Protect the Nest Weekly Update for Students – October 30, 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.

“Thank You” from a Westerville Resident
The Protect the Nest Team would like to share with you a message we received from a local resident that shows our good work as a community is appreciated: “I am a Westerville resident and just wanted to share some positive feedback. I drove home through Westerville yesterday and virtually no one had masks on. Then I turned onto Main Street and drove through the Otterbein campus area and absolutely every Otterbein student I saw, probably 25 or so, was masked. Whether in a group or alone, they all had masks! As a healthcare provider I was so happy. Thank you for setting a great example of learning to live through this pandemic.”

New Definition of Exposure from the CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently expanded its definition of an exposure to COVID-19. The CDC now defines exposure as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period — with or without a facial covering. The CDC’s advice on avoiding exposure remains the same: stay at least 6 feet away from others, wear a mask and practice good hygiene.

Mental Health Tip of the Week from Otterbein’s Counseling Center
Keep on keeping on! Remind yourself of your successes, large and small. You have made it this far with the many responsibilities you carry. We don’t want to wish away time, but it is quite healthy to remind ourselves the end of the semester is in sight. Make time for mini-breaks. Even a 15-minute walk outside or a massage can help us refresh. An old hymn advises, “Count your blessings, name them one by one…” Brighten the vibe by initiating a conversation about the “good stuff” that is happening for you. Or begin a gratitude journal and remind yourself of the sun that remains behind the passing clouds.

Athletics Update
Our varsity-sport programs have worked through different phases implemented by the NCAA this fall, implementing various approaches to practice and everyday activities. Phase I features moderate activity, Phase II sees elevated involvement within small pods/groups, while Phase III is very close to normal. Volleyball, cross country and golf are currently operating in Phase III while baseball and softball are concluding fall activity. All other programs are in Phase II. We are now awaiting future schedules from the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC), regarding a return to true competition, to be situated in the coming weeks.

Four 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!

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.