Protect the Nest Weekly Update for Students – October 21, 2021

Posted Oct 21, 2021

This periodic update is intended to keep you informed of the latest developments from our Protect the Nest Team. Please visit for additional general and student-related information. If you have questions or concerns, contact the COVID Hotline at  

Need to Know: 

  • Students can get tested for COVID-19 on campus. To do so, contact the COVID Hotline at to request an appointment. The testing center DOES NOT allow unscheduled drop-in appointments.  

Masking in Dining Hall 

Masks are required in all indoor common areas, including the dining hall. Masks can be removed to eat or drink but must be worn at all other times in the dining hall. 

Testing for ALL Unvaccinated Individuals Begins Nov. 1 

All individuals who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19, including those with an approved exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine, must participate in the weekly testing protocol beginning Nov. 1. 

Important Flu Information 

Although COVID-19 and flu vaccines are now widely available, COVID-19 and flu continue to be a concern in our workplaces and communities as we begin to return to normal. Your health and well-being are important, which is why we strongly recommend protecting yourself and others by getting fully vaccinated. I’m sure you have questions, so we have answers!  

  • Why do I need a flu shot? The flu can cause a severe respiratory illness and is contagious. It causes time loss from work, and can lead to hospitalization and in some cases, death. 
  • If I received the COVID-19 vaccine, do I need a flu vaccine? Yes. The annual flu vaccine is recommended for all ages 6 months and older. COVID-19 and flu are caused by different viruses, which is why the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine are different. The flu vaccine does not impact COVID-19 vaccination or immunity status, and vice-versa. 
  • Is a combined flu / COVID-19 shot available? Currently, no.  
  • Do I have to wait two weeks between flu / COVID shots? No. You can get these vaccines within a close timeframe, even concurrently, if necessary. 
  • Will the flu shot potentially make me sick like the COVID-19 shot? Vaccines can generate a response with mild, short-lived symptoms as your body builds immunity. It is not possible to contract infection through a flu vaccine injection. 
  • Are these vaccines safe? Approved, authorized, and recommended vaccines undergo rigorous evaluation and testing before release through various stages of CDC / FDA review. Available vaccines are considered very safe and offer protection from illnesses that cause significant morbidity and mortality. 
  • Where can I get the flu shot? Students can get the flu shot at the Student Health Center by appointment (see hours below), and employees can get the flu shot at our on-campus clinic on Friday, Oct. 22, or through their primary healthcare provider, pharmacies, or health clinics. 

Employee Flu Shot Clinic, Oct. 22 

Flu shots will be available to employees from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22, in Engle Hall Lounge. Sign up at this link: 

Cold and Flu Season is Here – How to Tell the Difference

We are heading into cold and flu season, and many people are wondering how to tell if they have a cold, flu, COVID-19, or allergies. Please see the chart of symptoms for each one. Additionally, the best way to prevent getting sick with any illness is practicing good hygiene. This includes frequent handwashing, disinfecting surfaces and covering coughs and sneezes. Visit for more tips to stay healthy. 

Student Health Center Hours 

The Student Health Center is available for non-COVID healthcare needs, including flu shots, during the following hours: 

Mondays and Wednesdays 

  • 8-11 a.m.: Provider appointments available. 
  • 11 a.m.-4 p.m.:  Call-in hours only. 

Tuesdays and Thursdays 

  • 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.: Provider appointments available.  
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.:  Call-in hours only.  

The Health Center is located at 78 W. Home St. (east of Campus Center) and can be reached at 614-823-1345. The Health Center is closed on breaks and holidays. 

Important Vaccination Date: Oct. 29 

Please be aware of the following dates to comply with the vaccine requirement: 

  • Students who have not provided verification of their vaccination (including those with an approved vaccine exemption) by Oct. 29 will be required to have a weekly on-campus COVID test beginning Nov. 1.   

Unvaccinated students who do not have an approved exemption will be allowed to create a schedule for their spring semester classes (for planning purposes), but that schedule will be frozen after registration week, and those schedules will be dropped on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, if students remain unvaccinated or do not have an approved exemption.  

Students must submit a photo or scan of their vaccination card or request an exemption form at 

All unvaccinated employees go into the weekly testing pool on Nov. 1. If employees are still unvaccinated and do not have an exemption, their last day of employment is Jan. 7, 2022.

Otterbein’s COVID-19 protocols are developed in consultation with Franklin County Public Health and OhioHealth (Otterbein’s campus healthcare provider) and adhere to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ohio Department of Health. Otterbein’s protocols are subject to change based on new guidance issued by these agencies.