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OBU monitors coronavirus situation as students take Spring Break

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

As local college students prepare for Spring Break, Dr. Heath A Thomas, Oklahoma Baptist University president, issued a statement Thursday regarding the University’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19),

“We are monitoring the realities on the ground regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) closely. Please refer to our coronavirus information website for precautions and protection protocols. There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students or employees of OBU. We understand opinions are mixed and the situation has escalated rapidly, but OBU will err on the side of caution when it comes to protecting our students, employees and our wider community.

Thomas said OBU recognizes some students and other members of the community were at the Thunder game Wednesday night, but the individuals who were in direct contact were sent home and told not to return to campus.

However, those who were not in direct contact were allowed to come back to campus, following the Oklahoma Department of Health guidelines, Heath said, but they are still operating in an abundance of caution.

According to state health officials, "Those who were in attendance at the game are not at risk of catching COVID-19. As a reminder, COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. Only individuals who are in close contact with a person with COVID-19 would be at risk of exposure."

Heath has advised any students and employees who have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed to have coronavirus or they they are showing signs of illness to contact their physician immediately, get tested, self-isolate and inform RA/RD or supervisor.

“Students and faculty, we continue to monitor the situation closely to determine the nature of course delivery following spring break, whether on-campus or online. No determination has been made at this point, but we will continue to monitor and update our community regularly. For additional information and updates, please see the OBU coronavirus information website,” he said.

At this time, all staff scheduled to work during spring break should plan work unless they are ill or have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19.

Heath also has reminded both students and employees to take home laptops, books and any supplies that might be needed to complete coursework or telecommute following break should OBU decide to move to an online delivery system.

OBU’s response and updates for the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can be found at okbu.edu/coronavirus.