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Below are campus communications, Q&As for students, faculty and staff, and resource links regarding ODU's response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Campus Update

Friday, March 20, 2020
A Special Message from ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:

 

Questions and Answers

For Students

Is Ohio Dominican closed?
No, Ohio Dominican remains operational and employees are working (with non-essential employees working remotely). The University’s spring break has been extended through Tuesday, March 17. When classes resume on Wednesday, March 18, Ohio Dominican will switch to online-only remote learning for all classes for the remainder of the semester. 

Should I return to ODU’s residence halls or remain at home?
Residence halls will be closed for the semester. Residential students should plan to schedule a time between Tuesday, March 17 and Saturday, March 21 to return to campus to collect your belongings, return your key and then return back to your permanent home. If you are unable to complete your check-out during this time period, you will need to make individual arrangements with Residence Life. Please see your ODU email for complete instructions and from Residence Life, or contact the office at 614-251-4718 or reslife@ohiodominican.edu with questions.

Will food service options remain available on campus?
Hamilton Dining Hall will remain OPEN for regular business hours through Saturday, March 21. During this time, anyone with a meal plan (or who wishes to pay cash/credit) can come and get a breakfast, lunch, or dinner to take with them. All food will be served by our staff, unless it is an individually packaged item, and no food can be consumed in the dining hall. Sodexo will provide all to-go materials, including utensils. At this time Sodexo is suspending the use of all reusable to-go containers, including the Quench cup and green Reusable To Go containers and cups. 

Beginning Monday, March 23, Sodexo will be preparing meals in an individually-packaged box and handing them out during a one-hour meal period on-site in the residence halls. Sodexo will prepare enough meals only for those students still remaining in the residence halls. Contact Residence Life for the weekly form to order meals. Students will need to come to the lobby to pick up their meals, at which time Sodexo will confirm their pickup and charge their account for the meal. The meal times will be as follows:

  • Breakfast: 9 – 10 a.m.
  • Lunch: Noon - 1 p.m.
  • Dinner: 4 - 5 p.m.

The Grill and SubConnection will remain closed through the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.

How will ODU communicate with me?
We are committed to keeping students, faculty and staff up to date by providing timely updates and communications. ODU offices and departments will continue to provide updates via your ODU email, our One Call Now call and text provider, and our website at ohiodominican.edu/Coronavirus.

Will academic buildings be open?
No, all buildings will be closed.

What is ODU doing to ensure extensive cleaning and sanitation measures are being taken?
We are working closely with our housekeeping services vendor, Sodexo, to ensure all high-traffic, high-touch areas are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. 

What if I notice a classmate or teammate exhibiting signs of illness?
It is appropriate to ask how they are feeling and encourage them to head home immediately if they are showing signs of being sick. However, we should not stigmatize people who are sick or assume anyone who coughs or sneezes has COVID-19. 

How will this affect my financial aid and scholarships?
Financial aid and scholarship eligibility will not be impacted by the transition from in-person classes to online classes. 

Will the semester be extended because of the move to online-only classes?
No, the semester will not be extended. During this time, students will still be responsible for completing coursework for classes in which they are enrolled.

Will Mass still take place on campus?
Daily and Sunday Mass, and all Campus Ministry events, have been canceled for the remainder of the semester.

Will athletic events still be held?
For the latest on the status of Panther athletic events, visit ohiodominicanpanthers.com.

Will my online classes take place at the same time as my on-campus classes?
Your faculty member should be in touch with you to discuss details of your online course, including whether it will be offered synchronously (at the same time), or asynchronously (on your own time). 

Is the University considering making changes to its courses so they are graded via pass/fail?
Not at this time. Transitioning courses to pass/fail could have several significant unintended consequences in the future. Not having grades for an entire semester of classes could impact a student’s financial aid, their ability to come off probation and suspension, and could even affect their ability to apply to graduate school in the future. This current situation will not last forever, but decisions made in haste now could have a lasting negative impact on students and graduates for years to come.

What if I don't have a computer to access online learning?
Most classes will be offered through PantherLearn. Any device, including desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone can be used to access online learning. If you have difficulty accessing your online course, please contact your faculty member. If you need access to a computer on campus, please complete this form. Please note that Spectrum has announced that it will offer free internet to students during this outbreak.

Will professors continue to have office hours?
Please contact your faculty member to ask about any changes that may have been made to their office hours and availability during this time. 

Are library services still available?
Yes, ODU Library staff are available and operating remotely (view hours of operation), although our building is closed. Please see the library's FAQ for questions concerning our services.

Will peer tutoring still be available?
The Academic Resource Center will continue to offer tutoring services online. To take advantage of their services, contact them at 614-251-4511 or academicresourcecenter@ohiodominican.edu.

Do I still attend my internship, clinical placement, student teaching assignment, or field placement?
Students involved in clinicals, internships and student teaching should seek further guidance from their supervisor.  

Will I still register for classes at the end of March? How will I meet with my advisor?
Registration for fall 2020 courses will proceed as scheduled. Advising meetings will be held in faculty offices or remotely.

How will this affect medical and counseling services?
Both Health and Counseling Services will offer remote appointment options, including phone calls or video conferencing. Please reach out by email with questions or to set up an appointment. For Health Services, contact Jamie Kemp, kempj2@ohiodominican.edu. For Counseling Services, contact Anne Lombardi, Director of Counseling Services, at  lombarda@ohiodominican.edu, or Kate Levine, at levinek@ohiodominican.edu. If you are experiencing a crisis, dial 911, visit your local emergency room, or call Netcare 24/7 at 614-276-2273. 

How will this affect my student employment?
Student employment will continue. The University will remain open and all offices will conduct business as usual.  

Will there be any student events? 
Out of an abundance of caution, no events sponsored by student organizations, academic departments, or University offices will be held on or off campus for the remainder of the semester. Some events may be held online or in alternative delivery formats. 

Are events being held at the University?
All major University-sponsored events scheduled to take place this semester have been canceled. University leadership continues to review all other events, including events organized by external partners and held on campus to determine appropriate arrangements. We will communicate event cancellations through their event organizers. 

Are we having commencement as planned?
Spring Commencement, scheduled for May 9, has been postponed indefinitely. We have already begun to have conversations about how we can appropriately recognize our graduates and provide a proper sendoff to mark this memorable milestone. Those details will be provided later in the semester.

 

For International Students

Where can I get up-to-date information about official guidance for international students from the U.S. government?
The Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) will post up-to-date guidance for schools and international students under the “NONIMMIGRANT STUDENTS” section of this page: https://www.ice.gov/covid19

All Spring 2020 classes are now online. Am I in compliance with my F-1 visa status?
Yes. SEVP issued a special directive to all SEVP-certified schools on Monday, March 9, 2020. This directive outlined procedures for reporting temporary adaptations to course delivery in response to COVID-19. Under the given circumstances, nonimmigrant students may engage in online learning if traditional on-campus classes have been adapted to a digital format by the university.

I would like to return to my home country for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. What do I need to know?
If you plan to depart the United States for the remainder of the semester, please consider the following.

  1. You must remain enrolled in a full course load for the Spring 2020 semester in order to remain in compliance. Please consider the difference in time zones as well as any digital access restrictions that exist in your home country.
  2. It is unclear at this time how long existing travel restrictions may remain in place, or whether new restrictions are to come. Leaving the United States presents the risk that reentry in time for the next academic term (Fall 2020) will not be possible. Please consider the real possibility that you may not be able to return to the United States for the Fall 2020 semester and discuss possible repercussions with the International Office prior to your departure.
  3. If you are nearing graduation and you intend to apply for Post-Completion OPT, you are not advised to depart the country.
  4. If you have a pending OPT application that you do not wish to abandon, you are not advised to travel outside of the United States. 
  5. Is it advisable for you to travel to your home country at this time? Check in with your family back home and research what restrictions are currently in place before making any travel plans. 
  6. The International Office understands that your decision to return to your home country is a personal one and we support you.
  7. You must follow all steps listed below the next question.

I would like to return to my home country for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. What do I need to do?
If you choose to leave the United States, please do the following before you depart:

  1. Verify that you have a valid F-1 visa. If your F-1 visa has already expired, or will expire in the coming months, you will need to apply for a new F-1 student visa while you are abroad. Please note: US embassies and consulates may temporarily modify or suspend consular services. If you are not able to secure an appointment to renew your visa, you may not return to the United States.
  2. Verify that your passport is valid for the Fall 2020 semester. Your passport must have six months of validity beyond your return date. 
  3. Verify that you have a valid travel signature. Travel signatures are found on page 2 of your I-20 and are valid for one year. If you need a new travel signature, please contact the International Office.
    *If you are currently engaged in post-completion OPT, your travel signature is only valid for six months. 
  4. Inform the International Office of your departure, destination, enrollment plans, and estimated return date by completing the Location Notification Form

If I want to stay in the US, am I required to stay in Columbus or on campus?
No, you are not required to remain in Columbus or in the Residence Halls. You may choose to stay with friends or family in another part of the country or make other arrangements. We ask that you please continue to update the International Office of any changes to your physical location by completing the Location Notification Form.

Who do I contact with questions about my visa status while the International Office is closed?
The International Office staff is available to advise you remotely. Please email international@ohiodominican.edu to schedule a virtual appointment.

For Faculty/Staff

Is Ohio Dominican closed?
No, Ohio Dominican remains operational and employees are working. The University’s spring break has been extended through Tuesday, March 17. When classes resume on Wednesday, March 18, Ohio Dominican will switch to online-only remote learning for all classes through the end of the semester. All non-essential employees are asked to work remotely. Only essential employees will remain on campus, and campus buildings will be closed.

How will ODU communicate with me?
We are committed to keeping students, faculty and staff up to date by providing timely updates and communications. ODU offices and departments will continue to provide updates via your ODU email, our One Call Now call and text provider, and our website at ohiodominican.edu/Coronavirus.

What is ODU’s position on telecommuting during this time?
Beginning March 17, all non-essential employees are asked to work remotely. While all employees are essential to our mission, “essential” is a technical term referring to specific functions of the University that must continue depending on current conditions. Faculty and staff will continue to work regular business hours, and will be accessible via phone and email. Hourly staff, please contact your supervisors to discuss details related to working remotely, which includes the need to continue to log your hours daily. If you are not sure whether you are considered to be an “essential” employee, please also contact your supervisor for clarification.

I’m working remotely, how can I access my files?
Webfile allows you to access ODU’s network remotely. To access Webfile, click the “Quick Links” menu on the homepage, then select “Webfile.” From there, use your ODU credentials to log in. Click here for more information. (You may be required to log in.) In addition, you also are encouraged to use tools such as Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, which is available by logging into Microsoft 365, to communicate with colleagues during this time.

Who should I contact if I have trouble with PantherLearn or developing online content?
You are encouraged to contact Faculty Services at facultyservices@ohiodominican.edu or by calling Lindsey Mason at 614-251-4728.

Are library services still available?
Yes, ODU Library staff are available and operating remotely (view hours of operation), although our building is closed. Please see the library's FAQ for questions concerning our services.

Will academic buildings be open?
No. University buildings will be closed to non-essential employees beginning March 17. If you need to access your office, please contact Public Safety at 614-251-4700 to make arrangements.

Are events being held at the University?
All major University-sponsored events scheduled to take place this semester have been postponed. University leadership continues to review all other events, including events organized by external partners and held on campus to determine appropriate arrangements. We will communicate event cancellations through their event organizers.

Are we having commencement as planned?
Spring Commencement, scheduled for May 9, has been postponed indefinitely. We have already begun to have conversations about how we can appropriately recognize our graduates and provide a proper sendoff to mark this memorable milestone. Those details will be provided later in the semester.

What is ODU doing to ensure extensive cleaning and sanitation measures are being taken?
We are working closely with our housekeeping services vendor, Sodexo, to ensure all high-traffic, high-touch areas are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

What if I notice a colleague exhibiting signs of illness?
It is appropriate to ask how they are feeling and encourage them to head home immediately if they are showing signs of being sick. However, we should not stigmatize people who are sick or assume anyone who coughs or sneezes has COVID-19.

I’m feeling anxious. Who can I talk to?
We realize this is a stressful time for many individuals. Please remember that Ohio Dominican’s health plans offer comprehensive coverage for both physical and mental health care. Ohio Dominican offers an Employee Assistance & Work/Life Program through IMPACT Solutions to all full-time and part-time faculty and staff, their household members, dependents away from home, parents and parents-in-law. For assistance 24/7, please call 800-227-6007 or visit www.MyImpactSolution.com (the username for Impact’s member login is “ODU”.

 

University Hours of Operation

Ohio Dominican University remains open; however, the majority of offices are working remotely. University staff continue to monitor emails and calls – click here to view our campus directory for contact info.


The following areas maintain on-campus hours of operation during this time:

I.T. Help Desk

Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Email Helpdesk@ohiodominican.edu
Call 614-253-3633 or 888-251-0773; calls will be forwarded to personnel during the hours above.

Hamilton Hall Food Services
(to pick up meals)

Breakfast: 9 - 10 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m. - Noon
Dinner: 4 - 5 p.m.

ODU Mail Room

Monday - Friday: 12:30 - 4 p.m.

 

Useful Resources & Links

Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline

1-833-4-ASK-ODH

The Ohio Department of Health has set up a call center to answer questions regarding COVID-19. The call center will be open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and can be reached at 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK-ODH). Call center staff includes licensed nurses and infectious disease experts. They will be available to answer questions and provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public, and the state’s response.

 

Ohio Department of Health FAQs

The Ohio Department of Health shared the following information on Jan. 28, 2020:


What is novel coronavirus?
Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new virus and it has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people.

What is the source of 2019-nCoV?
2019-nCoV likely came from an animal because the first cases were linked to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin to the outbreak. However, more information is needed to figure out the possible role that animals play in transmission of 2019-nCoV.

How does 2019-nCoV spread?
Health experts are still learning the details about how this new coronavirus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:

  • The air by coughing and sneezing.
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • In rare cases, contact with feces.

How severe is 2019-nCoV?
Experts are still learning about the range of illness from novel coronavirus. Reported cases have ranged from mild illness (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization. So far, deaths have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions.

What are the symptoms?
People who have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus have reported symptoms that may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus:
Fever
Cough
Difficulty breathing

Who is at risk for 2019-nCoV?
Currently the risk to the general public is low. At this time, there are a small number of individual cases in the U.S. To minimize the risk of spread, health officials are working with healthcare providers to promptly identify and evaluate any suspected cases.

How can I protect myself?
If you are traveling overseas (to China but also to other places) follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Traveler’s Health guidance here.

Right now, the novel coronavirus has not been spreading widely in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public. Steps you can take to prevent spread of flu and the common cold will also help prevent coronavirus:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent novel coronavirus infections.

How is 2019-nCoV treated?
There are no medications specifically approved for coronavirus. Most people with mild coronavirus illness will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever medications. However, some people develop pneumonia and require medical care or hospitalization.

Have there been cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States (U.S.)?
As of January 27, 2020, the CDC has confirmed five cases of 2019-nCoV. For a map of states with confirmed 2019-nCoV cases, please visit the CDC website here. This map will be updated by CDC daily. Updated information regarding the number of people under investigation will be updated regularly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Where have there been confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV globally?
For an updated list of countries reporting confirmed 2019-nCoV cases, please visit the CDC website here.
ODH - 2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (2019-nCoV) Page 3 of 3 1/28/2020

Can I still travel to China or countries where 2019-nCoV cases have occurred?
As of January 27, 2020, the CDC has issued a Warning Level 3 Travel Advisory for China. This means travelers should avoid all nonessential travel to China. The situation is evolving, so please check the CDC Traveler's Health page for the most up-to-date information.

Are U.S. airports currently conducting screening of travelers?
CDC is conducting entry screening of travelers and providing educational materials for any travelers arriving in the United States from China at 20 U.S. airports with quarantine stations. Details about what to expect at the airport for travelers arriving to the U.S. from China can be found here.
What if I recently traveled to Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China or another outbreak area and got sick?
If you traveled to Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China or another outbreak area and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to the doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Adapted with permission from Public Health – Seattle & King County

 

Earlier Campus Communications

Monday, March 16, 2020
Email sent by ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:

Dear students, faculty and staff,

Updates provided over the past couple of days by Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health have made it clear that our plan to resume on-campus courses by the end of this month is wishful thinking. To help ensure the health and safety of our community, and to help students better focus on their studies moving forward, the Leadership Team decided this morning to extend the use of online-only remote learning for classes through the end of the semester. It is critical that we, as a campus community, align our response to the COVID-19 outbreak with the directives and recommendations of health officials.

Since Ohio Dominican will remain online-only, University leadership also decided it would be prudent to vacate the residence halls for the remainder of Spring Semester. Naturally, those of you who live on campus will want to know when you can retrieve your belongings. The Residence Life staff will be in touch shortly to communicate this process and timeline to you. As for our international students who are far from home, or for students who have no alternative housing options, we will provide you with additional flexibility as needed as you arrange travel plans or secure accommodations elsewhere.

In accordance with the governor’s order on food service announced yesterday, Hamilton Hall will no longer provide a dine-in experience. Instead, meals will be prepared in to-go containers for students, faculty and staff to take with them. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Residence Life at 614-251-4718 or email reslife@ohiodominican.edu.

The Leadership Team understands that some students may need access to campus technology during this time. To help us better understand your technology needs and expectations, especially if you need access to a computer on campus, please complete this form. I also want to point out that Spectrum has announced that it will offer free internet to students during this outbreak, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car has announced its College Student Travel Assistance program to help students get back to their families.

Finally, I’m saddened to inform you that Spring Commencement, scheduled for May 9, has been postponed indefinitely. As we consider forecasts predicting the peak of this virus, it seems unlikely that we will be in a position to celebrate our graduates’ achievements on that date with a large gathering. We have already begun to have conversations about how we can appropriately recognize our graduates and provide a proper sendoff to mark this memorable milestone. Those details will be provided later in the semester.

I recognize the disruption that this outbreak has caused, and I thank you for your patience over the past couple of weeks. We are most certainly all in this together, and I ask for your continued patience and understanding as we respond to this situation in accordance with the latest recommendations made by state officials to help ensure the health of our community.

If you have not heard from your faculty yet, please contact Dr. Manuel Martinez, Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, at 614-251-4671 or martinem1@ohiodominican.edu. Please continue to monitor your email for additional updates regarding ODU’s response to this situation.

In peace and truth,

Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.
President

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Email sent by ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:

Dear students, faculty and staff,

This morning, I met with the University’s Leadership Team as well as members of our coronavirus task force to discuss our response to the expanding outbreak of COVID-19. Yesterday afternoon, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recommended that all colleges and universities in Ohio convert their face-to-face classes to an online-only format in an effort to reduce the likelihood that this virus is spread throughout campus communities.

Therefore, the University will remain open, but we will extend spring break through Tuesday, March 17 as we transition instruction to an online format. Starting on Wednesday, March 18, all on-campus courses will be delivered in an online format. Our plan, for now, is to utilize online course delivery through March 31, which is subject to change depending on this evolving situation and future recommendations from state health officials.

All students are directed to remain at home, unless you have no other housing options than to stay in the residence halls. Students who need to gather personal effects from their rooms should do so by Tuesday, March 17. Our housing facilities and food services will remain in operation. If you plan to return to campus, click here to complete a brief form.

During this time, students will still be responsible for completing coursework for classes in which they are enrolled. Students who have difficulty accessing or participating in these online courses should contact their faculty member. Students involved in clinicals, internships and student teaching should seek further guidance from their supervisor. Faculty, please get in touch with your students so they know what to expect with regard to course delivery.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have urged faculty to develop online components of their classes to reduce the impact of a transition to remote learning. Despite their careful preparation, this is new territory for some. While I am confident that we will continue to provide an outstanding education, there likely will be challenges in the days ahead. I ask all members of our community for your continued understanding, patience and prayers as we work through this uncertain time.

Although the overall risk to our campus community remains low, we want to be certain we’re doing everything possible to help maintain the overall health and safety of our campus community. The Ohio Dominican family has always been a community that is resilient, and we will rely on that spirit now more than ever.

Please continue to monitor your email for the latest updates regarding ODU's response to this outbreak, including the impact on planned events.

In peace and truth,

Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.
President

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Email sent by ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:

Dear students,

I hope you are enjoying a restful spring break. As you prepare to return to campus for the second half of the semester, I want to touch base regarding Ohio Dominican’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus continues to increase, and the virus has now been confirmed in the Cleveland, Ohio area.

As you know, many of our students are currently traveling, potentially putting them at increased risk of coming into contact with individuals who may be ill with the flu or this aggressive virus. Because of this potential, I ask that if you feel ill or had close contact with someone who was ill (whether it was the traditional flu or COVID-19), do not return to campus. Instead, please stay at home until you fully recover. Students who return to campus and show symptoms of the flu may be asked to return home immediately. If, after you return to campus, you feel ill, do not visit the Wellness Center unannounced. Instead, please call the center at 614-251-4570 ahead of time to ensure you can be seen. This response is in line with recommendations from the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health, and is to help maintain the overall health and safety of our campus community.

This request has been communicated to your professors and coaches, so you will not be penalized in any way for missing classes, practices or games as long as you let them know ahead of time. We also have coordinated with your professors to develop online components of classes to ensure that, if you are absent, you may continue to participate remotely. If you are going to be absent from class, it is important that you contact your professors beforehand.

I want to thank you for your understanding and patience as we prepare for this new and unpredictable virus. Please continue to practice good hygiene to stay healthy, which includes washing your hands often and covering your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze. If you have any questions about COVID-19, you can contact the Ohio Department of Health’s new hotline at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

I hope you enjoy the remainder of spring break, and I look forward to seeing you on campus next week.

In peace and truth,

Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.
President


Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Email sent by ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.:

Students, faculty, and staff,

As we prepare for spring break, I want to take a moment to address the current outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory illness that you have likely heard much about on the news and on social media.

COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to a number of other countries, including the United States; however, as of today, there have not been any confirmed cases in Ohio. State health officials emphasize that your risk of contracting the general flu is much greater than COVID-19, and you are only considered high risk if you recently traveled to China, South Korea, Japan, Iran or Italy, or if you have had contact with someone who has been to those areas.

First and foremost, I encourage you to follow the advice of the Ohio Department of Health in practicing good hygiene, which includes washing your hands often, covering your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, sanitizing all “high-touch” surfaces daily, staying at home if you are ill, and avoiding contact with those who are sick. (Click here for more information on how you can stay safe.)

Despite the reassurance from local health officials, I understand that the spread and nature of this new virus can cause concern about its potential impact. The University has created a task force led by ODU’s Director of Health Services, Jamie Kemp, and comprised of staff from across campus and members of ODU’s Leadership Team to discuss how we as a University community can best prepare for and respond to this virus should it be confirmed in Columbus. As these conversations take place in the coming days and weeks, you may receive email communications from various individuals or departments on campus regarding details of our response plan as they relate to you.

If you plan on traveling abroad over spring break, I encourage you to check both U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control websites for information on your destination as well as for those countries you may plan to transit. Depending on your destination, you may have to make difficult decisions to change or even cancel plans to ensure your own well-being and timely return to Columbus.

We will continue to monitor developments both at home and abroad, and keep you up to date. Our thoughts are with students, faculty and staff who have ties to all of the regions affected by this situation. It is our hope that you have a healthy, safe and restful spring break. If you have any health-related questions or concerns, you may contact ODU’s Wellness Center at wellnesscenter@ohiodominican.edu or 614-251-4570.

In peace and truth,

Robert Gervasi, Ph.D.
President

 

Friday, January 31, 2020
Email sent by Director of ODU Health Services Jamie Kemp MPAS, PA-C, CIHC:

ODU students, faculty and staff, 

As you may be aware, there is currently an outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The outbreak began in China and has now spread to other countries. As of yesterday, Jan. 30, Coronavirus has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. There has yet to be a major outbreak in the United States. As of Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was investigating 165 potential cases; however, only six of those cases have been confirmed as Coronavirus. Many of the cases involve patients who recently returned to the United States from China. Although the number of cases in the U.S. is low, ODU’s Leadership Team wanted to communicate with you what the University is doing in response to this developing situation. 

Symptoms:

For confirmed infections, reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with few symptoms to individuals who are severely ill.  Symptoms can include.

  • Fever
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as two weeks after exposure. This past Tuesday, the first two potential cases in Ohio were reported. The CDC is investigating whether two Miami University students who recently returned from China are infected.

What Ohio Dominican is doing:

Ohio Dominican will continue to monitor guidance from local, state, and federal public health officials. There is no need at this time to change any routine activities or behaviors. 

What you can do:

In general, practicing routine hygiene etiquette is the best way to prevent the spread of infection: 

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  • Wash your hands or use alcohol hand rub after coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are ill, keep a safe distance from others to reduce the risk of transmitting germs.
  • If you are seriously ill, seek medical advice from a doctor or emergency department.

More information:

Link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html 

Link to the Ohio Department of health - https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home

 

Sincerely,
Jamie Kemp MPAS, PA-C, CIHC
Director of Health Services