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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

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 symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19?

If you begin to experience symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19 such as chills, cough, fever, headache, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, repeated shaking with chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or sore throat, 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.

Can I get tested for COVID-19 at OU?

OU Health Services is able to provide curbside testing for students, faculty, staff, and dependents. To schedule a curbside test on the Norman campus, call (405) 325-4441. Further details are available here.

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

The University 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.

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 chills, cough, fever, headache, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, repeated shaking with chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or sore throat, 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.

How is OU cleaning and disinfecting the campus?

As the University evaluates the best path to a traditional fall semester, the health and well-being of the OU community is paramount. One element of this approach is the Clean and Green initiative.

Through Clean and Green, OU’s campuses are being meticulously cleaned to support a safe and gradual return to normal operations. Details on Clean and Green measures are available at ou.edu/cleanandgreen.

Do I need to wear a mask on campus?

Yes. Until further notice, OU will subscribe to a university-wide masking policy, which applies to faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors across all three campuses. The masking policies can be found here.

 


 

Classes and Academics

What changes are being made to summer classes?

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 and 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.

What are the plans for fall classes?

The University is actively planning a phased return to normal operations. In light of its high concentration of clinical, experiential education, the HSC campus has begun a phased return specific to its unique operations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

On the Norman campus, OU is preparing for a return to in-person instruction this fall. Details are contained in the Safe and Resilient Instructional Plan, which is designed with flexibility in mind and is based on the latest understanding of COVID-19. These modifications, in addition to the Clean and Green initiative, will be cornerstones of our plan to come back together, safely. As our understanding of the virus develops, the plan will be refined as needed.

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

For up-to-date information on Norman campus Student Affairs operations, visit ou.edu/studentaffairs/operations-updates.

For updates and information on Health Sciences Center student operations, visit students.ouhsc.edu/coronavirus. Students are encouraged to call HSC Student Affairs at (405) 271-2416 for assistance.

For updates and information on OU-Tulsa student operations, visit ou.edu/tulsastudentaffairs/operations-updates. Students are encouraged to call OU-Tulsa Student Affairs at (918) 660-3100 for assistance.

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.

Where can future OU students find admissions-related information?

The Division of Enrollment Management and the Office of Admissions & Recruitment are currently providing all services remotely and are available through email and virtually. Prospective students are encouraged to connect with their OU admissions counselor or contact admissions@ou.edu. For more information, including a list of virtual resources, visit ou.edu/admissions.

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.

Where can students find information and resources on attending class online?

Visit ou.edu/learnanywhere for information and resources on attending classes online.

Your instructors will provide directions specific to your courses.

The University is actively preparing for a return to in-person instruction this fall. Details are contained in the Safe and Resilient Instructional Plan, which is designed with flexibility in mind and is based on the latest understanding of COVID-19. These modifications, in addition to the Clean and Green initiative, will be cornerstones of our plan to come back together, safely. As our understanding of the virus develops, the plan will be refined as needed.

What can instructors do to prepare?

Visit ou.edu/teachanywhere for information and resources to assist faculty in providing instruction online.

The University is actively preparing for a return to in-person instruction this fall. Details are contained in the Safe and Resilient Instructional Plan, which is designed with flexibility in mind and is based on the latest understanding of COVID-19. These modifications, in addition to the Clean and Green initiative, will be cornerstones of our plan to come back together, safely. As our understanding of the virus develops, the plan will be refined as needed.  

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.

 


 

University Operations and Events

Is the Norman campus closed?

No. Campus remains operational, but some services have been reduced to promote more aggressive social distancing.

The return to full, normal operations in all areas of the University will be a gradual, phased process. In a June 8 message to the OU community, President Harroz announced a phased-in return of on-campus work for employees on the Norman campus, which includes OU-Tulsa employees based Norman campus programs. A soft reopening of back-to-campus work will begin on July 6, with a fuller return slated for Aug. 3. More details on this two-phased return will be available soon from OU Human Resources, and employees will receive guidance from their supervisors in the near future.

If there is a reason an employee cannot return to campus, they should contact their supervisor to discuss their circumstances. If an employee is unable to comply with the return-to-campus instructions because of their own illness, caring for an ill person, childcare, or other COVID-related concern, they can find more information here: hr.ou.edu/News/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information

Temporary telecommuting continues to be encouraged where possible. Visit HR’s Coronavirus and the Workplace guidelines for more information. Employees from all three campuses should consult supervisors for position-specific details.

How is OU cleaning and disinfecting the campus?

As the University evaluates the best path to a traditional fall semester, the health and well-being of the OU community is paramount. One element of this approach is the Clean and Green initiative.

Through Clean and Green, OU’s campuses are being meticulously cleaned to support a safe and gradual return to normal operations.

Details on Clean and Green measures are available at ou.edu/cleanandgreen.

What is the status of the residence halls?

Norman Campus Residential Housing: The university has announced an expanded move-in process that will take place over a five-day period from Aug. 11-15. For the latest information and updates on Norman campus residential housing, visit ou.edu/housingandfood.

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

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?

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 the rescheduled Spring 2020 graduation ceremonies?

All May 2020 graduation candidates 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. Additional information is forthcoming.

Are OU events that are held off campus suspended?

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?

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?

Yes. All in-person events on all three campuses are suspended through at least July 31.

Do I need to wear a mask on campus?

Yes. Until further notice, OU will subscribe to a university-wide masking policy, which applies to faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors across all three campuses. The masking policies can be found here.

 


 

Travel, Screenings, and Study Abroad

Travel and Screening Guidance - Norman Campus

Safe Travel During COVID-19

Many people may be considering travel this summer. As more individuals return to campus, it’s important to continue observing guidelines put in place regarding travel, social distancing, and general safety both on-campus and while away from campus. OU community members are strongly encouraged to maintain awareness of all CDC COVID-19, State of Oklahoma, and OU travel related guidance during the summer months.

COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool

All University of Oklahoma employees, resident physicians, and students: You must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool at https://covidreporting.ouhsc.edu/ each time any of the following applies. The Tool must be submitted before returning to work or academic responsibilities on campus or attending University-related functions. Employees and students will be notified via email of their screening results and will forward the email to their direct supervisor or appropriate Student Affairs office upon receipt.

  • Absence from Campus – You have been away from campus for any reason for 7 consecutive calendar days or more.
  • Travel – Employees and students who have traveled domestically or internationally must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool unless the traveler qualifies for the Commuter Process.** Domestic travel is defined as travel outside the State of Oklahoma.
  • Events and Gatherings – Employees and students who attend an event, go to an entertainment venue, or participate in a group gathering of 10 or more people AND do not wear a mask and practice social distancing must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool. (Household members do not count toward the number of 10 or more.)
  • Close Contact – Employees and students who have had close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 or who has had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool.
  • Experiencing Symptoms – Employees and students experiencing symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell, and/or extreme fatigue, must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool. They should also contact their health care provider regarding specific symptoms.
  • Positive Test – Employees and students who test positive for COVID-19 may not return to campus until they have been cleared by Student and Employee Health to return. Clearance may require a negative test or tests.
  • Positive Household Member – Employees and students with a household member who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 60 days must complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool.

For Visitors and Vendors: Approval is required prior to on-campus visits. Please complete this Screening and Reporting fillable PDF form before visitors and vendors come to campus.

Please contact your campus health clinic for further guidance:

If you need assistance accessing the online screening tool with your OU/OUHSC assigned login and password, please contact your campus IT Help Desk.


** COMMUTER PROCESS
– If, as part of your University employment or the required academic curriculum, you must travel on a daily or similarly regular basis in a personal vehicle (either alone or with other members of your household) back and forth across Oklahoma state lines, you may not be required to complete this screening tool each time you leave the state (unless you meet one of the other screening and reporting criteria). For example – If you live 10 miles over the Oklahoma state line and commute in your personal vehicle to any University of Oklahoma campus, another OU location or assigned OU experience each day to work or attend class, you may not have to complete the form every time you commute. You MUST check with your immediate supervisor or student dean for further information regarding the Commuter Process to determine if it applies to your particular circumstances.

Factors for Consideration - Below are suggested factors that the immediate supervisor or student’s dean or their designee should review in considering application of the Commuter Process:

  • Method of travel (public vs. private transportation): Air, Bus, Train, Shared Ride Services are higher risk and generally not appropriate for the Commuter Process.
  • Frequency of travel: If it’s a one-time only trip, the employee/student will need to submit the Screening and Reporting Tool. If it’s regularly scheduled based on academic or clinical requirements, the Commuter Process may be appropriate, but the other factors must also be considered.
  • Essential nature: Is the travel being considered for the Commuter Process essential to the employee’s job or the student’s academic curriculum? If yes, the Commuter Process may be appropriate, but the other factors must also be considered.
  • Origin of travel: Travel to and from a “hot spot” or an area experiencing a current “outbreak” is higher risk and generally not appropriate for the Commuter Process.

The supervisor/dean approving the Commuter Process application must report the approval to Student/Employee Health within 72 hours. Once approved under the Commuter Process, the employee or student must agree to notify Student/Employee Health on their campus if at any time any of the above factors change – for example, if they begin experiencing symptoms or if their commuting situation changes.

Student/Employee Health:

Workplace Guidance

Screening results may require the employee to remain away from campus and from on- or off-campus events for up to 14 days before returning to their on-campus worksite. Employees who are directed to remain away from campus from on-or off-campus events because of personal travel should telecommute, if possible, or use Paid Time Off (PTO) or Leave Without Pay (LWOP) during this period. Find more information about telecommuting here: hr.ou.edu/News/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information#80991585-telecommuting.

For employees who are currently working on campus, remember social distancing guidelines are still in place.

What is the status of University-related travel?

All University-related air travel (domestic and international) has been suspended until further notice. 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.”

What is the status of study abroad?

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.

For fall study abroad, the College of International Studies and OU’s Office of Education Abroad continue to closely monitor and assess the safety of proceeding with fall study abroad programs. We are planning for all contingencies with student safety our foremost concern.

We are continuing with plans for fall study abroad with the understanding that programs will proceed only if:

  1. the U.S. Department of State alters its Level 4 travel warning for destinations abroad, and
  2. OU revises its current restriction on international travel.

In the event we are able to proceed, our programs at OU’s Study Centers in Arezzo, Italy, and Puebla, Mexico, will run on a modestly altered schedule. This will allow students adequate time to prepare for the study abroad experience while eliminating the need to apply for a visa by shortening the duration of the stay abroad.  

Students interested in fall 2020 study abroad should first contact the Education Abroad office for advising and then remain in contact with their study abroad advisor. The College of International Studies has reduced the financial risk to those interested in pursuing fall study abroad opportunities by:

  • extending deposit deadlines,
  • reducing deposit amounts, and
  • announcing that all deposits for fall programs will be refunded in full in the event of cancellation due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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

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