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Students lawyering up to fight their punishment for violating COVID-19 “rules” on campus; OSU threatens to imprison those who won’t get tested

Article link: https://www.npr.org/2020/09/17/914046958/students-accused-of-breaking-college-covid-19-rules-fight-their-punishments

From a faculty member at OSU:

If they meant stay home, or don’t come on campus, they would say that.  OSU has run articles about their on-campus “quarantine” dorms. The students know “quarantine” to be a place. The university is threatening them with imprisonment. The students also know that punishment for their dissident “conduct” means, We keep your money and kick you out of your degree program permanently

From: COVID-19 Surveillance Testing <shs-covidtesting@osu.edu
Subject: Selected for Ohio State COVID-19 surveillance testing program

The Ohio State University
You have been selected for COVID-19 testing. 

Dear {$student_first_name}: 

You have been selected for testing as part of the university’s COVID-19 surveillance testing program. Testing is required and will help to promote the health and safety of our community. Please note that your testing assignment is not tied to any known exposure or contact tracing process. 

Please click this link to schedule your appointment time slot between September 21 and September 26Schedule an Appointment

You can also copy and paste this address into your web browser.
https://buckeyes.campus.eab.com/a/J6WPpSKrR8 

Schedule early, times fill quickly. 

The purpose of this testing program is to allow the university to monitor and address real-time trends and prevalence and make timely decisions on intervention and response. We thank you in advance for your participation. 

The failure to schedule and complete a test during the required phase may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to campus spaces and a report to Student Conduct. There are a few limited reasons that someone can request an exemption from testing. If you need to request an exemption, complete the online request by visiting go.osu.edu/SHSexemption

TESTING PROCESS 
Testing will be done via a saliva test at Jesse Owens North Rec Center. The test takes approximately 10 to 30 minutes to complete. You should wear a mask when you arrive and keep it on until asked to take it off. 

The testing will be at no cost to you.  

Please see the below participation instructions:   

This testing program is for asymptomatic individuals. If you have a fever or symptoms on the day of your test, please contact your physician or Student Health Services for advice. If you are in quarantine or isolation, you should not leave to visit the testing center and can submit a temporary exemption at go.osu.edu/SHSexemption

If you have had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 90 days, you should not be tested. You should submit proof of your previous diagnosis through the exemption process: go.osu.edu/SHSexemption. If the appropriate documentation is not provided, testing will be required. 

Because it is a saliva test, it is recommended that you try to hydrate in the hours before your test, however, you should not eat, drink, smoke, chew gum or use mouthwash within thirty minutes of your test.  

Please pre-register and complete the consent process at the following website: go.osu.edu/vaultregistration. Complete the process up to the point where you are asked to enter a “Kit ID.” You should register using your university email and current residence address. Please bring your device to the testing site. If you do not have a device, iPads will be available. 

Please bring your BuckID to the testing site and have it ready to show at check-in. You will not need a health insurance card.   

Walk to Jesse Owens North (2151 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, 43210) and follow signs for student testing. Testing will occur inside the facility, with physical distancing and masks required. Only students who need to complete testing will be permitted in the testing facility.   

You will receive results via your university email account within two to three business days from Vault Health, a testing service that Ohio State has contracted to conduct the testing. A representative from Student Health Services will call you if you have a positive test result. Please note that if results are received later into the night, you may not be contacted until the next morning. 

Testing typically takes 10-30 minutes. If you have a disability and have difficulty standing for up to 30 minutes, you can request a chair. Please let the person know at the check-in desk. Contact Student Life Disability Services for questions related to accommodations. If you have a question related to testing, contact shs-covidtesting@osu.edu.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A POSITIVE RESULT 
If you receive a positive test result, please do not panic. 

Proceed directly to your residence, avoid contact with others and make sure you are always wearing a mask. If you live with other people, please maintain at least six feet of physical distance and everyone who lives in your home should wear a mask. 

You should also strictly avoid contact with anyone who is immunocompromised. 

Student Health Services and our student support team will be in contact with you to assist with next steps. 

Please note that if your results are received later into the night, you may not be contacted until the next morning. Please follow the steps listed above.   

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY TESTED POSITIVE  
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, you may submit an exemption form via go.osu.edu/SHSexemption. Please note the following: 

Lab documentation noting positive test results of a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test will be accepted. 90 days after the positive test results, you will be added back into the university’s testing program.  

Lab documentation of negative PCR testing within a week of required surveillance testing will be accepted. (Please note: If new symptoms have developed since the test results, the test should be repeated. Asymptomatic and negative individuals will go back into the pool for random selection and students living in university contracted housing will complete weekly testing.)  

Not all COVID testing is accepted. For example, antibody testing is not accepted. 

REQUIRED TESTING PROGRAM 
This is a required testing program and failure to respond may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed and a report to Student Conduct. There are a few limited reasons that someone can request an exemption from testing. If you need to request an exemption please visit go.osu.edu/SHSexemption.  

We know that these are challenging times, and we appreciate your dedication to the health and safety of our community. Together as Buckeyes, we will fight COVID-19.   

For more information about the testing program, please contact us at shs-covidtesting@osu.edu or visit the Student Life Student Health Services website

Student Health Services 
The Ohio State University 

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