Protect the Nest Weekly Update for Students – November 6, 2020

This weekly update is intended to keep you informed of the latest developments from our Protect the Nest Team. Please visit www.otterbein.edu/covid19/ for additional general and student-related information. If you have questions or concerns, contact the COVID Hotline at 614-823-1586 or covid@otterbein.edu.

Statewide Curfew 
The Governor ordered a statewide 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew, effective at midnight on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, with exceptions for work, food and pharmacy purchases and emergencies. Otterbein courses and clinicals will continue to meet at their scheduled times, even if they extend into the curfew period. The library, labs and other educational spaces that remain open later than 10 p.m. to support student learning will also remain open as scheduled.  

Franklin County Public Health Advisory 
The City of Columbus and Franklin County released an advisory effective at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, based on current conditions within Franklin County. The advisory states, in part, that “All higher education institutions and local school districts are advised to maintain their current learning modalities.” Otterbein is following this recommendation. Additionally, campus offices will remain open. 

Free Mental and Medical Telehealth Services  
Otterbein University is offering FREE mental and medical telehealth services to provide remote winter break coverage to Otterbein students from Nov. 24-Jan. 18. You can speak to licensed counselors and physicians experienced in the unique needs of college students. Service providers are available 24/7 to diagnose non-emergency medical conditions, prescribe medications, and offer mental health support via phone or secure video visits from anywhere in the United States. Check your inbox Nov. 23 for instructions to register and access the program.   

Prepare Your Room for Winter Break 
With the extended winter break, we ask that all students clean out perishable foods, defrost and unplug your refrigerators, unplug all electronics, and take any valuables home with you. 

Time to Return Your Rented Textbooks  
Rented textbooks must be returned by Dec. 14 to avoid late fees. Luckily, there are several ways you can safely return your books this year, whether you are on or off campus. 

  • Drop them off at the Bookstore. 
  • Drop them off at the Mail Room. 
  • Ship them in the mail. (You must pay for postage.) 
  • DO NOT drop them off at the Library. 

Due to shipping and processing delays, please allow 10-14 business days after shipping your return before contacting the bookstore about receiving your shipment. Please disregard any reminder emails received during this time. No late fees or non-return charges will be posted during this processing time. For additional details, check out this Rental Book Returns FAQ
 
Virtual Meetings 
We encourage students to use Microsoft Teams for meetings and study groups. Every member of our campus community has access to Microsoft Teams through their University account that includes their email. If you are wondering how to get started or how to invite someone outside Otterbein to join a Teams call, take a look at the following videos: 

Tips for Going Home Safely 
With the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, returning home for semester break will most likely look and feel a bit different for everyone. To assist in preparing you and your family to welcome you back home, we have gathered a list of tips and resources below for a safe and seamless transition once you get home. 

  • Get your flu shot before you go home. Flu shots are FREE for ALL current students at the Student Health Center! Shots are given by appointment only; no walk-ins will be accepted. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday-Wednesday. Call 614-823-1345 to make your appointment. Students are asked to provide a copy of their insurance card if they have insurance or inform the student Health Center when making an appointment if they do not have insurance. 
  • Keep COVID prevention supplies in common areas, including soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers (containing at least 60% alcohol), tissues, trash baskets, and, if possible, masks that can be washed or discarded after each use. 
  • Limit non-essential visitors or guests. 
  • Social distance by staying at least 6 feet apart from others that do not live in your home. 
  • Avoid sharing dishes, drinking glasses, cups, or eating utensils. 
  • If someone in your home does get sick, they should self-isolate and limit the use of shared spaces as much as possible (separate bedroom/bathroom if possible). 
  • Limit running errands to one or two low-risk individuals who wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and wash their hands as soon as they return home. 
  • Communicate with your family about any concerns, suggestions, or ideas you might have about returning home from campus and give them the opportunity to do the same. Discussing expectations and comfort-levels can allow for a much smoother transition back home.
  • Learn more about living in close quarters from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On-Campus Counseling 
The Counseling Center offers year-round psychological healthcare to our students. There is no charge for appointments. Call 614-823-1333, email counseling@otterbein.edu, or visit 146 W. Home St. Hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5p.m.