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OSU Suspends Classes Due to Coronavirus as DeWine Declares State of Emergency

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With three cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Cuyahoga County, Governor Mike DeWine declared a State of Emergency in Ohio, which he said will allow state departments and agencies to better coordinate their response to the virus. “This is certainly no ordinary time, it’s important to take aggressive action to protect Ohioans,” he said, according to a report by ABC6

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Following DeWine’s declaration, Ohio State University president Michael Drake announced a suspension of “face to face instruction” through at least March 30 to combat the spread of the virus. Drake announced the decision to the Ohio State community in an email, explaining the university is following guidelines from expert agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. It goes on to state:

“While there are no campus-associated cases of COVID-19, we know that there are at least three confirmed cases in the state of Ohio, and we expect that there will be more. We are being proactive in an effort to prevent illness and continue the important work of the university. I understand that our policy guidelines will cause measurable disruption, but the risk of not acting outweighs the inconvenience of these temporary measures. The safety of our campus community is always our top priority.”

In addition, all international travel sponsored by Ohio State is suspended, and no new “non-essential” events will be scheduled through April 20, with organizers of previously scheduled events encouraged to consider whether they should continue. 

Read the full text of Drake’s email here

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Arts & Culture

See what’s re-opening: Entertainment venues get June 10 go-ahead

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Who would’ve thought that people would be getting excited about a roller skating rink reopening in 2020?

As far as keeping ourselves entertained, Gov. Mike DeWine blessed the state with wonderful news on Thursday. DeWine announced that certain entertainment facilities would be able to reopen under certain health and safety restrictions starting June 10.

Skate Zone 71 has already reopened as of today, but there’s still a handful of entertainment venues who have had to hold off on letting people back in until next Wednesday.

Those venues include:

  • Aquariums
  • Art galleries
  • Country clubs
  • Ice skating rinks
  • Indoor family entertainment centers
  • Indoor sports facilities
  • Laser tag facilities
  • Movie theaters (indoor)
  • Museums
  • Playgrounds (outdoor)
  • Public recreation centers
  • Roller skating rinks
  • Social clubs
  • Trampoline parks
  • Zoos

Below are a few we know are re-opening next week. Check back for more next week!

  • Otherworld  — The immersive art installation that took Columbus by storm in 2019 is set to return on June 11, according to the venue’s webpage. Otherworld will be operating at a capacity of one visitor per 160 square feet, or around 20 percent of the regular admittance.
  • The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomes back members beginning on June 12, 13, and 14, and all guests starting on June 15. The Zoo will be open daily from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., and all Zoo visits (including for Members) will require a dated, timed ticket to help ensure that social distancing and other precautions are followed appropriately.
  • Skate 71 is gearing up for re-opening, according to its Facebook page. It’s currently selling tickets for Adult Night Skating on June 11. Buy them here.
  • The Chiller is also prepping for re-opening and has been selling passes for various sessions since June 1. You can learn more about grabbing some time at the rink here.
  • Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will reopen its operations to visitors on Saturday, June 13. The reopening includes all of the Conservatory's interior biomes and outdoor gardens, filled with colorful summer horticulture displays and topiaries. Visitors will also be able to enjoy the annual Bonsai exhibition and the Conservatory’s entire collection of Dale Chihuly glass artwork.
     
    For more information and updates on the Conservatory, please visit fpconservatory.org or follow the Conservatory on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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Weekend Getaway: Ohio State Park lodges reopen

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Cooped up inside of our homes for the past few months, everyone could use a change of scenery. Luckily for those that love the great outdoors of Ohio, the perfect getaway is now possible once again.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on May 28 that all nine Ohio State Park lodges would be reopened by June 5.

The places where you can escape to are listed below in order of closest proximity to Columbus to furthest:

  • Deer Creek
  • Burr Oak
  • Mohican Lodge
  • Salt Fork Lodge
  • Shawnee 
  • Hueston Woods
  • Maumee Bay
  • Punderson Manor

Director of State Park Lodges Tom Arvan had this to say in the May 28 press release:

“Our staff has been working diligently to ensure that guests return to a safe and sanitized environment following the CDC safety guidelines. Our goal is for our guests to feel comfortable as they enjoy the fun activities and relax in the natural beauty of the lodges and all the state parks have to offer this summer.”

Visit https://www.greatohiolodges.com/ to secure your much-needed wilderness adventure today.

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Ohio State to Return to Campus this Fall

Julian Foglietti

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In a press release Tuesday, The Ohio State University announced its plans to resume in-person classes for the autumn semester. Classes will begin with a series of guidelines the University will be announcing in the coming weeks. 

Return to classes will include reduced density indoors, as well as face coverings and physical distancing. In addition to this, the University has stated it is developing learning approaches that combine in-person and distanced teaching.

The academic calendar will see a shift with classes starting Tuesday, Aug. 25th, and ending Friday, Dec. 4th - with the last day of in-person, on-campus instruction taking place Wednesday, Nov. 25th. The autumn commencement date is also yet to be announced. Fall break, and the day before Thanksgiving will also not be observed. 

The University is also announcing a phased-approach to return to facilities, as well as the piloting of a voluntary contact tracing program. Housing exemption for second year students will be expanded in an effort to decrease student housing density, and move-in days will take a staggered approach. 

With regards to football, president Drake states, “our hope and intention is to safely have a football season, with an audience spaced out in our stadium, but we haven’t made any final decisions.”

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