COVID-19 Update: 1/28/21

As we prepare for the spring semester, please be sure to check your email for the latest updates regarding COVID-19 protocols and procedures. Campus is expected to operate in the orange phase of the Campus Protection Guide this spring. This means that campus will be open only to on-campus residents, commuter students attending classes on campus, and authorized personnel. These individuals are referred to as Petrels Authorized for Campus Access (PACAs). 

Please take the time to review the COVID-19 Handbook and continue practicing the Petrel Pledge. Whether you will be accessing campus this spring or continue to be remote, everyone has a shared responsibility in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Your commitment to our guidelines led to a successful fall semester, and we hope that success continues this spring. Remember to mask up, wash or sanitize your hands regularly, avoid large gatherings and keep social distancing! 

Petrel Pause

PACAs are currently observing the Petrel Pause from January 25 – February 22. During this time, you should refrain from participating in social gatherings and other high-risk activities, and strictly limit yourself to essential travel. This period accounts for the two weeks prior to the semester and the first two weeks of the semester. This period of enhanced social distancing is critical in reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread among the campus community, as the beginning of the semester will be the highest risk period for uncontained spread.

COVID-19 testing and health surveillance app

PACAs are subject to COVID-19 testing upon their initial arrival to campus and COVID-19 testing throughout the semester. PACAs are also required to participate in daily self-health screenings via the LifeguardRx mobile app. PACAs must show up for testing at their assigned time on February 7th, 8th or 9th and actively use LifeguardRx, or they will be unable to access campus and be categorized as remote only.

PACAs will receive an email from with details for scheduling their initial COVID-19 test and enrolling in LifeguardRx. Please do not download and register for the LifeguardRx app prior to receiving these instructions.

Facility access for PACAs

The side gate to campus will remain closed, and a Petrel Pass is necessary for accessing campus through the front gate and the Gables gate. Faculty and staff authorized to work on campus should ensure their Petrel Pass is current and up to date. For questions regarding your Petrel Pass, please email

A comprehensive listing of campus facilities and their operational status and hours for the spring 2021 semester can be found on the COVID-19 website. Facility access is intended only for PACAs, as these individuals are in the university’s testing protocols and expected to follow the policies and protocols outlined in the COVID-19 Handbook. Additional information and FAQs for faculty and staff can be found on the COVID-19 website.

Campus will be closed to outside visitors, unless approved by administration. No visitors are permitted inside the residence halls, including parents and guardians, aside from pre-approved visitors on move-in day.

Air purification

New ionization technology has been installed in HVAC systems across campus. This air purification system reduces airborne particles and odors and kills viruses and bacteria while rendering viral particles inactive on stagnant surfaces. Another advantage of this type of hardware, is that it produces no harmful by-products. All air handling units have also had Merv-13 filters installed.

Wastewater testing

In addition to the baseline COVID-19 testing and recurring surveillance testing of the campus population, Oglethorpe will be implementing routine wastewater testing on campus. This will help detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus in residence halls, which will determine a need for more targeted testing.