Office of Student Life

Student Health Services

COVID-19 Testing

The Ohio State University continues to refine, improve and expand testing efforts as they are a critical component of a safe and healthy return to campus. Testing programs will be carried out across campus to help the university monitor and address real-time trends and prevalence and make timely decisions on intervention and response.

COVID-19 symptoms are very similar to other viral illnesses. Testing for COVID-19 may not be recommended. We will provide advice for self-care and what to do if your symptoms worsen. If you've been exposed to someone who is positive for COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, you may be asked to quarantine for 14 days. You may be contacted by public health to discuss your exposure. You can also contact Student Health Services for advice.

Visit the Ohio Department of Health's COVID-19 Dashboard for more information on testing site locations. Some sites require an order from a medical provider to have the test performed.

Testing programs include:

University-Managed Housing Testing

On a weekly basis, students living in university-managed housing are required to complete a COVID-19 saliva test. Testing is required for continued residence on-campus. Learn more

Surveillance Testing for Off-Campus Undergraduate, Graduate and Professional Students

A surveillance testing program means that samples of off-campus undergraduate, graduate and professional students will be selected and tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have a known exposure or are showing symptoms of COVID-19. Testing will be done via saliva and is located at the Jesse Owens North recreational sports facility at 2151 Neil Avenue. Learn more

SHS will allow students (non-housing or those that cannot complete saliva testing) to complete voluntary testing at Wilce. When testing is conducted, it will be nasopharyngeal and not saliva testing.

Voluntary Testing

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you want to get tested, students can be voluntarily tested at Student Health Services’ Wilce Student Health Center. Testing is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except for the 2nd Friday of each month, opening at 9:30 a.m.). Making an appointment is preferred to maintain physical distancing and reduce student wait times.

Steps for Scheduling Voluntary Testing

  • Schedule via My BuckMD
  • Select appointment reason, COVID Voluntary.
  • This will not create an appointment with a provider, rather sign the student up for an assigned testing time.
  • Students do not need to enter the facility upon arrival, rather follow the Scarlet signs/Red Tents.

Note: If you are unable to schedule via My BuckMD, please try these tips:

  • Switch browser to Google Chrome (most up-to-date version)
  • Clear browsing history
  • Conduct from a laptop or desktop

After your specimen is collected, you are required to self-quarantine in your residence and may not return to normal campus activities until your test result is available. This time frame may vary, but most results should be available between 2-3 business days after the specimen is collected. This brief self-quarantine is required out of an abundance of caution because it is possible to be infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms.

Scheduling Medical Care or Advice on Symptoms

  • Schedule via My BuckMD
  • Select appointment reason, TELEHEALTH - COVID symptoms
  • This will schedule a telehealth appointment with the provider.
  • You can be tested without a telehealth visit
  • SHS provider will call you during your Teleheath appointment to address your medical concerns.

 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 wearing a mask at all times. If your roommate is in your room, please maintain at least six feet of physical distance and both of you 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, which will include determining the best place for you to isolate, either on-campus in dedicated housing or at your home. Please note that if results are received later into the night, you may not be contacted until the next morning. 

If you have recovered from COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for 28 days, you can help others by donating your plasma. Visit this web page for more information