September 22, 2020 12:00 PM
Office of Communications

Covid conversations; guide to safe travel off campus

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


Coronavirus Testing Results
Sept. 14 through Sept. 21
New Tests 1,151
New Positives 2
% Positive 0.17%
More information on testing and test results is available at the ObieSafe website.

Wash those hands

A fun illustration titled Was That Really 20 Secs. Transcription follows.
Transcription Was that really 20 seconds? An easy flow chart for hand washing.
  • Did you hum the birthday song twice, as recommended by the CDC?
    • Yes: Then you did it. Congrats and also, happy birthday in advance.
    • No: Why not?
      • It's insipid.
      • We'll all detest that song forever if we associate it with 2020.
  • Fair enough. Did you count 20 seconds somehow, thought?
    • Yes: You rock.
    • No: Back to sink.

The second in a series of delightful illustrations by the talented Beth Wolfensberger Singer P’19.

Student mask design challenge: The winner is…

Mask design by Chloe Casdagli featuring blue butterflies. The text reads be the change.

Chloe Casdagli ’23 submitted the winning entry in a mask design contest sponsored by the Student Union. Read more about Casdagli and the inspiration behind her design in an upcoming campus digest, and view all the student entries in this Flickr gallery.

ObieSafe canvas tote bags featuring geometric designs in red hues. The text reads ObieSafe.
Courtesy of Office of Communications

ObieSafe tote bags have arrived

ObieSafe has your takeout food orders covered! These adorable tote bags are available to all students (one bag per person, please.) Bags can be picked up at Stevenson, Lord-Saunders, Talcott, Harkness, and Wilder Hall.

A quantity will be reserved for students returning to campus in spring.

Flu shots required this year for students

All Oberlin College students who will be on campus during the 2020-21 school year will be required to receive a flu shot. Proof of vaccination must be submitted to your Student Health Portal by November 1, 2020.

It is more important than ever for students to get a flu shot this year. To protect campus health, Oberlin College is implementing an aggressive flu vaccination strategy beginning October 1 that is consistent with federal health care guidelines to reduce the presence of flu on campus.

Due to national public health recommendations, all students who come to campus are required to get an influenza vaccination by November 1. Flu vaccinations will be provided free of charge to students after they take their COVID-19 PCR test at the Williams Field House in October. Students will be provided a standard consent form to sign before getting their shot. Those under 18 will need to get consent verbally over the phone from a parent or guardian. Exceptions will be granted for students who suffer from egg allergies, have had previous adverse reactions to vaccinations, have other medical conditions that preclude them from receiving a shot or have certain religious beliefs that prevent them from being vaccinated. Visit the CDC website for more information on guidelines for flu season.

Current ON-CAMPUS students will receive a flu shot at the time of your scheduled October COVID test. After your screening, registration, and COVID test, you will go to the next station to receive your flu shot. Mercy Health will provide Oberlin Student Health Services verification of your immunization. If you have already received a flu shot and wish to decline the opportunity to be vaccinated on campus in October, please upload proof of immunization by November 1st.

Current REMOTE students who will be coming onto campus at any time during the 2020-21 school year must receive a flu shot and upload proof of vaccination to your Student Health Portal by logging in, clicking on immunizations, entering the date the vaccine was administered, and uploading proof of vaccination for verification.

Covid Conversations

Sophia Garcia ’21, a student coordinator at the Peer Support Center, and fourth-year Jenna Snowden ’21 co-facilitate health promotion strategies on campus. In the second installment of COVID Conversations, they interview Brigit Cann ’21 and Diana Montero ’23 to discuss in-person classes, staying vigilant with distancing and wearing masks, and communicating boundaries with friends and peers. 

Things to do off-campus and guidance for traveling locally

Per the Temporary Travel Policy, “students are not permitted to travel outside of greater Cleveland except in urgent circumstances.” Students have requested more clarification on this policy, which we address here. Students may travel in the greater Cleveland area without requesting special permission. For the purposes of this policy, we are defining this as any location that is within Lorain County or Cuyahoga County.

Read about tips for traveling safely and recommendations for low-risk places to visit.

Campus Safety will respond to violations involving gatherings

The Campus Safety staff would like to take this opportunity to welcome Obies back to campus. 

Although we have observed that the overwhelming majority of the campus community is adhering to the mandatory requirements of wearing masks and physical distancing, there have been a few reported cases of individuals not complying with those requirements, which potentially placed others at risk.

With that in mind, we want to remind everyone that our Campus Safety Office actively addresses violations while they patrol Oberlin College properties. We also ask members of our community to report serious violations involving gatherings to our office. 

Campus Safety does not have the resources to respond to reports of an individual who is not in compliance. We will send officers to gatherings where people are not following policies. Officers will identify those involved and will document those actions.

Obies have come too far and worked too hard to bring our on-campus experience to a premature close. We thank you for showing responsibility and encourage you to stay vigilant with your efforts.

Mike Martinsen and Clif Barnes
Campus Safety

Tip of the week

A guide to considering coronavirus risk factors.

Graphic created by David McCandless, Omid Kashan, Fabio Bergamaschi, Dr. Stephanie Starling, Univers Labs, and Tom Evans; courtesy of informationisbeautiful.net.

Get in touch with the ObieSafe team

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


ObieSafe Weekly provides the news, information—and the occasional smile—we all need to navigate the pandemic and help our community thrive. Find the tools you need in your inbox every Tuesday at noon.