“Love Your Neighbor”
As we look forward to returning to campus in August, OC continues to lean on the guidance of local, state and federal resources, particularly the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to establish appropriate community practices.
Changes to our traditional campus life bring challenges and concerns. The OC community will work through these together with flexibility and creativity, always considering the wellness of one another over inconvenience to self.
As the pandemic evolves, OC’s information, guidelines and safety protocols may change too. Again, we’ll closely monitor best practices prescribed by the CDC and other local, state and federal resources and adapt as needed.
“Love Your Neighbor” will be our mantra collectively and individually as we take the adopted, necessary steps outlined to keep our community safe.
Updates, with increasing specifics in each category, will be provided as we get closer to classes beginning in August. Updates will include any additional instructions for preventative measures and response measures for quarantine or isolation should a community member be exposed to or test positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Students, faculty, staff and campus visitors will commit to the following safety practices:
- Wearing masks inside buildings and all shared campus spaces including classrooms
- Monitoring and recording temperature and health symptoms each morning via an easy to use app
- Staying home when exhibiting virus symptoms especially including fever
- Washing hands frequently (20 seconds with soap, six times per day) and using hand sanitizer often
- Maintaining six feet of healthy distance from other community members
- Participating in COVID-19 testing and contact tracing as appropriate
- Getting vaccinated for the flu
The COVID-19 pandemic brings unique academic challenges. OC faculty are committed to delivering high quality classroom instruction while working to prevent and slow virus spread. These modifications allow for in-person instruction, healthy distancing and delivery flexibility.
- Class locations will be adjusted to allow for appropriate healthy distancing (smaller classes will be held in larger classrooms and furniture will be arranged to allow for appropriate distancing).
- Labs and other experiential learning environments will adjust to ensure adequate healthy distance among participants.
Partners for Physical and Mental Health
Our trusted campus partners who assist with ongoing physical and mental health needs include:
- Mercy Health Center - Located adjacent to campus, the Mercy Health Center has committed to providing COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff when indicated. Community members will have the opportunity to be tested before classes begin. Early detection should allow staff to mitigate additional risk to the entire community immediately.
- OC’s Counseling Center - Staff are prepared to assist students with ongoing mental health needs and new needs that may arise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Local Pharmacy Flu Vaccines - When the seasonal flu vaccine becomes available, a local pharmacy will provide flu shots on campus. All community members should receive the flu shot unless advised otherwise by a doctor.
Shared Campus Spaces, Cleanliness and Sanitation
Healthy distancing in shared campus spaces and increased cleanliness and sanitation protocols are in place to implement CDC best practice guidelines including:
- Increased routine cleaning and disinfection in all areas daily
- Increased cleaning of high touch areas like doorknobs and bathrooms
- Using advanced cleaning technology via electrostatic disinfectant sprayers
- Providing hand sanitizer stations at all building entrances and additional spaces including best practice signage reminders
- Increased touchless access for many areas including door foot pulls and motion activated paper towel and soap dispensers in restrooms
- Clearly marked, one-way entry and exit doors
- The Branch, Brew, additional dining spaces, Beam Library and all other community spaces arranged for fewer occupants and greater healthy distancing
Residence Life staff have developed plans for each unique residence hall and apartment complex.
- More single rooms are available in some residence halls
- Fewer students will share communal bathrooms, and bathrooms will be cleaned more often in the Gunn-Henderson, Fails, Warlick, Davisson and Tinius West residence halls
- Living spaces in each residence hall have been designated for quarantine, should a student become ill
- Apartment and suite residents will quarantine, if necessary, in their own space
While we can’t eliminate all the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, following these guidelines together with a “Love Your Neighbor” attitude will make OC a safer place for all community members.