Updated: March 5, 2022 | 5:45 p.m.
On Feb. 25, the CDC released new masking guidelines that focus on the holistic risk of coronavirus. Additionally, given that the CDC COVID-19 transmission level for Hardin County has dropped, that hospitalizations in our local area and in Ohio are declining, that campus COVID case numbers are decreasing and that severity continues to remain low, it is time to adjust our mitigation measures accordingly. Discussions with campus leaders and conversations with the director of public health for the Kenton Hardin Health Department led us to make several changes to the Spring Semester Safety Plan, effective on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. They include the following:
Symptomatic and Surveillance COVID-19 testing
Weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing is discontinued. Symptomatic testing will be available for all students, faculty and staff on campus as needed. Students participating in performing arts and intercollegiate athletics will continue to be tested according to testing protocols established by their programs or by the NCAA as appropriate.
Quarantine and Isolation
Faculty, staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 must continue to isolate for 5 days and mask for an additional 5 days. There is no longer a need to test on day 5.
ALL students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 are required to contact one of the following offices:
- Employees should contact Human Resources at 419-772-2013 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Students should contact the Student Health Center at 419-772-2086 or email@example.com
Unvaccinated and not-up-to-date close contacts of those who test positive will not be required to quarantine. Instead, those exposed to others who tested positive for COVID-19 should wear a mask for 10 days, monitor their symptoms and be tested on the fifth day following exposure.
Masks are now optional in public indoor spaces – classrooms, buildings, libraries, McIntosh Center, ONU Sports Center, common areas, etc. – unless required as federal law mandates, such as for transportation. Masking may still be required in a classroom or another area when an individual accommodation is necessary and granted. While masks are optional indoors at this time, some members of the ONU community may continue wearing a mask. Please respect their choice and be sensitive to students and colleagues who prefer to continue to wear masks indoors.
Return to Prior Safety Measures
The University will reestablish appropriate safety measures in the event of a new variant spreading or infections surging on campus in order to mitigate risk and to keep faculty, staff and students healthy and safe.
These changes do not mean COVID is over, they simply mean transmission levels are lower than they have been during surges. We still encourage all members of our community to take health precautions and definitely get vaccinated and boosted to protect yourself, your colleagues and your fellow students.
Read entire the Spring 2023 Safety Plan.
We recognize that no university, nor any other organization, can guarantee an environment free of COVID-19, and we expect everyone associated with the University to understand that there is a risk of contracting the virus here or anywhere. Nonetheless, our highest priority is the health, safety and well-being of every member of the ONU community. To address the COVID-19 risk factors, ONU will rely once again on the unique benefits of our size and expertise, as well as the experience gained from safely and successfully completing the entire 2020-21 academic year in person.
Every member of our community must share responsibility for taking all necessary steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. This means following the measures included in this Safety Plan, which are informed by national, state and local health directives, by guidance from similar levels of government and by following other relevant University requirements and practices.
Because guidance from various health organizations and government offices may change as conditions and scientific recommendations change, the ONU Safety Plan is subject to change as well. We will continue to review what we have learned from last year’s success and revise our Safety Plan with two primary goals in mind: 1) keep students, faculty and staff healthy and safe, and 2) return as much as possible to normal operations for learning, living and working on campus.
VACCINE INFORMATION: ONU HealthWise Pharmacy will provide COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible patients. This clinic is open to ALL members of the campus community and the general public, regardless of residency. HealthWise will administering the Pfizer, Moderna and J&J vaccines and boosters.
Learn more about ONU's vaccine clinics here.
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.
NOTE: Some of the resources on this web page document communications and planning efforts and are being preserved for archive purposes. Please consult the ONU Safety Plan for the most current information.