Happy New Year! We hope you’re enjoying a well-deserved holiday break with family and friends and that you’ve had a safe and healthy start to the New Year.
As we transition to the spring semester, the OC Pandemic Response Team wants to share with you a few important OC CARES reminders.
- Your Return to Campus – No New or Additional Guidelines in Place
- Masks are Still Required in All Public Indoor Spaces
- Play it Safe: Be Tested for COVID-19 Prior to Your Return to Campus
- What to Do if You Suspect or Test Positive for COVID-19 Prior to Your Return
- Consider Getting Your FREE COVID-19 Vaccination or Booster Prior to Your Return
- Simple Ways to Stay Healthy During the Winter
Your Return to Campus – No New or Additional Guidelines in Place
As of January 4, no new or additional return to campus guidelines have been put in place. However, face masks are still required to be worn in all public spaces, including all classrooms and common areas, Cutler Event Center, the Kirk Center and residence hall community spaces, as outlined below.
We are not out of the woods and the College continues to take the pandemic seriously. The spread of COVID-19 is an ever-changing situation that may require the College to make swift policy changes to mitigate risk and operate as safely as possible. It is important that you read all emails from OC CARES.
Please continue to be kind and patient toward one another and take personal responsibility to help stop the spread of the virus so that we can continue our treasured residential and participation-based educational experience for the remainder of this academic year.
Masks Still Required for Students, Faculty and Staff in All Indoor Public Spaces
Thank you for being responsible, understanding, kind, flexible and patient with the continued masking requirement. All students, faculty and staff are still required to wear a mask when in indoor public spaces.
- The mask must cover both the mouth and nose, at the same time and at all times.
- The mask should remain on and over the mouth and nose when talking. Do not remove the mask in class when speaking. If you are worried you will not be heard, speak louder than you normally do and be sure to articulate your words clearly.
What is a Public Indoor Space?
Mask required in indoor spaces where people are stationary or tend to congregate, including the following:
- Residence Halls – common areas including lobbies, game rooms, computer lounges, laundry rooms and hallways
- All buildings – classrooms and labs, reception areas, lobbies, hallways and stairwells
- Cutler Event Center
- Burrage Library and Roznowski Learning Commons
- Kirk Center and Starbucks Cafe – when not seated or eating and drinking
- Indoor social/student engagement events
- Public meeting or event when 6-feet physical distancing is not possible to maintain
Mask not required in uncrowded indoor spaces and outdoors, including the following:
- Private living space when alone, with a roommate or friends
- When eating or drinking (Note: masks must be in place when food or drink is not being ingested)
- In a private office or meeting space where 6-feet physical distancing can be maintained and all parties agree to no masking
- When walking directly to/from a restroom in a residence hall
- When engaging in physical activity or exercise
Play it Safe: Be Tested for COVID-19 Prior to Your Return to Campus
For ease of mind and to kick off your New Year in good health, students are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test (either a home test or a rapid or “PCR” test at a testing facility in your community) within 48 hours of returning to campus. If you test positive for COVID-19 prior to your return to campus, remain at home and notify Campus Safety as outlined below.
There are many locations in all communities to get tested at no cost. To find a test site, call the State of Michigan COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 and press 2 or click here.
Testing is encouraged, not required. You do not need to provide a negative test result to return to campus.
What to Do if You Test Positive or Suspect COVID-19 Prior to Your Return
For your health and safety and the health and safety of others, please be mindful of your health status prior to your return to campus.
- If you test positive or exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19 or have come in close contact with anyone who is suspected of having or tests positive for COVID-19, do not return to campus.
- Anyone with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested for COVID-19, even those who are fully vaccinated or have already had COVID-19.
- There are many locations in all communities to get tested at no cost. To find a test site, call the State of Michigan COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 and press 2 or click here.
- If you test positive, do not return to campus and contact Campus Safety (269-749-7911). A campus representative will follow up with you. Do not ignore phone calls from the 269 area code.
Consider Getting Your FREE COVID-19 Vaccination or Booster Prior to Your Return to Campus
If you’ve been thinking about getting the COVID-19 vaccination, now is the perfect time.
This is also the perfect opportunity for those who were fully vaccinated either with a two-dose regimen more than six months ago or a one-dose regimen (J&J) more than two months ago to get your COVID-19 booster shot. The booster shot is important in keeping the fast-spreading omicron variant at bay.
Most pharmacies and a number of community organizations offer the FREE vaccination and booster throughout the state of Michigan.
- Text 438829: The easiest and quickest way to locate vaccination sites near you is to text your zip code to 438829. A service of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, within seconds you’ll receive a list of sites, the type of COVID-19 vaccination offered, if walk-ins are welcome and links to additional vaccination sites and information. You’ll even be asked if you need to schedule a free ride!
- Olivet Pharmacy: Another convenient off-campus option is the Olivet Pharmacy, 116 N. Main St. Within walking distance of campus, the Olivet Pharmacy provides vaccinations by walk-in or appointment. Call 269-280-5005 or email email@example.com for details.
Simple Ways to Stay Healthy During the Winter
Do your part and set an example for others. By following simple health and safety precautions, not only will you help stop the spread of COVID-19, but also the flu and cold, both of which are more common in the winter months since we spend more time indoors.
- Follow the OC CARES Pandemic Response guidelines and wear your mask at all times in indoor public spaces as outlined above.
- Whether you have COVID-19, the flu or a cold, stay home until you are well! Communicate with your professors to let them know of your health status.
- Socially distance at least six feet when indoors.
- Cover your nose and mouth with the crook of your arm or with a clean tissue when you sneeze or cough.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Report if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms or come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Do not share beverage cups or bottles or eating utensils with friends.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your living space.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” — Neil Gaiman, author