The message below includes information that has since been updated. For the University’s most up-to-date guidance on COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ou.edu.
March 10, 2020
To Norman, HSC, and Tulsa Employees, Students, and Residents:
Your health and well-being are our top priority. Please carefully review this Travel Update concerning domestic and international travel, instituted in response to the increasing number of transmissions of COVID-19 worldwide.
- University Domestic Air Travel – Effective immediately, all domestic air travel for University-related business or academic purposes is suspended until further notice, unless such travel is mission critical to the University.
- Mission-critical travel is travel that is necessary to the ongoing operations of the University’s core academic, research, or operations functions. More specifically, the purpose of any domestic air 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 air travel is mission critical must contact their Dean or Vice President, who will make a recommendation to the Senior Vice President and Provost.
- Personal Domestic Air Travel - The University strongly encourages employees, students, and residents to exercise caution with regard to personal domestic air travel. Careful consideration should be given to postponing personal domestic air travel when possible.
Individuals returning from any domestic air travel should immediately contact their health care provider if they experience fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or if they have been in contact with any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The University is suspending all international travel for University-related business or academic purposes effective Friday, March 13, 2020, until further notice. This means that as of March 13, employees, students, and residents MAY NOT TRAVEL internationally for University-related business or academic purposes, including but not limited to study abroad, research or grant activity, internships, academic work for credit, service, conferences or presentations, teaching or training, performances, recruiting, or athletic competitions.
Individuals who return from international travel on or after March 13 or have returned from travel to, or through, any location outside the United States in the past 14 days must comply with the screening procedures below, which may result in a self-isolation period.
SCREENING AND SELF-ISOLATION PROCEDURES FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL:
Procedures for Travel from Outside the U.S. that Occurred Prior to March 13:
Individuals who have returned from travel to, or through, a location outside the U.S. since February 28 may not return to campus or attend off-campus University-sponsored activities or events until they:
- complete a telephone screening through their Student/Employee Health service, and
- complete any self-isolation period if directed during the screening process, and
- complete a follow-up telephone screening through Student/Employee Health: Norman: (405) 325-8732; OUHSC: (405) 271-9675; OU-Tulsa: (918) 660-3102. Any such individuals who are on campus today must immediately contact Student/Employee Health.
If one is directed, the self-isolation period will be calculated from the date of arrival in the U.S.
- Employees – Human Resources representatives will work with departments to ensure these employed individuals who stay home during the self-isolation period are placed on administrative leave with pay.
- Students – OU Student Affairs will work with the appropriate deans and academic offices to ensure these students who must observe a self-isolation period are not penalized academically and receive assistance, if necessary, with related matters. More information is available from the campus-specific Student Affairs offices: Norman Student Affairs – (405) 325-3161; OUHSC Student Affairs – (405) 271-2416; OU-Tulsa Student Affairs – (918) 660-3100.
- Residents – Residents returning from travel to or through a location outside the U.S. must call their program directors to determine how missed rotation times due to a self-isolation period will be managed.
- Visitors – Visitors (e.g., scholars, student interns, applicants, family, guests) who traveled from or through any country outside the U.S. may not come to campus (including off-campus U.S. sites and University-sponsored events) during any self-isolation period. Visiting scholars and student interns traveling from or through any country outside the U.S. en route to the University must 1) complete the above telephone screening through the Student/Employee Health Service on their campus, and 2) comply with any required self-isolation period away from campus and at their expense. They will not be paid during the self-isolation period if work cannot be conducted remotely, as determined by the University.
Personal Travel to/from Outside the U.S. Occurring On and After March 13:
NOTE: These travelers are subject to the same screening and self-isolation process described above. In addition:
- Employees – Administrative paid leave is generally not an option for employees who elect to take personal international travel after (or who schedule their return after) March 13. Employees taking personal international travel (including layovers through locations outside the U.S.) must be prepared to comply with self-isolation requirements upon their return, if such are directed following the telephone screening. During this period, employees must use PTO if available or, if no PTO is available, Leave Without Pay.
- Students – Academic assistance/exceptions for students taking personal international travel will be at the discretion of the faculty member and subject to syllabus and applicable policy requirements.
- Residents – Residents taking personal international travel are expected to include the incubation period in their request for time away from rotations. Residents returning from such travel must call their program directors to determine how missed rotation times due to the self-isolation period will be managed.
- Visitors – Visitors (e.g., scholars, student interns, applicants, family, guests) who traveled from or through a location outside the U.S. may not come to campus (including off-campus U.S. sites and University-sponsored activities and events) during the self-isolation period.
Ongoing Review: We understand that many members of our University community have upcoming vacations, conferences, or summer study abroad plans that this suspension may affect. The safety of our campus communities is paramount. We will continue to monitor this situation, provide updates as needed, and adapt to individual circumstances as best as possible.