Ashland University Coronavirus Response - What you need to know for 2021

What you need to know for Fall 2021: Updates to Ashland University’s COVID-19 policies 

For 18 months, the Ashland University community has worked diligently to protect our campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are looking forward to being together in person and on campus again this fall. The bulk of  Gov. DeWine’s orders for social distancing, facial coverings and non-congregating (based on the CDC guidelines,) were lifted on June 2.

The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and the significant number of Ohioans and members of the Ashland University community who have chosen to get vaccinated play a crucial role in continuing to protect our community, and in the rescinding of these protocols. Ashland University strongly encourages all faculty, staff, students and visitors to campus to get vaccinated. For more information on the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, visit the Ohio Department of Health Covid-19 vaccination website, explore these helpful resources from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or click here to hear from our President, Dr. Carlos Campo and Dr. Joe Castaldo, Ohio Health infectious disease doctor, on the impact of vaccinations to prevent the spread of the virus.

We are planning a fall semester very similar to any other traditional semester at AU, with these specific policy modifications

Student Requirements related to COVID-19:

Positive for COVID-19

Icon of a person getting a temperature reading with a contactless thermometer Regardless of vaccination status, isolate for 10 days after symptom onset or 10 days after test date if no symptoms. To return students must be interviewed by the Health Center staff, have proof of the positive test provided to the Health Center, symptoms resolved or resolving, and no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications x 24 hours (ibuprofen/Tylenol), and have a release letter from the county Health Department managing their case.

Direct contact to a positive case:

Quarantine for 14 days Unvaccinated - A student must quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure to the positive case. The student should not get a test during quarantine unless they have symptoms. Students should call the Student Health Center immediately if they develop symptoms and a test will be ordered, if indicated. A negative test will not end quarantine faster. Students must also be interviewed by the Student Health Center staff to get cleared to return to campus/campus activities.
Vaccine icon

Fully vaccinated - Once providing proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19* to the Health Center, the student is required to mask at all times and to get a COVID-19 test three to five days after exposure. The student is discouraged from going to any optional events. The test result needs to be sent to the Student Health Center and the student will need to be interviewed by a Student Health Center staff member. If the person chooses not to test, s/he must wear a mask for 14 days, and must be interviewed by a Student Health Center staff member at the end of the 14 days.

* Fully vaccinated means 14 days after one's second shot (or first if Johnson & Johnson).

COVID-19 shield icon Past COVID-19 Diagnosis - If a student has had Covid in the past 90 days (proof of positive test must be on file in the Health Center), they are exempt from quarantine due to exposure.
Medical chart icon NOTE: Employees should contact their primary care physician and will be contacted by their local Health Department with instructions on isolation/quarantine mandates and protocols. Additionally, employees need to complete the online COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form.

Vaccinations:

Ashland University strongly encourages but does not require COVID-19 vaccinations. Please note that there may be specific situations in which a vaccine is required in order to participate in an academic or co-curricular activity. Contact your program/department chair or coach with questions or concerns. For more information on the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, visit the Ohio Department of Health Covid-19 vaccination website, or these helpful resources from the CDC or click here to hear from the President Carlos Campo and Dr. Joe Castaldo, Ohio Health infectious disease doctor, on the impact of vaccinations to prevent the spread of the virus.

We will hold two vaccination clinics in Redwood Hall on Sept. 1 (initial dose) and Sept. 29 (second dose) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  A two-dose vaccine will be available; we will not have the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available. Please sign up for an appointment from the Ohio Department of Health vaccination page..

Facial Coverings:

Masks are now required while indoors at any Ashland University campus.

If students are participating in a study abroad or domestic field trip where public transportation will be used or will be completing a clinical, internship, student teaching or work-study in a health care setting or at some businesses, mask wearing is now required while indoors.

Social Distancing: 

Social distancing is no longer required at Ashland University. Normal occupancy will return in all offices, classrooms, and meeting spaces. 

Self-Monitoring

Faculty, staff, students, and visitors are strongly encouraged to continue to monitor symptoms and to ensure you don’t come to campus if you are not feeling well. Download the AU Campus Shield app with COVID-19 symptom checker for Apple/iOS or Google Play.

Mandatory Testing Protocols

AU will conduct free mass testing of all students living on, or attending classes at the Ashland Campus, regardless of vaccination status, from 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 27. Testing will be done at 709 Claremont Avenue (behind Vines Bakery).

  • Those providing the testing services ask that you bring with you a photo ID, insurance card (if applicable), vaccination card (if applicable) and completed registration form (if possible).
  • Per State of Ohio guidelines, those entering the testing location are required to wear a mask. Extra masks will be provided if you forget yours.
  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come to testing and contact the Student Health Center at 419-289-5200 or your primary care physician.

Possible exemptions from testing:

  • Students currently in mandated isolation or quarantine

  • Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and has been processed through the Student Health Center

  • Students who can provide proof of vaccination (send a copy of vaccination card to au-covid@ashland.edu)

  • Student-athletes who are in season and participating in mandated weekly testing in Athletics

  • Students participating in the College Credit Plus program

Quarantine and Isolation

Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer automatically required to self-quarantine if they come in contact with a COVID-19 infected individual -  unless ordered to do so by a healthcare professional. Exposed students may be required to get tested if ordered by a healthcare professional.

Athletics/ Recreation Center

AU student athletes involved in practice and competition will continue to follow all NCAA and GMAC conference guidelines and testing protocols, which may differ from the University’s processes. Please contact your coach or athletic director Al King with any questions.

The Recreation Center will be open during regularly scheduled hours for students as well as faculty/staff/community members with paid membership. Exercise equipment and use of the facility have returned to normal operations. Some restrictions may return in the event of an outbreak. Masks are required to be worn at all times inside the Recreation Center, including while participating in physical activity. The Rec Center, however, will continue to operate under other pre-COVID conditions, such as maintaining full capacity occupancy, equipment check-out availability, and no social distance requirements at this time.

Academics:

This fall traditional undergraduate students will be back on campus with most courses held face-to-face, in-person, and on campus. Please refer to your course schedule and the modality listed in the Self-Service tool, or reach out to your academic advisor with questions. Any student with specific medical accommodations should contact Silvia Henriss, director of the Student Accessibility Center and provide documentation of a disability as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. For more information, contact au-sac@ashland.edu or click here for detailed information on requesting accommodations and intake.

AU will continue to serve students registered in online programs, CCP courses, graduate programs, certificate programs and workforce development programs in the modalities in which those academic courses are typically held.

Office Availability and Employee Staffing:

Generally, offices at AU operate from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the exception of scheduled holidays. Some offices, including safety services, the resource center circulation desk, the writing center and the tutoring center have extended and weekend hours.

Fall Housing and Dining Services:

The University will return to pre-COVID levels of housing occupancy this fall, though the option to purchase a single-occupancy room may be available. Please contact Residence Life if you need additional information.

Dining Services is returning to pre-Covid hours of service, meal plan offerings, and seating capacities. Please click the following or contact Dining Services for specific questions: https://www.ashland.edu/administration/auxiliary-services/student-dining

Additional Information and Updates:

Ashland University will continue to follow all CDC, State of Ohio, and Ashland County Health Department requirements. Should there be a surge in cases in the Ashland University community, the University and its partners will respond accordingly. 

Rewards

To encourage new vaccinations and reward those who are already vaccinated, we’re holding a drawing to win prizes:

  • One $500 shopping spree in the AU Bookstore
  • One designated campus parking space
  • One downtown Ashland gift card bundle - five $100 gift cards to five local shops and restaurants

To be eligible, follow these steps:

STUDENTS AT A FACE-TO-FACE CAMPUS LOCATION

  • Already vaccinated? Here’s how to enter: 

    • Visit Med+Proctor online. With this free service, please register and upload your medical information, including your COVID-19 vaccination status.

    • Submit your Student COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation form.

    • Winners will be notified after vaccination status is verified by the Student Health Center

  • Planning to be vaccinated on campus, here’s how to enter: 

    • Visit Med+Proctor online. With this free service, please register and upload your medical information as soon as possible. 

    • Get vaccinated by September 30, 2021.

    • Immediately following your second dose, return to Med+Proctor and upload your COVID-19 vaccination card.

    • Submit your Student COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation form. Please note that those participating in the vaccination clinics held on campus (Sept 1 and 29, see above) will receive two entries into the prize drawing.

    • Winners will be notified after vaccination status is verified by the Student Health Center.

FACULTY AND STAFF AT A FACE-TO-FACE CAMPUS LOCATION

Winners will be notified after vaccination status is verified by the Student Health Center


Updated information and FAQs will continue to be available on the Ashland University homepage in the What You Need To Know For 2021 link.  For specific questions, please connect with: