COVID-19 Update: 2/4/21

We are only a few days away from move-in and the start of spring semester classes. Oglethorpe continues to prepare to transition to the orange phase of the Campus Protection Guide this spring. The orange phase means that campus will be open 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). 

A new, more contagious strain of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Georgia and the metro-Atlanta area, so it is important that everyone continue practicing the Petrel Pledge! PACAs should be observing the Petrel Pause, but everyone has a shared responsibility in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Remember to mask up, wash or sanitize your hands regularly, avoid large gatherings and keep social distancing. Also, please review the COVID-19 Handbook for full details on campus protocols and guidelines.

Petrel Pause continues through February 22

PACAs are continuing to observe the Petrel Pause 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 for PACAs February 7-9

PACAs should have received an email with details for scheduling their initial COVID-19 test. PACAs must show up for COVID-19 testing at their assigned time on February 7th, 8th or 9th. Individuals who are not tested for COVID-19 during this time will be categorized as remote only. You may contact healthinfo@oglethorpe.edu for questions regarding your COVID-19 testing.

Health surveillance app enrollment for PACAs

PACAs should have received an email with details on enrolling in the LifeguardRx mobile app to begin completing their daily self-health check-ins. Please follow those instructions for downloading and registering for the LifeguardRx app. Those not participating in the LifeguardRx check-ins will be categorized as remote only. You may contact healthinfo@oglethorpe.edu for questions regarding LifeguardRx.

Facility preparations

New ionization technology from Global Plasma Solutions 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, which also filter small particles out of the air.

In addition to ongoing COVID-19 surveillance testing of PACAs, Oglethorpe has partnered with NOVA Engineering to implement routine wastewater testing on campus. Wastewater testing can the presence of the COVID-19 virus in residence halls and determine a need for targeted COVID-19 testing for individuals living on campus.

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.

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 petrelpass@oglethorpe.edu.

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

Help keep our community safe

Individuals can report COVID-19 violations, incidents or concerns anonymously at covid19.oglethorpe.edu.