NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – As COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the country, officials at the University of Oklahoma say they are taking steps to slow the spread of the virus.

On Monday, OU Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler sent a letter to the campus community about changes to OU’s COVID protocol.

“COVID-19 infection rates continue to climb across our state and nation, with the Omicron variant now responsible for the majority of cases. Omicron is the most transmissible variant of the pandemic that we have seen thus far, and the overwhelming majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations are seen in those that are unvaccinated. We also know that this variant appears to be milder for most of those who contract it, particularly those that are vaccinated and have received a booster. As we have said for months, vaccines remain our greatest mitigation strategy against this virus. Masking continues to also be strongly encouraged as a form of protection,” the note read.

Dr. Bratzler says OU is implementing a series of temporary addendums to the campus COVID-19 policies through at least Jan. 31.

Masking

For the first two weeks of the Spring 2022 semester, masking will be required in all classroom settings through Jan. 31. Beginning Feb. 1, the Norman campus will revert to the Fall 2021 masking guidance that encouraged masking in classrooms. It also requires masking for a two-week quarantine period when a confirmed COVID-19 case in the class is identified.

The university strongly recommends the use of KN95 masks or disposable surgical masks as they provide greater protection against omicron.

Quarantine/Isolation

Faculty, staff, and students who test positive for COVID-19 should complete the Passport through the Healthy Together App and isolate for at least five days.