COVID-19 Update: 3/11/21

While cases of COVID-19 appear to be in decline again, new and more contagious variants of the virus present a threat to our community. Everyone should continue to commit to the Petrel Pledge and the policies in the COVID-19 Handbook to slow the spread of COVID-19 both on and off campus. Continue to wear your mask, wash your hands routinely, social distance, and avoid large gatherings – even if you are vaccinated!

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

After last week’s wastewater testing indicated the presence of COVID-19 on campus, students in the corresponding residence halls were immediately quarantined, pending the results of their COVID-19 tests. There are currently six active cases of COVID-19 among our PACA community, three of which are on campus. All positive cases are in isolation, and additional close contacts are in quarantine.

Weekly surveillance testing of PACAs continues. A total of 2,507 COVID-19 tests have been administered on campus since the start of the spring semester, along with weekly wastewater testing of residence halls. A total of 20 positive tests have resulted from ongoing COVID-19 testing since February 3, 2021. 

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

Reminders for PACAs

  • Surveillance testing: 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.  
  • Off campus COVID-19 testing: PACAs tested for COVID-19 off campus must follow public health guidance and remain in quarantine until their test result is known. If you test 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-in on LifeguardRx: 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

Commencement

The commencement committee continues to make plans for ceremonies for both the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2020. 

As of now, these ceremonies are scheduled as follows:

  • Class of 2021 Commencement: Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 9 a.m.
  • Class of 2020 Commencement: Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 9 a.m.

Additional details will be forthcoming as plans are finalized. The latest information for degree candidates can be found at commencement.oglethorpe.edu

Athletics

As Oglethorpe operates in the orange phase of the Campus Protection Guide, no outside spectators are allowed at any athletic events on campus. Fan access to outdoor athletic events on Oglethorpe’s campus is limited only to PACAs, as they are subject to all of the institution’s COVID-19 protocols. Indoor events remain closed entirely to fans, including PACAs. 

With outside fans unable to attend home athletic events in person, Oglethorpe University has formed a partnership with LocalLive to offer an improved live streaming experience for fans follow the live action.

Campus access

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.

COVID-19 vaccine

CDC guidance regarding vaccinated individuals remains limited. As such, there remains uncertainty around vaccinated individuals and their potential ability to spread the virus to unvaccinated individuals. Until further notice, all PACAs are expected to follow the policies outlined in the COVID-19 Handbook, regardless of vaccination status.

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.