EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – University of Central Oklahoma officials are making changes to classrooms and mandating face masks in response to the surging COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we navigate the spring 2022 semester together, we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the Central community amid a new surge fueled by the omicron variant,” UCO officials said.
The campus is moving to Level 2 operations listed in the university’s COVID-19 Decision-Making Framework through Jan. 23.
Level 2, entitled “Campus Open with Moderate Density,” includes the following precautionary requirements:
“Managed density and culture of mitigation for exposure. Face masks expected in indoor public
spaces or as recommended by the CDC. Academic Affairs-directed options for managing density in
Campus operations will be as follows for the next two weeks:
- Masks are expected for all persons, vaccinated or not, on campus when around other people. This includes classrooms, labs and meetings;
- Faculty and staff are encouraged to conduct meetings online; and,
- Working with divisional leadership, supervisors should implement plans to manage density in offices while still providing expected service levels. This can be achieved with workspace arrangements, telework and/or staggered shifts.
Faculty members have the discretion to take one of the following actions:
- Move the course to fully remote (with department chairperson and dean approval); or,
- Move the course to a hybrid format (part remote/part in person) with masks required during the face-to-face portion; or,
- Keep the course fully in person with masks mandatory, with a plan for students unable to attend in person; or,
- Offer the course in an extended classroom format, with masks required at all times in the physical classroom.
Faculty can begin making the above changes on Wednesday, Jan. 12.
“Students should continue their current designated instructional format until they have been instructed differently by faculty. For information regarding the status of each course, students should check their uco.edu email and D2L for correspondence from their professors,” officials said.
University officials advise faculty members to refer to updated guidelines on UCO’s website regarding accommodations for students or faculty who contract COVID-19 and need to be quarantined, and to contact their department chairperson/school director or dean if they have additional questions.
Officials will monitor the COVID situation and decide whether mandatory Level 2 precautions will be extended beyond Jan. 23.
Students and faculty who feel sick are advised to stay home to avoid potentially exposing others.
COVID-19 tests can be scheduled at IMMY Labs, portal.immylabs.com/appointment.
Faculty, staff and students are asked to report if they test positive for COVID-19 or have been directly exposed to COVID. They can do so by submitting UCO’s COVID-19 self-reporting form.
UCO provides details at www.uco.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine on where students, staff, faculty and community members can get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The university’s COVID-19 “What Should I Do?” page can be found at www.uco.edu/coronavirus/whatsnext.