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.

COVID-19 Testing Information

  • Before you get a COVID-19 test off campus, consider requesting to be added to the weekly asymptomatic pool. Just contact the COVID Hotline at 614-823-1586 or covid@otterbein.edu.
  • If you choose to go off campus, contact your primary care provider or go to https://covid-19.myfcph.org/testing/ for a list of testing locations and pop-up events.

Reminders

  • 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.
  • 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-Thursday. 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.
  • Registration for the new Cardinal+ Term (Dec. 7-Jan. 15) and spring semester (Jan. 18-April 30) is open on Banner.

Going Back 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.

On campus:

  • Optional asymptomatic Return to Home COVID Tests will be available on campus Nov. 16-20. Students can schedule an appointment by emailing covid@otterbein.edu no later than Nov. 11.

Once you get home:

  • 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.

Outdoor Fire Pits Coming Soon!
We are extending the outdoor season by placing new fire pits around campus. Look for them coming soon!

Spring Semester Student Life
This has been a tough semester, and while spring semester won’t be “normal,” here are some of the things we are looking forward to:

  • Cardinal Athletics competitions.
  • Greek Life recruitment.
  • More designated indoor spaces for games, activities, and other social opportunities.
  • Graduation.

Mental Health Tip of the Week from Otterbein’s Counseling Center
If you find yourself with extra time on your hands and feel guilty for spending too much time watching Netflix, try doing something with your hands. Take advantage of YouTube tutorials and teach yourself a craft. Learn how to knit, crochet, sew, fold origami, color, watercolor, bake bread, tie knots, carve, whittle, put together a puzzle or anything that you’ve always thought about doing. The process of learning something new automatically focuses our minds and attention as we try to master a skill. This surprisingly gives the mind a healthy rest from the negativity that so easily encroaches. Who knows, you might even end up with a quarantine scarf!

THREE Weeks Left: Stay Vigilant!
You have done an incredible job of keeping our campus safe and healthy — and we want you to keep up the good work! Public health officials tell us that the fall surge is here, so it’s more important to remain vigilant now than ever before. Please continue to keep your social circle small, practice social distancing and wear your facial covering. Also remember that attending large social events (like football tailgates and Halloween parties) puts the entire campus at risk. Thank you for making smart choices for yourself, your friends, your family and your community. We truly appreciate your commitment to protecting the nest!