Campus Bulletin: Current Students, Faculty and Staff, Parents, ObieSafe

ObieSafe: A COVID Update from President Ambar

November 4, 2021 9:00 AM

Office of Communications

Watch President Ambar’s video message

From October 21 to November 1, the ObieSafe team was notified of 16 positive cases identified by outside testing. 

Oberlin regularly reports data derived from the college’s COVID-19 PCR testing program only. Faculty, staff, and students sometimes decide to test at outside healthcare facilities, retail pharmacy stores, or via self-administered tests for a number of reasons. These tests can be either PCR or rapid antigen tests, and while members of the campus community are required to notify us of positive results from outside testing, we do not receive reports of negative results. Without direct access to validate these tests or their results, we cannot incorporate this data into our statistics.

Living with COVID on Campus 

  • We knew going into this semester to expect breakthrough rates of 1-2 percent for vaccinated individuals. The uptick in cases on campus is no cause for alarm or concern. 
  • It is not unusual that this is impacting our lives more acutely as the viral season begins.
  • This year is different! We are 97 percent vaccinated against COVID on campus and are maintaining our indoor mask mandate. 
  • Oberlin is in continuous consultation with public health officials regarding the status of COVID-19 on campus and we conduct thorough contact tracing for every positive case. 
    • We reach out to close contacts with instructions—whether or not they need to test.
    • We conduct exposure testing when necessary through Student Health.
    • We test any close contact who becomes symptomatic.
    • Housemates of positive cases who do not share a sleeping space do not need temporary housing. Sharing a bathroom is not a high-risk situation with a positive case. 
  • We are enhancing our testing for symptomatic and close contacts through the end of the semester.
    • More information will be provided. 
    • You must be approved by Student Health or ObieSafe for a test. This is not walk-in testing.
  • Things to remember:
    • Wear your mask indoors, even when socializing with friends or driving in a car together. This small action protects you and others.
    • If you’re sick, STAY HOME! And take proper steps to seek care (call Student Health 440-775-8180).
    • While we don’t think you’ll need to test outside of Oberlin, if you do, you must notify Student Health ( and ObieSafe ( of a positive result so we can support you as soon as possible.
    • Review the ObieSafe policies if you have questions.