COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the state is releasing guidance for how universities and colleges should operate when students and staff return to their campuses this fall.
The Ohio Department of Higher Education worked with colleges, universities, the Ohio Department of Health and health experts across the state to produce minimum operating standards that should occur on all campuses and best practices to enhance those standards.
There are 167 institutions of higher learning in Ohio.
“Colleges and universities really drive our economy,” DeWine said. “By implementing these minimum requirements and implementing best practices, our higher education communities continue to educate students and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
DeWine said testing will be an integral part of keeping campuses safe.
“Each of Ohio’s campuses must identify how it can best implement COVID-19 testing within the institution,” DeWine said. “Each campus must develop policies and procedures tailored to their particular campus.”
DeWine added each campus must have a plan in place on how it’s going to isolate students, staff, and faculty who are showing coronavirus symptoms.
“Testing of these individuals showing symptoms should certainly take priority over all other testing tactics,” DeWine said.
DeWine said it’s recommended that each campus set aside a university housing space or secure a local living space so it can be used to rapidly relocate infected people who live in residence halls, sorority or fraternity houses and other institution affiliated housing.
“We know that this costs money,” DeWine said. “To help address these increasing costs . . . we’re requesting that the controlling board approve our initial request on Monday to allocate $200 million for higher education and $100 million for K through 12 from the coronavirus relief fund to help meet these increasing costs.”
DeWine said he worked on this request with House Speaker Larry Householder, Senate President Larry Obhof, democratic Senator Kenny Yuko and democratic Senator Emilia Sykes.
Ohio University President Duane Nellis issued the following statement about DeWine’s announcement: