Dear Oberlin College Community,
As you may have heard, Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, announced today that Ohio’s stay-at-home order is being extended to May 1.
I am sure that this comes as no surprise to you, as the governor has signaled for days now that the order he announced on March 22 would be extended beyond the original expiration date of April 6. Similarly, the telecommuting practices we have implemented at Oberlin will continue through May 1.
Since the March announcement, Oberlin students, faculty, and staff have worked hard to comply with the order. The telecommuting practices we have put in place were created to protect the health and safety of our community, take care of the students who remain on campus, and ensure that our institution has the necessary people working on campus and from home to support the college.
Employees who are essential and must come to campus to do their job are encouraged to practice social distancing while at work.
To help you understand the state’s order, allow me to remind you of some essential elements from the order and the exemptions provided for colleges and universities:
- All Ohioans are to remain in their homes, except for a number of exemptions, including those that apply to higher educational institutions.
- Educational institutions are included under the ‘‘Essential Business and Operations’’ section of the order.
- The exceptions for higher education indicate that work for the purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions can continue, provided that social distancing of 6 feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
- Travel to and from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and other related services is permitted.
- The order indicates that the work of our plumbers, electricians, cleaning and custodial staff, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, and other service providers who are necessary to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential operations may continue.
For those who must come to work on campus, please remember to take your temperature before arriving. If you have a fever above 100.4 degrees, or if you are feeling sick, please alert your supervisor and do not come into work.
We have done an exceptional job protecting ourselves and the College during the first two weeks of the stay-at-home order. Let’s continue the good work and do our best to slow the spread of this virus.
Carmen Twillie Ambar