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FAQ

OU Together The University of Oklahoma

Frequently Asked Questions

The 2020-2021 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 – 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, and diarrhea. This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will continue to update this list as it learns 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.

Individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine.

Quarantine for students living in OU congregate housing (dorms, residence halls):

Based on CDC guidelines, OU Health Services requires students in congregate housing who have no symptoms to quarantine for 10 days after the date of last direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person.

Quarantine for those not living in congregate housing:

OU Health Services recommends a 10-day quarantine for everyone who has had close contact with a COVID-19 positive person. However, the period of quarantine can be shortened according to CDC guidelines to seven days IF you do not live in congregate housing, you have no symptoms, AND you have a negative PCR COVID test done on days 5 or 6 after the date of last exposure to the COVID-positive individual.

  • Monitoring for symptoms should continue for 14 days after exposure, regardless of housing situation.
  • If at any time symptoms develop, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or health care provider for testing.
  • As always, wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

All OU faculty, staff, 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.

Visitors, vendors, and new employees can access the screening form here.

Yes. On the Norman campus, schedule a testing appointment at Goddard Health Center by visiting ou.edu/healthservices/COVID-101.

Currently, the cost is covered either by insurance or by the Oklahoma 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.

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

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 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 at covidreporting.ou.edu.

You will be provided any necessary instruction about self-isolation after filling out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool. 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 at 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 COVID-19 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 COVID-19 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 health care 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.

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

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.

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. Per the CDC, 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.

For more information, see the OU masking policy.

The City of Norman has also enacted a masking mandate. For more information, click here.

In partnership with local and state officials, OU Health Services at Goddard Health Center on the Norman campus will be administering the COVID-19 vaccine to students, faculty, and staff in alignment with the Oklahoma State Department of Health phased plan for distribution. There is no cost to receive the vaccine. Most members of the OU Norman campus community will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 3 of the OSDH vaccine distribution plan. As more vaccine becomes available, OU Health Services will expand its list to offer the vaccine to other OU populations in subsequent phases. For more information, visit OU Health Services.

Yes. While we gradually ramp up our vaccination supply and distribution, all members of the OU community, including those who have been vaccinated, need to continue wearing a mask, physical distancing, and frequently washing hands to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

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.

Vaccine

In partnership with local and state officials, OU Health Services at Goddard Health Center on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus is administering the COVID-19 vaccine to students, faculty, and staff in alignment with the Oklahoma State Department of Health phased plan for distribution

OU Health Services provides health care for the university community, which includes OU students, faculty, staff, dependents, and retirees. Please refer to the COVID-19 Vaccine Update page for the latest information.

No, vaccines are not required at this time for faculty, staff, or students. However, OU strongly encourages everyone to give full consideration to getting the vaccine. As an Emergency Use Authorized measure, the current COVID-19 vaccinations may not be mandated for employees or students. As stipulated in FDA guidelines, individuals have the option to accept or refuse the vaccine under Emergency Use Authorized standards. Once a vaccine receives full approval by the FDA, and before the university would consider implementing a mandatory vaccination program, OU will carefully evaluate the state of public health, as well as the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine.

The number of vaccines OU Health Services receives for distribution varies each week. Officials will not know the amount of COVID-19 vaccines available until they are notified by the Oklahoma State Department of Health; notice is typically given approximately 24 to 48 hours prior to each weekly delivery.

Yes. There is no cost to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have insurance, OU Health Services will bill your insurance only for the cost of vaccine administration. There is no co-pay required.

Yes. Once larger amounts of the vaccine are available to distribute to the entire campus, OU Health Services will host large-scale vaccination clinics utilizing trained students from OU’s Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy, and the College of Medicine to administer the vaccine in accordance with the Oklahoma State Department of Health phased plan for distribution.

OU Health Services administers whichever vaccine is provided by the health department.

Yes. OU students, faculty, and staff are eligible to receive the vaccine under the current OSDH phased distribution guidelines.

Yes. Even if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine, or if you have recovered from the virus, you must adhere to OU’s masking requirements. While we gradually ramp up our vaccination supply and distribution, all members of the OU community, including those who have been vaccinated, must continue wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequently washing hands to help stop the spread of COVID-19. For more information, see the OU masking policy.

No. All members of the OU community should continue to abide by safety precautions, including those who have been vaccinated. OU community members should continue wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequently washing hands to help stop the spread of COVID-19. For more information, see the OU masking policy.

All individuals must remain in the vaccine area for 15 to 30 minutes following receipt of their COVID-19 vaccine for monitoring for any unexpected reaction. Medical professionals are on site to respond to any reactions, including any allergic reaction.

The appointment will take up to 45 minutes. The CDC recommends an observation period following vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccine. Persons with a history of an immediate allergic reaction to a vaccine or injectable therapy, regardless of severity, and persons with a history of anaphylaxis due to any cause should be observed for 30 minutes. All other persons should be observed for at least 15 minutes.

If you received the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, you must have the second dose to achieve maximum effectiveness. The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine only requires one dose for full vaccination.

Those who received the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines will receive an email to schedule the second dose. The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine only requires one dose for full vaccination.

Classes and Academics

The University has instituted a balance of in-person, hybrid and online courses for spring 2021.

On the Norman campus, details on 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 spring 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 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 spring 2021. 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 spring 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 spring 2021. 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 spring planning.

For students who do not have access to a laptop or other device, check with local area libraries or 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 Wi-Fi for free in public areas. View a list of Xfinity hotspots at 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 at 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 spring 2021 instruction is to provide in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible while promoting a safe and secure campus environment.  Class schedules have been 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 are necessary to provide the healthiest possible environment for the spring semester. OU is focused on providing an excellent educational experience 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
    • All campus computer labs are open, but access will be limited.

For students who have filled out the COVID-19 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 spring 2021 semester, visit ou.edu/together.

OU is open and operational. The spring 2021 semester will include in-person, hybrid and online courses, and students should have a majority of their classes in person.

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 each time they answer YES to any of the questions listed here.

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.

Prior to move-in in both August 2020 and January 2021, 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 has been 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.

In fall 2020, OU launched 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 provide an early warning system for positive cases in the most densely populated areas of campus.

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 has returned to normal operations. 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.

 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 May 18, 2021, 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/Lloyd Noble Center:

Lloyd Noble Policies and Procedures

For information on OU Athletics events, visit soonersports.com.

Third-party events unaffiliated with the University are prohibited through at least May 18, 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.

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.

  • Third parties and/or OU colleges and departments that wish to host summer camps on the OU Norman campus during the 2021 summer period must adhere to the following guidelines:
  • Day Camps Permitted: Day Camps may be hosted on the OU Norman campus from June 7, 2021 through August 8, 2021. Overnight stays (on-campus or off-campus organized group lodging) will not be allowed.
  • Camps may begin no earlier than 6 a.m. and must conclude by 9 p.m. each day.
  • Camp staff and attendees must at all times observe the university’s COVID-19 protocols including masking, social distancing and COVID-19 capacities. It is the responsibility of the camp to provide fabric or disposable surgical-style masks that cover the nose and mouth to camp staff, participants and participants’ guardians. OU staff will be present to monitor adherence to protocols. These protocols are subject to change following local, state and CDC guidance.
  • Required Minors on Campus Training: Camps that host any minors or have staff/volunteers who are minors (one or more individuals under the age of 18) must adhere to the university’s Minors on Campus Policy.
    • All camp staff MUST complete the university’s minors on campus training (30-minute online course) and submit all required forms. For more information on the minors on campus policy and training, please visit https://www.ou.edu/web/landing/policy
    • OU employees assisting with university-sponsored summer camps must complete the Minors on Campus training through the university’s OnPoint learning management system.
    • Please contact the Office of Enterprise Risk Management at minorsoncampus@ou.edu for more information on training and required forms.
    • To reserve space on campus, all initial summer camp scheduling requests and inquiries MUST be directed to the Campus Scheduling office.
    • Any dining/food needs must be fulfilled through OU Food Services or contracted university vendors.
  • Camps not observing all applicable university guidelines will be asked to leave campus without a refund.

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.

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

Mask Requirement for Athletic Events: During OU Athletics events, 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 and Lloyd Noble Center, gate entry, concourse, stadium seating bowl and club/loge areas. Masks may be removed temporarily only if necessary for eating and drinking. For more information, read the OU Athletics 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 4 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.

The OU Travel and Screening Committee, comprised of medical and public health professionals and university administrators, has announced that study abroad to select locations will resume in the summer of 2021. The specific destinations that have been approved at present are: Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, the Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, and Mexico. These locations were selected and approved based on a careful analysis of conditions on the ground as well as program-specific arrangements.

Please note, we anticipate that participation in programs of study to the above locations will be contingent on participating students, faculty, and staff completing the full vaccination protocols (which can take as long as six weeks from the first shot if receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine). This is in line with decisions by a growing number of countries to require a vaccination before entry.

Also, various program and country-specific contingencies, many outside the control of the university, may lead to the necessity of cancelling programs at a later date, a possibility that always exists in study abroad. The College of International Studies and the OU Travel and Screening Committee will continue to closely monitor the situation and update the community and any programs affected.

For more information, read the full announcement. 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.

 

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 spring 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 spring 2021 include:

  • OU Housing COVID-19 Testing: On Dec.17 , 2020, OU announced all students living in on-campus, congregate housing (Residence Halls and Residential Colleges) and new Housing residents will be required to take a COVID-19 test prior to the start of the spring 2021 semester. Convenient testing options will be provided at no cost to students.
  • 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 has added 300 single-occupancy rooms.
    • Single-room options are 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 are 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 have been 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.

Residents have been provided 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 Dec.17, 2020, OU announced all students living in on-campus, congregate housing (Residence Halls and Residential Colleges) and new Housing residents will be required to take a COVID-19 test prior to the start of the spring 2021 semester. Convenient testing options will be provided at no cost to students.
    • 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
  • 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 have been 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 have been 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 spring 2021 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 have been 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 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 spring 2021 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 Plexiglass-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.

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 May 18, 2021, 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 2020-2021 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.