Guiding Principles

The Health Monitoring & Action Team of Ouachita Baptist University follows guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Arkansas Department of Health and the American College Health Association, as well as insights from other universities in the state and region and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security “COVID-19 Planning Guide and Self-Assessment for Higher Education.” As we gain a greater understanding of COVID-19 and the public health situation in Arkansas evolves, our recommendations and plans will be updated as needed.

 

OFFICE PROTOCOLS FOR SUMMER 2021

Effective May 11, 2021

 

Message from the President: Thank you again, colleagues, for the extraordinary efforts this academic year which culminated in a meaningful Commencement on Saturday. With the conclusion of on-campus classes and the beginning of summer – and the lack of summer camps, HMAT has recommended and I’ve affirmed adjusting our COVID-19 protocols.

 

Adjustments to protocols

  • Masks are no longer required inside Ouachita buildings. Thanks to the work of Dr. Wesley Kluck, Ouachita’s university physician, and local health officials, all Ouachita employees and students have had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and a large percentage have taken advantage of that offer. When interacting with guests to campus, it is considerate to offer to wear a mask according to your guests’ preference or simply to follow their lead.
  • Physical distancing is still encouraged for situations in which not all present have been vaccinated or the vaccination status of those present is unknown.
  • Signage and plexiglass barriers will be removed this week to create a more welcoming campus environment.
  • Portable air filters will remain in place and available to turn on when a room is in use.
  • Employees should continue to monitor their health for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and wash their hands frequently. Those who have not received a vaccine and are experiencing symptoms should use the CDC self-check screening or check with their doctor before returning to work.
  • Screening is no longer required following international travel.
  • Ouachita’s COVID-19 Testing Center now is housed in the Office of Health Services. Testing is available by appointment only. Contact Kristi Seals at covid@obu.edu to make an appointment or for more information.

 

What about the fall?

We anticipate a “normal” semester this fall, with classrooms returning to their typical locations and with masks optional throughout campus. Testing and on-campus contact tracing will still be available through the Office of Health Services. Hand sanitizer stations will remain in place and stocked, ventilation systems will continue to be maintained and outdoor seating will continue to be available. A COVID-19 vaccine is strongly encouraged but not required for employees and students. Proof of vaccination will be required to avoid the necessity of quarantine after exposure to the virus or for student-athletes to be excused from pre-competition testing. The Health Monitoring and Action Team will meet in July to reevaluate these tentative plans in light of the COVID-19 environment at that time.

 

Curious about COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccines are readily available locally and throughout Arkansas. Your primary care physician can answer questions about if the vaccine is a good choice for you, and Dr. Kluck also is available to answer general questions. Learn more about the vaccines online from reputable sources like the CDC. There are several online resources for finding a vaccine provider, includingvaccines.gov, vaccinespotter.org and the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

(Updated May 11, 2021)

 

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