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

ObieSafe Weekly: January 26, 2021

January 26, 2021 3:45 PM

Office of Communications

Welcome back, students: important move-in reminders

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

Coronavirus Testing Results
January 19–25
New Tests 305
New Positives 2
% Positive 0.66%
The data reported above reflect Oberlin’s testing protocol only. Cumulative totals and information on testing procedures are available at the ObieSafe website.

Welcome back! Campus move-in reminders

Student and mom with boxes and bags.
Photo credit: Yvonne Gay

We are so excited to welcome many of you back to campus! Please check the detailed instructions posted on the ObieSafe website. You may also want to print the following memo as a quick reminder of the steps you will take upon arrival to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Read the welcome-back reminders.

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.

  • Covid testing bay.
    Hales testing center. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay

    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.

  • 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 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.

What does ‘all clear’ mean when I receive my email from Mercy Health after testing?

If COVID-19 was not detected in your sample collected during your test, you will receive an “all clear” message via email. “All clear” means that the virus was not detected. The provider, Mercy Health, and type of test performed, PCR, are also stated in the email message.

If the virus is detected, you will receive a call from a health care provider associated with Mercy Health. Be sure to answer your phone if you receive a call from a number you do not know until you receive your results each month. And, if you are positive, be sure to respond to Oberlin's contact tracers when they reach out to you.

Questions we've been asked

A student walks on campus.
Photo credit: Yvonne Gay

Q. Can you provide guidelines for parents/families to come visit their child on campus, especially for juniors who will not be coming home between spring and summer?

A. This is a hard issue. Family visitors are not able to come to campus except in emergency situations to assist a student (please contact the Dean of Students office to make arrangements for a COVID-19 screening in this case). Visiting increases everyone's risk of exposure to COVID-19, which is why student travel is only permitted in specific circumstances with appropriate quarantine on return. If you can avoid visiting in person, that may be the best course until the public health situation improves and more prevention options become available. Read more in the Travel to/from Campus section of the Spring 2021 FAQ.

Q. If violations of the community agreement are revealed during the contact tracing process, will students be sent home or otherwise disciplined?

A. Contact tracing is intended to be a private and confidential process where honest answers allow Oberlin to successfully assist those who have been exposed to COVID-19. Minor violations of the community agreement are not disclosed to others. Only in cases where serious violations of Oberlin's conduct expectations are revealed such as illicit drug use, assault, or if there is reason to believe an individual is a danger to themself or others is further action taken to ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved. Read more in the Health: Safety Expectations and Community Agreement section of the Spring 2021 FAQ.

Ways to access counseling services

The Counseling Center is here to support the Oberlin community during COVID-19. The Counseling Center is open and eager to support you. We are providing all services through secure remote video (Zoom) to any registered student on-campus or residing in Ohio. Students out of state can receive consultation to help them access care in the community where they are currently residing. Due to state licensure laws, telemental health appointments can only be provided to students who are physically located in the state of Ohio.

To make a counseling or psychiatry appointment, please call (440) 775-8470. Daily crisis appointments are provided at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

We are also offering Let’s Talk, a service that provides brief, drop-in consultations on Tuesdays and Fridays at 1:30-2:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

For help dealing with stressexplore MindSpa, our virtual relaxation refuge that has relaxation resources and coping strategies for you. You will also find the Mental Health Guide for People of Color along with other helpful information for managing mental health and wellness. The Counseling Center will also be offering two structured group experiences, Anxiety Toolbox, and RIO (Recognition, Insight, and Openness). Please see our website for updates.

For urgent needs after hours: Please call (855) 256-7160 to access immediate assistance from a licensed counselor. Other resources include:

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline  |  800-273-8255
  • Crisis Texting Line  |  Text HOME to 74174
  • Lorain County Mental Health Line  |  800-888-6161

If you are currently not registered or residing out of the state of Ohio, here are some resources to help you identify mental health care in your area:

  • Psychology Today: Users are able to narrow down mental health providers by numerous areas, including who takes specific insurances, gender, location, specialty areas, etc.
  • Better Help: An online resource for counseling that is both convenient and affordable.
  • Talkspace: Another online resource for counseling.

Here are additional mental health resources related to COVID-19:

Quarantine procedure for students who traveled internationally

Any student who traveled internationally within 10 days of arrival to Oberlin will need to quarantine for a period of up to seven days. Arrival testing may be delayed as well. Students who meet this criteria should send their travel documents, such as an airline ticket, to Student Health ( Student Health will determine quarantine and test dates.

President Joe Biden
Photo credit: The White House

COVID epidemiology explained: the Biden plan

Of the $1.9 trillion dollars in President Biden’s COVID-19 response plan, roughly $400 billion is for public health efforts. This week, we look at the rationale for public health measures and the intended outcomes.

Rescheduling your test appointment is now even easier through OberView

To reschedule or cancel an appointment, please log in to the COVID-19 Test Appointment Scheduling page through OberView, click on your name in the upper right corner of the page, and select Appointments. You will then see your scheduled appointments and reschedule as necessary from there. If you have any issues with the scheduling task, please email for further assistance. 

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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