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FAQ

OU Together The University of Oklahoma

Frequently Asked Questions

This academic year will look and feel unlike any other at OU. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about OU’s response to COVID-19.  

 

Health and Safety

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. A list of COVID-19 terms and definitions is available at ou.edu/healthservices/COVID-101/covidedu.

 

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. To help avoid being exposed to the virus, everyone should take precautions such as washing their hands often, maintaining social distance, wearing facial coverings, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning and disinfecting, and monitoring their health daily.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: Fever or chills Cough Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing Fatigue Muscle or body aches Headache New loss of taste or smell Sore throat Congestion or runny nose Nausea or vomiting Diarrhea This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

Individuals who identify as a contact will go into quarantine. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will go into self-isolation.

If you begin to experience symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19, please remain home and fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool. You will then be instructed on the next steps to take. You may also wish to contact your health care provider for advice.

If you experienced a known exposure, please fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool. For guidance on community-related exposure, visit the CDC website.

All OU faculty, staff, and students: Employees and students must complete the online COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool at covidreporting.ou.edu before resuming on-campus activity or responsibility each time they answer YES to any of the questions listed here: ou.edu/together/norman-phase-iii#II

Visitors, vendors, and new employees: Screening forms are available here.

Yes. On the Norman campus, call Goddard Health Center at (405) 325-4441 and press 1.

Currently, the cost is covered either by insurance or by the State Health Department.

If an employee or student tests positive for COVID‐19, the University will cooperate with the appropriate health department in its contact tracing efforts. Employees and students who test positive must fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool and may not report to work or campus until cleared by Goddard Health Center/Student and Employee Health.

If you tested at Goddard or another OU health clinic, you will be instructed by OU medical staff on what steps to take (such as guidance on self-isolation). If you tested at an outside facility, please fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool.

Continue to mask and practice social distancing. All close contacts of positive cases will be notified by the Health Department or Goddard Health Center. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

You will be notified by the Health Department or Goddard Health Center if you are a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Ask the individual who tested positive to fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool (covidreporting.ou.edu). No, you are not obligated to report their private health information.

If the individual discloses this information to you in person, ask them to return to their place of residence and instruct them to fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool (covidreporting.ou.edu).

Faculty, staff, and students who have been in close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 positive individual must fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool (covidreporting.ou.edu) and may not report to work or campus until cleared by Goddard Health Center/Student and Employee Health.

No. The Health Department or Goddard Health Center will determine who in the class or department are considered close contacts. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
If a student or employee discloses that they are a close contact to a positive case, have them complete the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool (covidreporting.ou.edu).

You will be provided any necessary instruction about self-isolation after filling out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool (covidreporting.ou.edu). Generally, people need to self-isolate or quarantine if they have symptoms, test positive, or are considered a “close contact.” If you are considered a “close contact,” you will be notified by the Health Department or Goddard Health Center and instructed as to what actions to take. Otherwise, there is no action to take.

Ask the employee who has tested positive to fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool (covidreporting.ou.edu). You should not report an employee’s private health information to Goddard Health Center/Student and Employee Health or anyone else but should remind the employee that they are required to.

No, but it is helpful so that any individuals who had close contact with you know to complete the Screening and Reporting Tool. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Students: If you have filled out the Screening and Reporting Tool to report your positive test to OU, your instructor will receive an email from OU Student Affairs alerting them of your absence. This email will not disclose the details of your circumstances. Missing a class session or other class activity due to illness or isolation will not result in a penalty for the absence, and you will not be asked to provide formal documentation from a healthcare provider to excuse the absence. Contact your instructors prior to your absence or inability to participate, if possible. The Provost’s Office has directed instructors to work with self-isolated/quarantined students to ensure they can complete their courses as planned.

Ask the student who has tested positive to fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool (covidreporting.ou.edu). No, you are not obligated to report a student’s private health information.

Student Affairs will coordinate notification with the appropriate departments.

Supervisors, RAs, faculty, staff, and others who are made aware that an individual in their area has tested positive should contact Facilities Management at (405) 325-3060 as described in Section VI.B.2 of the Phase III Return Plan for disinfecting assessment, if the individual was on campus in the past two days.

The health and well-being of the OU community is paramount, and the University is enhancing its cleaning protocols through the Clean and Green initiative.

Through Clean and Green, OU’s campuses are being meticulously cleaned to support the healthiest possible campus environment. Details on Clean and Green measures are available at ou.edu/cleanandgreen.

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.

Game Day masking policies may be found here.

All individuals inside university facilities and vehicles must wear fabric or disposable face masks that cover the individual’s nose and mouth.* Bandanas, scarves, gaiters, buffs, and the like are not acceptable. Non-medical grade masks that have exhalation valves with or without filters (such as this) may not be worn on campus unless a surgical style mask is worn over it. Individuals may remove masks only if:

 

  1. They are in their own enclosed private workspace or dorm room with no one else present.
  2. They are participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking; playing a musical instrument or singing as part of their work or an academic assignment; or, for students living on campus, bathing or sleeping.
  3. They are outdoors and are able to socially distance from others by 6 feet or more.

If individuals are outdoors and are not able to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet, an appropriate face mask must also be worn.

*If a faculty member, staff member, or student indicates compliance is not possible due to medical reasons, then the individual should be referred to the appropriate University office to request accommodations on the basis of disability (Human Resources for employees; Accessibility and Disability Resource Center for students). Individuals who would like to request a clear face mask should email jdaniels@ou.edu. Cloth face coverings should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance, per the CDC. 

For more information, see the OU masking policy.

The City of Norman has also enacted a masking requirement. For more information, visit www.normanok.gov/news/norman-city-council-passes-ordinance-requiring-facial-coverings-when-public.

The University Counseling Center is still open and available for telehealth appointments. Call (405) 325-2911 to make an appointment.

Yes, Goddard is still seeing patients for regular appointments both in-person and via Telehealth. Call (405) 325-4441 to schedule an appointment that’s right for you.

Classes and Academics

The University has instituted a balance of in-person, hybrid and online courses for Fall 2020.

On the Norman campus, details on fall instruction 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, have been the cornerstones of our fall planning.

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. While we encourage work from home, there is some work for student employees that simply cannot be done from home, like work in laboratories that cannot be left unattended. Managers should establish flexible schedules for these student employees where possible to reduce the number of people working near one another on a given day. More information is available here.

The Division of Enrollment Management and the Office of Admissions & Recruitment are offering on-campus and remote services. 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.

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

Your instructors will provide directions specific to your courses.

The University has instituted a balance of in-person, hybrid and online courses for Fall 2020. 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, have been the cornerstones of our fall planning.

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

The University has instituted a balance of in-person, hybrid and online courses for Fall 2020. 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, have been the cornerstones of our fall planning.

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: 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:

In these instances, 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.

The University is working with our Accessibility and Disability Resource Center to ensure that the needs of our students receiving services are being addressed. Information related to accessibility and online learning are available here: ou.edu/learnanywhere/accessibility

Once courses begin, no classes that have been moved online will transition back to in-person instruction.

The university’s goal for fall 2020 instruction is to provide in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible while promoting a safe and secure campus environment. Over the course of the summer, class schedules were modified to provide social distancing in the classrooms, a longer passing period between classes, and the best and most practically balanced distribution of an in-person and online experience. These efforts were necessary to provide the healthiest possible environment for the fall semester. OU is focused on providing an excellent educational experience this fall whether the course is in-person or online.

In an effort to facilitate effective social distancing, OU has altered class times to include a 30-minute passing period, which will help avoid any crowding in buildings between classes and ensure that students are safe when arriving to and leaving classes/buildings. These timing changes mean that classes will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m

OU is dedicated to crime prevention and the safety of our campus community. Safety tips and security information are available at ou.edu/police.

Additionally, students and campus visitors can utilize the free OU SafeWalk service utilizing resident advisors to accompany them anywhere on campus by calling (405) 352-WALK (9255). The service is available from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m., seven days a week. More information about SafeWalk can be found at ou.edu/police/crime/ou-safewalk.

 

The university is committed to providing students with the resources to be successful. All in-person resources listed below will also be available virtually.

  • Office Hours
    • Instructors will still be holding office hours using Zoom and can generate a link to share with students to join when the meeting starts.
  • Math Center
  • Chemistry Help Lab
  • Action Tutoring
  • Writing Center
    • Consultations are available via email and Zoom.
  • OU Libraries
  • Computer Labs
    • The majority of campus computer labs are closed. However, computer labs in Couch Tower and the Oklahoma Memorial Union are open, but access will be limited.

For students who have filled out the Screening and Reporting Tool to report their positive test to OU, their instructor will receive an email from OU Student Affairs alerting them of the student’s absence. This email will not disclose the details of the student’s circumstances. Missing a class session or other class activity due to illness or isolation will not result in a penalty for the absence, and students will not be asked to provide formal documentation from a healthcare provider to excuse the absence. Students should contact their instructors prior to their absence or inability to participate, if possible. For students who have been told to quarantine, the Provost’s Office has directed instructors to work with quarantined students to ensure they can complete their courses as planned.

University Operations and Events

For the latest updates for our fall 2020 semester, visit ou.edu/together.

OU is open and operational. Classes began the week of Aug. 24 with a balance of in-person, hybrid and online courses.

Many faculty and staff on the Norman campus have returned to work on campus, though some employees may still be working remotely, as telecommuting will still be broadly encouraged, where practical and approved by supervisors, throughout Phase III. Employees from all three campuses should consult supervisors for position-specific details.

Before coming to campus, all OU faculty, staff, students, visitors, vendors, and new employees must complete the University’s COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool if they have been away from campus for any reason for 7 consecutive calendar days or more OR each time any of the scenarios listed at https://ou.edu/together/norman-phase-iii#II apply.

The health and well-being of the OU community is paramount, and the University is enhancing its cleaning protocols through the Clean and Green initiative. Through Clean and Green, OU’s campuses are being meticulously cleaned to support the healthiest possible campus environment. Details on Clean and Green measures are available at ou.edu/cleanandgreen.

On Sept. 2, 2020, OU announced the launch of a COVID-19 testing program for residential students, along with regular sampling of wastewater from across campus, including residence halls, to study virus levels – two strategies that will provide an early warning system for positive cases in the most densely populated areas of campus.

Prior to move-in, students were required to be tested for COVID-19, with a negative test result needed to gain move-in clearance.

Extra cleaning protocols have been implemented to reduce any potential spread of the virus in the residence halls. Touch points and common areas are disinfected daily. Residential common spaces and community bathrooms receive electrostatic cleaning weekly, and more frequently as needed.

Every room in Adams, Couch, and Walker Centers is being equipped with a wall-mounted Synexis® Sphere device, which continuously produces Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (DHP™) to reduce viruses, bacteria, and fungi in occupied spaces.

Students in the residence halls must follow the OU masking policy. Upon exiting their dorm room, students are required to wear a mask. Students are not required to wear masks in their dorm rooms, but they are strongly encouraged to do so, particularly when others are present, unless they are participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking, bathing, or sleeping.

Norman Campus Residential Housing: 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.

Access to campus buildings returned to normal operations on Aug. 3. For more information, visit ou.edu/together/operations

Yes. The counseling center remains open and can provide services virtually. OU counselors can be reached at (405) 325-2911 to make an appointment. For more information, visit ou.edu/ucc.

Beginning Aug. 3, all gatherings and events on University property, as well as OU-sponsored events held off campus (including classes, athletic events, co-curricular events, registered student organization events and general campus events), must adhere to the COVID-19 capacity limits as determined for each venue. The type and date of an event can impact capacity limits. All gatherings and events must also observe the University’s masking and social distancing guidelines. Third-party events unaffiliated with the University are prohibited through at least Dec. 31, 2020, unless approved by the Campus Scheduling Office. Reservations and commitments for events unaffiliated with the University may not be accepted for calendar year 2021 until further notice.
 

Athletics/Game Day:

Game Day Policies and Procedures

University Tailgating Policy

For information on OU Athletics events, visit soonersports.com

Third-party events unaffiliated with the University are prohibited through at least Dec. 31, 2020, unless approved by the Campus Scheduling Office. Reservations and commitments for events unaffiliated with the University may not be accepted for calendar year 2021 until further notice.

Tailgating: OU has announced that tailgating is prohibited on OU campus grounds and parking areas for the 2020 football season. For more information, see the University Tailgating Policy.

Please refer to each campus Return Plan for specific information about a particular campus.

OU-Tulsa: ou.edu/tulsa/coronavirus

OU Health Sciences Center: ouhsc.edu/coronavirus

The University of Oklahoma is moving its 2020 in-person graduation to May 2021. As details develop for the May 2021 graduation ceremonies, the university will communicate any updates to the members of the Class of 2020. For more information, visit ou.edu/commencement. Additional information is forthcoming.

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.

Game Day masking policies may be found here.

Yes, if you will be within 6 feet of others. For masking guidance at OU, see the OU masking policy.
 

Mask Requirement for Game Days: On game days, face masks are required to be worn at all times on the OU campus, indoors and outdoors. This includes all campus buildings and outdoor areas, Athletics facilities, parking areas, outside the stadium, gate entry, concourse, stadium seating bowl and club/loge areas. Masks may be removed temporarily only if necessary for eating and drinking while in the stadium seating bowl, or in common areas of clubs, suites and loges. For more information, read the Game Day Policies and Procedures.

Yes, although they must not be positive for COVID-19 or be showing symptoms of COVID-19. Visitors must follow the university masking policy. Scheduled Visitors must fill out the Scheduled Visitor/New Employee/Vendor Screening and Reporting Tool prior to their arrival on campus. For more information about Scheduled Visitors, click here.

For the latest updates on campus dining operations, visit www.ou.edu/housingandfood/dining.

Coffee Trucks will be located on the South Oval and near the Oklahoma Memorial Union Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Credit cards, meal plans, and Sooner Sense will be accepted.

Travel and Study Abroad

  • University Domestic and International Travel – Domestic and international air travel for University-related business or academic purposes is permitted only if the travel is considered mission-critical to the University.
  • Mission-critical Travel, Defined – Mission-critical travel is travel that is necessary to the University’s ability to meet its core academic, research, or operations functions. More specifically, the purpose and timing of the travel must be such that if the travel does not occur as scheduled, the University’s ability to meet its core academic, research, or operations functions is significantly impaired. Individuals who believe domestic or international travel is mission critical must contact their chair/director, or dean/Vice President, who will consider factors such as timing, State Department/CDC travel advisories for the destination(s), impact on competitive advantage, and actions of peer institutions, to make a written recommendation to the Senior Vice President and Provost for approval.
  • FAQs on domestic and international travel are available here.

OU and the College of International Studies have been closely and continuously monitoring the environment for international travel. The landscape remains highly restrictive, including a global Level 4 U.S. State Department advisory against international travel, a CDC travel warning, and restrictions by many countries that create uncertainty about the prospects for entry by students traveling from the U.S. 

Unfortunately, in the interest of the safety and security of our students, we must cancel all OU study abroad for fall 2020. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the OU Education Abroad Office at ea@ou.edu.

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

Student Life

Residents are strongly discouraged from having guests in their living spaces this academic year. Each resident is allowed one guest that must remain with them at all times. A “guest” is any non-resident of the floor and/or building. All guests should exit the hall and/or building by midnight daily during the academic year.

  • No overnight guests are allowed in the residence halls.
  • Guests should remain in lobbies and wear PPE.

OU Housing and Residence Life will update residents as needed throughout the year. Please see the full, updated guest policy here.

We understand the move-in experience is important to families. To conduct move-in as safely as is practical, we are limiting the number of people in the residence halls during a busy time period.

Guest Policy for Fall 2020 Move-In
In an effort to balance allowing residents to bring guests into the halls and to ensure minimal interruptions to the Move-In process, OU Housing will implement the following process to allow for one (1) guest per resident to enter residential buildings from 5-9 p.m. on each day of the Move-In process from August 11-15.

  1. Guests will be required to wear masks at all times and abide by the University’s social distancing guidelines. For more information about OU’s mandatory mask requirement, see the OU masking policy.
  2. Residents must accompany their guest at all times while on campus.
  3. Guests exhibiting any symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have been in direct contact in the last 14 days with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 must not come to campus.

All guests will need to vacate residential buildings by 9 p.m. daily. For more information about Move-In, including the full, updated guest policy, visit ou.edu/housingandfood/move-in.

 

Residents are strongly discouraged from having guests in their living spaces this academic year. Each resident is allowed one guest that must remain with them at all times. A “guest” is any non-resident of the floor and/or building. All guests should exit the hall and/or building by midnight daily during the academic year.

  • No overnight guests are allowed in the Residence Halls.
  • Guests should remain in lobbies and wear PPE.

OU Housing and Residence Life will update residents as needed throughout the year.

 

According to research, students who live on campus are more engaged, have substantially higher grade-point averages, and overall, more success. For these reasons, the OU Board of Regents requires freshmen students to live in university housing for two semesters.

Students who have a majority of online coursework and would like to apply to live off campus will need to follow the exemption process. When filling out the exemption form, these students should mark “Other” and include their online schedule as the rationale. Students may contact OU Housing at housinginfo@ou.edu for more information.

 

The university is relying on the American College of Health Association (ACHA) safety guidelines, as well as the expertise of our own medical professionals at the OU Health Sciences Center, to make key decisions about the fall semester. However, due to the fluidity of the pandemic, the university reserves the right to make changes to housing assignments as needed.

Current changes to Housing and Residential Life for Fall 2020 include:

  • OU Housing COVID-19 Testing: On Sept. 2, 2020, OU announced the launch of a COVID-19 testing program for residential students, along with regular sampling of wastewater from across campus, including residence halls, to study virus levels – two strategies that will provide an early warning system for positive cases in the most densely populated areas of campus.
  • Updated Guest Policy: Residents are strongly discouraged from having guests in their living spaces this academic year.
    • Each resident is allowed one guest that must remain with them at all times.
    • A “guest” is any non-resident of the floor and/or building.
    • All guests should exit the hall and/or building by midnight daily during the academic year.
    • For more information, click here.
  • More Single Rooms: OU Housing is adding 300 single-occupancy rooms.
    • Single-room options will be spread out among Adams, Couch, Walker Towers and David L. Boren Residence Hall.
  • Enhanced Cleaning: Extra cleaning protocols have been implemented to reduce any potential spread of the virus in the residence halls.
    • Touch points and common areas of residence halls will be disinfected daily.
    • Electrostatic Cleaning: Residential common spaces and community bathrooms receive electrostatic cleaning weekly, and more frequently as needed.
    • In-Room Devices: Every room in Adams, Couch, and Walker Centers will be equipped with a wall-mounted Synexis® Sphere device, which continuously produces Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (DHP™) to reduce viruses, bacteria, and fungi in occupied spaces.
  • Public Health Protocols: OU is fortifying protocols to respond to a public health incident if it occurs. Protocols as recommended by ACHA include:
    • The ability to immediately test anyone with COVID-19 symptoms
    • Providing living spaces that allow for self-isolation
    • Enacting contact tracing for those who might potentially be exposed. COVID-19 testing is available through OU Health Services. OU Health Services collaborates with the local health department to contact trace individuals who may have been exposed to a positive case in order to quarantine and test those students as needed.
  • Move-In: To accommodate social distancing, OU expanded the August move-in process to take place over a six-day period.
  • Three-Step Move-In Clearance Required: Students living in OU Housing on the Norman campus were required to complete a three-step process for move-in clearance, including a requirement to be tested for COVID-19.

Residents will be provided with a clear list of community expectations based on the response to this ongoing public health crisis. Visit ou.edu/housingandfood for the latest Housing and Food Service updates.

The university is taking a number of steps to support the healthiest possible campus environment.

  • Chief COVID Officer
    • OU has appointed Dr. Dale Bratzler, a nationally leading expert in infectious diseases and public health, as the university’s chief COVID officer. Dr. Bratzler is helping coordinate a consistent approach to OU’s return efforts in light of the best available data about COVID-19 infection trends.
  • OU Housing COVID-19 Testing
    • On Sept. 2, 2020, OU announced the launch of a COVID-19 testing program for residential students, along with regular sampling of wastewater from across campus, including residence halls, to study virus levels – two strategies that will provide an early warning system for positive cases in the most densely populated areas of campus.
    • For more information, click here.
  • Enhanced Cleaning Protocols
    • Through the Clean and Green initiative, extra cleaning protocols have been implemented to reduce potential spread of the virus in the residence halls. Touch points and common areas are disinfected daily. Residential common spaces and community bathrooms receive electrostatic cleaning weekly, and more frequently as needed. Learn more about Clean and Green at ou.edu/cleanandgreen
    • Three-Step Move-In Clearance Required
    • Students living in OU Housing on the Norman campus were required to complete a three-step process for move-in clearance, including a requirement to be tested for COVID-19. For more information on OU Move-In, visit ou.edu/housingandfood/move-in.
  • Masking Required on Campus
    • Students in the residence halls must follow the OU masking policy. Upon exiting their dorm room, students are required to wear a mask. Students are not required to wear masks in their dorm rooms, but they are strongly encouraged to do so, particularly when others are present, unless they are participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking, bathing, or sleeping.
  • Facility Upgrades
    • Manual bathroom fixtures and toilets have been replaced with touchless, motion-sensor fixtures in all public restrooms.
    • To help improve indoor air quality, air filters across all campuses are being upgraded to hospital-grade standards across all three campuses.
    • 750 additional hand sanitizer stations have been installed university-wide near building entrances, elevators and outside of public restrooms
  • Microbe-Fighting Devices Installed in Residence Hall Towers
    • Every room in Adams, Couch, and Walker Centers are being equipped with a wall-mounted Synexis® Sphere device, which continuously produces Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (DHP™) to reduce viruses, bacteria, and fungi in occupied spaces.
  • Dining Services
    • OU Food Services has added additional safety protocols to its fall 2020 operations that include, but are not limited to:
      • No self-serve options
      • Use of disposable utensils
      • Social distancing practices for lines and seating
      • Enhanced cleaning procedures
      • Preordering opportunities
    • Visit ou.edu/housingandfood/dining for more information.
  • Staffing
    • Additional custodial teams and bus drivers will be added to increase cleaning efforts and social distancing on buses.
  • Responsible Consumption
    • As we prioritize human health, OU continues to make sustainable choices to protect environmental health. The Norman campus ranks as a top 15 university for renewable energy and is a three-time Princeton Review Green College. Across all three campuses, we are transitioning more of the products we use in maintaining our facilities to environmentally friendly alternatives, and as always, looking for new opportunities to conserve energy and resources.

If an OU Housing resident tests positive during the semester, they will be provided a room to temporarily live in to self-isolate. OU Health Services will work with students for recovery, OU Food Services will provide delivered meals, and OU Residence Life will check in with these students daily. Additional information will soon be available about online or hybrid format courses to allow students who are ill or not able to come to class to participate in the learning experience.

You are encouraged to tell your roommate and/or suitemates about your positive test result. Roommates and suitemates should fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool at covidreporting.ou.edu and then contact healthyhousing@ou.edu. They will receive further instructions and will be contacted by Residence Life staff.

If an OU Housing resident tests positive during the semester, they will be provided an individual room to self-isolate. OU Health Services will work with students for recovery; OU Food Services will provide delivered meals; and OU Residence Life will check in with these students daily and will connect them with resources and services as needed. Rooms are designed for students to have one bedroom and one bathroom per person.

Students will still be permitted to sit and dine in OU dining halls, with certain safety protocols in place. Seating areas have been spaced out and occupancies have been reduced to promote social distancing.

There will be no self-serve lines, and grab-and-go options will be available. Students will still have the same high-quality and variety of meals that have always been provided, whether the meal is served in the dining halls or provided to-go.

While we recognize that students will remove their masks to eat, they will be required to keep their mask on at all other times in university facilities and any time they cannot maintain a safe physical distance from others.

For fall 2020 dining updates, please visit the OU Campus Dining page.  

Students will still have the same high-quality and variety of meals that have always been provided, whether the meal is served in the dining halls or provided to-go. Food choices that used to be available in self-serve lines will now be served by employees in a Plexiglas-guarded food station. In accordance with CDC guidelines, OU Food Services will use disposable dishes and utensils. Students will have the choice to sit and dine in the dining hall or facility, or take their food to go. If dining in, students must adhere to established physical distancing protocols.

Student meal plans will be active when students arrive on their scheduled move-in day.

Students who do not wear masks in spaces where they are required may be held accountable through the University of Oklahoma’s Student Code of Conduct. Failure to mask incidents that occur within the classroom may be subject to the University’s Masking Resolution Process. For more information, see the Student Conduct COVID-19 Resources.

Yes, masks must be worn in class, unless you are participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as playing a musical instrument or singing as part of an academic assignment. For more information, see the OU masking policy.

No, food and drink are not permitted in academic spaces.

Someone will most likely ask if you need a mask or encourage/remind you to wear your mask.

If you do not have a mask or forgot yours, see the instructor for available masks. Masks will also be available at Student Life, Housing and Food, and Fit + Rec, and will be available for purchase at various vending machines across campus.

All gatherings and events on university property, as well as OU-sponsored events held off campus (including classes, athletic events, co-curricular events, registered student organization events and general campus events), must adhere to the COVID-19 capacity limits as determined for each venue. The type and date of an event can impact capacity limits. All gatherings and events must also observe the university’s masking and social distancing guidelines. Third-party events unaffiliated with the university are prohibited through at least Dec. 31, 2020, unless approved by the Campus Scheduling Office. Reservations and commitments for events unaffiliated with the University may not be accepted for calendar year 2021 until further notice. For more information, see the Phase III Return Plan.

The guidelines for Registered Student Organizations events are available here.

Information on how to plan student events is available here.

Tuition and Fees

OU is committed to providing a world-class education that is affordable and accessible. For the third straight year, there will be no tuition or mandatory fee increases for Norman campus programs for the 2020-2021 academic year. Additionally, no online fees will apply for courses that have been moved online due to COVID-19.

OU is working to provide in-person courses to the maximum extent practical. OU has also added new, smaller, in-person sections to many classes – a large-scale effort that will benefit students. The online coursework proposed through the Safe and Resilient Instructional Plan is a temporary but necessary structure to protect the health of students, faculty, and staff. Although online instruction is different, its quality is based on a similar set of factors to in-person instruction – with instructor preparation and student engagement playing a key role in either scenario.

The payment of tuition for courses, no matter the delivery method, ultimately leads to the attainment of an OU degree – an achievement that will forever lead students to new opportunities. By completing a course online or in-person, students will meet degree requirements and will progress in their degree program.

 

Yes, tuition rates will remain unchanged, but no additional fees will be charged for courses that have been moved online due to COVID-19.

Should courses be moved entirely online, there will be no reduction of tuition or fees. If instruction were to move entirely online, the university will still remain open providing accessible services that are supported by student fees. Although online instruction is different, its quality is based on a similar set of factors to in-person instruction – with instructor preparation and student engagement playing a key role in either scenario.

The payment of tuition for courses, no matter the delivery method, ultimately leads to the attainment of an OU degree – an achievement that will forever lead students to new opportunities.

The university understands that many students and their families are presented with financial concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to help ease financial burdens, OU has announced that for the third year in a row, there will be no increase to tuition or mandatory fees for the upcoming academic year for Norman campus programs. Although transitioning courses in spring 2020 from in-person to online increased the cost of education for the university, those additional costs were not passed along to students.