I come to you this evening with new and important COVID-related information.
Since sending my message about our plans earlier today, Oberlin received new COVID test results showing that about 50 individuals on campus tested positive. This comes at the same time we learned that Ohio has been upgraded to the highest COVID transmission level.
Given this new information, we have made the decision to move to remote classes for the next two days. There will be no in-person classes held on Tuesday, December 21 or Wednesday, December 22.
In addition, there will be no in-person gatherings, concerts, or athletic events before the break. However, libraries and other campus services and offices will remain open.
Because we know so many of you are traveling in the next couple of days and are concerned about bringing COVID home with you, we are increasing the availability of testing immediately.
For those of you who have any COVID symptoms, or who have been a close contact of someone who has tested positive, we will have walk-in testing at Hales Gym on Tuesday and Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 8 p.m. each day.
As is the case all across the country, Oberlin has a limited number of rapid tests available. For that reason I ask that you only show up for testing if you meet the following criteria: students who are symptomatic, students who are a close contact to someone who has tested positive. Remember that close contact is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of a positive person for 15 minutes or longer up to two days prior to their symptom onset. If both people were wearing a mask at the time, you are not deemed a close contact.
For those who believe they need a test and are not symptomatic, please enter Hales Gym through Cat in the Cream. Maintain 6 feet of distance. For those who are symptomatic, go to the main doors of Hales Gym and maintain distance.
For those students who test positive and need to isolate on campus, you should avoid travel by remaining on campus over the break. We will be sure you have adequate food and support from the college’s staff. If we are already aware of your positive test results, you will receive an email from the ObieSafe team. Please follow the instructions in the email to help us help you. You will also receive a follow-up phone call from one of our staff.
If you have not let the ObieSafe team know of your positive test result, please reach out to them as soon as possible so we can arrange for the resources you need.
As we address this new set of circumstances, I want to thank all of you for staying focused on the goal of finishing out the semester as safely as possible. Remember, wearing your mask, social distancing, and getting that booster shot are the best things you can do to keep yourself, your loved ones, and our community safe.
Carmen Twillie Ambar