Expanded Masking Returning to Campus
Thanks to the diligence of our campus community, ObieSafe has been able to provide up-to-date information about the campus’ vaccination and booster rates as well as its number of COVID cases. We now know that at least 95% of our campus has received at least one booster shot. In the last day or so, we also learned that the number of cases on campus is increasing among students, faculty, and staff. We have gone from a handful of cases to more than 70.
The vast majority of people with COVID report mild symptoms; no one has been hospitalized.
From contact tracing, ObieSafe has learned that the new cases stem from a number of sources including:
- at least one social event hosted in a student apartment(s) on Saturday
- immediately following spring break trips.
Given the relative health of our community, our main focus remains on how to continue Oberlin’s educational mission with minimal disruption for the rest of the semester.
Throughout the pandemic, ObieSafe has relied upon data and public health expertise to guide our policy decisions. At times, our policies have been more stringent than recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other public health entities.
Because of the increasing spread and the potential disruption, ObieSafe is reinstituting the indoor masking protocols designed to reduce spread and maintain academics. Students, faculty, and staff should wear masks when indoors and near others in academic buildings and residence halls. Athletics facilities will remain open, with social distancing. Student-athletes should wear masks during indoor meetings and in the weight room. During practices and competition, student-athletes are exempt from wearing masks. Dining halls also will remain open with social distancing, with grab-and-go options available as well.
We regret that this announcement comes a day after we communicated the relaxation of the mandate in residence halls. What we did not know at the time was the weekend’s exposure was beginning to impact an increasing number of students. The best information we have now supports a reassessment.
As a result, here is guidance for fully vaccinated students, faculty, or staff who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive:
- Get tested 5-7 days after exposure. You do not need to isolate or quarantine simply due to exposure.
- Monitor yourself for symptoms.
- If you are exposed to COVID and are asymptomatic, you should wear a mask whenever around others and continue attending class or coming to work.
- Students who are exposed and asymptomatic and whose activities do not allow them to wear a mask when around others should get tested daily with a rapid test for up to five days. Contact your academic Dean’s Office to get the test kits you will need. So long as the tests are negative, students may participate in their academics, wearing a mask when they can for up to five days after exposure.
- Students in the conservatory who who play brass and woodwind instruments should use performing masks and maintain distance, and brass players should use bell covers when playing. Voice students who were exposed to someone who tested positive should remain masked in all situations. Students and faculty should contact the Conservatory Dean’s Office for additional information
All students, faculty, and staff who test positive should submit a COVID-19 Case Information Form immediately.
Students, faculty, and staff who are exposed and are not fully vaccinated should isolate themselves and then get tested five days after exposure.
Oberlin Continues to Offer On-Campus Testing
The testing center at Hales continues to offer symptomatic and asymptomatic testing. The information is provided below, and is on the website.
Symptomatic testing is offered every day, 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to noon. An appointment is required—text (440) 308-6193. Enter through the Hales Gym exterior door. This phone is only monitored during testing hours.
Asymptomatic testing is offered on a walk-in basis, 7 days a week. Enter through Cat in the Cream door. The schedule is below:
- Monday—9 a.m. to noon
- Tuesday—10 a.m. to noon
- Wednesday—10 a.m. to noon
- Thursday—1 to 3 p.m.
- Friday—1 to 3 p.m.
- Saturday—1 to 3 p.m.
- Sunday—1 to 3 p.m.
Home test kits are available from the Office of Campus Safety upon request. Please bring your ID. Please Note: There is no COVID-19 testing offered at Student Health Services, except for healthy roommates of students who have COVID.
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