It’s been more than 150 days since we were last together on campus, and we can’t wait to welcome you back for the first day of classes. To ensure your health and wellness, and that of our faculty and staff, the fall semester will look a little different this year.
Think of our return-to-campus plan as the biggest group project you will ever participate in. Here’s what you can do to help keep OTC healthy:
Wear a mask
Everyone – students, faculty, staff and visitors – is required to wear a mask or facial covering at all OTC locations this fall. Your mask should cover both your mouth and nose. Masks should be worn in classrooms, hallways and most indoor spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. Masks may be removed outside, unless you’re in an outdoor classroom where you cannot practice social distancing. There are no exceptions to our masking policy. If you forget to bring your mask to campus, we will provide you with one. If you cannot or will not wear a mask, you will be asked to leave.
If something as simple as wearing a facial covering can help us resume in-person classes this fall, then it’s worth doing. But we’ve all got to participate.
Wash your hands
While on campus, be sure to wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Use warm water and soap when possible, and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Every classroom and lab will be equipped with sanitizer and wipes to help you keep your study spaces clean, too.
We’re also doing our part. Facilities and maintenance staff have upped their campus cleaning regimen with top-of-the-line products that sanitize surfaces long after the initial application.
Practice social distancing
Combined with masking, social distancing is an effective tool in helping us resume close-to-normal operations this fall. Seating in classrooms and labs will be spread out as much as possible, and study lounges and areas will also be arranged to comply with social distancing protocols. Please leave campus seating where it is, and practice social distancing whenever possible.
Don’t touch your face
We get it. This one is hard. In fact, it’s estimated that people touch their faces about 23 times per hour (yikes). But the more you are aware, the easier it will be to keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. Touching the mucous membranes on your face with dirty hands allows germs that cause respiratory infections to enter the body. So, when you’re tempted to rub your eyes or scratch your cheek – don’t do it.
When sick, stay home
Please do not come to campus if you are feeling unwell. This is the single most important thing you can do to ensure a safe campus experience this fall. If you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, like a fever, coughing or shortness of breath, you must see healthcare professional before returning to class. OTC has partnered with CoxHealth to provide free virtual visits.
Use the code “COVID” on CoxHealth’s virtual visit website. This will allow you to undergo a free consultation with a Cox healthcare professional. This can be completed at home on your own computer or from your smart phone. If you do not have Internet access, please contact OTC Safety and Security. They will give you safe access to a computer where you can use the CoxHealth web portal.
Based on your consultation, you’ll either be cleared to return to class or instructed to get tested for coronavirus.
If you need to get tested, the CoxHealth representative will set up the appointment for you. If you do not have health insurance, coronavirus tests through CoxHealth are free of charge.
When you access the consultation, you will be asked to setup a portal, which is also free of charge. There, you will be able to access your test results.
If you test positive for coronavirus, please do not return to any OTC location for 14 days. Contact your instructors; they will work with you to make sure you can complete your class work. If you receive a negative test, please contact your instructors and provide them with a screen shot of your negative test results. This will allow you to return to your classes.
Find more information
Still have questions? Visit our return-to-campus plan at otc.edu/covid. There, you’ll find important student FAQs and health information to help you prepare for the upcoming semester. See you soon, Eagles! We’re ready — and waiting — to welcome you back to campus.