Updated: July 24, 2020 | 11:35 a.m.

ONU safety plan

On June 24, 2020, the ONU Board of Trustees endorsed the University’s safety plan for resuming in-person education for fall semester 2020. The plan was developed by incorporating the informed efforts of several work groups and special teams, leadership reviews undertaken over several weeks, and helpful suggestions during a campus comment period. The plan will continue to be reviewed and fine-tuned throughout the summer to ensure continued compliance with guidance from federal and state governments and the local health department. READ THE FULL SAFETY PLAN HERE.

Ohio Northern has created a handout to help students, parents, faculty and staff with many important details found in the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Implementation Plan. READ THE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN HERE.

Key elements of the plan include:

  • Daily hygiene practices, including required temperature self-monitoring.
  • Requiring all employees, students and visitors to wear face coverings in campus buildings, except in the privacy of their workspaces or residence hall rooms; wearing face coverings outdoors is encouraged when social distance is not possible.
  • Mandatory testing for all student athletes in fall intercollegiate sports and students who participate in marching band. Periodic surveillance testing during the semester of an appropriate sample of faculty, staff and students.
  • Reduction of residence hall density as well as identification quarantine and isolation spaces.
  • Creation of a Student Polar Pledge related to health and safety requirements.
  • Modification of the fall academic calendar to establish an early start and early finish semester, with finals week ending by Nov. 20, 2020, the week before Thanksgiving.
  • Development of a classroom and lab management plan to ensure physical distancing. This includes employing a combination of instructional methods that maximize in-person education and use remote learning options as well.
  • Implementation of practices and policies to address the needs of faculty, staff and students who have underlying health issues.
  • Suspension of University-sponsored travel, except under special circumstances.
  • Provision of safety kits for students including supplies such as a thermometer, hand sanitizer and facial coverings.
  • Transition to virtual formats for many large events and development of policies for holding smaller, in-person campus events.
  • Selecting a point of contact person who can assist with general questions about the plan and a number of office contacts as references for addressing specific information needs. 

The process we engaged in drew heavily on the expertise of our faculty, especially those in medical and allied health fields. We also worked closely with other University partners, especially staff from the Kenton Hardin Health Department who also approved the safety plan. By continuing to work together, we can look forward to success this fall coming together to resume in-person education on our beautiful campus.

Please stay abreast of this dynamic situation using these resources:
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) virus that currently has no vaccine. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath and may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. At this point, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes it. Stopping transmission (spread) of the virus through everyday practices is the best way to keep people healthy. ONU, working together with local health departments, has an important role in slowing the spread of diseases to help ensure students have safe and healthy learning environments. Schools serve students, staff and visitors from throughout the community. All of these people may have close contact in the school setting, often sharing spaces, equipment and supplies.

CLICK HERE for the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on COVID-19.

CLICK HERE for the most up-to-date information from the Ohio Department of Health on COVID-19.

CLICK HERE for rolling updates from the World Health Organization on COVID-19.