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Spring 2022

OU Together The University of Oklahoma

Norman Campus COVID-19 Protocols: Spring 2022

   

I. Remote Work in Response to COVID-19: Norman Campus

With the wide availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the demonstrated effectiveness of other mitigation protocols on and off campus, in conjunction with the recommendations of infectious diseases and public health officials, remote work in relation to COVID-19 in Norman-based programs and areas was phased out Aug. 2, 2021. 

Through January 31

Managers are asked to use their discretion in instituting operational changes for their units to ensure workplace continuity and service offerings, and to make all reasonable efforts to assist staff members whose circumstances put them at unique risk to the virus. Managers may contact Human Resources at ohr@ou.edu for additional guidance.

  1. Remote Work for purposes unrelated to COVID-19 that is otherwise consistent with the university’s guidelines is not affected. The current Remote Work Policy guidelines are available here

  2. Employee Accommodations – Employees who may qualify for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act or have a medical reason to work remotely may request accommodations through Human Resources.

II. COVID-19 Screening and Reporting for Faculty, Staff, and Students

OU Faculty, Staff, and Student Screening – Employees and students in Norman campus programs are strongly encouraged to complete the Passport through the Healthy Together app before participating in any on- or off-campus activity or responsibility each time the answer to the questions below would be YES. The Healthy Together app is available for Android and iOS devices. The employee or student will be notified through the app of their screening results and should follow the instructions for what to do next. More information about the Healthy Together app is available here.

Employees and students at the OU Health Sciences Center or OU-Tulsa will continue using the online COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool for their campus.

1. Individuals on the Norman campus are expected to complete the Healthy Together Passport whenever the answer to any of the following questions is YES.

  • Have you experienced symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19 in the past 10 days, such as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea? (Please also contact a health care provider regarding specific symptoms.)
  • Have you tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days?
  • Have you had close contact, either at work, at home or in the community, with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 10 days? A close contact is generally someone who has been near a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes when health and safety measures, e.g. wearing a mask, were not in place or were insufficient.
  • Have you traveled internationally (airplane, train, bus, boat, cruise, etc.) within the last 10 days?

2. Individuals on the Norman campus who cannot or choose to not use the Healthy Together app should follow these guidelines whenever the answer to any of the following questions is YES.

If you are:

  • A person who is at least 14 days but no more than 6 months past the second dose of a two-dose WHO-approved vaccine (currently, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and others here);  
  • A person who is at least 14 days but no more than 2 months past one dose of a single-dose WHO-approved vaccine (currently, Janssen [Johnson & Johnson]); or
  • A person who has received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Self-isolate for 5 days. During this time, avoid being around others and restrict all activities outside of your home. Do not come to campus. After day 5, if your symptoms are improving and without fever for 24 hours, you may leave isolation but continue wearing a mask for 5 days when around others. Individuals who live in university congregate housing should contact OU Housing at 405-534-3741 to receive isolation instructions from Residence Life staff.
  • Call 911 if you are having difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or blue skin, lips, or nailbeds. If your symptoms are mild, please practice home self-care.
  • Notify all people you have been in close contact with starting 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or of the positive test, that they have been exposed and may need to self-quarantine or test. This should include individuals who have been near you for at least 15 minutes when health and safety measures, e.g. wearing a mask,  were not in place or were insufficient. 
  • You may return to on-campus activities on day 6 after symptom onset (or positive test date if no symptoms) if you were not hospitalized or are not severely immunocompromised, you have not had a fever in 24 hours, and your other symptoms are improving. (Hospitalized or severely immunocompromised people with COVID-19 should isolate for up to 20 days. Consult your healthcare provider for advice.) You must wear a mask when around others for an additional 5 days. 
  • Students who live in congregate housing may return to their room on day 6 if they receive a negative antigen test on day 5 or later. If you do not test, you may return on day 11.
  • Click here for certification documentation for work or class (.pdf).
  • Avoid being around others and restrict all activities outside of your home. Do not come to campus. Individuals who live in university congregate housing should contact OU Housing at 405-534-3741 to receive quarantine/isolation instructions from Residence Life staff.
  • Get tested for COVID-19. Testing is available at OU Health Services at Goddard. Call 211 for information on other testing options.
  • Call 911 if you are having difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or blue skin, lips, or nailbeds. If your symptoms are mild, please practice home self-care.
  • If your symptoms are improving and COVID-19 testing is negative, you can return to on-campus activities 24 hours after any fever has resolved. Students who live in congregate housing who choose not to test can return to their room 11 days after the onset of symptoms.
  • Click here for certification documentation for work or class (.pdf).
  • You can come to campus (no requirement to quarantine) but should monitor for symptoms for 10 days after exposure. You are advised to wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure, especially indoors and when social distancing cannot be maintained outdoors. 
  • If any symptoms develop, isolate and get tested.
  • It is recommended to test for COVID-19 3-5 days after exposure if no symptoms develop. Testing is available at OU Health Services at Goddard. Call 211 for information on other testing options.
  • You can come to campus but should monitor for symptoms for 10 days after returning to the U.S. If any symptoms develop, isolate and get tested.
  • It is recommended to test for COVID-19 3-5 days after exposure if no symptoms develop. Testing is available at OU Health Services at Goddard. Call 211 for information on other testing options.
  • Wearing a mask in public is strongly recommended, especially indoors and when social distancing cannot be maintained outdoors.

If you are:

  • Self-isolate for 5 days. During this time, avoid being around others and restrict all activities outside of your home. Do not come to campus. After day 5, if your symptoms are improving and without fever for 24 hours, you may leave isolation but continue wearing a mask for 5 days when around others. Individuals who live in university congregate housing should contact OU Housing at 405-534-3741 to receive isolation instructions from Residence Life staff.
  • Call 911 if you are having difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or blue skin, lips, or nailbeds. If your symptoms are mild, please practice home self-care.
  • Notify all people you have been in close contact with starting 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or of the positive test, that they have been exposed and may need to self-quarantine or test. This should include individuals who have been near you for at least 15 minutes when health and safety measures, e.g. wearing a mask,  were not in place or were insufficient. 
  • You may return to on-campus activities on day 6 after symptom onset (or positive test date if no symptoms) if you were not hospitalized or are not severely immunocompromised, you have not had a fever in 24 hours, and your other symptoms are improving. (Hospitalized or severely immunocompromised people with COVID-19 should isolate for up to 20 days. Consult your healthcare provider for advice.) You must wear a mask when around others for an additional 5 days. 
  • Students who live in congregate housing may return to their room on day 6 if they receive a negative antigen test on day 5 or later. If you do not test, you may return on day 11.
  • Click here for certification documentation for work or class (.pdf).
  • Avoid being around others and restrict all activities outside of your home. Do not come to campus. Individuals who live in university congregate housing should contact OU Housing at 405-534-3741 to receive quarantine/isolation instructions from Residence Life staff.
  • Get tested for COVID-19. Testing is available at OU Health Services at Goddard. Call 211 for information on other testing options.
  • Call 911 if you are having difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or blue skin, lips, or nailbeds. If your symptoms are mild, please practice home self-care.
  • If your symptoms are improving and COVID-19 testing is negative, you can return to on-campus activities 24 hours after any fever has resolved. Students who live in congregate housing who choose not to test can return to their room 11 days after the onset of symptoms.
  • Click here for certification documentation for work or class (.pdf).
  • Do not come to campus and avoid being around others for 5 days. After those 5 days, continue to mask while in public. Individuals who live in university congregate housing should contact OU Housing at 405-534-3741 to receive quarantine/isolation instructions from Residence Life staff. 
  • Get tested immediately when you find out you are a close contact. If your test result is negative, you should get tested again 5 days after your last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop.
  • Students who live in congregate housing may return to their room on day 6 if they receive a negative antigen test on day 5 or later. If you do not test, you may return on day 11.
  • Click here for certification documentation for work or class (.pdf).
  • Wearing a mask in public is strongly recommended, especially indoors and when social distancing cannot be maintained outdoors.
  • Monitor for any symptoms. If you develop symptoms, stay home and get tested.
  • Test for COVID-19 on arrival and approximately 5 days after returning home.

Temperature Checks - Departments are discouraged from conducting temperature checks. If a department will require temperature checks, the manager must obtain prior approval from the Office of Human Resources.

​​III. Vaccination

Consistent with current CDC recommendations, the university strongly encourages the entire OU community to get vaccinated and receive a booster. COVID-19 vaccines are available to all students, faculty, and staff on all three OU campuses at no cost to the individual.

Vaccination Requirements at OU

A federal court has temporarily blocked the enforcement of the federal COVID-19 vaccine requirement for federal subcontractors. This means that as long as the court’s decision is in place, university employees are not required to become vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022, and are also not required to seek exemptions to the rule, except as described below.

Vaccination requirements are limited to the following groups of OU community members:

  • Students, faculty, and staff who have patient-facing responsibilities and volunteers who shadow or observe in patient-care settings.
  • All those who elect to participate in study abroad programs.
    • All eligible individuals participating in study abroad programs are required to receive a COVID-19 booster dose before departing for their study abroad destination.
  • OUHSC employees must continue to comply with the vaccination requirements found here, which were in place before the federal executive order. Many OUHSC employees may also need to comply with additional vaccination requirements at other health care facilities where they practice or rotate, including OU Health facilities and programs.

Employees are still encouraged to complete the online vaccine verification form as they become vaccinated. 

For questions about vaccination requirements, contact Human Resources at vaccine@ou.edu.

Read More: Getting Vaccinated at OU

IV. Social Distancing

While the university has eliminated its social distancing protocols in all areas except patient care and clinical research participant settings, it is still strongly recommended.

V. Masks

Since the beginning of the pandemic, in instituting its COVID-19 protocols, the University of Oklahoma has monitored guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control. Taking into consideration the CDC’s current guidance on masking, Oklahoma state law, and the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Oklahoma, OU has adopted the following masking protocols for the Norman Campus. 

Through January 31

Due to supply chain challenges around testing availability, and the need for vaccine boosters to be optimally protected from the virus, masking remains one of our best mitigation strategies. As has been our policy since the start of Fall 2021, masking will continue to be expected in all indoor settings for all faculty, staff, and students.

For the first two weeks of the semester (through January 31) masking will be required in classroom settings. Beginning February 1, 2022, the Norman campus will revert to the Fall 2021 masking guidance, which is listed below, and encourages masking in the classroom and requires masking for a two-week quarantine period when a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in the class is identified.

While cloth masks are still permissible, the university strongly recommends the use of KN95 masks or disposable surgical masks as they provide far greater amounts of protection against Omicron. KN95 and disposable surgical masks will be made available to OU community members. Campus Safety will provide masks to building supervisors to be made available at all entrances. 

To the extent possible, in-person meetings should be replaced with virtual meetings (e.g., Zoom, Teams) or conference calls. When in-person meetings are necessary, masks are expected and social distancing is recommended.

Fall 2021 Masking Guidance

General Facilities – OU community members are expected to mask indoors, especially in high-density settings, such as classrooms and at special events when not eating or drinking.

Health Care Facilities – All individuals in patient-facing settings, including clinical research participant areas and facilities where patient care is a primary function must wear a mask.

OU Health Sciences Center programs will coordinate masking requirements with hospital and clinic partners, as appropriate.

Transportation – Passengers on transit buses and shuttles must wear a mask due to Department of Transportation mandates.

Classrooms – Resuming February 1, should there be a confirmed COVID-19 positive case in class, the class will continue meeting in-person, but masking will be required for 2 weeks during the quarantine period. 

Masks must cover the individual’s nose and mouth. Bandanas, scarves, gaiters, buffs, and the like are not acceptable. Non-medical grade masks that have exhalation valves with or without filters (such as this) may not be worn on campus unless a surgical-style mask is worn over it.

VI. Cleaning Facilities and Equipment

Clean facilities and equipment require a commitment from all levels of the university community. Everyone has an important role and responsibility in maintaining a healthy campus environment.

  1. University Responsibility – Taking into consideration applicable government and industry cleaning and safety standards, the university will resume pre-pandemic cleaning protocols.
    • Environment – University Operations has increased outside air where possible and converted HVAC systems with hospital-grade filters (MERV-13).
  2. Department/Area Responsibility – As was the case prior to COVID-19, each department/area manager remains responsible for obtaining appropriate cleaning supplies and providing for the cleaning of shared office equipment, furniture, surfaces, and environment. While supplies last, department/area managers may still obtain cleaning supplies that have been EPA/CDC-approved from Facilities Management. These cleaning supplies can be requested here.
    • COVID-19 Positive Individuals – Frequently used campus spaces are cleaned on a daily basis. Department/area managers who are notified of a COVID-19 positive individual in their space should contact Facilities Management at (405) 325-3060 to confirm when cleaning of the space last occurred. This procedure should be followed in off-campus leased spaces as well, by contacting the leasing agent or building maintenance team.
  3. Individual Responsibility – As was the case prior to COVID-19, individuals are responsible for cleaning their personal and shared spaces and office equipment.

VII. Testing and Isolation

Positive Tests – Employees and students who test positive should complete the Passport through the Healthy Together app.

  • Supervisors, RAs, faculty, staff, and others who are made aware that an individual in their area has tested positive should contact Facilities Management at (405) 325-3060 as described in Section VI above for cleaning assessment.
  • Faculty, staff, and students who have been in close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 positive individual should complete the Passport through the Healthy Together app.
    • A close contact is generally someone who has been near a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes when health and safety measures, e.g. wearing a mask, were not in place or were insufficient.
  • For a list of frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19, visit here.

VIII. Monitoring Workforce, Students, and Visitors for COVID-19 Symptoms – Mandatory Reporting Process

Please refer to Section II for information regarding monitoring for symptoms and mandatory reporting.

IX. Travel

All employees, visitors, and students will comply with the travel guidance maintained here.

X. Visitors, Vendors, and Tenants

  1. Visitors and Vendors – Visitors and vendors on campus are required to accept and adhere to university masking policies and any requirements for entry and continued attendance at specific university events and facilities. It is the responsibility of each department to ensure that its scheduled visitors and vendors are aware of and abide by university policies and procedures while on campus. Departments will advise their visitors or vendors to leave campus if they begin to experience symptoms of COVID-19 during their visit and notify the individual who invited them to campus.
  2. Tenants – Tenants must adhere to university guidelines whenever in public areas on campus. Public areas include common areas in buildings (like hallways, public restrooms, building entries, community or shared kitchens, etc.), elevators, parking facilities, and other areas of public ingress and egress. Once inside your respective suite or leased premise, each company must follow its own COVID-19 protection and prevention protocols.