this information can and likely will change as the situation evolves.  It is extremely important that we all actively reduce exposure and transmission opportunities to minimize the serious impacts of COVID-19 on human health and well-being. The latest information for OSU faculty, staff, and students is available online at:

If you have WRGP-specific questions or concerns, please contact [email protected].

General COVID-19 Information

OSU is open at this time, but all employees and students should work remotely if possible. Any OSU-related travel (e.g. travel to field sites, meetings) is not allowed without approval from the Department Head or designated unit research officer in the department or college of the major professor– see OSU Research Office guidance and approval documents.  OSU encourages all to limit personal travel as well.

Check to see which buildings on campus are open in order to determine whether you have access to lab space or need special permission.  For example, in order to enter Strand Agricultural Hall, students must check in with [email protected] in CEOAS to get access, and need to provide the time and place that you will be on campus and in the building.  Other buildings may have similar restrictions.

In all cases, when you are on campus, it is critical to practice risk reduction practices – Everyone is required to wear a face covering while on campus, except when alone in a lab or office with the door closed. In addition, everyone is expected to do the following to minimize risk of COVID 19 spread: practice social distancing (minimum of six feet, avoid gatherings, high-risk locations/behaviors), use of hand sanitizer, self-quarantine if ill, work/study remotely, and practice good self-care.

Information for Students

during fall term 2020, many OSU courses will be held remotely, others will be offered in blended format or through eCampus. Please determine what method of instruction is being used in your courses so that there is no confusion about whether you are expected to (1) participate in person, (2) participate remotely but synchronously, or (3) participate asynchronously online. For remotely delivered courses, or the online portion of blended courses, the class meetings will be held at their scheduled times, but accessed via Zoom. To use Zoom, you need an internet-connected computer/phone.  You will get “invites” to Zoom meetings before your class sessions.

  • If you have challenges with working remotely, e.g. no/poor internet, please contact your course instructor as soon as possible to identify options.  We are committed to minimizing potential disruptions for all our students, but will rely on you to identify problem areas for us. 

  • Ecampus instruction remains unchanged.

Research Labs/Groups

Principal investigators are asked to move all research meetings to Zoom, Teams (preferred), or Slack. Lab staff should work remotely as much as possible. If on-site work is necessary, users are asked to self-monitor their temperatures on a daily basis prior to coming to campus. DO NOT come in if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, specifically a fever, dry cough, or difficulty breathing. In these cases, please self-quarantine and notify the appropriate medical authorities and the lab PI.

No in-person meetings unless absolutely required. Advisors will organize a communications strategy that works for their students and lab groups.  Your advisor will send a Zoom link for all meetings.

Work from home whenever possible. Minimize travel. Note that all OSU-related travel is suspended, and the personal travel is discouraged.

For ongoing (and time-critical) experiments that must be completed, please minimize your time in the lab and follow the social distancing requirements (6’ spacing minimum). While doing so, please make sure to follow proper lab safety protocols. Use your safety training.

Do not start a new experiment before checking with your supervisor.

If you need to access your campus-housed computer remotely, use remote desktop.  It allows you to connect to your campus-based machine from a remote computer. See for more information or ask your major professor to help you contact the IT staff in the department of the major professor.

Limit people accessing the lab to only essential researchers while following strict social distancing guidelines, wearing face coverings, and making sure that surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly, both prior to and following use of the lab.


No outside (non-OSU) visitors until at least April 30, 2020.


All lab users need to use the provided hand sanitizer at entry stations each time they enter (and/or wash their hands with soap and water); those using lab equipment and computers must wear proper gloves (i.e., nitrile or other suitable material). Frequently used experimental equipment must be wiped down regularly. Everyone in the lab must maintain proper social distancing — no one within a minimum of 6 feet of each other and preferably further. PIs must arrange to have all door handles and other common touch points to be sanitized three times a day, during the regular work hours.


No lab equipment can be removed from the lab without written authorization signed by the PI.

All safety procedures and protocols (e.g., Environmental Health and Safety) that are normally in place must continue to be followed.