New Ohio State athletic department COVID-19 policies put emphasis on booster shots
Ohio State student-athletes who are eligible to receive COVID-19 booster shots will need one in order to be considered fully vaccinated under the athletic department’s new testing and contact tracing guidelines.
The revised protocols, which were obtained by The Dispatch through a public records request, redefine how the athletic department is handling the virus amid the Omicron variant. They put an emphasis on receiving a booster shot and mandate a five-day isolation period for everyone following a positive test.
Student-athletes who are more than five months removed from a second dose of the Moderna/Pfizer vaccine or two months from a Johnson & Johnson vaccination and have not received a booster are only considered partially vaccinated. Individuals who have both, or who have been infected within the previous 90 days, are considered fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated individuals can return to play five days after a positive test provided they either do not show symptoms or have mild symptoms that are improving and are not required to retest. Individuals with incomplete vaccination status or unvaccinated individuals who test positive must pass an antigen or PCR test five days later before being able to return to play.
Any unvaccinated student-athlete will also have to receive cardiac clearance from a university doctor as part of their return to action following a positive test.
Apart from the athletic department policy, Ohio State has mandated that all students who live in university housing, are members of a fraternity or sorority or have received an exemption or are still completing the vaccination requirement must test daily regardless of their vaccination status.
Dispatch sports reporter Joey Kaufman contributed to this report.