Oberlin College is committed to using a layered strategy to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus on our campus.

The guidelines below detail our strategy for testing the campus community. All students and employees studying and working on campus are required to participate in the Oberlin testing program.

 

Summary

  1. Students will be tested for COVID-19 at the Williams Field House the day they arrive on campus. Testing will be scheduled by pre-assigned appointment.

  2. After testing is completed, students will be required to quarantine in their assigned room until they receive test results. Students will be allowed out of their rooms for limited periods, to get their grab-and-go food and have restricted exposure to campus until they receive their test results, while practicing all of our other health strategies along the way.

  3. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they will first be contacted by phone from Mercy Allen with their results. They will then be contacted by Student Health Services and will be moved to a room where they will be able to isolate. They will be able to conduct their studies remotely during this time.

  4. One-quarter of students will be tested weekly throughout the semester. Students will be instructed when to go for testing. You will not be expected to quarantine after testing, but will be expected to continue to practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet, wear a mask when in public, conduct frequent hand washing, and avoid large gatherings.

  5. Mercy Allen Hospital, which is administering the testing program in conjunction with Student Health Services, will communicate individual results to students. Anyone testing positive will be put in touch with Lorain County Public Health as well.

Arrival, testing, and move-in

For students, initial testing will occur at scheduled times related to move-in to the residence halls.  As part of the housing process, each new and returning student will be assigned an arrival time on campus. At your scheduled time, please proceed to the Williams Field House. Follow signage to the appropriate check-in station, where you and any family members (up to two) assisting in your move-in will complete a symptom assessment. You will also receive your masks, which must be worn on campus at all times outside of a private bedroom or office with the door closed, unless you have an approved accommodation. You may use a personal mask if you prefer. If you have not signed the community agreement, you will be asked to do so at this time or to depart campus.

Medical staff will administer a nasal swab. You will then proceed to your assigned Residential Education check-in location, which you will receive in advance with your housing assignment. Staff at the Field House will also be able to assist you if you are not sure where to go. At the ResEd check-in station, you will receive access to your housing.  Once your family has assisted you in moving your belongings, they should depart campus. You will be expected to quarantine in your assigned room until you receive the results of your initial test. Please wear your mask in the hall and whenever possible in the shared restroom, and use the cleaning materials in the restrooms to disinfect any surfaces you touch before and after use. While awaiting your test result, you will be allowed out of your rooms for limited periods, to get your grab-and-go food and have restricted exposure to campus.

Student Health will provide directions on next steps should you test positive, including how to access isolation housing and what you should take with you. Meals will be delivered to students in isolation housing.  Student Health will inform you as to when you may return to your regular housing assignment. Student Life staff will be available to assist you with any other needs via the SHARE system.

Students who test negative will continue to receive grab-and-go meals in the dining halls and will participate in the in-person activities scheduled before classes start. Students are reminded to observe all requirements for socializing, including mask usage and physical distancing, once they have been released from quarantine.

Students will continue to be tested at regular intervals, approximately once per month.  You may also be directed to be tested by medical or public health professionals based on particular circumstances. You are expected to monitor your oberlin.edu email on a daily basis and report as scheduled for all testing unless directed otherwise by Student Health.

This information will help our community know the effectiveness of our collective efforts to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Overall test results will be reported weekly in the ObieSafe newsletter, which you will receive by email and will be able to find posted on the ObieSafe website.

How to schedule a test

Save the scheduling link that was emailed on September 15, 2020. The subject line of the email is: “Keep this Email to Reschedule Your COVID-19 Test Appointments This Semester.” Click on the link to choose a new appointment time. If testing appointments are unavailable at a time that works for your schedule, please reach out to Covid.Testing@oberlin.edu to inquire about additional options.

Student responsibilities

It is your responsibility to ensure you are tested each month. If you fail to schedule and complete the necessary COVID-19 test, it will result in dismissal from campus.

Testing tips

  • Schedule all of your appointments for the semester as soon as you receive the email.
  • Create a testing folder in your email where you can keep the confirmation emails.
  • Add the appointments to your calendar, or make an alert on your phone so you don't forget.
  • Remember to check your email daily!

Another important strategy to reduce COVID-19 transmission in our community is isolating students who test positive for COVID 19 or are symptomatic of COVID-19 awaiting test results, and quarantining students who have potentially been exposed to the virus but have not tested positive. By instituting these guidelines, Oberlin College will significantly mitigate the transmission of the virus while providing needed care and resources to students who are ill. The college will regularly update the community regarding the prevalence of the virus on campus via our website while maintaining the privacy of individual students. 

This process will have twin goals: supporting the health of the community and ensuring high quality care and support for students who are quarantined or isolated.

Definition of Isolation and Quarantine

Isolation and quarantine help protect our community by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Students who are isolated will be housed at the Hotel at Oberlin. Should additional space be needed, Oberlin will provide other student housing with a private restroom.

Quarantine will generally involve moving a student to quarantine housing determined by the College. Public health authorities have advised that use of shared facilities like restrooms is permissible for quarantined students, who should use PPE and cleaning materials for any public surfaces they may touch.

  1. If a student tests positive for COVID-19 they will first receive a phone call from Mercy Allen with their results.

  2. Student Health and/or the Dean on Call is notified that a student has tested positive for COVID-19. Student Health or the Dean on Call will contact the students to instruct them on next steps.

  3. Student Health will contact the COVID-19 Campus Health Coordinator to begin the contact tracing process in coordination with the Lorain County Public Health Department (440-322-6367).

  4. Student Health or the Dean on Call will contact the Office of the Dean of Students and the SHARE coordinator.

    • The Dean of Students’ office will determine the appropriate communication to the campus community while maintaining the student’s privacy.

    • The SHARE coordinator will work with faculty regarding a plan for continuation of studies for the student and support for the student during the period of quarantine or isolation.

  5. Student Health or the Dean on Call will call ResEd and Campus Safety to inform them of the need for isolation at the Hotel at Oberlin.

  6. Campus Safety, wearing appropriate PPE, will go to the student’s permanent room assignment and escort the student to The Hotel at Oberlin. A care package will be provided at the hotel.

  7. Students will be instructed to bring from their room:
    • Pillow 
    • Academic supplies needed for a possible 14-day period 
    • Chargers 
    • Personal and health supplies 
    • Reusable water bottle 
  8. Students are to leave their permanent room assignment key on the desk in their assigned room. Campus Safety will verify that this has been done and lock the space upon exiting.

  9. Upon arrival at The Hotel at Oberlin, the student will receive all necessary information including how to order food.

  10. Student Health Services, SHARE Advisors, and the Lorain County Public Health Department will contact the student daily to monitor symptoms and ensure that the student has everything they need. The student will be given a symptoms checklist and will be expected to check their temperature twice daily. Students will be instructed to call Student Health Services during office hours, or Mercy Allen Emergency Room after hours, if symptoms worsen. 

  11. If a student’s symptoms worsen to the point where they need hospitalization, a medical squad will be called to provide transportation.The student will be stabilized at Mercy Allen hospital and transferred to another facility if ongoing treatment is needed.

  12. Students will have online access to their classes while in isolation.

  13. Students will be cleared from isolation when all three of these requirements have been met:

    • At least 14 days have passed since their last positive test;
    • They have had no fever for the past 72 hours and no medication has been taken to reduce fever in those 72 hours;
    • Their symptoms have significantly improved with no respiratory symptoms.
  14. Student Health Services will notify the student that they are cleared. The student will be instructed to stay in the room until Campus Safety comes to escort them back to their permanent residence (generally within two hours of clearance).

  15. Students will leave the temporary room assignment keycard or key on the bathroom counter upon vacating. Campus Safety will ensure that this has been done.  Res Ed will deactivate the keycard.

  16. Students will return to their permanent room assignment and resume their normal daily activities, including going to class and picking up meals.

  1. The Oberlin contact tracing team or Lorain County Public Health notifies Student Health Services that a student has been exposed to COVID-19.

  2. Student Health Services will consult with Mercy Allen as to whether or not the student should receive an additional COVID-19 test.

  3. If a student receives and tests positive for COVID-19, protocol for positive cases will be followed (see above).

  4. If a student tests negative for COVID-19 and has no symptoms, they will need to be quarantined for 14 days from the time of known or suspected exposure to COVID-19. If the student has symptoms, the symptomatic protocol will be followed.

  5. If the student is asymptomatic and has a negative test result, they will still need to move to quarantine housing. The student will not be able to go to class or have visitors in their room.

  6. If the decision to quarantine is made, Campus Safety, wearing appropriate PPE, will go to the student’s permanent room assignment and escort the student to their temporary assignment.  Facilities will supply a care package that Campus Safety will drop off at the student’s temporary room assignment.

  7. Students will be instructed to bring from their room:
    • Pillow 
    • Academic supplies needed for a possible 14-day period 
    • Chargers 
    • Personal and health supplies 
    • Reusable water bottle
  8. Students are to leave their permanent room assignment key on the desk in their assigned room. Campus Safety will verify that this has been done and will lock the space upon exiting.

  9. ResEd will provide students with an email (avifresh@oberlin.edu) that they can use to contact Campus Dining. Allergens/dietary restrictions should be reported by students when placing their request.

    • Food will be delivered (Campus Dining in coordination with Campus Safety will identify staff to deliver the meals) to their door at designated times each day. Staff will knock and leave the food outside. Students are encouraged to obtain their food within 5-10 minutes to avoid attracting pests outside. Drop-off times are as follows, though may be modified if large numbers of deliveries are required:
      • Breakfast: 8:30 a.m.
      • Lunch: 11:30 a.m. 
      • Dinner: 5:30 p.m. 
    • If a student wants to skip a meal, they should please notify dining services 24 hours in advance.
  10. Facilities will pick up trash daily. Students will be instructed to tie their trash bags and place them in a separate plastic bag, tied-side down, and then tie the second bag. Bags will be provided. Students will be instructed to place trash bags outside their door at 9:30 a.m. for pickup at 10 a.m.

  11. To limit contact with others, quarantined students will have food delivered to their rooms (see above).

  12. Student Health Services will notify the Dean of Students’ Office and the SHARE coordinator that the student is being quarantined. The SHARE coordinator will contact faculty and ensure support for the student.

  13. Student Health Services will contact the student daily to monitor symptoms and ensure that the student has everything they need. The student will be given a symptom checklist and will be expected to check their temperature twice a day. Students will be instructed to call Student Health Services during office hours or Mercy Allen Emergency Room after hours if they begin experiencing symptoms.

  14. If students begin to experience symptoms, they will be referred immediately to Mercy Allen hospital for testing.

  15. In order to be cleared from quarantine, the student must be asymptomatic for 14 days before they may resume their normal activities (i.e., attending class, going to the dining hall). Student Health will provide clearance.

Appendix A - Supplies

Facilities will order supplies and prepare bags for delivery. They will provide a stock of supplies that is ready-to-go for Campus Safety officers to provide students upon placement.

Provided to students upon arrival:

  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Linens
  • Towel
  • Mattress covers
  • Pillow (if needed):
  • Trash bags - bins with lids
  • Extra garbage bags - custodial will provide
  • Bag ties

Extra supplies upon request

  • Menstrual products (regular size)
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Bottled water
  • Paper Bowls
  • Paper Plates
  • Plastic Cups
  • Plastic Utensils
  • Plungers
  • Biohazard bags
  • Broom/Dustpan
  • Tissues

Appendix B - Instructions for Students

Fire Alarm

  • Students placed in quarantine or isolation will not be asked to evacuate as long as there is nothing that suggests imminent danger in that location
  • If students are in imminent danger, students will need to evacuate to an alternative location.

Food

In isolation:

  • Food provided by The Hotel at Oberlin, with instructions on how to order, provided at arrival.

In quarantine:

  • ResEd will provide students with an email (avifresh@oberlin.edu) that they can use to contact Campus Dining.  Allergens/dietary restrictions should be reported by students when placing their request.

  • Food will be delivered to their door at designated times each day, and students are encouraged to obtain their food within 5-10 minutes to avoid attracting pests outside. Drop-off times are as follows: 
    • Breakfast: 8:30 a.m.
    • Lunch: 11:30 a.m.
    • Dinner: 5:30 p.m.
  • If a student wants to skip a meal, they should please notify dining services 24 hours in advance.

Health-related instructions

  • While students are in quarantine or isolation they must take their temperature twice daily. Student Health staff will check in with the student daily via phone. 

  • Wash hands for 20+ seconds whenever possible (review handwashing protocol on CDC website).

  • Students will be cleared from isolation when all three of these requirements have been met:
    • At least 14 days have passed since their last positive test;
    • They have had no fever for the past 72 hours and no medication has been taken to reduce fever in those 72 hours;
    • Their symptoms have significantly improved with no respiratory symptoms.
  • In order to be cleared from quarantine, the student must be asymptomatic for 14 days before they may return to their normal activities. If the student becomes ill while quarantined, they must call Student Health immediately at 440-775-8180.  Student Health will provide clearance for both students who are in quarantine or isolation.

Keys

  • Campus Safety or The Hotel at Oberlin will provide a key or keycard for a student’s temporary housing assignment.

  • When students depart their temporary housing, they must leave their key or keycard inside the room.

  • Students in isolation must leave the key to their permanent room assignment in their room (they cannot take their key to their temporary room assignment).  Card access to their permanent assigned building will be removed when they are moved to isolation.

Supplies to Bring With You

The student should bring with them to their temporary room assignment:

  • Pillow
  • Academic supplies needed for 14-day period
  • Chargers
  • Personal and health supplies (including several changes of clothes)
  • Reusable water bottle

Visitation

Students may not have any visitors during this time, and may not leave the room to visit others.

Waste disposal

  • In quarantine, put in bag, tied, outside door by 9:30 a.m. for pickup at 10 a.m. (7 days per week)

  • In isolation, students should place their tied, closed trash bags in a separate plastic bag, tied-side down and then tie the second bag.