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Ohio State dropping mandatory COVID-19 testing for summer term

an employee is taking a swab test for covid-19
Mufid Majnun

In another sign of an improving pandemic, Ohio State University is dropping its requirement that students living in residence halls and Greek housing be tested weekly for COVID-19.

The university has required testing for much of the pandemic for students living in residence halls, students who were members of social fraternities or sororities, and students, faculty and staff who had received an exemption to the university's vaccine requirement.

"There was a time during the 2020-2021 school year where Ohio State University was testing more people each week than 10 states. That's how large our testing program was," said university spokesman Ben Johnson.

But starting on Monday, students faculty and staff not showing any COVID symptoms will no longer have to submit to weekly testing.

Johnson said the change is due to the fact that the school's vaccination rate is holding at above 93%.

"Because the community has worked so hard to stay safe and healthy, and most importantly because our vaccination rate is so high, we're able to drop this testing requirement," Johnson said.

Johnson said the university will continue to monitor things closely and continue following the latest public health guidance.

OSU's Biomedical Research Tower, 460 W 12th Ave., will continue to offer PCR tests on a voluntary basis.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.