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 email@example.com. For health-related questions, please contact University Health Services.
- 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 crowds and close contact with people outside your household. Practice social/physical distancing (maintaining a distance of at least six feet).
- Wear a mask (When properly worn, masks should cover nose and mouth).
- 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.
- For more information on how you can prevent COVID-19, see the latest guidance from the CDC.
- How does the virus spread?
According to the CDC, COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person, including between people who are physically near each other (within about six feet). The novel coronavirus spreads in much the same way as the flu or other respiratory illnesses spread, via respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes. People who are infected but do not show symptoms can also spread the virus to others.
For the latest updates from the CDC regarding COVID-19 transmission, click here.
- What screenings are being done by the university?
If you have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), have been in contact with someone suspected of COVID-19 exposure, or have general questions, please call University Health Services at (405) 744-7665 during normal business hours. UHS offers free testing for students and full-time employees; for more information on how to schedule a test or to report a covid case or exposure, visit the UHS website.
- What type of COVID test does OSU’s University Health Services administer?
We are performing a PCR (Molecular Test) that is being processed by the Oklahoma State Diagnostic Lab on campus. According to the FDA, currently there are two types of diagnostic tests, which detect the virus – molecular tests, such as RT-PCR tests, which detect the virus’s genetic material, and rapid antigen tests that detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus. All results are reported to the state health department and are counted as part of state and local COVID statistics.
- Why isn’t OSU administering antibody tests?
The utilization of antibody tests to detect those who may have already been exposed or to validate positives and exposures continues to be examined. At the national level there have been documented issues with the reliability of antibody tests and also with interpretation of those findings, resulting in a reluctance to dedicate resources to that type of testing. We are dedicating our time and energy at the health center into PCR testing to quickly identify cases and limit the spread of the disease. We are also trying to keep up with the needs of patients in other areas. We will continue to work with our state and local health department on the best approach to managing our populations here on campus.
- Is OSU doing any randomized testing of the student population?
Yes. In an effort to increase our overall sample collection, University Health Services started a randomized sample testing program on Sept. 1. Five hundred students will be notified via email each week and asked to make an appointment for on-campus testing. Participation is voluntary and free. The Randomized Testing Program will give the university a better picture of how COVID-19 is affecting campus by actively looking for where the virus might be present.
- Does UHS share student medical records with the Payne County Health Department?
OSU is not giving the county access to student records, card swipes or Wi-Fi access points. University Health Services can use this information in assisting to find a student. UHS helps frequently with tracking down students who are difficult to reach or who may need to isolate.
- What COVID-19 information is on the OSU dashboard?
The OSU dashboard reflects all University Health Services testing data — random and scheduled. All self-reported testing data is also included. The dashboard data is updated at 3 p.m. each Tuesday and Friday.
- Is there a shared COVID-19 database between OSU and the Payne County Health Department?
OSU and Payne County both have access to the state reporting database. University Health Services communicates with the Payne County Health Department daily about shared cases.
- What is my personal health responsibility?
The following outlines expectations for all OSU students and employees while on campus. These are not only to protect your health, but the health of our entire community. Your continued support of these guidelines is appreciated.
- All OSU students, staff, faculty, contractors, vendors, suppliers and visitors must wear a mask (face covering over mouth AND nose) upon entering any public building.
- All employees and students are asked to take special precautions to avoid exposure for at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester.
- Sick employees and students must stay home.
- Self screening should be performed each morning before arriving on campus.
- Temperature must be less than 100.4⁰ F/38⁰ C. See self-screening checklist.
- Maintain social distancing guidelines. You are also expected to wear a face covering if working near or encountering others. If you do not have a face covering, please contact your supervisor and one will be provided.
- Remove unnecessary items in your personal work or living space to create clean counter spaces and support cleaning efforts on common surfaces. If additional cleaning is needed in an office space, please notify your supervisor.
- Limit elevators to single occupancy.
- 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.
- How would I know if I was potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19?
The university is actively working with the public health department to facilitate contact tracing. The process begins once a positive case is confirmed, and includes a review of campus WiFi access points, class schedules, card swipe data, and residential and workplace locations. Using this data, Payne County health officials will notify anyone who has come within six feet or less for 15 minutes or more with that positive case. If you are not notified by a health official, you are not considered to be exposed even if you had been in similar locations as the positive case.
- 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 isolate or quarantine?
According to the CDC, isolation separates sick people from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease.
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-quarantine for up to 14 days at home or another off-campus location.
If you are asked to self-isolate or self-quarantine 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.
On Dec. 2, 2020, the CDC updated its COVID-19 quarantine guidance, providing options to shorten quarantine to 10 or seven days in certain circumstances.
If a student is exposed to someone with COVID, and they remain symptom free up to day 10, their quarantine can end. If they receive a negative test result from a sampling on day five after the initial exposure or later, their quarantine can end on day seven.
In all cases, whether their quarantine can end on day 10 or day seven, students will be expected to monitor symptoms and wear a face covering when around others until at least 14 days after last exposure.
- If I’ve been diagnosed with COVID or been a close contact of someone who has been,
when can I be around others?
Please refer to this guide for information on when you can regain contact.
- What is the process after a student tests positive for COVID-19?
The student will be given information from a health care professional regarding the need to isolate for 10 days, whether in on-campus facilities, their current room if a private space or at home. OSU and Payne County work together to conduct contact tracing. University Health Services is often the first to know when there is a case, especially after hours, so we begin initial contact tracing and notify Payne County Health Department. Students who have a positive test will be entered into the state database. The Payne County Health Department will work with them to contact trace and give further instructions. We are being proactive in asking our students to also contact Payne County Health Department so the process can begin as soon as possible.
- What should a student who tests positive for COVID-19 in an off-campus test do?
If students get tested elsewhere and are positive, they should still get a call from the county because that positive test will be entered into the state database. OSU may not be aware of it, however, so we ask for it to be reported so we may ensure the student has everything they need, count them as a positive case on campus and help the health department with any needed contact tracing.
- What do I need to know if I've previously tested positive for the virus?
According to the CDC, a person who has recovered from COVID-19 may have low levels of virus in their bodies for up to three months after diagnosis. This means if the person who has recovered from COVID-19 is retested within three months of initial infection, they may continue to have a positive test result, even though they are not spreading COVID-19.
Following recovery, if a person develops new symptoms of COVID-19, they may need an evaluation for reinfection, especially if the person has had close contact with someone infected with COVID-19. The person should isolate, contact a health care provider to be evaluated for other causes of their symptoms and possibly be retested.
Whether or not they have had COVID-19, everyone should wash their hands regularly, stay at least six feet away from others whenever possible and wear masks.
If you have had a previous positive COVID test and have concerns about your need to self-quarantine again or test again, please contact your local health provider, Payne County Health Department at (405) 372-8200 or University Health Services at 405-744-7665.
- What’s the process for athletes in being tested for COVID-19?
OSU Athletics maintains a separate dashboard and brings in additional staffing for COVID testing.
- If I am traveling internationally, do I need to quarantine?
Yes, the CDC recommends any international travelers self-quarantine for 14 days when returning to the United States.
- What happens when there is a positive COVID-19 case on campus?
We follow the guidance of national and local health officials in our response to a positive diagnosis on campus. If we receive confirmation that an OSU student or employee has had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, there are important measures that will be promptly taken including quarantine or isolation, contact tracing, communication and facility disinfection. When a member of the OSU community self-reports they are symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19, please contact University Health Services 405-744-7665 immediately. Learn more.
- Is virtual counseling available?
- How were the guidelines determined for the campus reopening plan?
The guidelines were developed based on the most current information from the CDC along with local and state health officials and the OSU Center for Health Sciences.
- Who was involved in forming the plan?
The plan was created by the Pandemic Response Committee through wide-ranging input from units across all parts of campus. This group included representatives from public health, the OSU medical school, human resources, academics, student affairs, legal, facilities management and many other units. You can find that list here.
- What was the process for creating the plan?
After months of reviewing federal, state and local health guidelines, leaders from the various units on campus began to create specific guidelines from their areas. That information was condensed into one overarching plan for the wider campus community and approved by senior administration.
- When will additional updates be forthcoming?
This plan is evolving and will be updated as new information from health officials becomes available. The campus will be notified on a regular basis regarding changes and updates to the plan.
- Are temperature checks part of the plan?
We are asking all members of the campus community to self-screen each morning before arriving on campus. As part of that checklist, campus community members are asked to take their temperature to ensure it is below 100.4.
- What is being done with regards to testing the campus community on a broad basis?
We know testing is key to understanding the scope of the virus relative to our campus population. A public health taskforce has been discussing the logistics and feasibility of testing for our campus community. University Health Services has a “swab pod” on campus, east of their building at 12020 W. Farm Rd, to allow for voluntary testing at no charge. University Health Services is also holding a mass testing week to test all students returning who will be living in campus housing. Additional testing will be occurring throughout the semester by UHS, as well as through their close partnership with Payne County Health Department.
- What is the university’s vaccination distribution plan?
The Oklahoma State Department of Health has released a working draft for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Universities currently fall in phase three.
University Health Services has a vaccine distribution agreement in place with the Payne County Health Department. It is anticipated that University Health Services clinical staff will distribute vaccines to early stage eligible university community members. As volumes grow in later phases, the university will rely on resources at the county level to assist with large scale campus distribution.
Updates will be issued on specific locations and processes as they become available.
As part of the progression within Phase 2 of the state vaccination plan, this week Oklahoma began administering vaccines to K-12 teachers and those with eligible comorbidities. The state’s plan is available here.
- What is a comorbidity and how do I know if I’m eligible for Phase 2?
Information on high risk conditions associated with COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website. Additionally the state’s online vaccination platform can help identify eligibility based on medical history.
- What is University Health Services offering?
University Health Services is serving as a vaccine distribution pod in partnership with the Payne County Health Department and receives allotment directly from the county. In an effort to help ensure OSU-affiliated faculty, staff, and students can receive vaccines on campus, the health services facility will offer online scheduling directly through their patient portal rather than through the state’s vaccine registration system. The university will follow the direction of the state and local health department in determining opportunities for distribution to additional groups within each phase, and vaccine availability is determined in week-to-week increments.
- Who can make an appointment at UHS?
Any phase eligible faculty, staff, or student may make an appointment. Right now phase 2 within the state plan identifies those 65+, adults with comorbidities, and K-12 teachers as priority groups. Phase eligible spouses, domestic partners, and dependents of OSU employees are eligible to receive the vaccine at UHS as well.
- What type of vaccine is being given at UHS?
To date UHS has been administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This is a two-dose series given three weeks apart.
- What is the process for scheduling at UHS?
Information on weekly availability and scheduling process may be found on the University Health Services website at https://uhs.okstate.edu
- How soon can I expect to get in for an appointment at UHS?
Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis and are scheduled out up to a week in advance. Please check the state vaccination registration site for regional opportunities outside of UHS.
- Is there a fee at UHS for receiving a vaccine?
There is no fee for receiving the vaccine on campus.
- How much capacity does UHS have for providing vaccines?
OSU receives a vaccination allotment each week from our local county. To date, we are able to run vaccination clinics one to two days a week and anticipate providing 500-1,000 vaccinations per day for future clinics. Capacity and overall pace of administration are largely dependent on vaccine allocations from the county.
- Should I register with the state vaccination platform?
For the purposes of regional availability outside of health services, university community members are strongly encouraged to register with the state’s online platform. By registering, members can identify eligibility and also identify regional vaccine clinics outside of campus specific efforts.
- Where else can I go for a vaccine?
As part of the state’s effort to accelerate vaccinations, distribution across the community will be a mix of both on-campus and off-campus opportunities as pharmacies and other clinics come online with vaccines. University community members are also encouraged to register with the state’s online platform to determine eligibility to receive the vaccine through regional clinics outside of campus-specific efforts. Vaccine doses purchased with taxpayer dollars are free in the U.S., however, private health care providers may charge an administration fee for giving the vaccine.
In order to expedite the process, OSU employees who qualify for this phase of vaccinations are also encouraged to register for a vaccine on the state’s website at vaccinate.oklahoma.gov. You can also sign up for text message alerts regarding vaccine openings at vaccine-alerts.com. OSU employees will be able to take administrative leave for your vaccination appointment – please check with your area’s HR consultant re: maximum administrative leave allowable.
- How many vaccinations have been given at OSU thus far?
While we are bound by the supply we receive from the county, we have been able to provide roughly 3,000 vaccinations to date.
- What will happen to my appointment in the event of inclement weather?
UHS will post announcements on the health services website if appointments need to be rescheduled due to weather conditions.
- Will masks still be required on campus?
According to the CDC, although COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting sick, scientists are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not get sick.
If you are vaccinated against COVID-19, you may still be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. After exposure, people can be infected with or “carry” the virus that causes COVID-19 but not feel sick or have any symptoms. Experts call this “asymptomatic infection.”
For this reason, even after vaccination, face coverings will continue to be required on campus, even for those who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19. Strict adherence to social distancing and public health safety measures are of the utmost importance throughout the semester as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.
- Will OSU require vaccinations for all students and employees?
We strongly encourage all in the OSU community to be vaccinated as it will contribute to herd immunity. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available. Review current COVID-19 information at go.okstate.edu/coronavirus
- If I’ve been vaccinated and have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, do I need
If exposed to someone with COVID-19, vaccinated people do not have to quarantine if they meet all three of the following criteria:
- If you are fully vaccinated and it has been at least two weeks since your final dose
- If you are within three months of receiving your final dose
- If you have remained asymptomatic since the exposure.
If it has been more than three months since your final dose, you will need to quarantine while health officials study the length of immunity afforded by the vaccine. For additional information please see the CDC website.
- Is the university closed?
The Stillwater campus is open.
- 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. To make a request for accommodation, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity firstname.lastname@example.org 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 there emergency funding for students?
Oklahoma State University has received funding through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA). With this federal funding, OSU is awarding the OSU Economic Stimulus Grant-CRRSA, which is a one-time grant to provide emergency financial assistance for students to help cover expenses due to COVID-19.
If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 since Dec. 27, 2020, and would like to be considered for the OSU Economic Stimulus Grant-CRRSA, log in at my.okstate.edu to complete the application form under the Resources/Additional Information tab in the Award portion of the Financial Aid section. You will need to select aid year 2020-2021.
Funding for this emergency financial assistance is limited. You can review the eligibility requirements and other questions you may have on our COVID-19 FAQ webpage.
- Is the Student Union closed?
The Student Union is open. Current building hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours will be adjusted as students return to campus. Many of the services in the building have resumed regular operating hours. The most up-to-date Student Union, University Store and University Dining Services information can be found here. Some departments housed within the building are still telecommuting. Contact those offices directly to check availability. Find their contact information at directory.okstate.edu.
- What cleaning measures are in place across campus?
OSU Facilities Management provides touch-point cleaning and disinfecting daily in campus buildings and multiple times daily within areas of increased-use or higher risk. OSU maintains alcohol-based hand sanitizer and replacement wall-mount dispensers to refill the currently installed hand sanitizers located throughout campus. Facilities Management will work to procure and distribute necessary cleaning supplies for individual departments. Facilities Management (FM) has also purchased electrostatic and hydrogen peroxide vapor disinfection equipment for applying preventive disinfectant coverage to targeted areas. If an emergency response is required, FM has several third-party professionals ready and available to treat or remediate campus locations.
- What measures is the university taking to keep dorm residents safe?
The student housing plan includes reducing or rearranging shared spaces, increased frequency of cleaning, acquisition of specialized disinfecting equipment and dedicated rooms reserved for student quarantine. Accommodations for vulnerable populations will be provided.
- How are dining services impacted?
University Dining Services has reduced the capacity for seating to allow for social distancing within OSU dining facilities. Some dining operations are only available via the online ordering app Grubhub to reduce waiting time and exposure risk. Take-out and delivery options are strongly encouraged. Learn more here.
- What’s being done at the Student Union to keep everyone safe?
In addition to campus protocols for social distancing and the wearing of face coverings, the Student Union will increase disinfection protocols for all high-touch areas. Restrooms will be sanitized every two hours.
- How will the library be kept safe and operational?
Library business hours will be reduced during the spring semester to allow time for overnight cleaning and sanitizing. Furniture in public spaces will be arranged to ensure appropriate social distancing and barriers or shields will be erected to allow more than one user at library tables. When possible, library services will continue to include options for users who are unable to come into the library. For example, curbside pick-up for books and library laptops and chat reference assistance. The Library Browsing Room and Reading Room will not be available for events or public gatherings until social distancing requirements are no longer in place.
- What is being done at the Colvin Recreation Center to keep patrons safe?
A minimum of two housekeepers will be on staff at the Colvin during all operating hours continually cleaning areas by zone as well as repeatedly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces (handrails, door handles, push plates, etc.) multiple times daily. Fitness floor staff will clean equipment continuously throughout the day including equipment touch points (I.e. seats, handles, bars, and pins). Maximum capacity is 180 patrons. Learn more here.
- How does contact tracing work for OSU student or employee cases?
Contact tracing indicates individuals who have been in close (six feet or closer) contact with a positive COVID case for 15 minutes or more. You may hear of cases in your class or office space, but that does not necessarily mean you were exposed. If you were, you will be contacted by a university or county contact tracer for more instructions including a recommendation that you be tested and quarantined for 14 days.
University Health Services is working in tandem with the Payne County Health Department to identify cases and respond accordingly. Select University Health Services employees are trained on the state and county’s approach and technology for contact tracing and are available to assist with those ongoing efforts. Leveraging existing campus technology, OSU has developed analytics to identify employee and student movement across the OSU campus via WiFi access points. This location data will be held in extreme confidence and shared only with leadership of University Health Services when cases arise for which location information is useful. Location data -– not device content, which is NOT collected by OSU — will be stored for seven days and solely used to aid in contact tracing. Additional data, including class schedules, OSU ID card transactions and office or student housing assignments, may also be used to assist health officials in tracing efforts.
- Are masks required on campus?
Yes. All OSU students, staff, faculty, contractors, vendors, suppliers and visitors must wear a face covering (mask) upon entering any campus building. We know that COVID-19 can be spread when people are asymptomatic, which means they don’t know they are sick yet. Wearing face coverings has been shown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others. Learn more about face covering protocols.
- Why are masks being required on campus?
This is in line with CDC guidelines, as we know many people who are COVID-19 positive are asymptomatic. This measure is meant to protect one another, not just the individual wearing the mask.
- Who is required to wear a face covering?
The requirement to wear face coverings applies to all employees (students, staff, faculty, temporary workers) contractors, vendors, suppliers and visitors on campus.
COVID-19 can be spread when people are asymptomatic, which means they do not know they are sick yet. Wearing face coverings has been shown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others. Face coverings do not replace the need to maintain social distancing, frequent handwashing, and rigorous cleaning and disinfecting routines.
- Are employees required to wear a face covering in public spaces if there is a Plexiglas
Yes, in cases where other social distancing methods cannot also be in play. Plexiglas typically does not replace the need for employees to wear face coverings when outside of their office or if social distancing cannot be maintained. Please note face shields may be used in some cases in lieu of cloth face coverings should the situation warrant.
- I have health-related concerns with wearing a face covering. Am I still required to
If you have a health-related concern with wearing a face covering for work, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at 405-744-7607 or email@example.com. If you are a student with health-related concerns regarding wearing a face covering for class, please contact Student Accessibility Services at 405-744-7116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- When and where am I required to wear a face covering?
All members of the OSU community are required to wear face coverings when outside of their private office and when physical social distancing measures are hard to maintain.
Wearing a face covering in public settings helps protect others and prevent spread of the virus and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Examples of public settings include areas outside of your enclosed private office such as:
- Entering/Exiting buildings
- Shared workspaces unless other social distancing measures are in play
- Shared work vehicles
- Common meeting space, break rooms or lounge areas
- Dining facilities, except when eating
- Public Restrooms
- Student Union and public event spaces
- Elevators and hallways
- Outdoors if safe social distancing is not possible.
You do not need to wear a face covering in your private office if it is enclosed, unless another individual enters your office. In this case, all individuals should wear face coverings.
- Do I still need to wear a mask even though people are getting vaccinated?
All OSU students, staff, faculty and visitors must wear a proper face covering in any public building on campus.
The CDC recommends people wear masks in public settings, at events and gatherings and anywhere they will be around other people. Effective Feb. 2, 2021, masks are required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
Not enough information is currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to the CDC, experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision. We also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself.
While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic.
To protect yourself and others, follow these recommendations:
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
- Stay at least six feet away from others
- Avoid crowds
- Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
- Wash your hands often
- What else should I do to protect myself at work?
Whenever possible, stay at least six feet from other people. Wash your hands often, try not to touch your face, and frequently disinfect work areas and high-touch items in your workplace with disinfecting cleanser. Do not share work materials or equipment, especially equipment used near the face. Monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms by utilizing the employee checklist and staying home if you experience any symptoms or otherwise feel ill.
- Why should I wear a face covering?
Many people with COVID-19 have no symptoms, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly advises wearing cloth face coverings as a way to protect one another from infection. It is important to note that face coverings are not a substitute for other prevention efforts, such as hand-washing and social distancing. Continue to stay six feet from others whenever possible and clean hands frequently. You should carry at least two face coverings with you daily to ensure that you have a replacement if one becomes unusable while you are on campus.
- What is the proper way to wear a face covering?
This page provides guidance on the proper way to wear a face covering.
- How often do you need to wash your cloth face covering?
The CDC recommends cloth face coverings be washed after each use.
- How long are we required to wear face coverings?
This requirement is in place until further notice and is subject to change based on guidance from the CDC, and University Health Services (UHS) in coordination with the Payne County Health Department.
- Will I be required to go home if I report to work without a face covering?
Yes; however, your office may have extra supplies that will allow you to obtain a mask should you forget to bring one with you to work. The Campus Reopening Plan states, “OSU students, staff, faculty, contractors, vendors, suppliers and visitors must wear a face covering upon entering any campus building.” You will be required to wear one in order to enter the workplace where you will encounter other employees in spaces such as hallways, elevators and stairways.
- I have a face covering that covers my entire face. May I wear that to work?
No. With the exception of religious practice, a covering that hides or obscures the wearer’s eyes or forehead is not an acceptable face covering.
- If I see someone on campus who is not abiding by these guidelines, should I confront
the individual and explain the requirement? Should I contact OSU PD?
If you come into contact with any individual who is not wearing a face covering and should be under these guidelines, you may offer educational advice to them in a polite and nonaggressive manner. Please note the individual may have a medical condition preventing them from wearing face coverings. This is not a police matter — it is a policy matter and should be referred to the appropriate office for remedy:
- Student violations: Student Conduct Education & Administration; 405-744-5470 or submitted online.
- Faculty violations: Office of the Provost; 405-744-5627or email@example.com
- Staff violations: OSU Human Resources; 405-744-7607 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vendor violations: OSU Purchasing; 405-744-5984 or email@example.com
- Visitor violations: Contact your local administrator or supervisor
- How do I report an employee or student not adhering to the guidelines for face coverings?
If you have concerns about an employee or student not adhering to the guidelines for face coverings, we encourage you to bring your concerns to your supervisor or the appropriate office contacts:
- Student violations: Student Conduct Education & Administration; 405-744-5470 or complaints can be submitted online.
- Faculty violations: Office of the Provost; 405-744-5627 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Staff violations: OSU Human Resources; 405-744-7607 or email@example.com
- Vendor violations: OSU Purchasing; 405-744-5984 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visitor violations: Contact your local administrator or supervisor
OSU Human Resources developed this information for the convenience of the OSU campus community. It is a brief interpretation of more detailed and complex materials. If further clarification is needed, the actual law and policy should be consulted as the authoritative source. OSU continually monitors benefits, policy, and procedures and reserves the right to change, modify, amend, or terminate programs at any time, with or without notice.
- Will quarantine spaces be available if a resident tests positive for COVID?
There will be approximately 300 bed spaces available for quarantine. These will be assigned as needed as space is available. Depending on availability and the type of housing a student is assigned to, they may be asked to quarantine in place. Please visit the Housing and Residential life Quarantine Protocol page to learn more about quarantine policies and procedures.
- What is OSU’s policy on masks for residents and staff?
- What type of precautions is Housing putting in place to protect residents and student
There has been a multi-layered response to keeping students safe in the resident halls including: installation of social distancing markers, plexiglass shields on desks, centrally-located hand sanitizer stations in the halls, designated entrance and exit doors, designated up and down stairwells and installation of new air filters in every air handling unit. Additional signage has been installed throughout Housing and Residential Life to remind everyone to wear a mask, wash their hands and to use water fountains with caution. Learn more.
- My student lives in a traditional hall with community bathrooms. How are they being
We have increased the frequency with which community bathrooms and all public bathrooms are being cleaned. Community bathrooms and public bathrooms will be cleaned twice a day, Monday through Friday, and once per day on Saturday and Sunday.
- The CDC recommends no large gatherings. How is OSU and Housing ensuring these types
of gatherings do not occur?
Lounge and gathering spaces will be locked (unless there is a kitchen or laundry room attached to the lounge). In areas that cannot be locked, signage has been installed to remind residents to wear their mask, social distance and keep the number of people in the space to a minimum. Recreational items such as equipment for pool tables, ping pong tables, etc. will not be available to check out for resident use.
- I will be a resident of Family and Graduate Student Housing (FGSH). What types of
programming will be offered for me, my family and my children?
All programming offered by the Family Resource Center will be offered virtually. The staff is busy preparing virtual events for children, teens and adults. The Family Resource Center has a wealth of information and resources for FGSH residents, including a lending closet, shopping shuttle, computer lab and food distribution. Learn more here.
- The University of Oklahoma has announced the installation of Synexis machines in all
of their traditional rooms. Is OSU planning to implement a similar project?
OSU Housing and Residential Life has purchased a limited number of Synexis hydrogen peroxide machines. These will be used as needed, and may be used in conjunction with CDC-recommended cleaning measures. At this time, there are no certified lab results that guarantees that Synexis and/or vaporized hydrogen peroxide can kill COVID. Also, the use of this type of technology does not prevent individuals from being exposed to COVID.
Faculty and Staff
For work-related questions and other resources, please visit this page.