Amid COVID-19 worries, Ohio State starts student move-in process


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – It’s a big week at Ohio State University.

Starting Monday, thousands of students will be moving in this week for the start of the school year. Move-in is coming as COVID-19 case numbers are trending in the wrong direction.

A few families already in town said they are a little worried about the case numbers right now, but overall, much more optimistic than last year.

One thing all students must do when they arrive on campus is get tested for COVID-19.

Move-in at OSU always comes with a checklist. This year, COVID-19 precautions are once again part of that list, including a test within seven days before getting to campus, and a second test when they arrive.

“He’s already done one COVID test and then tomorrow, he’ll do the other one,” said Lisa Briones, whose son Drew will be moving to campus this week.

“I’m super excited,” Drew Briones said. “We’ve been waiting for this day for months to come and we’re finally here.”

Drew’s senior year of high school was tainted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is set to play a role in his first year of college as well as Ohio is reporting case numbers and positivity rates not seen since winter.

“There’s always that lurking in the back of your head,” Drew Briones said. “Super excited for school and all that, but you never know with COVID and all these numbers, but fingers crossed we can get through this whole school year without having a super big outbreak.”

Jeff Owens is helping his son Ryan move in early for his sophomore year.

“It’d be nice for him to have a regular year for the whole year, but hopefully it gets better and things turn around,” Jeff Owens said.

Students are required to report their vaccination status to the university. According to data released by OSU President Dr. Kristina Johnson, as of late July, more than 70 percent of the university community has been vaccinated.

“I’m optimistic that there won’t be that many problems with students getting COVID and having to shut down as much as last semester, but I’m still worried about that population and in terms of the delta variant coming back and sort of ruining things,” Ryan Owens said.

Due to the pandemic, move-in took place over a 12-day period last year. This year, it’s happening over six days, still above the two days it used to take pre-pandemic.

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