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COVID‐19 Phase IV Return Plan Norman Campus

OU Together The University of Oklahoma

Norman Campus COVID‐19 Phase IV Return Plan

The OU Norman Campus has moved to Phase IV of its return plan. As the nature of COVID‐19 remains dynamic, this plan will remain dynamic. This plan applies to all Norman faculty, staff, student employees, students, contractors, and campus visitors.1


 

Employees in OU-Tulsa Norman-based programs should refer to the OU-Tulsa Return Plan. The OU-Tulsa Return Plan is available here: ou.edu/tulsa/coronavirus.

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

Since the onset of the pandemic, the University of Oklahoma Norman campus has encouraged remote work where possible as a mitigation strategy to minimize the risk of spread of COVID-19. 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 will be phased out as described below.

  1. Remote Work Phase-Out Schedule – Remote Work arrangements that were put into place as a COVID-19 mitigation or accommodation measure are to be phased out as follows:
    • June 7, 2021 – Phase IV of the Norman campus Return Plan begins. Managers may notify employees to begin returning to their regular (pre-COVID) schedule on campus between now and Aug. 2, 2021, if they have not already done so.
    • By Aug. 2, 2021, all employees are to have resumed their regular (pre-COVID) schedule on campus.
  2. Guidelines – Remote Work for purposes unrelated to COVID-19 that is otherwise consistent with the university’s guidelines is not affected by this remote work phase-out schedule. The current guidelines are available here.
    • Faculty and staff who had existing Telecommuting Agreements on file with Human Resources PRIOR to the onset of the pandemic will need to complete a new Remote Work Plan and receive requisite approvals on the date their existing Telecommuting Agreement expires.
    • 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.
  3. Staffing Plans – During the remote work phase-out period, each college dean and area vice president (or their designees) will determine the in-person work phase-in plan for their respective areas and will advise employees of their date of expected return from remote work, generally at least two work weeks prior, but not less than one work week prior, to that date.
    • COVID-19 Resurgence – Each area must be prepared to slow or stop the remote work phase-out and/or to fully return to remote work as soon as possible, if the university deems it necessary.
    • Screening – Employees returning from a remote work period who meet any of the instances described in Section II below, must complete the online COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool and email the results to their immediate supervisor prior to returning to campus.

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

  1. OU Faculty, Staff, and Students – Employees and students must complete the online COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool at covidreporting.ou.edu before participating in on- or off-campus activity or responsibility each time they answer YES to any of the questions below based on vaccination status. The employee or student will be notified via email of their screening results and will follow the instructions included for forwarding the email. NOTE: Individuals must also comply with the screening and reporting processes in place at their assigned locations/rotations.
    • COVID-19 Fully Vaccinated Person Defined:
      • Being fully vaccinated is defined as being two weeks past the final dose of a two-dose WHO-approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinovac, or Sinopharm) or one dose of a single-dose WHO-approved vaccine (Janssen [Johnson & Johnson]).
    • COVID-19 Unvaccinated Person Defined:
      • A person who has not received any WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine doses.
      • A person who has received only one dose of a two-dose WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine series.
      • A person who is not at least 14 days past receipt of the second dose of a two-dose WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine series.
      • A person who is not at least 14 days past receipt of a one-dose WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine series.
      • A person who has completed any non-WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine series.
         
  2. VACCINATED persons:
    • Are you experiencing symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell, and/or extreme fatigue? (Please also contact a health care provider regarding specific symptoms.)
    • Have you tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days, or are you waiting on results for a COVID-19 test you took because you are having symptoms?
       
  3. UNVACCINATED persons:
    • Are you experiencing symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell, and/or extreme fatigue? (Please also contact a health care provider regarding specific symptoms.)
    • Have you had close contact (been within 6 feet, for approximately 15 minutes or more), either at work, at home or in the community, with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
    • Have you tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days, or are you waiting on results for a COVID-19 test you took because you had an exposure or are having symptoms?
    • Have you traveled internationally? If so, in addition to completing the Screening and Reporting Tool within 48 hours of your return, you must self-quarantine away from campus* for the period directed by OU Health Services.
    • Have you taken a domestic or international cruise? If so, in addition to completing the online COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool within 48 hours of your return, you must self-quarantine away from campus* for the period directed by OU Health Services.

      *
      Individuals who live in on-campus OU Housing will receive quarantine instructions from Residence Life staff.

      Please note
      that under the new protocols, unvaccinated individuals returning from international travel or from domestic or international cruises generally will have to quarantine/isolate from campus for 7 days and receive a negative test prior to return. Faculty or staff traveling internationally or taking cruises must be prepared to take leave (paid or unpaid, as appropriate) during the quarantine/isolation period communicated by OU Health Services, particularly if their position or responsibilities are not approved for or appropriate for remote work. Students should take this isolation requirement into consideration and review their academic obligations when making cruise or international travel plans.
       
  4. 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

The university strongly encourages the entire OU community to get vaccinated, particularly those residing in congregate housing.

  1. COVID-19 vaccines are available to all students, faculty, and staff on all three OU campuses at no cost to the individual.

IV. Social Distancing

In accordance with the CDC guidance, OU has eliminated its social distancing protocols in all areas except patient care and clinical research participant settings, making way for a resumption of in-person classes at regular capacity. The university will use the summer to phase back to normal classroom capacities.

  1. Third-Party Events and Activities – Third parties may resume hosting events in university facilities following pre-COVID protocols. In accordance with CDC guidance, the university recommends COVID-19 vaccination for anyone participating in events on OU property.

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 recent guidance on masking, recent state law changes, and Oklahoma’s record low case counts of COVID-19, OU has lifted its mask requirement for all three campuses, with limited exceptions.

The university strongly recommends masking for all unvaccinated individuals when inside OU's academic, athletic, housing, and administrative facilities. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to become vaccinated and may do so through OU Health Services, at no cost to them.

  1. Masking requirements will be limited to the following groups and settings:
    • All individuals in patient-facing settings, including clinical research participant areas and facilities where patient care is a primary function
      • OU Health Sciences Center programs will coordinate masking requirements with hospital and clinic partners, as appropriate
    • Transit buses and shuttles due to Department of Transportation mandates
  2. Those individuals who are required to wear a mask inside OU facilities must wear fabric or disposable surgical-style face masks that 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.
  3. Anyone who wishes to mask indoors or outdoors may freely do so.

VI. Building Access and Amenities

  1. Building Access – Access to campus buildings has returned to normal operations.
  2. Goddard Health Center – Goddard Health Center is open during normal operating hours of Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours and availability of certain services may be limited or change depending on staff availability during the COVID-19 response. Many visits can be accomplished through online telehealth visits, but staff are available in the office to address those needs that can’t be accomplished remotely. Masking is required inside Goddard Health Center. To discuss the best option for scheduling an appointment, call (405) 325-4441. For more information, click here.

VII. 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.

VIII. Testing, Isolation, and Contact Tracing

  1. Positive Tests – If an employee or student tests positive for COVID‐19, the university will cooperate with the appropriate health department in its contact tracing efforts. Employees and students who test positive must fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool and may not report to work or campus until cleared by OU Health Services.
    • 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 VII above for cleaning assessment.
    • Faculty, staff, and students who have been in close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 positive individual must fill out the COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool and may not report to work or campus until cleared by OU Health Services.
      • The CDC defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
    • For a list of frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19, visit here.

IX. 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.

X. Travel

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

XI. Research and Academics – Return to Service

  1. Research – The Office for the Vice President for Research and Partnerships’ Framework for Restarting On-Campus and Field-Based OU Norman Research and Creative Activity provided a mechanism for research personnel to return to campus safely while the university was closed to all but essential personnel. As the university moves into the next phase, research will follow and adhere to the directions set forth in this campus Phase IV memo. No additional Conduct of Operations plans beyond those already in existence will be required to access on-campus research laboratories and field sites at this time, but may be in the future if conditions change.
  2. Academics – The university is planning for a resumption of in-person classes at regular capacity university-wide for the fall 2021 semester.

XII. 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.

XIII. Enforcement

Faculty and Staff Enforcement
Employees who refuse to comply with this Return Plan are subject to disciplinary action, in accordance with the applicable faculty or staff handbook policy.

Vendors and Visitors
Vendors and visitors who refuse to comply with this Return Plan are subject to having their access to campus suspended or terminated.


 

Joseph Harroz, Jr.
President
The University of Oklahoma

Dale W. Bratzler, DO, MPH
Chief COVID Officer
The University of Oklahoma