COVID-19 Update: 8/26/20

A new semester is almost upon us! While the Fall 2020 semester will look and feel different, Oglethorpe wishes a warm welcome to new Petrels, as well as those returning – both on campus and remotely. 

Oglethorpe is committed to providing a safe environment for those returning to campus, and those living on campus must share in that commitment. Students, faculty and staff who continue to be remote also have a duty to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in their own communities by wearing a face covering, regularly washing or sanitizing hands and social distancing whenever possible.

Everyone should continue to check their Oglethorpe email for updates from the COVID-19 Task Force and additional updates as the semester approaches.

Nescit Cedere!

The latest update from the Oglethorpe COVID-19 Task Force:

Move-in

Students living on campus should have received a recent email from Residence Life regarding move-in procedures. As mentioned, the “Petrel Pause” refers to the two weeks prior to move-in and the two weeks immediately after move-in, which are critical in reducing the risk of spread of COVID-19 on campus. Students have been asked to refrain from participating in social gatherings and other high-risk activities, and strictly limit themselves to essential travel during this time.

Reminder for students living on campus that move-in dates are September 4 for first-year students, and September 7 for returning students. View the Residence Hall Updates and FAQs, found in the Quick Links on the COVID-19 website for additional information, and continue checking your Oglethorpe email.

Campus Access and Facilities

Campus will continue to be closed to non-resident students as remote classes begin this fall. While some facilities, such as the Turner Lynch Campus Center and dining services, will be open to those on campus, many will remain closed due to remote operations and low staffing. Faculty and staff should refer to their recent email from President Ladany and the Information for Faculty & Staff page on the COVID-19 website regarding access to campus for Fall 2020.

Testing

The following is for students living on campus: All students will be tested for COVID-19 when they arrive on-campus. Testing will take place in the Turner Lynch Campus Center and be administered by Peachtree Immediate Care. Parents will not be allowed inside the Campus Center and will not be tested. Students must sign up for a move-in time so they are able to be tested for COVID-19. Check your Oglethorpe email for additional information.

Students who develop symptoms of COVID-19 prior to moving on campus should seek medical attention and be tested for COVID-19 immediately. If a positive test result and quarantine protocols prevent a student from moving on campus on their assigned date, Residence Life will work with the student on an alternative move-in date.

Lifeguard Mobile App

As mentioned in previous updates, Oglethorpe University has established a COVID-19 screening program utilizing LifeguardRx®.

Those living on campus should expect to receive an email from healthinfo@oglethorpe.edu by early next week detailing how to register, enroll and participate in the scheduled twice-daily health screening check-in to report COVID-19 symptom status. These check-ins should be completed every day a student is on the Oglethorpe campus.

Here are a few things that you can start today to make sure you’re ready to register when you receive the email:

  • Talk to family, friends and/or other close acquaintances about the “Circle of Care” function in the app. This allows for parents, spouses, relatives, close friends and/or RAs to be updated on how you are feeling. They can also help remind you of the twice daily checks. RAs will be testing and troubleshooting the app this week.
  • Monitor your health daily. Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath and other symptoms of COVID-19. This is especially important for those completing essential errands, going into an office or workplace and in settings where it is difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop. Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications, like acetaminophen, that could lower your temperature. 
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

LinkedIn Learning

Current Oglethorpe University students, faculty and staff now have an additional resource as remote operations continue through free, unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning’s library of online expert-led courses. More than 5,000 high-quality, detailed training options include the latest in-demand business, creative and technology skills to support professional and personal development, and new content is added weekly. 

Look for an email sent directly to your Oglethorpe email with instructions on how to get started, or log in through the Oglethorpe website. For log-in questions, please contact the Oglethorpe Help Desk. The LinkedIn Learning Help website also offers helpful resources, FAQs and a live chat feature to help with questions.

Academic Hiatus

Please refer to last week’s COVID-19 update for details on the academic hiatus process for those electing to take a short break from their Oglethorpe career. The COVID-19 Hiatus process has been developed to make this as smooth as possible for those individuals. This form will be available until classes start, September 8, for students who need to take a brief step away from their Oglethorpe studies. Oglethorpe will keep in touch with these students to ensure they are prepared when it is time to return.

Academic Resources

The Academic Success team will continue to offer complete academic support services, including academic coaching and advising, peer tutoring, supplemental instruction and accessibility services. The Academic Success website continues to be updated to include several recommendations for remote learning success at success.oglethorpe.edu. For assistance, please contact success@oglethorpe.edu.

Additionally, students should refer to the Student Technology Recommendations on the COVID-19 website.

Policies, Procedures and Protocols

The COVID-19 Task Force is in the process of finalizing its COVID-19 Handbook in cooperation with public health consultants from Canton & Company. Many of the policies and procedures included in the handbook have been outlined through previous communications and throughout the COVID-19 website.