Frequently asked questions
Oklahoma State University health officials are closely monitoring an outbreak of the coronavirus. Do you have specific medical questions about your health and the coronavirus? Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. For health-related questions, please contact University Health Services.
Health and prevention
- What is a coronavirus?
There are seven known coronaviruses that affect humans. They’re named coronavirus because of the crown-like spikes on their surface. The first was identified in the 1960s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The newest coronavirus is known as the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
- What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus?
Patients currently being treated for the novel coronavirus report mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after exposure or as long as 14 days after exposure, according to the CDC.
- How do I prevent novel coronavirus?
You can limit your likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus with the same methods you would use to avoid the flu.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water and wash for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue into the trash.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.
- How does the virus spread?
The novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It now seems to be spreading from person-to-person, in much the same way as the flu or other respiratory illnesses spread, via respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes. The CDC believes it is spread between people who are in close contact.
- What screenings are being done by the university?
University Health Services is taking calls from individuals who have concerns about COVID-19. Any individual who feels as though they have concerning symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), have been around someone being investigated for COVID-19, or have general questions can call UHS at (405) 744-7665 during normal business hours.
- I'm sick. Should I be tested for coronavirus?
If you develop a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath and believe you have been exposed to COVID-19:
- Before going to a doctor’s office or to an emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms and your recent travel. Your healthcare professional will work with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested.
- Stay home unless you are seeking medical care. Avoid contact with others.
- Wear a mask if you need to leave your home when sick.
- What if I feel like I’ve been exposed to the virus?
Stillwater-based students who feel as though they have been exposed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), are asked to stay home and call University Health Services (405-744-7665) during normal business hours, or your primary health care provider. A brief screening will be performed by a nurse over the telephone and further instructions on care will be given at that time. There is also an Oklahoma hotline through the Oklahoma State Department of Health for any individual with questions: 1-877-715-8336. If you are having a medical emergency, please go to your nearest emergency room.
Tulsa-based students who think they may have been in contact with someone who has or who is suspected of having the novel coronavirus and develop a fever with a cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of contact, call your physician immediately to discuss your history. Call first instead of going directly to the hospital, where you may infect other people. If you need information about free or low-cost health care clinics in Tulsa, please contact OSU-Tulsa Campus Life.
- What does it mean to self-isolate?
Based on the UHS screening, and in coordination with local and state health officials, individuals may be asked to self-monitor their health or be prepared to self-isolate for up to 14 days at home or another off-campus location. If you are asked to self-isolate you should stay home. Follow these guidelines for self-isolation:
Report any symptoms of COVID-19 immediately to University Health Services, Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you have a health emergency, please go to the nearest emergency room. Stay off campus and stay home. Do not go to work, or any social or religious gatherings until 14 days after your departure from the country in question.
- What countries are considered high risk?
The CDC evaluates countries based on the widespread community transmission and access to medical care in affected areas. Currently, countries are evaluated on levels. Level 1 is a watch and travelers should practice usual precautions. Level 2 is an alert and travelers should practice enhanced precautions. Level 3 is a warning and individuals should avoid nonessential travel to these areas. Travel to areas considered level 3 is highly discouraged. See all up-to-date travel notices from the CDC, or the CDC COVID-19 travel recommendations by country.
- Is virtual counseling available?
- Is the university closing?To further support social distancing, the university has closed all buildings on the Stillwater campus to visitors through July 7, unless extended or rescinded earlier. Employees have access to their buildings in coordination with their supervisor.
- Are computer labs open?
To further support social distancing and to comply with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s executive order for all non-essential businesses to close, the university has closed all buildings on the Stillwater campus to visitors through July 7.
IT is closing its labs in the Classroom Building and Math Sciences. For questions about a computer lab in a specific college, please reach out to that college. If working remotely, IT provides the same software available in computer labs in their virtual labs.
- What about my job as a student worker?
Under the direction of their supervisor, student or temporary workers may work their normal scheduled hours if work is available and they are able to do so either via telework options or on-campus. Students will receive pay for any hours worked, including hours worked via telework options approved by the supervisor.
For students who were not able to work their anticipated regular schedule, pay was provided up to the normal schedule, or up to the average pay earned by the student during the Spring Semester. This pay continuation ended May 2. Following May 2, student workers continuing to work will receive pay only for hours worked.
- Will telework options remain available?
As we plan for a gradual phased reopening of our campus, we recognize that the threat of COVID-19 is not over and are planning several safety precautions to ensure we all feel safe upon our return.
OSU will continue to offer temporary telework work options to faculty and staff as an option to continue working, as directed by their supervisor. During temporary remote work options, employees should plan to be available during normal business hours to perform their regular tasks, as well as to attend meetings virtually. Employees working remotely may be required to report to campus at certain times such as for certain meetings and may be asked to return to their regular, in-office work location with short notice. Any request for accommodation contact Office of Equal Opportunity at email@example.com or by phone 405-744-9153. As always, non-working time away from the office should be coordinated with and approved by supervisors regardless of whether you are working on campus or virtually.
- Is the transit system running?All OSU Transit services are currently suspended. Out of an overabundance of caution, OSU Transit has suspended The Bus and The Ramp until June 1. The BOB will resume operation when in person classes resume. Please follow OSU Transit’s social media @PTSokstate for updates as they become available.
- Am I eligible for pay under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
All current employees, regardless of classification, are eligible for the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA), which allows up to 80-hours of paid leave for certain circumstances.
Learn more about it here.
- What is happening with Summer on the Plaza and other summer events?With the current COVID-19 situation and in compliance with the university canceling all summer campus events through June 30, the Student Union's Summer on the Plaza community event is on hold. The Office of Arts, Culture & Entertainment will reevaluate the program in June and will make an announcement regarding if any events will take place after July 1. Follow @osuunion or @suabokstate on your favorite social media platform to keep up-to-date on the latest announcements.
- Is the Student Union closed?Yes, the OSU Student Union is closed until July 7. Many of the services provided in the union are available virtually as the majority of our campus employees are currently telecommuting. If you have a question for a particular department or staff member, please visit directory.okstate.edu to reach him or her directly. Students who need supplies can order online at shopokstate.com. Orders will be shipped via FedEx Ground.
Faculty and Staff
For work-related questions and other resources, please visit this page.