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Keeping the Cowboy family safe this semester: What you need to know

January 5. 2022

Cowboy family, 


We are thrilled to welcome you back to campus for the spring semester! As we navigate this semester together, we must continue to be vigilant in our shared effort to protect the OSU community. The OSU Pandemic Response Team has been closely monitoring the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19. Early data shows it may have a much higher transmissibility rate than the delta variant, but appears to be a less severe form of COVID-19 than delta. 


When our dashboard numbers are released later today, we are anticipating a significant jump in the percentage of positive cases reported, which is consistent with numbers we are seeing in our region and across the country. 


Help us stop the spread of COVID-19:

We have measures in place to help mitigate the spread of the virus in our community. Everyone must continue to do their part. For the first two weeks of classes, faculty will have the discretion to choose one of the following options:

  • Fully in-person with masks mandatory
  • Hybrid format (part online/part in-person) with masks required during the face-to-face portion
  • Online only instruction

Students, check your courses in Canvas after Thursday, Jan. 6 to verify the format of your classes for the first two weeks.


Healthy Together app 

Students, faculty and staff have new resources in the fight against COVID-19. The Healthy Together app was developed for campus through partnerships with the State of Oklahoma and the technology group, Twenty Labs. The app features access to individual test results, a symptom checker, a vaccine location finder, a testing location finder and links to university and state COVID-19 resource websites. Download the app.



Remember that masks are expected in all indoor, public spaces on campus for faculty, staff and students. Wearing a mask is as important now as it was the beginning of the pandemic to maintain operations for the spring semester. Please bring a mask with you to campus every day. The more effective N-95, KN-95 and surgical masks are preferred over single-layer cloth masks. 



Vaccination, including boosters, remains the best tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the threat of serious illness should a breakthrough infection occur. Vaccinations are free. Students, faculty and staff can make an appointment at UHS. Vaccinations are also available at many area pharmacies and health care providers. You can also find locations on the Healthy Together app


COVID Testing

When possible, we encourage everyone to be tested before returning to campus. Individuals should test if symptomatic or have had a confirmed exposure to COVID-19. Although test kits are in high demand, UHS has appointments available. Antigen testing is free. PCR tests with same-day results are $125, but most in-network plans cover the entire cost. PCR and antigen-testing appointments can be scheduled through the online Patient Portal. At-home tests are also an acceptable option.


Sanitation Measures 

Facilities Management continues to run HVAC systems an additional four hours per day to increase air circulation and refill hand-sanitizer stations around campus. Facilities Management personnel also are renewing an emphasis on high-touch point cleaning. Read about their sanitation initiatives


Again, thank you for what you’re doing to protect yourselves, your family and your friends. We will continue to keep you updated on the situation and if any changes are warranted. If you have questions, please continue to email


Have a great semester, Cowboys! 




Dr. Johnny Stephens

Senior Vice President for Health Affairs

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