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Below are resource links and an archive of campus communication regarding ODU's response to the outbreak of COVID-19. For up-to-date information, Q&As for students, faculty & staff, form links, and more, please visit ODU Rising to view our return-to-campus plan.

University Hours of Operation

Ohio Dominican University is open. While some offices are working remotely, we are here and available for our students. Click here to view our campus directory for contact info.


Useful Resources & Links

Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline


The Ohio Department of Health has set up a call center to answer questions regarding COVID-19. The call center will be open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and can be reached at 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK-ODH). Call center staff includes licensed nurses and infectious disease experts. They will be available to answer questions and provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public, and the state’s response.


Earlier Campus Communications

The following is an archive of communications sent to the campus community via email between January 31, 2020 and May 21, 2020. For up-to-date information about Ohio Dominican's COVID-19 response and return-to-campus plan, please visit our ODU Rising page.


Thursday, May 21, 2020
Email sent by ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:

Dear students, faculty and staff,

While we have announced our plans to resume on-campus learning this fall in some capacity, ODU’s Leadership Team continues to have conversations to identify specific steps we can take to help ensure a safe and healthy fall semester for our community.

We are in the process of discussing and determining how to best provide in-person learning for our students while also adhering to social distancing guidelines. Details of our final plan will be shared with you in the coming weeks once it has been finalized. However, our ongoing conversations have resulted in a key decision I am able to share with you, which has to do with revising our fall academic calendar to help reduce the potential for exposure.

We have decided to implement an idea that came to us from a member of the faculty through the ODURising@ohiodominican.edu email address that we established to solicit ideas and feedback from members of our community. Based on that suggestion, we will forego a fall break this upcoming fall semester, and instead extend Thanksgiving Break by two additional days. This break will also mark the conclusion of our undergraduate classes on campus, with the last day of on-campus instruction being Friday, Nov. 20. Following Thanksgiving Break, there will be one additional week of instruction and then finals week, both of which will take place exclusively online. So, when students leave campus for Thanksgiving, they will not return until the beginning of the spring 2021 semester. This move allows students, faculty and staff to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and loved ones, and reduces the risk of students bringing the virus back to campus after interacting with family members while on break.

Additional details regarding our return-to-campus plans will be forthcoming, but I want you to know that we are discussing a wide range of options to help ensure the safety of all who live, learn and work at Ohio Dominican. Again, we invite you to submit your ideas and feedback for consideration by emailing us at ODURising@ohiodominican.edu. Thank you for your time, talents and creativity as we work through these uncertain times.

In peace and truth,

Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.


Friday, April 24, 2020
A message from ODU President Dr. Robert Gervasi.


Tuesday, April 14, 2020
We know this stay-at-home period can be challenging at times, Panthers. So our faculty and staff wanted to share with you a special video message of encouragement. Keep up the great work – you’re doing great!


Wednesday, April 8, 2020
A Special Easter Message from ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:


Friday, March 20, 2020
A Special Message from ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:


Monday, March 16, 2020
Email sent by ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:

Dear students, faculty and staff,

Updates provided over the past couple of days by Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health have made it clear that our plan to resume on-campus courses by the end of this month is wishful thinking. To help ensure the health and safety of our community, and to help students better focus on their studies moving forward, the Leadership Team decided this morning to extend the use of online-only remote learning for classes through the end of the semester. It is critical that we, as a campus community, align our response to the COVID-19 outbreak with the directives and recommendations of health officials.

Since Ohio Dominican will remain online-only, University leadership also decided it would be prudent to vacate the residence halls for the remainder of Spring Semester. Naturally, those of you who live on campus will want to know when you can retrieve your belongings. The Residence Life staff will be in touch shortly to communicate this process and timeline to you. As for our international students who are far from home, or for students who have no alternative housing options, we will provide you with additional flexibility as needed as you arrange travel plans or secure accommodations elsewhere.

In accordance with the governor’s order on food service announced yesterday, Hamilton Hall will no longer provide a dine-in experience. Instead, meals will be prepared in to-go containers for students, faculty and staff to take with them. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Residence Life at 614-251-4718 or email reslife@ohiodominican.edu.

The Leadership Team understands that some students may need access to campus technology during this time. To help us better understand your technology needs and expectations, especially if you need access to a computer on campus, please complete this form. I also want to point out that Spectrum has announced that it will offer free internet to students during this outbreak, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car has announced its College Student Travel Assistance program to help students get back to their families.

Finally, I’m saddened to inform you that Spring Commencement, scheduled for May 9, has been postponed indefinitely. As we consider forecasts predicting the peak of this virus, it seems unlikely that we will be in a position to celebrate our graduates’ achievements on that date with a large gathering. We have already begun to have conversations about how we can appropriately recognize our graduates and provide a proper sendoff to mark this memorable milestone. Those details will be provided later in the semester.

I recognize the disruption that this outbreak has caused, and I thank you for your patience over the past couple of weeks. We are most certainly all in this together, and I ask for your continued patience and understanding as we respond to this situation in accordance with the latest recommendations made by state officials to help ensure the health of our community.

If you have not heard from your faculty yet, please contact Dr. Manuel Martinez, Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, at 614-251-4671 or martinem1@ohiodominican.edu. Please continue to monitor your email for additional updates regarding ODU’s response to this situation.

In peace and truth,

Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.


Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Email sent by ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:

Dear students, faculty and staff,

This morning, I met with the University’s Leadership Team as well as members of our coronavirus task force to discuss our response to the expanding outbreak of COVID-19. Yesterday afternoon, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recommended that all colleges and universities in Ohio convert their face-to-face classes to an online-only format in an effort to reduce the likelihood that this virus is spread throughout campus communities.

Therefore, the University will remain open, but we will extend spring break through Tuesday, March 17 as we transition instruction to an online format. Starting on Wednesday, March 18, all on-campus courses will be delivered in an online format. Our plan, for now, is to utilize online course delivery through March 31, which is subject to change depending on this evolving situation and future recommendations from state health officials.

All students are directed to remain at home, unless you have no other housing options than to stay in the residence halls. Students who need to gather personal effects from their rooms should do so by Tuesday, March 17. Our housing facilities and food services will remain in operation. If you plan to return to campus, click here to complete a brief form.

During this time, students will still be responsible for completing coursework for classes in which they are enrolled. Students who have difficulty accessing or participating in these online courses should contact their faculty member. Students involved in clinicals, internships and student teaching should seek further guidance from their supervisor. Faculty, please get in touch with your students so they know what to expect with regard to course delivery.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have urged faculty to develop online components of their classes to reduce the impact of a transition to remote learning. Despite their careful preparation, this is new territory for some. While I am confident that we will continue to provide an outstanding education, there likely will be challenges in the days ahead. I ask all members of our community for your continued understanding, patience and prayers as we work through this uncertain time.

Although the overall risk to our campus community remains low, we want to be certain we’re doing everything possible to help maintain the overall health and safety of our campus community. The Ohio Dominican family has always been a community that is resilient, and we will rely on that spirit now more than ever.

Please continue to monitor your email for the latest updates regarding ODU's response to this outbreak, including the impact on planned events.

In peace and truth,

Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Email sent by ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:

Dear students,

I hope you are enjoying a restful spring break. As you prepare to return to campus for the second half of the semester, I want to touch base regarding Ohio Dominican’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus continues to increase, and the virus has now been confirmed in the Cleveland, Ohio area.

As you know, many of our students are currently traveling, potentially putting them at increased risk of coming into contact with individuals who may be ill with the flu or this aggressive virus. Because of this potential, I ask that if you feel ill or had close contact with someone who was ill (whether it was the traditional flu or COVID-19), do not return to campus. Instead, please stay at home until you fully recover. Students who return to campus and show symptoms of the flu may be asked to return home immediately. If, after you return to campus, you feel ill, do not visit the Wellness Center unannounced. Instead, please call the center at 614-251-4570 ahead of time to ensure you can be seen. This response is in line with recommendations from the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health, and is to help maintain the overall health and safety of our campus community.

This request has been communicated to your professors and coaches, so you will not be penalized in any way for missing classes, practices or games as long as you let them know ahead of time. We also have coordinated with your professors to develop online components of classes to ensure that, if you are absent, you may continue to participate remotely. If you are going to be absent from class, it is important that you contact your professors beforehand.

I want to thank you for your understanding and patience as we prepare for this new and unpredictable virus. Please continue to practice good hygiene to stay healthy, which includes washing your hands often and covering your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze. If you have any questions about COVID-19, you can contact the Ohio Department of Health’s new hotline at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

I hope you enjoy the remainder of spring break, and I look forward to seeing you on campus next week.

In peace and truth,

Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Email sent by ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:

Students, faculty, and staff,

As we prepare for spring break, I want to take a moment to address the current outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory illness that you have likely heard much about on the news and on social media.

COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to a number of other countries, including the United States; however, as of today, there have not been any confirmed cases in Ohio. State health officials emphasize that your risk of contracting the general flu is much greater than COVID-19, and you are only considered high risk if you recently traveled to China, South Korea, Japan, Iran or Italy, or if you have had contact with someone who has been to those areas.

First and foremost, I encourage you to follow the advice of the Ohio Department of Health in practicing good hygiene, which includes washing your hands often, covering your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, sanitizing all “high-touch” surfaces daily, staying at home if you are ill, and avoiding contact with those who are sick. (Click here for more information on how you can stay safe.)

Despite the reassurance from local health officials, I understand that the spread and nature of this new virus can cause concern about its potential impact. The University has created a task force led by ODU’s Director of Health Services, Jamie Kemp, and comprised of staff from across campus and members of ODU’s Leadership Team to discuss how we as a University community can best prepare for and respond to this virus should it be confirmed in Columbus. As these conversations take place in the coming days and weeks, you may receive email communications from various individuals or departments on campus regarding details of our response plan as they relate to you.

If you plan on traveling abroad over spring break, I encourage you to check both U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control websites for information on your destination as well as for those countries you may plan to transit. Depending on your destination, you may have to make difficult decisions to change or even cancel plans to ensure your own well-being and timely return to Columbus.

We will continue to monitor developments both at home and abroad, and keep you up to date. Our thoughts are with students, faculty and staff who have ties to all of the regions affected by this situation. It is our hope that you have a healthy, safe and restful spring break. If you have any health-related questions or concerns, you may contact ODU’s Wellness Center at wellnesscenter@ohiodominican.edu or 614-251-4570.

In peace and truth,

Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.


Friday, January 31, 2020
Email sent by Director of ODU Health Services Jamie Kemp MPAS, PA-C, CIHC:

ODU students, faculty and staff, 

As you may be aware, there is currently an outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The outbreak began in China and has now spread to other countries. As of yesterday, Jan. 30, Coronavirus has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. There has yet to be a major outbreak in the United States. As of Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was investigating 165 potential cases; however, only six of those cases have been confirmed as Coronavirus. Many of the cases involve patients who recently returned to the United States from China. Although the number of cases in the U.S. is low, ODU’s Leadership Team wanted to communicate with you what the University is doing in response to this developing situation. 


For confirmed infections, reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with few symptoms to individuals who are severely ill.  Symptoms can include.

  • Fever
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as two weeks after exposure. This past Tuesday, the first two potential cases in Ohio were reported. The CDC is investigating whether two Miami University students who recently returned from China are infected.

What Ohio Dominican is doing:

Ohio Dominican will continue to monitor guidance from local, state, and federal public health officials. There is no need at this time to change any routine activities or behaviors. 

What you can do:

In general, practicing routine hygiene etiquette is the best way to prevent the spread of infection: 

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  • Wash your hands or use alcohol hand rub after coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are ill, keep a safe distance from others to reduce the risk of transmitting germs.
  • If you are seriously ill, seek medical advice from a doctor or emergency department.

More information:

Link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html 

Link to the Ohio Department of health - https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home


Jamie Kemp MPAS, PA-C, CIHC
Director of Health Services