Ohio State University has canceled next year’s spring break to reduce student travel during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It’s one of several schedule adjustments the school is making to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Ohio State students will start their second semester on January 11 with the first week of classes online. Bruce McPheron, executive vice president and provost wrote in an emailed statement that the shift will give everyone on campus the time to quarantine before in-person sessions if necessary.
Instead of spring break, there will be two instructional breaks with no classes on February 9 and March 31. McPheron says that will reduce travel-related exposures and maintain the campus community.
“While there were many adjustments to our plans over the summer, we hope that our experience this semester will allow for a smoother and more predictable plan heading into spring semester,” McPheron wrote.
McPheron advises the university will continue with its efforts on coronavirus testing, contact tracing, and requirements on face masks and social distancing.
Spring classes will end April 21, and final exams will take place between April 23-29. Commencement is set for May 9, but whether students and their family members will participate in-person has yet to be determined.
Summer term classes will start May 12.
As of Thursday, Ohio State reports that 1,814 students and 27 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the school's coronavirus dashboard.
For the fall semester, in-person instruction on campus will end on November 25, before Thanksgiving, and the final week of classes and exams will take place remotely. The school also canceled its usual fall break in mid-October, although the school will observe Veterans Day on November 11.