COVID-19 Update: 3/4/21

While social bubbles have expanded on campus with the introduction of Petrel Pods, everyone should continue to follow the protocols in the COVID-19 Handbook and practice the Petrel Pledge! While the spread of COVID-19 was in decline, that decline has started to slow in recent weeks due to new variants of the virus and a relaxing of public health measures. Please continue to be mindful of public health guidelines, such as wearing your mask, social distancing, washing and sanitizing your hands frequently, and avoiding large gatherings. Whether you are a campus resident, commuter, or continue to be remote, everyone has a responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 by practicing these simple measures.

Additionally, allergy season is right around the corner, if not already here. Please be mindful that the symptoms of spring allergies are often similar to those of COVID-19. If you are an individual who typically experiences such allergies, you may consider consulting with your physician on starting an antihistamine or other treatment to discern between allergy symptoms and the need for COVID-19 testing.

Oglethorpe continues to operate in the orange phase of the Campus Protection Guide and is open to Petrels Authorized for Campus Access (PACAs). This group includes campus residents, commuter students and authorized personnel. Campus remains closed to outside visitors unless preapproved by administration.

COVID-19 testing

There are currently 386 campus residents and 340 commuters authorized for campus access, with four confirmed active cases, all of which are commuters. There has been a total of 16 cases identified this semester. The most recent wastewater testing did detect COVID-19 in Traer Hall and Goodman Hall. All students living in those residence halls are now in quarantine and being tested for COVID-19 today and tomorrow.

Surveillance testing details:

  • Weekly surveillance testing of PACAs continues. A total of 2,108 COVID-19 tests have been administered on campus since the start of the spring semester, along with weekly wastewater testing of residence halls.
  • PACAs selected to participate in surveillance testing should receive a prior notification email from healthinfo@oglethorpe.edu with further details. Please note that this on campus testing is mandatory.

For the latest on testing and COVID-19 activity on campus, view the COVID-19 Dashboard.

Reporting a positive COVID-19 test for PACAs

While surveillance testing continues on campus, it is important to acknowledge that many PACAs may get tested for COVID-19 off campus. If a need arises for an individual to be tested off campus, please follow public health guidance and remain in quarantine until the result of your test is known. If you are a PACA who tests positive for COVID-19 at an off-campus testing site, please report your case to healthinfo@oglethorpe.edu so that the proper contact tracing can take place.

Daily check-ins on LifeguardRx for PACAs

If you are a PACA, please remember to complete your daily check-in on the LifeguardRx mobile app, even on weekends and days you are not on campus. This will assist the case management team in identifying potential symptomatic cases and enable them to provide you with proper instructions if you do develop COVID-19 symptoms. If you experience issues with LifeguardRx, please contact healthinfo@oglethorpe.edu.

COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 Task Force is waiting on updated guidance from the CDC regarding individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Until further notice, all PACAs are expected to follow the policies outlined in the COVID-19 Handbook, regardless of vaccination status.

Requesting access to campus for non-PACAs

Non-PACAs have the ability to request temporary access to campus if needed. Visit the home page of the COVID-19 site and select the request option that best suits your needs. If a visit is approved, please note that the university’s COVID-19 protocols must be followed, and a face covering is required at all times.

Approved film productions on campus

A production crew has been approved to access campus beginning this Sunday, March 7 through Wednesday, March 17. Productions on campus have intensive COVID-19 policies and procedures. These films provide additional revenue opportunities for the university as the campus continues to operate in a limited capacity. 

Filming is scheduled to take place:

  • Sunday, March 7
  • Thursday, March 11
  • Friday, March 12
  • Saturday, March 13
  • Monday, March 15

Signage will be placed on campus to keep production staff separate from the campus community. Few disruptions are expected, as most filming will take place outdoors, including nights and weekends, with limited interior access to Hearst Hall and the President’s Office in Lupton Hall. During filming, the production may limit pedestrian traffic in certain areas for a short period of time. Privacy is important to both parties as we build these relationships, so please do not take pictures or post on social media about the filming occurring on campus. Thank you for your cooperation and flexibility!

Planning for fall 2021

The COVID-19 Task Force continues to work with our public health consultants at Canton & Company in planning for the fall semester. Details will be shared as decisions are made on course delivery plans and residency models.

Report a concern or violation

It is important for everyone to follow the university’s policies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Violating any of the policies outlined in the COVID-19 Handbook can result in conduct violations, and ultimately, removal from campus. Individuals can and should report COVID-19 violations, incidents or concerns anonymously at covid19.oglethorpe.edu.