UCO outlines what to do if exposed to COVID-19

The University of Central Oklahoma has outlined details for its protocol for students, faculty or staff who contract COVID-19.

In an email sent to UCO faculty, more guidelines that students may find in their upcoming syllabi, and online, are outlined. Students should not go to campus if they test positive for COVID-19, have had prolonged exposure to someone that has tested positive, or are exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

A person may return to campus only after receiving a negative test result, if they have not had a fever for 3 consecutive days, or if no symptoms develop within 14 days of prolonged exposure to a positive case.

The guidelines explain that “students who follow university procedures will not be penalized for class absences assuming they make up missed assignments in a timely fashion, in consultation with the instructor.”

The Fall 2020 Housing Reopening Plan has been released as well, and it details what a student that lives on campus must do if they contract the virus.

UCO also has an extensive plan in place for contract tracing.

The Associated Press explains, “The goal of contact tracing is to alert people who may have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus, and prevent them from spreading it to others.” Much of the content in the reopening plan emphasizes this.

If a student tests positive, they will be contacted by the university Emergency Management team. They will begin contact tracing with that student to determine what students, faculty members, or facilities have been exposed to the virus.

When contact tracing begins, the student must be able to provide information such as: Where do you think you were exposed? Who have you had close contact with in the last three days? Did you attend class in the last three days? Anyone named in this information will be contacted as well and asked to “isolate and monitor for symptoms.”

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/colleges-universities/index.html Source: Centers for Disease Control

The reopening plan explains, “The name of any individual reported to the university in the contact tracing process that is a current resident will be sent confidentially to Housing.”

Residents of UCO who test positive for the virus and are unable to isolate off campus will be “relocated to a temporary space designated for isolation.”

This room change will be communicated to the resident within an hour of the initial contact tracing call from Emergency Management.

The Hall Director on-call will contact the resident prior to their move with information on how to obtain their new key and reviews on the housing quarantine guidelines, dining options and contact information for hall directors and resident assistants in the temporary location.

The student will also be provided with a thermometer to monitor symptoms, prior to the move. They will be reminded not to use the shared restroom during the relocation process and to wear their mask at all times.

UCO will require masks be worn at all times on campus with a few exceptions like eating in the Nigh. Face masks must cover the nose and mouth. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to wash masks after use in public.

The university will provide every student a UCO-branded cloth mask. A limited supply of disposable masks will be available, if a personal cloth mask is forgotten.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The article has been updated 12:14 08/20/2020.

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