Protect the Nest Weekly Update for Students – October 23, 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. If you have questions or concerns, contact the COVID Hotline at 614-823-1586 or covid@otterbein.edu.

Reminders:

  • Before you come to campus each day, don’t forget to complete your self-screening assessment. Download this guide, which has important information and a checklist.
  • It’s cold and flu season. This year, some of the common symptoms overlap with COVID-19 symptoms. If you are feeling ill, don’t take any chances — stay home!
  • If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact the COVID Hotline at 614-823-1586 or covid@otterbein.edu and let our Student Affairs staff and OhioHealth representative advise you on your next steps.
  • Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) is Otterbein University’s public health partner. FCPH monitors our COVID-19 data and meets with Otterbein officials weekly to discuss local trends and answer any questions. Otterbein’s decisions and protocols related to COVID-19 are made with the guidance of FCPH.

Mental Health Tip of the Week from Otterbein’s Counseling Center
Between the news and social media, we’re all feeling saturated by negative updates right now. It’s important to stay informed, but negative messages can impact our mental health and lead us to feeling unbalanced. Try to limit exposure to stressful news and set limits with time on social media. If you catch yourself turning to Facebook or Instagram because you’re feeling isolated, take a break and spend time on another activity that brings you relaxation and joy. Be intentional and plan to add neutral and positive activities to each and every day.

The Fall Surge is Here: Remain 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!

Positive Test Notification
During the week of Oct. 12, we were notified that an employee of our food service partner tested positive for COVID-19. There was never any danger to food safety or the Otterbein community. Our partner and Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) conducted contact tracing and confirmed there was no exposure to Otterbein students, faculty, or staff. The employee will not return to work until they are cleared by medical professionals. In preparation for a situation of this nature, Tara Chinn, Otterbein’s Environmental Health and Safety Officer, worked closely with our food service provider to ensure that proper health and safety protocols were put in place in compliance with Otterbein and FCPH guidelines. If you have questions, concerns, or would like to report an incident related to our COVID protocols, please contact the COVID Hotline at 614-823-1586 or covid@otterbein.edu.

FREE FLU SHOTS FOR STUDENTS
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. We appreciate the generous support of our donors in underwriting this service this year. 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.