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

ObieSafe Weekly: February 9, 2021

February 9, 2021 2:00 PM

Office of Communications

Reminder of temporary travel policy; questions we've been asked

Obie Safe Weekly: Caring for Our Community. (The squirrel mascot is wearing a mask.)

Coronavirus Testing Results
February 2–8
New Tests 561
New Positives 3
% Positive 0.53%
The data reported above reflect Oberlin’s testing protocol only. Cumulative totals and information on testing procedures are available at the ObieSafe website.

COVID, can u not

Transcription follows.
Created for ObieSafe by Boston-based artist Beth Wolfensberger Singer P’19.

An open box of Pandemic Convohearts candies, 2021 edition. The hearts shown say:

  • OBIE Safe
  • Real talk
  • 6 FT PLZ
  • Mask it up
  • Virtual hugz
  • Wash UR paws
  • No Rona, THX
  • Next term, QT
  • Damn you, Covid
  • Noth'n 2 sneez @
  • Hot but no fever
  • Can U not
  • Call me
  • We wish
  • #Tested
  • Dream on
  • Mind meld
  • Wink @ me
  • Norm life LOL
  • Just lust
  • Space case
  • Let's walk
  • Swab story
  • Major crush
  • Gimme a shot
  • Flirt O rama

Fire and ice

In winter clothes and a mask, a student examines the details of a large ice sculpture.
Photo credit: Mike Crupi

Winter Oberland on Wilder Bowl continues through March 14. Students, faculty, and staff in Oberlin’s testing protocol are invited to join the festivities. Celebrate TGIF with hot beverages, ice skating, and photo ops with ice sculptures. Register in advance.

Update on vaccine distribution plan

Oberlin has submitted an application to become a vaccination distribution center, which is pending approval with the state. We will share updates as they become available. Campus healthcare professionals and many others are working diligently in this waiting period to ensure we are able to administer the vaccine as soon as possible, pending approval and vaccine availability. We are hopeful that Oberlin will be able to add vaccines as another layer to our healthcare strategies. If approved as a distribution center, the college will issue the vaccine to groups according to state guidelines.

For those who meet current Ohio Department of Health guidelines for vaccine receipt, please see available vaccination sites from the State of Ohio.

Reminder of temporary travel policy

After arriving on campus for the semester, students are not permitted to travel outside of greater Cleveland except in urgent circumstances. If students with emergencies requiring travel want to return to campus, they must submit an explanation and a return-to-campus COVID-19 safety plan to the Dean of Students office for approval before leaving. Read the temporary travel policy.

A student in a mask works on a laptop computer.
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

Should we be double masking?

The CDC recommends a mask with multiple layers, which Oberlin provides to students and employees. Read more about the double masking debate.

Add your preferred contact to the Emergency Alert System (EAS)

Oberlin automatically sends emergency alerts to all Oberlin-issued email addresses for students, faculty, and staff, as well as to students via phone by using their contact phone numbers on file with the Registrar's Office. Faculty and staff also receive calls on their campus phone numbers. Everyone—including parents—can add their preferred contact information, including a cell phone or alternative email address, into the EAS. Learn how to enroll in Oberlin's EAS.

Questions we've been asked

Q. Are students allowed to spend any time inside a dorm room with friends or spend time together in a dorm lounge?

A. Yes, students may have guests who are participating in Oberlin's COVID-19 testing program. Guests are limited to two per resident if they can maintain 6 feet of physical distancing and wear masks. Students can also socialize in lounges if they follow the posted occupancy of the space, maintain 6 feet of physical distancing, and wear masks. Read more in the Health: Safety Expectations and Community Agreement section of the Spring 2021 FAQ.

Q. If I have a significant other on campus, does this mean I am expected to never see them without a mask? What is your opinion on one or two people that I can hug?

A. The ObieSafe policies are based on guidance from public health experts, including not using "pods" or any pairing/grouping as an exception to the required COVID-19 safety practices. Given the current state of the pandemic, we do not anticipate relaxing them in the near future. For now, it is important to maintain at least 6 feet of distance and keep your mask on except when in your own room alone. During periods you are not in school, we recommend staying well-informed about COVID-19 risk from the CDC and other reliable sources. It's important to know how risk is reduced by physical distance, face-coverings, ventilation and minimizing the total minutes per day of any unavoidable close contacts. We know all of this can be challenging, but keep in mind vaccination is on the horizon, so it won't be forever. Read more in the ResEd/Housing/Dining section of the Spring 2021 FAQ.

Microscopic view of viruses
Image credit: NIAID/NIH

COVID epidemiology explained: the new variants

There are a few things that we need to learn about these new strains: how widely have these new variants spread, how the symptoms will differ, and how they will respond to existing therapies. This week, we examine what to expect with the new variants.

Get in touch with the ObieSafe team

Have something to share in a future issue of ObieSafe Weekly? Email with story ideas or information you’d like to have considered for publication.

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