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 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

Testing is required for students who live in University Housing on the Columbus, Newark and Wooster/ATI campus, and students who are enrolled in courses on the Columbus campus. Vaccinated students who have voluntarily shared their vaccine information with the university need to complete a COVID-19 test once every 30 days. All other students who are required to test must complete a COVID-19 test each week. Learn more

Symptomatic Testing

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, students can be tested with an order from a Student Health Services medical provider or a referral from the contact tracing team. Testing is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Making an appointment is required to help maintain physical distancing and reduce student wait times. 

To obtain an order from an SHS provider:

  • Schedule via My BuckMD
  • Select appointment reason, TELEHEALTH - COVID symptoms
  • This will schedule a telehealth appointment with the provider.
  • SHS provider will call you during your Telehealth appointment to address your medical concerns.

To schedule a testing appointment:

  • Call 614-292-4321
  • This will not create an appointment with a provider, rather sign the student up for an assigned testing time.

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.

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 contact you to assist with the next steps, including determining the best place for you to isolate, either on-campus in dedicated housing or at your home. Please note that you may not be contacted until the next morning if results are received later into the night. 

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