Return to Campus Weekly Update for Students – October 2, 2020

This weekly update is intended to keep you informed of the latest developments from our Return to Campus Team. Please visit www.otterbein.edu/rtc for additional general and student-related information.

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 defines exposure to COVID-19 as being 6 feet or closer for 15 minutes or more to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 — 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 14 days. In your classrooms, the furniture is intentionally set up with at least 6 feet between desks to prevent exposure.

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 Hotline 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.

Where can I get more information?
Learn more about what Otterbein is doing to Protect the Nest at www.otterbein.edu/rtc, where we are posting general and student-related information. If you have questions or concerns, contact the COVID Hotline at 614-823-1586 or covid@otterbein.edu.

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
Email: counseling@otterbein.edu

Be a Flu Fighter!
It’s more important to get your flu shot now than ever before. This year is different than most: two easily transmissible and potentially deadly viruses will be circulating in the community at the same time. Not only is the flu shot the most effective way to avoid getting the flu, but it is also an effective way to conserve precious healthcare resources needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Student Affairs is planning several FREE flu shot events, so look for information coming soon. If you can’t make it to an event, students can get a free flu shot at the Student Health Center. Shots at the Student Health Center will be given by appointment only; no walk-ins will be accepted. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday- Thursday. Call 614-823-1345 to make your appointment.

Otterbein will provide free flu shots to both insured and uninsured students. Students are asked to provide a copy of their insurance card if they have insurance, or inform the flu shot event organizer or Student Health Center when making an appointment if they do not have insurance.