Travel Teams Coronavirus Policy Notice
See our Center for Coronavirus Updates for more information.
Guidelines for Spring 2021 Campus Reopening
December 28, 2020 • The administration has been working through the return of our students for spring semester. There will be a few modifications to the student return and commencement timeline.
- Virtual start for all students and faculty – Wednesday, January 6, 2021
- In-Person start for all students and faculty – Tuesday, January 19, 2021
- Athletes – Only IN SEASON teams (teams playing games) can move in by Wednesday, January 6th – with mandatory test on arrival.
- SPRING BREAK will be canceled and the MONDAY after Easter will be classes as usual.
- The semester will move up by ONE WEEK – ending early.
Updated Covid Guidelines:
Ohio Christian University will be following the CDC guidelines for those exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19:
- 10 day quarantine that does not require testing, provided there are no symptoms
- 7 day quarantine if test results are negative, provided there are no symptoms
- Monitor symptoms
- Wear a mask
- Wash your hands often
- Social distance at least 6 feet
- Sanitize your work space often
As always, the university staff and faculty appreciate your flexibility as we maneuver through these unprecedented times.
Expanding Services to Students
December 16, 2020 • Ohio Christian University has partnered with TimelyMD to expand practical medical access and necessary emotional care for our students during this pandemic. This effort is in addition to the ongoing strategies and policies outlined below that Ohio Christian University has implemented to foster an environment conducive to health and learning.
TimelyMD's medical providers use risk assessments based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. A student's symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath can be assessed during a telehealth visit, whether by phone or video.
Providers ask about any recent travel or contact with people who have been traveling or who have the infection. And while a diagnosis of COVID-19 cannot be confirmed virtually, a student's risk for the condition can be evaluated while answering questions and recommending next steps.
TimelyMD medical providers help coordinate referrals for in-person care based on the college or university's specific protocols, if it is necessary. If a student is suspected of having been infected by the new coronavirus (COVID-19), he or she will receive an outline for immediate treatment steps from the provider, as well as a referral for in-person care.
In addition to the need for physical care, TimelyMD addresses the student's need for mental health. The anxiety and stress that comes from the constant news and notifications about the spread of the disease takes a toll on students, who may be traveling, have a family member at risk of infection, or may be worried about returning to school. TimelyMD's mental health services, including their on-demand TalkNow and Scheduled Counseling, are ready to help students who may be in distress anytime, anywhere.
TimelyMD has a Library of Resources geared toward students' emotional, mental and practical needs.
FOR OUR COMMUNITY
To ensure the health and safety of the Ohio Christian community, our Emergency Response Team is actively monitoring the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) around the globe and here at home. We have created this center to keep our students, staff, faculty, and friends up to date on Ohio Christian University's response and safety measures.
Beyond public health considerations, we are concerned about the well-being of students affected by the impact of the outbreak. As part of our on-going Emergency Preparedness planning, we continue to monitor multiple communications from various sources to make sure we are up to date on the virus and its possible impact here in Ohio.
November 13, 2020 - President's Update
First, I want to thank everyone for all you have done to help make this a safe and successful semester. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been well worth the effort. I know it’s been frustrating to deal with mask wearing and cleaning protocols. But all of your work and cooperation has paid off – so THANK YOU!
On Wednesday night of this week, the Governor announced that all 88 counties in Ohio have seen increasing spikes of COVID cases.
Ohio is now seeing, on average, about 5,900+ new cases a day. Rural areas are also being hit very hard.
The first week of October, Ohio had 86 people die from the virus each day.
The first week of November, that number moved up to 104/day.
And we haven’t entered the regular flu season yet.
And, because of the AWESOME FALL WEATHER - we haven’t had to have people move indoors due to cold/damp weather. However, the Governor stated that all hospitals in Ohio are working as though it’s the peak of the flu season. This is taking a huge human toll on healthcare workers (tired and sick). Several months ago, we were worried about running out of masks and other protective gear – now we are worried about potentially running out of people (healthcare workers).
Even with our successful fall semester, within the past few days – we have seen a shift at OCU. Due to some exposures at other institutions in the athletic area, and other non-student-athlete exposures with family and friends, as well as a few employees who have tested positive, we now have over 50+ residential students in quarantine, and over a dozen employees.
PLEASE NOTE: The vast majority of these are quarantining due to close contact and exposure, not because they have tested positive for the coronavirus. These are precautionary measures we are taking for the health and safety of our community.
As a result of this activity:
The decision has been made to send all campus residential students home no later than, NOON, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2020. All residential campus students must be moved off campus by noon, November 18, 2020. All face-to-face classes will end on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2020 and will transition to virtual online learning the following day. All students must follow CHECKOUT PROTOCOL – prior to leaving. Student Development and the Athletic Department will follow up with additional information.
Next week, we will also begin to allow employees to begin to transition to a Work-from-Home environment. This will be implemented in stages. A specific list of how that will occur will be finalized and sent out by Ronda Baldwin – AVP of Human Resources. However, since we are currently NOT under a mandatory quarantine or lockdown by the State of Ohio - employees may visit the office as needed.
Should this change in the days and weeks ahead – we will send out another communication.
During this time of transition, our IT helpdesk is staffed and on campus to support our community. Please contact Blazertech if you have any technology issues or needs.
As you transition home for the Thanksgiving and Advent holiday season – please remember:
- Stay ENGAGED - Classes are still up and running through the end of the semester.
- Stay SAFE – social distance, wear a mask, wash your hands.
- Be SMART – about where you go, and who you are with.
- It’s okay to say “NO” to parties, gatherings, events, and dinners – that you are not sure are ‘safe’ to attend.
We are praying for a safe, healthy, and productive start to our Spring Semester on January 6, 2021. The personal choices you and I make over the next 7 weeks – will make that a reality!
Praying with, and for, you all,
Jon S. Kulaga, Ph.D.
COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS FAQsOHIO CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY – AUGUST 2020
WHAT THE COMMUNITY SHOULD KNOW
Is campus open?
Campus is only open to the public for a specific event or meeting. Athletic events will be allowed to have spectators so long as they abide by the restrictions listed below in the athletic questions section.
Can I go to the cafeteria or to a chapel service?
To best keep our student population safe our campus cafeteria is NOT open to the general public, nor are our chapel services.
STUDENT ILLNESS OR POTENTIAL CONTACT
If a student is showing any signs of an illness (whether they believe it to be COVID-19, or not) they should:
Contact their RD if they live on campus or reach out the Student Development office at 740-477-7702 if they will be commuting to campus that day.
They will be asked several questions, and if there is a concern, they will be asked to get tested for COVID-19. Symptoms like fever warrant a self-quarantine to see if the symptom persists. If the fever remains the following day, they will be asked to get tested.
What is a residential student supposed to do if they come in contact with someone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been placed in isolation for COVID-19?
If the residential student is able to go home to self-quarantine, they will be asked to do so. If they are unable to self-quarantine at home, reach out to student development. Class instruction will be made available online as to ensure no students fall behind in their education.
How are we taking precautions in classrooms?
- Faculty have taken on the responsibility of sanitizing and cleaning student areas in classrooms after each class.
- Students will be social distancing at seats in classrooms that will be clearly marked.
- Class sizes that are too large to accommodate in our large classrooms will have hybrid accommodations.
- All students will be required to leave classroom before the next class enters
What are we asking student to do?
Students are to abide by the ALL-TOGETHER AS TRAILBLAZERS and encourage them to stay on campus as much as possible. However, should they choose to leave, we also ask that they recognize it is their responsibility to keep themselves and the Ohio Christian community safe.
What does wearing a mask look like on campus?
Students, faculty, and staff will be expected to wear masks while on campus. During the semester, once students are seated, they may remove their masks and as long as faculty maintain a 6-foot distance, they may remove their masks to aid in lecturing, leading discussion, and answering questions.
What are the precautions taken for other public areas?
- Social distancing in all common areas and lines are marked for the cafeteria, coffee shop, etc…
- Over 42 hand sanitizing stations have been installed campus wide, including dorm common areas
- There are new designated entrances and exits for all buildings and classrooms
- Staff, faculty, and students will check their temperature daily before entering any Ohio Christian University building. If your temperature is 100.0 degrees or higher please reach out to your appropriate contact.
What will Chapel look like with COVID-19 precautions?
- Social distancing measures will be implemented and there will be overflow areas available
- All doors to the auditorium prior to chapel will function as entrances, and after the service all doors will be exits as to limit crowding
- We are asking that all audience members not sing out loud as to not increase the spread of germs
- Faculty, staff, and community members are asked not to attend chapel. Staff and Faculty will be able to watch online at myocu.com/live
How is the cafeteria taking precautions?
- Just like the rest of campus, masks are to be worn until seated at a safe social distance.
- The seating capacity of the cafeteria has been reduced to ensure social distancing compliance.
- We are also asking that no community members dine in the cafeteria to best protect our students.
What does the university semester schedule look like?
- Onsite class activities for the Circleville campus will cease starting at 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 24, and all courses will finish the final two weeks of the semester online after Thanksgiving break
- Students will return to the Circleville campus for the start of the Spring 2021 semester
- Pumpkin Show days are still awarded
HOW ARE ATHLETES STAYING SAFE?
How are athletes taking precautions?
- The temperatures will be taken of all student-athletes before they get on a bus to travel for any game/match.
- There are student-athlete temperature parameters specific to the RSC and NAIA that will be adhered.
- Once the bus has arrived on location, all student-athletes will, again, be subject to a fever check administered by a healthcare professional
- In addition, all fall sports will be completed before Thanksgiving
Will athletes be required to take the COVID-19 test?
Ohio Christian University seeks to comply with the most up-to-date information regarding the issue of COVID-19 testing for our fall student-athletes. At this time testing is not mandatory to play as it is not a requirement of our governing bodies. As things change, Ohio Christian University will respond accordingly.
What should spectators and parents know before coming on campus?
- All spectators attending games must wear a mask at all times and six-feet social distancing must be maintained between household groups
- Inside seating capacity is limited to 15% of normal capacity
WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A SPIKE IN POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES?
Last year we were all thrown into a situation, thankfully, we were ready and adjusted with a smooth transition into online learning. Moving forward, we have made certain that all faculty will be prepared to move to online instruction, should the university need to go fully remote to best focus on the safety of all students, staff, and faculty.
Please reach out to the specific department that you have a question for:
Ohio Department of Health Call Center 1-833-4-ASK-ODH
WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear between 2 to 14 days after exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends contacting your professional health care provider if you are experiencing symptoms, have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case or have traveled to a destination with higher numbers of confirmed cases.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people
Take Steps to Protect Others
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow
- Throw used tissues in the trash
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Wear a facemask if you are sick
Clean and Disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.