Protect the Nest Frequently Asked Questions
(Archived May 17, 2021)

We encourage you to visit this Frequently Asked Questions page often as content is updated regularly. For additional details, check the Protect the Nest page.

Last Updated: January 27, 2021

On this page:

General Information

Who do I contact if I have questions, concerns or symptoms?
A COVID Support Line and Email is available at 614-823-1586 or for faculty, staff and students to ask questions and report information related to COVID-19. You must contact the COVID Support Line if you have tested positive, have been exposed to someone with COVID, or have COVID symptoms. You may also contact the COVID Support Line if:

  • You are concerned about incidents in which members of the Otterbein community are not following safety guidelines; or
  • You have other COVID related concerns or general questions.

How do I report violations of campus protocols related to COVID-19?
Report violations or concerns to the COVID-19 Support Line at 614-823-1586 or or the Otterbein Police at (614) 823-1222 (for concerns that need immediate attention). When reporting a concern, include all information necessary to investigate the concern. That may include date, time and location.

What are my responsibilities when I return to campus?
We have created six main responsibilities for all members of the campus community this fall:

  1. Perform a daily self-assessment. Don’t come to campus if you have two or more of the following symptoms not associated with a chronic health issue: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. Download the self-assessment guide.
  2. Wear facial coverings. Students, faculty, staff and visitors are required in common spaces and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
  3. Practice social distancing. Stay 6 feet from other people whenever possible.
  4. Keep it clean. Clean your workspace or common spaces with the provided sanitizing supplies.
  5. Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
  6. Share concerns via anonymous reporting page. If you have concerns or suggestions, you can report them anonymously through the reporting page in Ozone, under the COVID-19 tab.

What is the calendar for spring semester?
Spring classes will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 19, and end on Friday, April 23, with final exams scheduled April 26-30. There will be no spring break or Good Friday holiday. University offices will be open, Monday, January 18 to ensure an orderly return to campus; Otterbein is planning programming to commemorate MLK Day. Students and Faculty will receive Wednesday, March 10, as a “reading day” without classes, but University offices will remain open. Human Resources will work with Staff Assembly to determine how to offset the loss of two holidays.

Spring 2021 academic calendar summary:

  • Jan. 18: No classes; University offices are open.
  • Jan. 19: First day of classes.
  • March 10: Reading day. No classes; University offices are open.
  • April 23: Last day of classes.
  • April 26-30: Final exams.
  • May 1-2: Commencement ceremonies.

How will classes be taught spring semester?
Spring semester classes will be a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online classes, similar to fall semester, with the class modality determined by the pedagogical needs of the class. Students will be able to see the proposed modality of all their courses at registration. Spring plans are open to revision based on conditions at the time the semester begins.

Is there a plan for classes if campus must close?
We are prepared to return to online instruction at any point should we be advised by public health officials to do so. Most classes are set up so that students not able to attend in-person (due to quarantine or isolation) can continue to participate, and if this is not possible for a student, they can work with the Student Success & Career Development on alternative plans. Students who prefer online classes will have options to continue to learn in this manner, but please note that some experiential courses may not be available in these circumstances. Again, Student Success & Career Development can help students find alternatives.

What are the factors that would determine a shut down?
We have developed plans for a variety of scenarios in consultation with Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) and OhioHealth (Otterbein’s campus healthcare provider) that adhere to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ohio Department of Health. Franklin County Department of Health would be the agency guiding any decision to close our campus. They monitor our data and Otterbein officials are in regular contact with the agency. There is no magic number of cases that would determine a shutdown of campus; FCPH considers a number of factors in any guidance they give us.

If classes are moved online and students have to leave campus, what is the refund schedule?
If Otterbein is required to close campus housing during spring semester, we will issue Room and Board refunds based on a new schedule, which will be updated for all semesters moving forward. While a significant number of schools are altering contracts to not refund room and board this year if forced to go to remote teaching, we are committed to issuing refunds based on this schedule:

  • Campus housing closes prior to February 12 – 75% refund
  • Campus housing closes between February 12 and March 9 – 50% refund
  • Campus housing closes between March 10 and April 4 – 25% refund

Will I receive a refund on tuition if we move to remote classes?
No. If we must switch our in-person classes to online as we did for spring semester 2020, we will have the same faculty delivering the same curriculum for the same classes, just in a different format, so there will be no refunds on tuition. It actually costs Otterbein more to deliver classes online, and just like you, we want to complete the entire fall semester on campus. It’s up to us as Cardinal community members to make responsible choices so that can happen.

What precautions are in place on campus?
Some of the changes you can see on campus this year include:

  • Reconfiguration of furniture.
  • Altered traffic flow through spaces.
  • Revised schedules.
  • Hand sanitizer stations across campus.
  • Sanitizing wipes are widely available in campus facilities to clean workspaces and common areas (desks, computers, sinks, etc.).
  • Increased cleaning from our janitorial service.
  • Facial coverings are required.

Do visitors to campus have to follow the same rules as the campus community?
Visitors to campus are required to follow the same protocols as Otterbein community members. Download our reference for visitors.

If a student is arriving from out of state or traveling by air, will there be a required quarantine period?
No. Ohio has regularly updated recommendations based on where you are traveling from, but does not have any quarantine requirements in place for those who have traveled outside the state. Otterbein follows state guidelines on quarantine.

Are students, faculty, and staff required to wear facial coverings inside and outside of buildings?
Indoors: Students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear facial coverings in classrooms, the library, and other common spaces indoors at all times, if it is safe to do so. To be effective, a facial covering must cover your nose AND mouth.

Outside: In compliance with the direction from Franklin County Public Health, facial coverings are required outside when in more-than-passing proximity to another person who is not already exposed to you. In other words: walking alone or with a roommate/family member does not require a facial covering; stopping to talk to others requires a facial covering and social distancing.

Students, faculty, and staff are provided with two cloth facial coverings. Disposable facial coverings are made available as needed.

You are exempt from wearing a facial covering if it is unsafe to do so. Individuals may be unable to wear a face covering if:

  • Facial coverings in the campus setting are prohibited by law or regulation;
  • Facial coverings are in violation of documented industry standards;
  • Facial coverings are not advisable for health reasons;
  • Facial coverings are in violation of the campus’ documented safety policies;
  • Facial coverings are not required when working alone in an assigned work area;
  • Facial coverings are not required when the student is alone in a residential setting;
  • There is a functional (practical) reason not to wear a facial covering on campus. (Campuses must provide written justification, upon request, explaining why a facial covering is not required on campus. At minimum, facial coverings (masks) should be cloth/fabric and cover an individual’s nose, mouth, and chin.)

If you cannot wear a facial covering due to health reasons, students should contact Kristy Drobney,, or Kera Manely,, in the Academic Support Center. Employees should contact Scott Fitzgerald in Human Resources at 614-823-1130, 614-716-8632 or

What are the facial covering protocols?
As the weather gets cooler and people start gathering indoors, facial coverings will be even more important to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here’s a reminder from the CDC of how to select, wear and clean your facial coverings. Highlights include:

  • Wear facial coverings with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Wear the facial covering over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Facial coverings should be worn by people two years and older.
  • Facial coverings should NOT be worn by children younger than two, people who have trouble breathing, or people who cannot remove the facial covering without assistance.
  • Do NOT wear masks intended for healthcare workers, for example, N95 respirators.
  • CDC does not recommend the use of gaiters or face shields. Evaluation of these face covers is on-going, but effectiveness is unknown at this time.

Why do I have to wear a facial covering?
The CDC recommends the widespread use of face coverings due to the possibility of transmission by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers of COVID-19. The use of face coverings may help prevent a carrier from spreading the virus to others and should be utilized in conjunction with other protective measures. Facial coverings are not a replacement for physical distancing and increased hygiene measures.

Do students have to wear facial coverings while doing athletic activities?
No. Student-athletes and students using the athletic facilities are not required to wear facial coverings while working out or practicing. Students are still required to maintain social distancing.

Will a facial covering be required at the Equine Center, in the barn or while riding?
Students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear facial coverings in common spaces at all times, including facilities at the Equine Center. Students will not be required to wear a facial covering while riding a horse or other athletic activities.

Can face shields be worn as a facial covering?
Face shields are meant to be used along with a cloth facial covering. People wearing a face shield will also be required to wear a cloth facial covering as long as it is safe for them to do so. If individuals who have received an exemption from wearing a cloth facial covering would like to wear a face shield, they can do so.

Why were employees not required to be tested for COVID-19 at the start of spring semester? 
Employees differ from our students as they do not live together in residential halls or regularly attend social gatherings or in-person campus events with students.  

We have implemented many strategies to create safe work environments on campus, including requiring social distancing, daily self-assessments, and facial coverings; re-configuring offices and classrooms; allowing some employees to work or teach from home and rotate schedules; and supporting virtual meetings and classes. Our protocols for employees are based on guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and Franklin County Public Health (FCPH). 

Thanks to these strategies, the number of employees who have tested positive remains very low and we have not had any cases of oncampus employee transmission. Each of our cases involved off-campus transmission, mostly from family membersBased on our data, FCPH agreed with our decision not to make employee testing mandatory.   

While it was not mandatory, we did encourage our employees participate in the National Guard testing events. On the first testing date, we had 52 employees take tests, with 0 positive results.  We will continue to closely monitor our employee numbers and will take appropriate steps based upon the data. 

Student Life

Where can I go on campus between classes if I am a commuter?
Many commuter students have asked where they can go between in-person classes, or if they have an online class immediately before or after an in-person class. We’ve compiled a list of computer labs and campus spaces that commuters — or any student — can safely use:

Check Computer Lab Availability (O-Zone, login required)

Campus Spaces:

  • Outdoor areas.
  • Campus Center: Lounge.
  • The Point: Various locations.
  • Towers Hall: Commuter lounge and Towers 233.
  • Roush Hall: Fisher Gallery first and second floors, Roush 331, Roush 118.
  • Library: Various location.
  • Battelle Fine Arts Center: Lounge
  • Science Center: Lobby, second floor lounge.
  • Art and Communication Building: Lounge in the northwest corner (adjacent to radio broadcast booth).

The Center for Student Involvement is here to support commuters. Please reach out to with any questions, comments and needs you may have.

Can organizations and clubs meet on campus?
We encourage all members of the campus community to meet virtually when possible, but we understand that some organizations and clubs will want or need to meet in person. Our general guidelines will apply, including wearing facial coverings, maintaining social distance, not moving furniture and sanitizing the space before and after use. Spaces on campus will have lower capacity than last year, so organizations and clubs will have to keep that in mind when scheduling an appropriately sized space. Anyone planning an event or gathering larger than a meeting on campus should consult the Office for Events and Conferences for the latest information.

Can students engage in face-to-face service and volunteer activities in the community?
Much of our service and volunteer activities depend on the needs and rules of our partners/hosts. The Center for Community Engagement will continue to work with partners/hosts to create University-approved opportunities that minimize risk but allow our students to continue giving back to their community.

Can students work on campus?
Yes. Offices that can arrange a safe working environment for students can employ students. Workspace and schedule changes may be made to accommodate student workers.

How will COVID-19 affect Greek life and recruitment?
Formal recruitment and new member education will be held during the spring semester. Greek life and the Greek community will continue to exist, and events will still be hosted with safety precautions in place. The Greek Council is fully supporting all sororities and fraternities on campus with any questions or needs they may have.

Is the fitness center open for students? And do students need a facial covering inside that area?
The fitness center is open, with limited capacity due to social distancing. At this time, locker rooms and showers remain closed. Students will not have to wear a facial covering while working out, but must wear one while in the building and not working out.

Do individuals have to bring their prayer mat for the prayer room in the Chapel building?
Yes, students should bring their own mat to the masjid.

What kind of support is available for commuter students?
The Center for Student Involvement is here to support commuters. Please reach out to with any questions and needs.

How is Otterbein enhancing outdoor spaces?
We have done a number of things to enhance outdoor spaces on campus when the season allows. Public health officials agree that being outside lowers the risk of transmission due to airflow and the ability to distance, and social distancing lowers the capacity of indoor spaces. That’s why we have invested in making our outdoor spaces more welcoming, adding:

  • 72 more Adirondack chairs.
  • Eight new sets of tables and chairs.
  • More trash and recycling containers.
  • Outdoor games – eight different kinds are being manufactured at The Point.
  • Eight 10 x 10 ft. tents.
  • Four 10 x 20 ft. tents.

Tent spaces can be used for meetings, social gatherings, classes and rehearsals that may be safer outside like wind ensemble or choirs — with all the appropriate precautions in place.

What changes have been made to residence halls?
We have made some changes to residence hall living for the safety of our residential students.

  • There are double rooms, but some smaller double rooms have been turned into super-single rooms and some triple rooms have been turned into doubles.
  • Visitors/guests are not permitted in residence halls.
  • Sanitizing supplies are available in common areas. Residents are asked to clean before and after use.
  • Laundry facilities are available, with sanitizing supplies available.
  • Some common areas are temporarily closed; those that are open will have sanitizing supplies available.

How will laundry room activity be handled?
Laundry rooms are limited to one to three people at a time based on the size of the room. The capacity is marked on a sign outside the room. Sanitizing supplies are available to wipe down equipment before and after use.

Will bathrooms in suite-style halls (DeVore & 25 W. Home St.) and on-campus apartments be cleaned by Otterbein?
No. Those spaces are considered private areas and should be cleaned by residents. Residents need to provide their own cleaning supplies.

Will Otterbein be providing additional sanitizing products for students living in on-campus apartments?
Sanitizing products are provided in common areas, such as residence hall lounges, computer labs, laundry facilities and multiple use restrooms. Cleaning supplies for personal spaces must be provided by the residents of those spaces. Apartment residents should bring their own cleaning products for their room and the rest of the apartment. Suite-style hall residents should bring cleaning products for their room and bathroom.

What is the visitation policy for on-campus housing?
Visitors will not be allowed in on-campus housing. Additionally, students cannot visit the room of another resident living in the same building. Another way to think of this is residents of the room are the only people allowed in a room, residents of the residence hall are the only people allowed in the building.

Can parents visit students during the semester?
Parents are welcome to visit, but we ask that they not visit the student’s residence hall. Uptown Westerville is a great place to walk and visit and Westerville has many parks near campus and throughout the city.

Are students allowed to go home throughout the semester?
We are encouraging students to remain on campus from when they move in until the end Thanksgiving. We won’t prohibit them from leaving, but encourage them not to do so for the safety of their families and the campus community.

What if campus closes residence halls and I am unable to go home?
If we are required to shut down residence halls, we will allow students to request exemptions and accommodate those students on a case-by-case basis, as we did in the spring.

What dining options are available?
A dining plan for the Cardinals Nest (Campus Center Main Dining Room), OtterDen (Campus Center, First Floor), OtterBean (Coutright Memorial Library), Roost Express (Roush Hall, First Floor), and The Point Café was developed in collaboration with Otterbein’s food service provider, Parkhurst. Seated dining may be suspended and grab-and-go options expanded based on guidance from public health officials.

  • Cardinals Nest: The main dining room will seat 136 people, socially distanced with no more than four people per table. Additional seating is available in Dining Room 1 (28 seats) and the 1847 Room (20 seats). All self-service food lines and buffets have been eliminated. The flow of service has been designed to allow individuals to enter only via the spiral staircase and leave via the left exit by the 1847 Room as part of a one-way path to service. The Nest is closed from 2-4 p.m. daily for deep cleaning and sanitizing.
  • OtterDen: The seating area is closed with all food served as carry out only. A one-way flow of including points of entrance and egress has been developed. There is an addition of a hot quick service entrée and sides as well as a large Grab n Go cooler for additional quick serve options and increased selection of convenience/grocery items.
  • Roost Express: The Roost Express will not be open during fall semester since it has been determined that the space is too small to allow for sufficient social distancing while ordering and paying for food.
  • The Point: Stanchions have been added to set one direction flow and social distancing. Sneeze guards have been added to the long counter space facing the front of the building to create a pickup zone.
  • The OtterBean (Library, First Floor): The flow of service has been changed with an entrance and egress identified.

What are the rules for off-campus residences and student conduct?
COVID-19 doesn’t stop at the boundaries to campus. Disregarding safety practices off campus can have a severe impact on campus. We are aware the spread of the coronavirus at large events has had a debilitating impact on communities throughout the country. Students living off campus are expected to follow the guidelines and orders from the Franklin County Health Department and the Ohio Department of Health to limit social interaction in their residence to groups of 10 or less. We recommend the use of facial coverings and social distancing in these situations.

Amnesty will be given in situations in which students control the size and safety of a gathering by taking precautions and contacting police for assistance to disperse uninvited guests.

Large events in off-campus houses are prohibited, consistent with the long-standing University policy (Student Code of Conduct, Section 3 – Off-Misconduct, page 33) in which “Otterbein University reserves the right to conduct disciplinary investigations, file charges, and impose discipline for off-campus conduct. . .” Threat of harm to the health or safety of others is specifically stated in this section.

How will you enforce the new protocols for students who choose not to follow them? (For instance, students who choose to attend parties or refuse to wear facial coverings.)
We are relying on our Cardinal Community to care for each other and to stay healthy and stay strong so we can stay together. Our goal is to encourage people to build habits that prevent spread of COVID-19. To that end, we are making temporary modifications to our student and employee handbooks and we are enlisting faculty, staff and student leaders to model appropriate behaviors and remind people to wear facial coverings, follow directional signage, etc. At the same time, we do not want to put people who have legitimate reasons not to wear facial coverings under undue pressure.


If I must isolate or quarantine, how will that affect my class attendance?
Most classes are set up so that students not able to attend in-person (due to quarantine or isolation) can continue to participate, and if this is not possible for a student, they can work with Student Success & Career Development on alternative plans.

What a student can expect if a student tests positive in their class?
Based on our facial covering requirements, classroom social distancing and cleaning protocols, it may not be necessary to cancel in-person classes as a result of one student testing positive. Students will be informed through our contact tracing protocol if exposure has occurred. A student’s health information is confidential, so students who test positive cannot be identified to their classmates.

Who will teach classes if faculty get sick?
We have processes to continue classes if, for any reason, a faculty member is unable to continue teaching it. We implement it at least once during most semesters. We will use the same process in the event a faculty member becomes ill with COVID-19. Academic Affairs is asking all faculty to utilize BlackBoard so the course materials are available for an adjunct or other faculty member to complete the course efficiently.

Will my faculty have office hours?
Faculty are being asked to maintain office hours for virtual meetings.

Can I rearrange the classroom furniture?
No. Do not move furniture in the classrooms. The seats are spaced 6 feet apart to prevent exposure to COVID-19. Additionally, you should sit in the same seat each time your class meets in person to limit the number of people with whom you have contact.

Is the library open for students?
The Library is open to students, with public health safety capacity standards strictly in place. Social distancing, facial coverings, workspace sanitizing protocols and traffic flow are enforced. Some services have been adjusted to limit contact. Visit the library’s website for current hours.

A number of programs require in-person experiential learning, including student teaching, internships and field experiences. Will students be able to complete those requirements? If not, will course requirements change?
Academic Affairs and individual departments are continuing to work with partners/hosts to make arrangements for the completion of experiential learning, or to adjust the requirements if possible for spring semester. Some agencies that oversee certification of professionals (like teachers and nurses) are adjusting their requirements to fit the current reality. Students should contact their department regarding specifics of their options. Please know that we are committed to helping our students complete their education on time if possible and with the qualifications they need to succeed.

Are labs available online?
There are some learning experiences that cannot be replicated online, and lab work is often one of those. Students enrolled in most labs will need to come to campus to conduct that coursework.

How can a commuting student maximize virtual classes to be on campus as little as possible?
Advisors in Student Success & Career Development are available to help you create a schedule that works for your specific needs.

Where can students take online classes if they are a commuter and have other classes on campus?
Campus computer labs are available, with safe distances between computer work stations.

What if I’m not ready to attend class in person? Will students be able to choose to enroll remotely from home?
We understand that, for various reasons, some students may not be ready to return to campus for classes. In most cases, we have the ability to deliver classes remotely. However, there are some cases in which students would need to be on campus, including labs.

What options are available for students who don’t have web cams or other technology needed for any online learning?
Computer labs are open with social distancing in place. If we are required to send students home and move to remote learning only, we will follow a model from spring 2020, when we set up a central location at The Point where students can borrow laptops and work remotely using campus wifi. If needed, we will create additional spaces with that model.

Is tutoring still available?
Yes. Tutoring and other student support services are available.

If a professor tests positive, are all of their students expected to quarantine for 14 days?
No. The CDC recommends quarantine for those who have had close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. The CDC now defines exposure as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period — with or without a facial covering. We have set up the classrooms to minimize that risk. Only students who have had close contact with the professor will have to quarantine.

Are nursing students going to have clinicals still? What will that look like if so?
Yes, students will still have clinicals. The clinical groups are smaller and may not be weekly depending on how many sites remain viable options as we will not go to Intensive Care Units where active COVID patients are cared for. Face-to-face clinicals when needed are augmented with virtual modules and additional lab times. We have a new simulation lab with high fidelity manikins that will permit “real-like” experiential learning.

How will Music classes be conducted?
Most academic classes that do not involve active music-making are offered in rotation-blended mode. That would be theory, music history and aural skills (which does involve some singing). Piano classes are taught in blended-rotation. Instructors are online, and the keyboard lab can accommodate six students safely. Some students are bringing portable keyboards to campus and others are provided keyboards for remote participation. The Music Department has implemented solutions for methods classes in music education: percussion, guitar, brass and strings. A class like percussion needs to be in-person if possible, while other areas may be delivered online or in a blended format. Most private lessons are delivered online. Contact the Music Department for information about their class procedures.

How will music ensembles practice and perform?
Ensembles are mostly online, with some in-person small sectional rehearsals. Students will record and upload their individual parts to a central hub, where directors and our audio engineer will assemble and edit the parts into complete performances.

Health & Wellness

Is the Student Health Center available for my non-COVID needs?
Yes. The Student Health Center is available by appointment only for non-COVID needs. Call 614-823-1345 to make your appointment.


How do I care for my physical and mental health?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some people are neglecting their physical and mental health needs. Don’t forget to keep your routine medical appointments and maintain your routine healthcare practices. For your mental health needs, Otterbein counselors are available to provide a supportive, therapeutic relationship and safe space for students to address and work through challenging situations, grow in their relationships, and realize their potential as active members of their communities. The Counseling Center information is below:

Location: 146 W. Home St.
Hours: Monday – Friday (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Phone: 614-823-1333

Quarantine v. Isolation: What’s the difference?
You will see the terms quarantine and isolation used in many of our communications. So what’s the difference?

  • You isolate if you test positive for COVID-19.
  • You quarantine if you may have been exposed or might be sick.

In other words, if your friend is in quarantine, they haven’t tested positive for COVID-19. Instead, they may have been exposed to a person who is positive for COVID-19 (on or off campus) and are waiting to see if they develop symptoms — and staying away from others just in case. Or they may have been tested for COVID-19 and haven’t received their test results yet. A majority of the time, a person in quarantine will not test positive or become sick.

What does “exposure” mean?
The CDC now defines exposure as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period — with or without a facial covering. If you pass a friend in the hallway who later tests positive for COVID-19, that is NOT an exposure. If you have a long dinner at the same table as a friend who later tests positive for COVID-19, that would be an exposure. That DOES NOT mean you will get COVID-19, but it does mean you must quarantine for 10 days. In your classrooms, the furniture is intentionally set up with at least 6 feet between desks to prevent exposure.

A  been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Does the student need to quarantine?
Yes, the Ohio Department of Health recommends students quarantine for 10 days if they have been within 6 feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period — with or without a facial covering. If you think you have been exposed or if you begin to exhibit symptoms, you should contact COVID Support Line at 614.823.1586.

What do I do if I feel sick?
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever of 100 degrees or higher, new cough and shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. If you have two or more of these symptoms not associated with a chronic health issue, follow the steps below:

  • Do not attend your classes, leave your room, or come to campus.
  • Contact the COVID Support Line if you have symptoms and/or test positive for COVID-19 by calling 614.823.1586.
  • Leave a message on the office voicemail with your name, student ID number, and phone number for a call back within 24 hours.
  • You will be prompted to answer questions related to symptoms and current living situation.
  • A team of Student Affairs staff will contact you with information about next steps for medical assistance, testing, and possible isolation or quarantine.

How will medical care be provided?
After a student calls the COVID Support Line at 614.823.1586, a team of Student Affairs staff will advise the student on next steps for medical assistance, testing, and possible isolation or quarantine.
Student Affairs staff will contact students with the following information:

  • How to be tested on campus. (Testing will be managed by OhioHealth)
  • A waiver that allows OhioHealth to inform the Dean of Students of Covid test results.
  • The importance of going home, if possible.
  • OhioHealth medical follow-up, if needed.
  • Coordination of medical information for students who are tested off campus.
  • Otterbein assistance regarding classes, if needed.
  • Residence Life and Food Service information for residential students.
  • Discussion of a quarantine/isolation plan if needed.
  • Communication with Franklin County Public Health.

If it is determined a student should receive a free, on-campus COVID-19 test, once the swab is collected, the student will be quarantined either in their own room if they have a single with a bathroom, or in another space set aside as quarantine space (single occupancy with bathroom). Test results will be available in 24 – 72 hours. If a student tests positive, an OhioHealth case manager will provide ongoing medical assistance.

If a student feels symptomatic when the Campus Health Center is closed, what should the student do?
All students must contact the COVID Support Line at 614.823.1586 if they have symptoms and/or test positive for Covid-19. They will be asked to leave a message. Their call will be returned with in 24 hours with information about next steps. Students experiencing severe symptoms (shortness of breath, high fever) should go to an urgent care facility or an emergency room for immediate attention. If a student receives a positive test result from an off-campus testing facility, they must inform the COVID Support Line at 614.823.1586.

What determines when Otterbein tests a student?
Otterbein now has testing programs for both symptomatic and asymptomatic students. Students who have symptoms related to COVID-19 must call the COVID Support Line at 614.823.1586. They will be asked a number of questions to determine if they should be tested. Once they are referred for testing, they make an appointment during our campus testing hours and quarantine until their results come back from the lab. Our new asymptomatic testing program started this week and will test students either randomly or based on exposure.

What happens when a student tests positive?
A student who tests positive must isolate for a minimum of 10 days. We encourage them to isolate where they are most comfortable — for many, that may be at home. Those isolating on campus may be moved to a designated space, or if they are in a room with a private bathroom, may be asked to isolate in place. Student Affairs will arrange for food delivery and other needs. The student will be assigned an OhioHealth case manager to guide them through the process. Students in isolation can be released after 10 days if they have been fever-free for 24 hours, have improved symptoms, and have been given a release letter from their medical provider or case manager. At that time, they can resume normal participation on campus, including class and residence life. The roommates of a student who tests positive must quarantine for 14 days and will be referred to testing if they develop symptoms during their quarantine period. A primary care physician must release/provide permission for student to leave isolation/quarantine. Additionally, contact tracing and cleaning protocols for spaces where the student has been while contagious will be implemented.

Where does a student isolate or quarantine?
If a student tests positive or needs to isolate or quarantine, we encourage them to do so at the most comfortable and convenient place for them; for many, that will be their permanent residence. If that is not possible or ideal, spaces have been set aside for students to isolate or quarantine, including residence hall rooms with access to a private bathrooms and small houses on campus.

If a resident in a Commons apartment tests positive, will all of the residents of the apartment be able to quarantine in their apartment?
This will depend on the number of residents in the apartment. Each person in isolation due to a positive test needs to have their own bathroom. Students who cannot go home to isolate/quarantine will be offered other housing to do so.

How should Commons residents get food if they are quarantined and do not have a meal plan?
A quarantined resident of the Commons apartments can have a friend or family member shop for them and leave the shopping bags outside the apartment, or order food from an establishment using contactless delivery. If a student has nobody to shop for them, they can contact the COVID Support Line at 614.823.1586 and arrangements will be made to assist them.

Will Otterbein communicate with parents to let them know that someone in their student’s residence hall/suite has COVID?
To protect private student information, we do not inform parents of the medical needs of other students. Roommates or residents in close proximity may choose to communicate this information to their parents.