On Monday, the Governor announced some new guidance related to reopening sectors. For a review of those announcements, visit the Restart Ohio website. These announcements have led to questions regarding how they apply to OSU and our college. In a meeting on Tuesday evening, Provost McPheron clarified that OSU is continuing its own transition planning process. While the guidance from the governor’s office will inform our process, we will make determinations as to the transition within the university and its facilities. It was noted that there will be a lot of information shared about what is occurring across the state, or at other institutions, and that does not define what we may do at OSU.
- There remains within the state guidance for a prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 and encouragement for as many to continue to telework as possible.
- There remains a university prohibition on in-person activities and events through July 6. Nothing has changed. When, and if, it does I will let you know.
As I mentioned before, we are university employees and part of the OSU family. We will be in lockstep with the university to the greatest degree possible. I recognize that many county commissioners and administrators are beginning, with the Governor’s announcement, to consider how they might re-open some of their business sectors. Each county that I have received information on so far is unique in their approach and there is currently no statewide approach for counties. One constant is that most are considering how to keep as many people as possible in telework situations to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The virus does not simply disappear as a result of opening some businesses and if we do not need to take any chances for spreading the virus, we won’t.
Let me be very clear, we are not rushing to transition back to offices in the near future. We will remain in telework environments through July 6, unless a decision is made at the university level that it is safe and appropriate to do so sooner. We will, however, work diligently over the next 4-8 weeks to develop a thorough and comprehensive plan for transitioning back to the workplace and our in-person programming.
If your commissioners ask about when we are intending to open our offices, you can share the following statement:
“While we are considering the guidance from the Governor’s office and are paying attention to how our local community leaders are planning for re-opening businesses, we are following the university’s lead on the transition planning process and are still intending to telework for the near future while ensuring we are meeting the needs of our clientele and community partners.”