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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Frequently Asked Questions

 

The safety of our community and our fellow citizens is our first obligation, which is why we are taking the necessary measures noted below. We must do our part to help confront this public health crisis.  

COVID-19: Health and Safety

Are there any cases of COVID-19 at the University of Oklahoma?

On March 20, 2020, the University was notified of a second OU Norman community member who tested positive for COVID-19. The University is cooperating with the Health Department, who will trace this individual’s recent interactions with others in our community, notify all those impacted, and provide guidance for next steps to possibly be screened and, if necessary, self-isolate. By law, the University is prohibited from disclosing any details about the community member’s identity; however, the Health Department is following its standard protocol to trace all impacted contacts. We will continue to monitor this evolving situation. 

Read Full Statement

Read More: March 15 Update from Interim President Harroz

Learn more about COVID-19 in Oklahoma

 

How can I protect myself from becoming infected?

The most important precaution all of us can take is being mindful of our personal health by practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently. We continue to follow guidance from the CDC and state and local health authorities and encourage everyone to take reasonable, common-sense measures to keep yourself healthy.

 

What should I do if I’m experiencing flu-like symptoms?

If you begin to experience symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19 such as fever (temp ≥ 100.4˚ F), chills, cough, shortness of breath, body aches, and/or extreme fatigue, please remain home and contact your campus health clinic for further guidance regarding restrictions to return to campus. Please contact your primary care provider with any personal medical questions and for guidance concerning your specific symptoms.

What happens if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19?

UPDATE: March 15, 2020 – On March 15, 2020, the University received notification that a member of our Norman campus community tested positive for COVID-19, which is a situation occurring across America, including our universities. According to our preparedness plans, we will cooperate with Health Department officials in their efforts to track this individual’s recent interactions with others in our community. In accordance with Health Department procedure, all those impacted will be notified and provided guidance for next steps to be screened and, if necessary, self-isolate.

Read More: March 15 Update from Interim President Harroz

Learn more about COVID-19 in Oklahoma

 

What do I do if I’ve been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?

If you have been in close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19, call or email your campus health clinic:

 

If you begin to experience symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19 such as fever (temp ≥ 100.4˚ F), chills, cough, shortness of breath, body aches, and/or extreme fatigue, please remain home and contact your campus health clinic for further guidance regarding restrictions to return to campus. Please contact your primary care provider with any personal medical questions and for guidance concerning your specific symptoms.

 


 

Classes and Academics

What changes have been made to spring semester classes?

OU Norman Campus Classes. Norman campus will remain online for the remainder of the semester. Students are encouraged to visit ou.edu/learnanywhere for further information and resources on attending classes online. Faculty may visit ou.edu/teachanywhere for instructional resources.

OU Health Sciences Center Classes. Students enrolled in Health Sciences Center programs have received direct communications from their colleges about online instruction and modifications to clinical and community-based instruction. Students in these programs with questions should contact their colleges directly. Additional information is available at students.ouhsc.edu/coronavirus.

OU-Tulsa Classes. Norman-based programs will remain online for the remainder of the semester. HSC programs will receive direct communications from their colleges regarding both classes and clinical rotations.

Read More: March 18 Update from Interim President Harroz

 

Will summer classes also be moved online?

OU Norman Campus Summer Classes. Norman campus summer classes will be offered exclusively online. Students who have already registered for summer session will be contacted in the event their enrollment needs to be modified. Students wishing to enroll for summer session may do so by visiting ou.edu/summersession. A full schedule of classes is available for consideration. Students are encouraged to visit ou.edu/learnanywhere for further information and resources on attending classes online. Faculty may visit ou.edu/teachanywhere for instructional resources. Our student support services remain available and ready to assist students from wherever they are learning. Services like OU Libraries, the Writing Center, Student Learning Center, and Information Technology, have gone to great lengths to assure that students will be seamlessly served virtually.

OU Health Sciences Center Summer Classes. Students enrolled in Health Sciences Center programs have received or will soon receive direct communications from their colleges about online instruction and modifications to clinical and community-based instruction. Students in these programs with questions should contact their colleges directly. Additional information is available at students.ouhsc.edu/coronavirus.

OU-Tulsa Summer Classes. Norman-based programs (Colleges of Architecture, Arts & Sciences, Education, and Engineering) will offer classes online for the summer session. HSC programs have received or will soon receive direct communications from their colleges regarding both classes and clinical rotations.

 

Why was the decision to suspend in-person instruction and transition to online learning made?

The University is committed to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our campus community. COVID-19 is rapidly spreading around the world and here in Oklahoma. We are taking this step after thorough consultations with OU’s professional medical staff and public health experts across the state and nation. We recognize that this is a significant adjustment for our entire University community, and we are committed to providing the necessary support to help facilitate this effort.

 

What can students do to prepare?

Prepare to learn remotely: Visit ou.edu/learnanywhere for information and resources on attending classes online.

Your instructors will provide directions specific to your courses.

Information and updates on Norman campus residential housing are available here.

For important updates regarding on-campus residential housing, see the March 18 Update from Interim President Harroz.

For up-to-date information on University operations, visit ou.edu/studentaffairs/operations-updates.

Student Employees: Managers are also encouraged to develop and implement telework plans for student employees and graduate assistants where the telework plan supports University operations. More information is available here.

 

What can instructors do to prepare?

Prepare to teach remotely: Visit ou.edu/teachanywhere for information and resources to assist faculty in migrating instruction online.

Departments and the instructors of record should determine the most appropriate solutions for finishing courses and determining grades. Departments and faculty are asked to put student health and success first in all decision-making, and to consider the following when making their determinations during this period:

  • To the extent feasible, instructors will be expected to make their course content, including materials used in class, available via Canvas.
  • Instructors are strongly encouraged to maintain their regular class meeting times, especially if the class requires active and synchronous student participation. We will continue to encourage instructors to be flexible with attendance and exam policies for any students who are ill.
  • Faculty should consult with their department chairs in determining the most appropriate actions to take, placing student health and success first in all decision-making.
     

For students who do not have a laptop or the ability to connect remotely, how will the University help them attend online classes? 

For students who do not have access to a laptop or other device, check with local area libraries, request access to an OU IT computer lab at (405) 325-HELP.

If you do not have access to the Internet at home, you can explore public Wi-Fi to connect to web-based campus resources. Public Wi-Fi options might include working from the homes of local family, friends, or neighbors; working from coffee shops or libraries with Wi-Fi (those that remain open). 

  • Comcast and Verizon have partnered to offer Xfinity WiFi for free in public areas. View a list of Xfinity hotspots here: https://hotspots.wifi.xfinity.com/
  • You can park in the west parking lot at Lloyd Noble (between LNC and the tennis center) and connect to WIFI@OU from your car
  • You can also locate free public Wi-Fi in your area

Also, a number of local Internet providers are offering low or no cost plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out these sites for more information:

What about classes that require special equipment or in-class activities?

The University is working with several departments to provide alternate delivery methods. Consult with your individual instructor, department, and/or college for discipline-specific approaches to remote instruction and assessment.

 

How will needs of students with disabilities be addressed?

The University is working with our Accessibility and Disability Resource Center to ensure that the needs of our students receiving services are being addressed. A list of FAQs related to accessibility is available here.

 

How will students know when in-person classes will resume?

The University will continue to monitor closely the status of COVID-19’s spread and will regularly communicate any additional University decisions, including  to either return to face-to-face instruction or continue online classes. Students should check their OU email, the OU website, and local media – as those are some of the methods we will use to notify students when classes will resume.

 

If I’m a Norman-based student but take a class at OUHSC or OU-Tulsa, are these classes moving online?

UPDATE: March 18, 2020:  

OU Health Sciences Center Classes. Students enrolled in Health Sciences Center programs have received direct communications from their colleges about online instruction and modifications to clinical and community-based instruction. Students in these programs with questions should contact their colleges directly. Additional information is available at students.ouhsc.edu/coronavirus.

OU-Tulsa Classes. Norman-based programs will remain online for the remainder of the semester. HSC programs will receive direct communications from their colleges regarding both classes and clinical rotations.

For information on summer classes, click here.

 


 

University Operations and Events

Is the Norman campus closing?

UPDATE: March 18, 2020 – No. Campus will remain operational, but some services have been reduced to promote more aggressive social distancing. We will have a reduced occupancy model for on-campus housing for the remainder of the spring semester with the exception of Kraettli and Traditions apartments.

Telecommuting is strongly encouraged across all three campuses. Visit HR’s Coronavirus and the Workplace guidelines for more information. Employees from all three campuses should consult supervisors for position-specific details.

Read more here.

 

Are the residence halls closing?

UPDATE: March 18, 2020:

Norman Campus Residential Housing: We will have a reduced occupancy model for on-campus housing for the remainder of the spring semester with the exception of Kraettli and Traditions apartments. Certainly, students who have no other housing option will remain in on-campus housing, and we are committed to assisting all residents, including our international student community, in every possible way. On-campus housing residents can expect to receive specific information from OU Housing in the coming days. Regrettably, the rapid pace of this unfolding crisis does not allow us to have the answers for all questions at this time. We will, however, address all questions as quickly as is possible. More information and updates on Norman campus residential housing are available here.

OU Health Sciences Center Housing: University Village Apartments students are permitted to remain in their housing locations without interruption.

 

Will Greek housing remain open?

Greek chapters should encourage members who have a home base to return and stay home while in person classes are offered online.

 

What services will be available during the online course period?

  • Goddard Health Services? For the safety of our patients and staff, Goddard is limiting in-person appointments for routine visits (physicals or other non-urgent issues); however, it will be offering telehealth visits for most health concerns. Many visits can be accomplished through online telehealth visits, but Health Services is available in the office to address those needs that can’t be accomplished remotely. To discuss the best option for scheduling an appointment, please call (405) 325-4441 to speak to a medical appointment specialist. We will continue to monitor all secure messages through Health Connection, phone calls, and refill requests.
  • Food services? For up-to-date information on dining options and hours of operation, visit http://ou.edu/studentaffairs/operations-updates.
  • Sarkeys Fitness Center and Murray Case Sells Swim Complex? Due to the OU Norman campus closure, these facilities are closed. Visit ou.edu/far for additional information.
  • Library? For the most up-to-date information on resources available from University Libraries during this period, please visit libraries.ou.edu.
  • Computer labs? Computer labs in Couch Tower and the Oklahoma Memorial Union are open but access is limited.
  • Writing Center? Yes, for online consultations only. For more information, visit ou.edu/writingcenter.
  • Tutoring? The Student Learning Center is offering tutoring services online starting March 23 and will continue offering the online option as long as we are operating in this online format. Students will be able to access action tutoring sessions on the Student Learn Center's website. During this time, the Student Learning Center will not be offering study skills consultations or individual appointments. If you have questions, please contact the Student Learning Center at studentlearning@ou.edu or (405) 325-7621.
     

Are Counseling Services Available?

Yes. The counseling center will remain open during the semester and can provide services by phone or through telehealth options like ZOOM. OU counselors can be reached at (405) 325-2911 to make an appointment.

 

Will campus events go on as planned?

UPDATE: April 2, 2020 – All in-person events on all three campuses are suspended through at least July 31. This restriction includes events that are not University-sponsored as well, including conferences, camps, symposia, and social gatherings. This does not preclude small internal meetings, where social distancing should be practiced. The OU Athletics Department has suspended all athletics competitions, as well as all out-of-season practices and workouts, until further notice. More information on athletics events may be found at soonersports.com.

 

What is the University’s plan for Commencement?

OU will hold a virtual ceremony at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 8. A virtual ceremony has many of the same components of a live ceremony, which you and your guests will view online. During the ceremony, your name will be announced as your photo and degree are displayed. We encourage you to wear your cap, gown, and accessories for your photo submission. Additional information about the virtual ceremony is forthcoming.

All May 2020 graduation candidates – whether you participate in the virtual ceremony or not –  may attend the rescheduled Spring 2020 graduation ceremonies, slated for Saturday, August 8, and Sunday, August 9, in the Lloyd Noble Center.

For more information, visit ou.edu/commencement.

 

Are OU events that are held off campus suspended?

UPDATE: April 2, 2020 – Yes. All in-person events on all three campuses are suspended through at least July 31. This restriction includes events that are not University-sponsored as well, including conferences, camps, symposia, and social gatherings. This does not preclude small internal meetings, where social distancing should be practiced. The OU Athletics Department has suspended all athletics competitions, as well as all out-of-season practices and workouts, until further notice. More information on athletics events may be found at soonersports.com.

 

Are non-University events that are scheduled to occur on campus suspended as well?

UPDATE: April 2, 2020 – Yes. All in-person events on all three campuses are suspended through at least July 31. Please reach out to your event/venue contact to reschedule your event.

 

Are events on the Tulsa and Health Sciences Center campuses also suspended?

UPDATE: April 2, 2020 – Yes. All in-person events on all three campuses are suspended through at least July 31.

 


 

Travel and Study Abroad

OU Travel Guidelines, Restrictions, and Self-Isolation Policy

COVID-19 Travel Guidance

If you have returned from domestic or international travel in the last 14 days, you must complete a screening for assessment and clearance PRIOR to returning to campus. Domestic travel is defined as travel outside the state of Oklahoma. Read More

On March 29, 2020, Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a sixth amendment to Executive Order (EO) 2020-07, requiring travelers from six states (California, Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Washington) to self-quarantine for 14 days. Read More

All University-related air travel (domestic and international) has been suspended. Read More

COVID-19 Exposure Guidance

If you have been in close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19, call or email your campus health clinic:

If you begin to experience symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19 such as fever (temp ≥ 100.4˚ F), chills, cough, shortness of breath, body aches, and/or extreme fatigue, please remain home and contact your campus health clinic for further guidance regarding restrictions to return to campus. Please contact your primary care provider with any personal medical questions and for guidance concerning your specific symptoms.

Read More

 

What is the status of summer study abroad?

UPDATE: March 23, 2020 – Due to the unusual circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become necessary to cancel all summer 2020 study abroad programs. This decision reflects our primary commitment to student, faculty and staff health and safety.

 

What is OU doing to protect students, faculty, staff, and residents who are currently outside the U.S.?

UPDATE – March 16, 2020: For all OU Students Studying Abroad: The University has asked all OU Students Studying Abroad to immediately make travel plans to return to the U.S. Students are asked to provide their return itinerary here as soon as possible and to return to the U.S. quickly, with allowance for a brief period to organize their departure, secure a seat on a return flight and allow for expansion of capacity at the 13 designated U.S. arrival airports conducting screening of passengers from incoming flights. The Office of Education Abroad in the College of International Studies has asked students to report whether they need assistance with arrangements to complete coursework remotely. All students returning to the United States must comply with the University’s travel guidelines and the screening/self-isolation procedures.

 

What will happen if an individual currently outside the U.S. develops fever? Can he/she be tested?

Individuals in an impacted country who develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, should call their local healthcare professional. Please inform them if you have concerns about COVID-19, but also keep in mind that they are there to help you treat your illness, regardless of the cause. Testing decisions vary by country and may require input from health authorities, but the stronger the evidence/suspicion of COVID-19, the more likely a test will be done. It is unlikely people will be tested in the absence of symptoms.

UPDATE – March 16, 2020: For all OU Students Studying Abroad: The University has asked all OU Students Studying Abroad to immediately make travel plans to return to the U.S. Students are asked to provide their return itinerary here as soon as possible and to return to the U.S. quickly, with allowance for a brief period to organize their departure, secure a seat on a return flight and allow for expansion of capacity at the 13 designated U.S. arrival airports conducting screening of passengers from incoming flights. The Office of Education Abroad in the College of International Studies has asked students to report whether they need assistance with arrangements to complete coursework remotely. All students returning to the United States must comply with the University’s travel guidelines and the screening/self-isolation procedures.

 

Can students who are currently studying abroad leave the program if they or their families feel that leaving is in their best interests? What will happen to their classes/credits? Can they still get credit for the courses?

UPDATE – March 16, 2020: For all OU Students Studying Abroad: The University has asked all OU Students Studying Abroad to immediately make travel plans to return to the U.S. Students are asked to provide their return itinerary here as soon as possible and to return to the U.S. quickly, with allowance for a brief period to organize their departure, secure a seat on a return flight and allow for expansion of capacity at the 13 designated U.S. arrival airports conducting screening of passengers from incoming flights. The Office of Education Abroad in the College of International Studies has asked students to report whether they need assistance with arrangements to complete coursework remotely. All students returning to the United States must comply with the University’s travel guidelines and the screening/self-isolation procedures.

 

How long will OU limit travel?

At this time, we are not able to predict how long these restrictions will be in place. We will continue monitoring and providing updates as the situation evolves.

UPDATE – April 1, 2020: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt issued Seventh Amended Executive Order (EO) 2020-07, which states: “Effective immediately, a moratorium is placed on all out-of-state travel for all employees and officers of agencies that is paid for, in whole or part, by the State of Oklahoma. This moratorium shall apply to all travel expenses not already incurred as of the date of this Order. Any state employee or officer seeking an exception to this moratorium may submit a written request to the Governor, who shall have the sole discretion to approve or deny the request.”

UPDATE – March 10, 2020: The University has suspended all international travel for University-related business or academic purposes until further notice. More information available here.

 

If the travel suspension will impact scholarship or enrollment requirements, whom should students contact? 

Students should contact their college or the financial aid/scholarship office on their campus.

Return to coronavirus.ou.edu

All University Updates and Guidelines