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Aug. 26, 2021: COVID Facts & Best Practices presentation

Aug. 18, 2021 Message from the President: COVID-19 update for start of classes

From the office of the president


OCU community:

I want to share with you today the most current information and expectations we have for the beginning of our school year in light of the rapid resurgence of COVID-19 cases in our community.

We had planned to begin the fall semester in a more normal fashion, free from some of the restrictions we experienced in the previous academic year. The recent spread of the delta variant of COVID has interfered with our plans for normalcy.

It is now up to us as a community, both on our main campus and at our law school, to do what we must to protect those most vulnerable among us, and to ensure the best possible school year.

We must hold each other to the standards that we know work to mitigate the spread of this disruptive virus. Each member of this community is expected to do the right things: wear a mask while indoors, get vaccinated if you are eligible*, stay home if you are experiencing symptoms and report possible or confirmed COVID exposures.

During the previous school year when masks were mandatory in indoor spaces, we recorded zero cases of classroom transmission of COVID-19. Based on the data we have compiled since the pandemic began, we know that masks work for our campus community.

When contemplating the efficacy of masks and the vaccine, please consider the following statistics, gathered from COVID-19 Oklahoma Project ECHO and the Oklahoma State Department of Health:

  • Of the nearly 1.6 million fully vaccinated Oklahomans, only about 2,500 cases of breakthrough infection have been reported. That equates to an infection rate of approximately 0.16% for fully vaccinated Oklahomans.
  • Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s total case count since the start of the pandemic has now surpassed 500,000, an infection rate of 12.5% based on the state population of 4 million people, and a rate of approximately 20% for unvaccinated Oklahomans.
  • The highly transmissible delta variant produces about 1,000 times more viral load than the original strain of COVID-19. This means more of the virus is present in an infected person, making it much easier to spread than previous strains.
  • You can infect people with the delta variant for up to 48 hours before noticing any symptoms, or you can have no symptoms and still infect people – that is why it is especially important to wear a mask.


Many of you have asked why we don’t simply mandate masks or vaccinations. It is important for our community to understand that our ability to require masks or vaccinations is now limited by a new state law that took effect on July 1. Senate Bill 658 prohibits universities from implementing mask or vaccination mandates. My administration is working with our general counsel and outside counsel to fully understand the law’s impact on our university, as we seek a path forward that keeps our campus community safe, while complying with applicable law.

In light of the changing landscape, it is up to us to protect ourselves and each other to ensure that we can continue with in-person classes and campus activities this year. If there is a significant rise in cases in our campus community, we will be forced to explore the few options at our disposal.

While it is our intention and hope to remain in-person and as close to normal as possible, widespread campus transmission will require us to again seriously consider fully remote learning, with no in-person campus events. We have the ability as a campus community to avoid those most extreme outcomes.

As a community, we will dictate through our actions the conditions on our campus. We should aim to make choices – including masking up – that lead to the best and safest atmosphere for everyone.

Sincerely,

Evans sig


Kenneth R. Evans
President

*It is understood that some individuals in our campus community will have seriously held moral or religious beliefs or health conditions that prevent them from getting a COVID-19 vaccine, and we acknowledge and respect their position.

July 26, 2021 Message from the President: COVID-19 Campus Update

President email header


Students, faculty and staff:

The university’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) team continues to monitor conditions in the community related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are seeing a troubling increase in COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations across our state and in Oklahoma County. Additionally, the committee is monitoring the impact of the Delta variant, and other COVID variants, with health experts warning that these variants are creating increased risk of virus transmission and illness.

On campus, we have recorded an increased number of positive cases among students and staff over the past several days, among both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. While the variant status of the positive tests is not yet known, there is reason to suspect that a variant may be at play in these most recent cases. As the variants continue to create disruption in our daily lives and as we are planning to resume campus activities at the low alert level in the fall, our best strategy to mitigate illness and quarantine are vaccination and masks. If you are able and eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine and have not done so, I implore you to get vaccinated as soon as possible for your own health and for the health of those around you. Students, faculty, staff and their families may call 405-373-2400 to make an appointment to get vaccinated through the Campus Clinic, or if you are in Oklahoma, you can find a location near you here.

As community transmission has increased in the last several weeks, it also makes sense for our campus community to go back to wearing masks indoors. Masks are an effective, low-level mitigation strategy that will help keep us all safe. Since it is impossible for each of us to know the vaccination status of each and every person we interact with on campus, all members of the campus community, regardless of vaccination status, are strongly encouraged to wear a mask when interacting with others indoors on campus. You can refresh your memory on how to wear a mask properly here.

Combining vaccination and the wearing of masks is our best opportunity to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Let’s pull together to do what we can to continue being together on campus throughout the coming months.

Sincerely,


Kenneth R. Evans
President

OCU CARES Emergency Grant Institutional Acknowledgement - May 28, 2020

On March 27, 2020, Oklahoma City University signed and returned to the Department of Education a Certification and Agreement assuring the Department that the institution will use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Oklahoma City University received $768,334 from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

As of May 18, 2020, all $768,334 received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students has been awarded to students.

Oklahoma City University encouraged all students to apply for funding if they have incurred expenses as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, such as food, housing, transportation, technology, course materials, health care, and child-care expenses.

All currently enrolled students at Oklahoma City University were emailed on April 28, 2020, May 1, 2020, May 5, 2020, and May 14, 2020 explaining the grant and inviting the students to apply. The text of the email messages can be found here.

Based on eligibility confirmed by the completion of the FAFSA, there are an estimated 2005 students at Oklahoma City University verifiably eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

As of May 18, 2020, 432 students received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

All student applicants with demonstrated need, as indicated on their applications, received an OCU CARES Emergency Grant of the following amounts:

  • 1 category of need indicated on their application: 1000
  • 2 categories of need indicated on their application: 1500
  • 3 categories of need indicated on their application: 1600
  • 4 categories of need indicated on their application: 1700
  • 5 categories of need indicated on their application: 1800
  • 6 categories of need indicated on their application: 1900
  • 7 categories of need indicated on their application: 2000

Out-of-state student applicants with demonstrated need, as indicated on their applications, received an additional $500 as part of their OCU CARES Emergency Grant.

Student applicants residing in emergency summer housing with demonstrated need, as indicated on their applications, received an additional $500 as part of their OCU CARES Emergency Grant.

In following guidance issued by the Department of Education, students who are ineligible to receive federal financial assistance received no consideration for an OCU CARES Emergency Grant.

Update: June 1, 2020

All currently enrolled students at Oklahoma City University were emailed on April 28, 2020, May 1, 2020, May 5, 2020, and May 14, 2020 explaining the grant and inviting the students to apply. The text of the email messages can be found here.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

On March 27, 2020, Oklahoma City University signed and returned to the Department of Education a Certification and Agreement assuring the Department that the institution will use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Oklahoma City University received $768,334 from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. [more]

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Quarterly Reporting

HEERF I / Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

September 30, 2020 (pdf) *Revised 07/15/2021 [Prior Versions: v1]

December 31, 2020 (pdf) *Revised 07/15/2021 [Prior Versions: v1]

March 31, 2021 (pdf) *Revised 07/15/2021 [Prior Versions: v1]

June 30, 2021 (pdf) *Final Report

HEERF II / Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA)

March 31, 2021 (pdf)

June 30, 2021 (pdf) *Final Report

HEERF III / American Recovery Plan (ARP)

June 30, 2021 (pdf)

September 30, 2021 (pdf)