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

ObieSafe Weekly: January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021 3:00 PM

Office of Communications

Protocols for parents during move-in; what to know about contact tracing

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

Coronavirus Testing Results
January 12–18
New Tests 450
New Positives 5
% Positive 1.11%
The data reported above reflect Oberlin’s testing protocol only. Cumulative totals and information on testing procedures are available at the ObieSafe website.

Pointers for parents during move-in week

A student with luggage waits outside a dorm.
Photo by Yvonne Gay

As was the case during fall semester, parents should follow helpful protocols if they are accompanying students back to campus this January. Signs will be in place directing parents to the Science Center for parent-screening upon arrival on campus.

  • Only students will be allowed in the COVID-19 Testing Center at Hales Gym. Please do not accompany students to this area; students should be dropped off, and parents should plan to meet their students after testing.

  • Parents will need to participate in a COVID-19 health screening at the Science Center, where temperatures will be taken. There will be a hospitality area with refreshments, snacks, and restrooms. The Science Center should be the first stop for parents after dropping students off at Hales Gym.

  • Juniors and other students arriving on campus for the first time this academic year will need to check in at the Science Center; parents can meet juniors here once they complete their COVID testing at Hales Gym.

  • All other students should report to their respective housing assignments after COVID testing; parents may meet these groups at their housing areas.

  • Once move-in is complete, students will be quarantined in their rooms until test results are received (approximately three days). Parents should depart campus once move-in is complete and students are quarantined.

Things to know about spring semester testing

As spring semester COVID-19 testing begins, please review the following.

General testing information

  • Monthly testing must be scheduled in advance through the COVID-19 Test Appointment Scheduling task in OberView. You cannot schedule same-day appointments.

  • No walk-in appointments are available for monthly or symptomatic testing.

  • The entrance for monthly testing is at the Cat in the Cream doors only.

  • The entrance for approved symptomatic or quarantine testing is the main doors of Hales. Do NOT enter the Cat in the Cream doors.

  • A health professional in PPE holds up a nasal swab.
    Photo by Yvonne Gay

    You can print and complete your consent form prior to arriving at Hales. This will minimize potential contact with others and increase testing efficiency. You can print multiple copies for the entire semester.

  • Please respect and appreciate the Mercy staff who are involved in testing. The procedures in place are based on public health guidelines and testing constraints beyond their control. Any feedback about can be sent to

Information for symptomatic patients

  • Students who are symptomatic or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 must contact Student Health. Student Health will determine if additional testing is needed based on a health assessment and will notify the test center of your arrival.

  • Employees who are symptomatic or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 must contact Katie Gravens at Employees will typically be referred to their health care provider to determine the need for additional testing.

Contact tracing: Know your responsibility

When a student tests positive for or has symptoms of COVID-19, it is critical that contact tracers interview them as soon as possible to determine if any close contacts are at risk. We also reach out to the contacts to let them know of exposure. Read about important considerations that are not only your responsibility, but demonstrate your care for the Oberlin community.

Full Measure prevents spread in dining halls

A lone student approaches the cafeteria counter.
Photo by Yvonne Gay

As part of our layered health care strategy, we have expanded the application of Full Measure, the daily survey that results in a green or gray access pass that you can display on your mobile phone. Effective January 2, all faculty, students, and staff will need to show their green access pass when entering Oberlin’s dining halls. Read more about Full Measure access pass.

Questions we've been asked

Questions asked at the January 6, 2021 webinar have been added to Spring 2021 FAQ.

A violist in a sunny room. Her professor is shown on a TV screen.
A viola class taught in real time by Professor Peter Slowik in the fall. Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones.

Q. What percentage of students who were allowed to be in-person in the fall ended up studying remotely? Do you expect a similar percentage for the spring semester?

A. In the fall, 14 percent of students enrolled remotely. We will be able to identify the percentage of students studying remotely in the spring once the term has started. Read more in the Academic Adjustments and Remote Classes section of the Spring 2021 FAQ.

Q. What can you do during the winter to allow students to have more social opportunities during bad weather? Specifically, are there ways to allow students to bundle up and eat meals with friends in protected outdoor areas or well-ventilated areas? The social isolation during February is very concerning.

A. Look for a "bundle up" outdoor program, a pilot program on indoor social spaces, and lots of ways to connect, including virtual dining halls so you eat safely alone but have the company of other people. Read more in the Extracurricular section of the Spring 2021 FAQ.

COVID epidemiology explained: success becomes a challenge

Vaccine compliance has been a growing challenge for the medical and public health infrastructure. Read about how perception has affected vaccination rates.

Statement of service for insurance

For those students with insurance coverage for our asymptomatic testing protocol, students may request a statement of service to support their insurance claims. Student requests for a statement of service should be forwarded to Karen Purvis, account manager with Harness Health, at It is important that these requests come from the student and include the student's T#. Requests for statements of service can only be made AFTER testing has been administered and results received. Requests made prior to the date of testing will not be logged nor fulfilled.

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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