Ohio State reopened its football facility on Monday to permit 25 coaches and staff members to use their offices, a school spokesman told The Dispatch.


They are limited to staggered three-hour stints for three days per week.


Since organized team activities were first suspended in March amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the Woody Hayes Athletic Center had been closed, leaving the Buckeyes’ staff to work from their homes.


Meetings have been held over Zoom videoconferences, and assistants speak with players or high school recruits by teleconference apps.


In the initial reopening of the football facility, the weight room, training room, dining area, indoor field and locker room remain closed. The OSU spokesman said staff members were "strictly limited in terms of available offices."


Health and safety protocols included temperature checks and daily symptom assessments for those who enter the building. Staff members are also to follow physical-distancing guidelines and wear masks when around other people in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.


In compliance with the state’s stay-at-home order, no more than 10 people are allowed to converge in the facility’s meeting rooms.


The decision to reopen the athletic center was made along with the university’s post-pandemic task force, which was formed last month to help with decisions surrounding "return to on-campus operations." Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is among the members of the task force.


There is no timeline for when players might also be given access to the facility for individual or voluntary workouts.


The Big Ten’s suspension of all organized team activities remains in effect through the end of this month.


jkaufman@dispatch.com


@joeyrkaufman