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OU to Provide Employees, Students with Face Masks

OU to Provide Employees, Students with Face Masks

Mask graphic with interlocking OU

The University of Oklahoma has invested in protective equipment to distribute to students, faculty and staff members as the university returns to in-person operations.

Students and employees on all three campuses will be provided various types of face masks appropriate to their on-campus responsibilities.

In providing face masks, the university is assisting students and employees in complying with OU’s masking policy, which applies to faculty, staff, students and campus visitors across all three campuses.

“As we gradually welcome back more employees and subsequently, our students, providing face masks and other protective equipment is one of the measures the university is implementing to protect the well-being of our campus community,” said Eric Conrad, vice president for university operations and chief operating officer.

Wear a Mask and Slow the Spread.

Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU’s Chief COVID Officer, stressed the importance of mask-wearing in his June 25 message that announced the university-wide masking policy.

“Mask-wearing alone is shown to reduce the spread of the virus by 85%,” Bratzler said. “We have a tremendous opportunity to take personal responsibility to do those things that we know to be highly effective at preventing person-to-person transmission of the virus – wearing a mask, observing physical distancing of at least 6 feet between individuals, and practicing good hand hygiene.”

More information about the role of face coverings in reducing transmission of COVID-19 is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Norman Campus

On the Norman campus, the university is providing a welcome back kit for each employee. The kits include two surgical-style fabric masks, five surgical-style disposable masks, bottles of hand sanitizer and hand/surface sanitization wipes.

On June 25, approximately 35 staff volunteers assembled 6,000 welcome back kits in about five hours.

Masked volunteers help to assemble welcome kits

The kits will be delivered to a central location in each workspace prior to the start of Phase II on July 6.

Departments will also be provided boxes of additional medical masks to keep on hand for any visitors or others needing a replacement mask. If departments need additional masks, managers should complete the mask request form.

The university also will make masks available to students. Detailed instructions regarding student mask distribution are forthcoming, in coordination with the Division of Student Affairs and the PPE committee.

Health Sciences Center and OU-Tulsa Campuses

Because of its distinction as a health center campus, the OU Health Sciences Center did not close but did reduce some services and operations. It began a phased return to full operations – including requiring all individuals on campus to wear masks – in early May, specific to its unique operations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

OUHSC began increasing its mask supply in March and has established a supply chain, in coordination with its hospital partner OU Medicine Inc., to ensure it has sufficient quantities of each of the types of masks necessary for its clinical operations as well as those necessary for students and employees outside of clinic operations in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Lawton, Ardmore, Weatherford and Bartlesville.

At OUHSC and OU-Tulsa, masks for employees outside of OU Physicians and patient care areas may be obtained from the central mask inventory. Managers should complete this form to obtain surgical-style masks for their employees.

Masks for employees within OU Physicians, clinical providers in the College of Dentistry and OU-Tulsa employees in patient care areas will be obtained through their normal area-specific supply chains and procedures.

Masks for students who are on the HSC or Tulsa campuses may be obtained from HSC Student Affairs or OU-Tulsa Student Affairs. Masks for students in Lawton, Ardmore, Weatherford and Bartlesville may be obtained from the program director. Students in off-campus rotations who need masks should contact HSC Student Affairs or OU-Tulsa Student Affairs, as applicable.

By Melissa Caperton

Article Published:  Wednesday, July 1, 2020