I’m here to share another COVID update with all of you. I know many of you waited in long lines today to get tested, and I want to thank you for your patience. After announcing expanded testing yesterday, we tested over 400 people today at Hales Gym, with testing still going on as I record this message. As of about 5 p.m. there were 39 new positives, which includes both on campus tests, and those who have reported results from testing off campus. Fortunately, these cases involve mostly mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, but we are taking this spread seriously.
In both good and bad news, we were able to test about twice as many students as we expected, which means we have nearly exhausted our immediate supply of rapid tests. As a result, we are canceling the planned testing scheduled for tomorrow morning and afternoon.
I am pleased to share that we have been able to secure additional tests from the state that we expect to arrive sometime tomorrow afternoon. Please watch for an email update announcing this second phase of test distribution out of Hales. We’re estimating that we can begin around 5 p.m.
This time, we will provide a rapid test for students, faculty, and staff who want one. These will be self-administered tests, so you will be able to stop by and pick one up and take it with you. This should result in very minimal wait times.
Again, wait for the email to stop by and pick up a test tomorrow – one per person please, and have your Oberlin ID ready to swipe. On Thursday, we will distribute these tests from 8 a.m. to noon.
Also, as promised, we’ve just published a new FAQ on the ObieSafe website – we’ll put a link in the video description – to address some of the very detailed questions we’ve been receiving. We will continue to update this FAQ as more information emerges.
I know this isn’t how any of us wanted to start our holiday break. For those of you who have tested positive and are isolating on campus, please know we are here to support you. I want to remind you to let the ObieSafe team know if you test positive, especially if you tested off campus since they won’t have access to this information otherwise.
For those of you who are traveling, be safe out there. Mask up and remember to get those boosters!
Carmen Twillie Ambar