Office of the Provost

COVID-19 Pandemic: Office of the Provost Communications

 University website – COVID 19


Fall 2021 - Update on COVID-19 Protocols

At UToledo, the safety of our campus is our highest priority. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have followed the guidance of the Ohio Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In line with their guidance, the University is making the following changes to our prevention efforts, which went into effect Aug. 6, 2021:

  • Masks are required for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, while indoors on our campuses. Individuals are not required to wear masks while alone in their office or while eating. Masks are not required outdoors.
  • Beginning in the fall 2021 semester, classrooms will be operating at full capacity and physical distancing requirements will be removed.
  • The University has discontinued the event registry and removed all restrictions on event size.

Questions & Answers regarding Fall 2021 COVID-19 Protocols

  1. Q: Does anyone need to wear a mask on campus anywhere?

    A: Yes. Effective Aug. 6, 2021, the University joined many of its peers across Ohio and will again require masks indoors on campus. The new protocol — which is in line with updated guidance from the CDC for communities with high transmission rates — applies to everyone, regardless of their vaccination status. Individuals are not required to wear masks while alone in their office or while eating. Masks are not required outdoors.

  2. Q: Can I ask people whether or not they have been vaccinated against COVID?    
    A: No.  We cannot ask people about their vaccination status.  Inquiring about vaccination status would be a request for confidential medical information that is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (as well as the Rehabilitation Act and related Ohio law).  Such information must be kept confidential and separate from an employee’s personnel files.  This applies to students and all University employees.
  3. Q: Can we go back to meeting in person?
    A: Yes.  In-person meetings are permitted.  You may find in some cases, however, that virtual meetings are still preferred or more convenient.  The meeting organizer should select the mode which is most appropriate.   Hybrid modes may also be used if helpful.  Unvaccinated individuals should practice physical distancing or attend meetings virtually.
  4. Q: Can I take down the plexiglass barriers that have been put in place at my desk/workstation?
    A: Consider keeping them at this time as spikes in infections occur. When the time comes when we can take them down, you should store them and DO NOT DISPOSE OF THEM. 
  5. Q: Can I set my own social distancing and mask usage policy for students in my classes?
    A: No.  All classes and activities at the University need to follow the University-wide guidelines.  If you have an ADA accommodation related to COVID, you should follow your approved accommodation plan.  If you have COVID-related risks that you think require a plan other than the University’s default plan, you should seek an ADA accommodation.
  6. Q: Can I choose to offer my course online instead of face-to-face?
    A: Instructors may not make this decision unilaterally for their courses.  Courses MUST be offered according to the instructional modality for which the course has been established and listed.  This is important to avoid disruption of the schedules of already registered students.  A change to a course’s instructional format/modality requires approval by the department chair, college dean, and Office of the Provost.  In many cases, changes to a course’s modality might require that all students be dropped from the section, the section eliminated, and a new section created for which the student would have to re-register.  Instructors should consult with their department chair regarding questions related to this issue.
  7. Q: Since social distancing for fall is not required for the classrooms, may I require students to spread out for their seating?
    A: No. Social distancing is not required under current health orders.  However, if classroom space allows it, you may encourage students to spread out.
  8. Q. Do I still have to maintain a seating chart for my students in class?  
    A. Yes. In case of a COVID-19 exposure, faculty should have assigned seats and a seating chart for each class.
  9. Q. Do I have to have my office hours in a face-to-face format if I am concerned about COVID-19? 
    A. Not necessarily. Faculty may choose if they would like to offer in person or virtual office hours. If a student requests an in-person meeting, faculty should make efforts to accommodate this request.  Meetings may be scheduled in a larger space if the faculty office is too small.

For additional information or questions, please email


Last Updated: 9/16/21