COVID-19 Update: 6/17/20

The latest from the COVID-19 Task Force

Oglethorpe has adopted a new “test optional” policy for applicants

Oglethorpe University will implement a test optional policy for admission applicants as a part of a three-year pilot program, effective with the start of the 2021 admissions cycle. This decision was made in an effort to address both the testing challenges many students have faced due to COVID-19 and the systemic issues of equity inherent in a reliance on standardized testing.  Read more details.

Technology

IT has been testing a sample of new teaching technology for faculty (cameras, microphones, document cameras) this week, with the intent of identifying the optimal technology for the fall, and gaining final approval for purchasing. In addition, network load testing will occur this weekend, as will the installation of a new VPN.

Contact tracing solutions

A team is continuing to research and evaluate contact tracing solutions and a selection of an application will be forthcoming. Proper contact tracing will help notify individuals of potential exposure on campus and prevent potential outbreaks. 

Acrylic barriers

Larger traditional classrooms will be equipped with acrylic barriers to allow adequate capacity while adhering to updated guidelines from the CDC, WHO and ACHA regarding recommendations for classroom environments. As more recent and detailed information has been released, one of the approved strategies to reduce in-person contact in the classroom environment is the addition of physical barriers between working or learning spaces.  These barriers will be placed in locations with these two priorities in mind: 

1. The square footage in the classroom allows for the flexibility for physical barriers (along with masks and other tools) to be effective 
2. Non-traditional areas, such as science labs where in-person contact is at times necessary for instruction.  

The following classrooms will be updated with acrylic barriers in between seats, with lab spaces still to be determined: Gables 101-106; Cousins 104, 236, 330, 335; Robinson 116. 

In addition to classrooms, all of our transactional spaces throughout campus will be equipped with acrylic barriers as well.  This includes the following: 

  • Lupton – Admissions front desk, the HUB, business office, mail room
  • Turner Lynch Campus Center – bookstore, A_LAB front desk, Students Commons front desk
  • Library – front desk, computer lab
  • Cousins – catering area (secondary food location)
  • Office of Special Events
  • Student Life

Personal Protective Equipment

PPE for employees and students has been ordered, including 2,500 masks and 2,500 gaiter scarves (samples below). One mask and one gaiter scarf will be distributed to every Oglethorpe student and employee. Additional quantities were ordered to provide to visiting groups, such as the board of trustees and alumni board. Additionally, disposable masks are being ordered for departments to have on hand for campus visitors who do not have their own mask. 

Sample of mask
Sample of gaiter scarf


View all weekly updates, working plans and resources on the COVID-19 website. Please consider the website a working document that will become more complete as plans and policies are firmed up.