COVID-19 Update: 10/28/20

The latest update from the COVID-19 Task Force:

Halloween is this weekend, and we want everyone to enjoy the holiday as safely as possible by continuing to practice the Petrel Pledge! Avoid large gatherings, wear your mask, wash or sanitize your hands regularly, and social distance. Please plan to get your flu shot if you have not already done so.

Testing

There is one confirmed active case of COVID-19 among the on-campus community. That individual is in isolation, with two other individuals in isolation due to being close contacts. Those individuals will continue to isolate as we wait on their COVID-19 test results. The confirmed case appears to be asymptomatic and was found through random testing late last week when 28 tests were conducted. Another round of random testing will take place this week.

The COVID-19 Task Force continues to make plans for testing a larger population on campus this spring. The likely plans will include a mass baseline test for returning to campus, random testing through the semester, and regular waste water testing that will detect the presence of the virus in each building and assist with targeted testing.

View the latest updates on the COVID-19 Dashboard

Academic planning

Earlier this week, you should have received an email announcement regarding updates to the academic calendar for the spring semester. This included the introduction of a January 4-week mini-mester, or J-Term, for 2021. The J-Term will be delivered remotely and run from January 7 through February 4. 

The spring semester will begin February 8 with final exams concluding May 18. We plan to offer a combination of in-person, hybrid and remote courses in Spring 2021. Additional details can be found in the recent email announcement.

Housing

Low-density housing will continue to be offered this spring, and students will not be required to live on campus. Low-density housing allows for one person per room and up to two students sharing a bathroom. Move-in for students living on campus this spring will take place February 7. Housing for the J-Term will not be available due to an all remote schedule.

Additional details can be found in the recent email announcement, and more information will follow from Residence Life.

Commencement

The Class of 2021 commencement ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 9 a.m. The Class of 2020 commencement ceremony is now rescheduled for Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 9 a.m. Additional details regarding commencement ceremonies will follow as plans are finalized.

Athletics

The presidents of the Southern Athletic Association will reconvene on December 1 to determine the resumption of athletic competition this spring. It is the intention of the conference to resume athletics this spring with enhanced COVID-19 protocols in place.

Additional updates

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a reality for everyone for nearly eight months, and it’s important that everyone take the time to support themselves and others. Please remember that you can schedule counseling sessions with the Counseling Center. Additionally, please refer to the following resources from the JED Foundation: Press Pause and the Staying Engaged with Mental Health Student Toolkit.

Those living on campus are reminded to check in and complete the self-health check on the LifeguardRx mobile app once per day. On-campus residents are also reminded that no outside guests are permitted at this time. 

Stay connected by participating in upcoming virtual events, which can be found on OU Connect. Virtual events and programs continue to be added regularly.