OU announces Feb. 1 return to campus, pop-up vaccine clinics

University+leadership+have+announced+their+plan+for+a+return+to+on-campus+activities+on+Feb.+1.

Noora Neiroukh

University leadership have announced their plan for a return to on-campus activities on Feb. 1.

Jeff Thomas, Editor-in-Chief

In a campus communications email sent from Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Britt Rios-Ellis and Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer Glenn McIntosh to members of the campus community this morning, the university has announced its plan for a Feb.1 return to campus.

The announcement also reinforces the importance of “multi-layered prevention strategies” the university is using to stop the spread of COVID-19. The vaccine mandate, as well as indoor masks requirements, remain in place. In the announcement, the university seems to be bolstering these policies by announcing pop-up vaccine clinics on Jan. 27, Feb. 1 and Feb. 3, in addition to KN95 masks being available for students.

This announcement formally ends the four weeks of remote instruction and activities that started the winter semester in response to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The entirety of the announcement is in italics below.

“To the campus community,

We are looking forward to having students, faculty and staff return to campus for in-person and hybrid courses beginning on Tuesday, February 1. We are also pleased to share that all in-person university services have resumed, and that many virtual options remain available.

Please know that it will be critically important for all of us to continue practicing the multi-layered prevention strategies the university has adopted. Particularly:

Vaccination: The university’s mandate remains in place, as well as weekly testing for those with approved exemptions. We strongly encourage vaccinated individuals to get booster shots as soon as they become eligible. If you have already received a booster, please upload verification to the Graham Health Center (GHC) Secure Patient Portal.

Appointments for free booster shots can be scheduled at GHC via the Secure Patient Portal and pop-up clinics will take place on campus as follows:

  • Thursday, January 27 –- Vandenberg Hall Cafeteria, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 1 – Oakland Center, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 3 – Hillcrest Hall, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Pop-up clinic visits can be expedited by having a photo ID, insurance card and COVID-19 vaccination card on hand. You can also upload your insurance and vaccination card to the Secure Patient Portal.

Masking: Campus community members must wear a mask at all times while indoors on campus.

  • Well-fitting masks that cover the mouth and nose and that are worn consistently offer the highest level of protection against the spread of COVID-19.
  • The university will have KN95 masks; 3-ply disposable masks and washable, 3-layer cloth masks available on request. Students can obtain one at the Oakland Center Welcome Desk, the Food Pantry or the CSA service window.

For more information on effective use of respirators and masks, visit the CDC’s “Improve How Your Mask Protects You” webpage, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ “Mask Up, Mask Right” webpage, or the Public Health Communications Collaborative’s “What Mask Should I Wear” webpage.

Daily Health Screenings: Completion of a brief, online form remains required of all campus community members and visitors who plan to be on campus.

Based on trends being observed in countries where Omicron surged earlier than it did here, we hope that very soon we will see significant declines in transmission. Until that time, your patience and continuing cooperation is very much appreciated.”