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Obie Safe. Caring for our community.


At Oberlin we flourish as a community—students, scholars, researchers, and creators, contributing to one another’s work and thriving together.

Effective August 23, 2021, students planning to attend Oberlin are required to receive a full COVID-19 vaccine no later than October 7.

The College requires that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear a mask indoors, unless you are in your residence or office with the door closed. The outdoor mask requirement has been lifted as of October 18. We will continue to monitor the risk and adjust policies based on public health guidance.

ObieSafe Policies
ObieSafe FAQ
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Living with COVID in a Congregant Community: ObieSafe Protocols and Policies


Oberlin’s COVID-19 policies reflect relevant data trends and the guidance of local public health experts and are subject to change based on evolving information.

In its second year, COVID-19 has become a disease we have to learn to live with. It most severely impacts the unvaccinated, people who by choice, health or religious reasons, age, or other factors, do not or cannot get vaccinated. Sometimes those at greatest risk are family members of employees. Oberlin must be mindful of these risks even as we work to facilitate a traditional campus life.


  • Required of all students, faculty, and staff, pending exceptions for health or religious reasons.
  • International students will be considered vaccinated if they have received all doses of a WHO approved vaccine or who have received approval for vaccines pending with WHO.
  • Proof of vaccination or notice of intent must be uploaded to the Student Health Portal (students) or Human Resources Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Card Upload Form (faculty and staff).


  • All students, faculty, and staff will be required to test upon arrival to campus.
  • Symptomatic students will be tested at Student Health during business hours.
  • Faculty or staff who become symptomatic during the work day should contact  Testing will be available on campus on a limited basis.


  • The definition for exposure is far different now than last year. It is unlikely that a vaccinated person who has been wearing their mask will be considered exposed to someone who tests positive.
  • Vaccinated and unvaccinated close contacts will generally not be required to quarantine if they wore a mask consistently near the infected person and some distance was maintained. Close contacts should monitor their symptoms and contact Student Health if symptoms occur.
  • If an individual needs to quarantine, as determined through contact tracing, they will remain in their residence or employee’s home.Quarantine will last for 7 days.
  • Student Health will test students with a rapid antigen test upon entry to quarantine.
  • Student Health will test students with a PCR test on day 5 of quarantine. A negative result does not alter the 7-day quarantine. A positive result means the person will begin isolation.
  • Faculty and students will manage coursework demands on an individual basis.

Arriving on campus

  • All students, faculty, and staff will be tested at the start of fall semester.
  • Overnight visitors or any high school student registered for classes must be vaccinated and follow all COVID-19 policies, including masking.


  • Unvaccinated athletes will follow Athletic Department testing protocols.
  • Athletes must adhere to mask wearing guidelines, institutional and NCAA athletic protocols.


  • Students, faculty and staff are permitted to travel off campus.
  • Unvaccinated students should get a test in Student Health 3-5 days after returning to campus.
  • Unvaccinated athletes must follow all athletic traveling protocols.
  • Testing prior to elective travel is not available on campus. Area retail pharmacies offer testing.
  • Testing for approved academic purposes can be scheduled in Student Health.


  • Visitors should be vaccinated, and are required to wear masks and follow other policies.
  • All overnight guests should be vaccinated.
  • Anyone with symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should not attend campus events.
  • All audience members must be masked during performances and at all other times while indoors.
  • Prospective students in voice, woodwinds, and brass who have proof of full vaccination may remove their masks for sample lessons with faculty.
  • Campus facility rentals, such as weddings, are permitted but all policies must be followed.

Academic Delivery

  • Vaccinated faculty/teachers/speakers may remove their masks as necessary for teaching-related purposes (e.g., to play, sing or demonstrate for students), replacing their masks as soon as the activity is complete. These individuals must maintain 6 feet of distance from the audience at all times.

ObieSafe Behavior Protocols


  • Masks shall be worn over the nose and mouth whenever people are indoors with someone other than the roommate(s)/housemate(s), or outdoors.
  • All Conservatory students, faculty, and staff are to remain masked while making music (strings, keyboards, percussion, TIMARA and composition students, etc.). Students and faculty who must remove their masks to engage in educational activities— woodwind and brass players and vocalists—may do so under certain conditions. See the Conservatory’s ObieSafe policies for more details.
  • Athletes may remove masks indoors in shared spaces for select activities, such as swimming, diving, as denoted in athletic protocols.
  • Vaccinated theater students may perform without a mask if they remain 6 feet from the audience.


  • Full occupancy will occur in all residence halls with no differentiation in vaccination status.


  • At the start of fall semester, all dining was grab-and-go. Dining halls have reopened as of October 18.

Student Engagement Off Campus

  • Working/volunteering off campus is permitted. Masks should be worn indoors even in off-campus settings.

Learn More

Vaccination Progress: Fall 2021 Campus Population

Yeobie mascot with arms outstretched. A graphical bar stretches between his hands.

As of October 17: 3,779 vaccine cards have been uploaded and approved for the fall semester campus population. Remember to upload your card after you’ve had your final dose.

A breakout by students, faculty, and staff is provided on the Vaccination Statistics and Updates page.

Contact ObieSafe

General inquiries:

Report a concern:
If you are concerned about a person on campus who is not following campus mask protocols, share your concern.

Campus Safety:
Campus Safety remains open 24-hours a day to provide assistance and respond to immediate health and safety concerns from the faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Please call (440) 775-8444 or the emergency line at (440) 775-8911, available 24 hours.

Campus Bulletins

Additional Resources