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March 23, 2020

[The following email was sent to all ORU students today:]

Dear ORU Student,

For the health, safety, and well-being of our entire community, please carefully read the below policy and please commit to adhering to it:

No one will be permitted on campus if they, their family, or someone they have come in contact with are exhibiting any symptoms of illness. Please remember that all students, parents, and employees who have traveled abroad or who traveled to Florida, New York, California, or Washington state, will be required to self-isolate for two weeks before coming to campus or have a physician’s release that shows a recent negative test for the Coronavirus.

During Self-Isolation:

  • Do not go out with friends or go to the grocery store, etc.
  • You must go 14 consecutive days without physical contact with others
  • If you don’t self-isolate, you may not return to campus
  • No exceptions will be made

Additional Safety Measures:

  • All students staying on campus will be moved to a single room—to do this, please contact Residential Services at housing@oru.edu
  • For those staying on campus, no groups of three or more may congregate on campus.

For the health and safety of our entire community, thank you for adhering to these very important and potentially life-saving policies. We know these are unprecedented times, and none of these decisions have been made lightly.

Thank you,
ORU’s Health and Safety Task Force

 

[The following message was emailed to all ORU students this afternoon:]

Dear Student,

We certainly know these are unprecedented days and are praying that you and your family are processing our current situation as well as can be expected. Please know we are covering you in prayer in all areas of your life—physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and financially. As spring break comes to an end, the Health and Safety Task Force wanted to send out some very important reminders which are vital for the health and safety of our entire community. Please know that we are very serious about the below and no exceptions will be made. Failure to heed the below may lead to dismissal from ORU.

If you are planning on returning to campus after spring break, please remember all students, parents, and employees who have traveled abroad or who traveled to Florida, New York, California, or Washington state, will be required to self-isolate for two weeks before coming to campus or have a physician’s release showing that shows a recent negative test for the Coronavirus. No one will be permitted on campus if they are exhibiting any symptoms of illness or if members of their family are. All students, parents, and employees entering campus for the next two weeks will have to check in with security and be screened—every time you enter campus. No visitors will be allowed during these two weeks (parents helping to move out their child are not considered visitors).

  • Residential Students Only: You are required to complete the form at this link prior to your arrival to retrieve your belongings and check out of your room. Students must be present to retrieve items. After you complete this link, you will receive additional information on the Express Check-out process. We know this is an inconvenience; your items will remain in your room until May 3, 2020.
  • For those staying on campus, you must practice physical distancing and not congregate in groups of any size and absolutely no more than 10. Please wash your hands regularly.
  • The residence halls and cafeteria will remain open. Students are encouraged to use the takeout option in the cafeteria and to physically distance (at least 6 feet apart) while in the dining hall. ORU has taken many important steps such as using hospital-grade disinfectant, setting up many hand-sanitization stations, and increased cleaning efforts across campus.
  • The GC, LRC, Library, Hammer, Aerobics Center, NEC, Prayer Tower, Timko Barton Music Hall, Howard Auditorium, and Christ’s Chapel are closed completely. Students who need to return checked out items from the Library can do so by depositing items in the Library Drop Boxes that will be located in the Hamill Building outside the Security offices.
  • Your ID card will not work for entry into the above mentioned buildings.
  • Beginning Monday March 23, ORU will hold all residential classes virtually through D2L through the end of the semester. Professors will post assignments, share videos and/or messages with their students to assist them through the end of the semester. It is important to note that this is a continuation of present residential classes, with the format of the instruction and work being completed through D2L. Plans for labs and clinicals, etc. will be communicated from the professor to the student. Flexibility will be encouraged and embraced in every way possible. Finals, final projects, end of semester papers, reports, etc. will be facilitated remotely and will be scheduled by the class professor. The academic calendar will remain the same. If you need assistance with how you will navigate remote learning please refer to the links under “Resources” on this page.
  • The phone number for security is 918-495-7750 if you need assistance.
  • Unfortunately at this time SA shuttles will not be running.
  • As always, if the media contacts you, please refer them to Stephanie Hill, University Relations, at 918-720-5548.
  • We understand this is a difficult time as we navigate through an unprecedented situation. We recognize the constantly changing nature of this situation and are prepared to make new policies and procedures quickly to best protect our entire community. Please continue to check your ORU email address for communications. The health of our students, faculty, and staff is our highest concern.
  • Please be encouraged to see these new parameters as an opportunity to nurture your own intimacy with the Lord. Look for extended time to be in His presence and to seek Him. Spend time talking and listening in prayer. Let Him care for you deeply and increase your dependence upon Him. Jesus is our priority. In the weeks ahead, may we fall more in love with Him and then carry that love to others in powerful ways. The world needs this now more than ever!

 

Please see the video below for a special message from President Wilson:

 

The following letter was sent to the ORU Community today by ORU President Dr. William M. Wilson:

Dear ORU Community,

Prayerful greetings!

Last night we received notice that an employee of the outsourced company who takes care of the ORU grounds was diagnosed as positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). This person was in the shop area on campus immediately before his sickness. He did not have any immediate contact with students. In an abundance of caution, all of the grounds crew working for our outsourced company were sent home to self-isolate as well as any staff who potentially were in this area. The shop has been closed and will be thoroughly cleaned this week. Our prayers are with this individual that he will fully recover.

The continued spread of the virus around the world and across America, along with the requests of federal, state, and city authorities call for significant measures to help physically distance and blunt the advance of the virus as much as possible in our community. The resolutions below are in effect immediately unless otherwise noted. These are significant changes that we will follow for the next two or three weeks. None of this is convenient for us, but we want you and your family to be as safe as possible during this time.

Most importantly, we continue in our prayers for God’s mercy and covering over every student, staff, and faculty member. We can trust Him. He loves us. He is with us, and He will not fail His people during this pestilence.

Thank you for all you are doing to help keep yourself and others safe. Please closely read the points below and continue to watch for further updates. This remains a very fluid and ever-changing situation. Your prayers are appreciated for our entire team.

Blessings!
Dr. William M. Wilson
President

[The following is the verbiage that accompanied President Wilson's message:]

INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE UNIVERSITY HEALTH AND SAFETY TASK FORCE

Given the confirmation of a positive COVID-19 case for someone who had worked on campus, and the continued directives of our federal, state, and local government, the following new regulations by the Health and Safety Task Force have been approved today, Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

  • All non-essential personnel are REQUIRED to work remotely until April 3, 2020. We will re-evaluate at that time. This is effective immediately for all non-essential personnel. If you do not know whether or not you are an essential personnel then you are not. Exceptions can only be made by the approval of a member of the President’s Cabinet or the President’s office. Your supervisor will assist you in managing your work.
  • The GC and LRC (along with all other academic buildings) will be closed—completely—beginning at 5:00 p.m. today, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. You can only work in these buildings with express permission. If you have things you need from your offices, please retrieve them today. Access to all buildings will be restricted and security will be on duty to assist you in an emergency or if you are required to be at your office. Your ID card will not work for entry. The phone number for security is 918-495-7750 if you need assistance.
  • Any instruction on campus for classes must take place in the GLC and be scheduled with Mike Mathews’ team. To schedule the GLC, please email Mike at mmathews@oru.edu. For all technology-related questions, please email helpdesk@oru.edu or call 918-495-6315. We will be cleaning the GLC multiple times a day, providing hand sanitizer, and adhering to best practices of physical distancing. By controlling this one space, we will be able to use our resources and capabilities to the maximum and will not have to focus severe cleaning efforts on other areas of campus. We believe this is the safest option and the GLC is best equipped for this moment.
  • ORU will transition all residential classes to a virtual meeting format through D2L beginning March 23 and continuing through the end of the semester. Professors will post assignments, share videos and/or messages with their students to assist them through the end of the semester. It is important to note that this is a continuation of present residential classes, with the format of the instruction and work being completed through D2L. Plans for labs and clinicals, etc. will be communicated from the professor to the student. Flexibility will be encouraged and embraced in every way possible. Finals, final projects, end of semester papers, reports, etc. will be facilitated remotely and will be scheduled by the class professor. The academic calendar will remain the same.
  • Dorms and cafeteria will remain open but students are encouraged to use the takeout option in the cafeteria and to physically distance (at least 6 feet apart) while in the dining hall. ORU has taken many important steps such as using hospital-grade disinfectant, setting up many hand-sanitization stations, and increased cleaning efforts across campus.

Students/ Parents/ Employees Entering or Returning to Campus from Spring Break

  • Important: No student, parent, or employee will be allowed to return to campus for the next two weeks without checking in with security and being screened. Students, parents, and employees who leave campus to go elsewhere in Tulsa will also be required to check in with security upon return. This policy begins at 12:00 midnight this evening, March 18, 2020. All students, parents, and employees who have traveled abroad for spring break or who traveled to Florida, New York, California, or Washington state will be required to self-isolate for two weeks before coming to campus or have a physician’s release. No one will be permitted on campus if they are exhibiting any symptoms of illness, or if members of their family are. No visitors will be allowed during these two weeks.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to go home or remain at home through April 3 and to self-isolate during this moment when our nation is trying to blunt the effects of the virus. If you remain on campus, then we suggest you practice physical distancing and not congregate in groups of any size and absolutely no more than 10. You may visit this page for the latest Health and Safety Information at any time. The ORU Health and Safety Task Force will continue to communicate important information to our community.
  • Students and/or parents: please click this link to schedule your time to retrieve your belongings and check out of your room. We strongly encourage students to stay home and not return to campus after spring break. All students and parents will be required to check in with security as outlined above.
  • As always, if the media contacts you, please refer them to Stephanie Hill, University Relations, at 918-720-5548.

We realize that these measures are austere. As this is a fast-moving situation, we are prepared to make new policies and procedures quickly to best protect our entire community. Please continue to check your ORU email address for communications as well as oru.edu. The health of our students, faculty, and staff is our highest concern during this pandemic. The next few weeks are critical for our nation and our city. Thank you for your cooperation, patience and continued prayers during this time. This community is being covered in continual prayer.

 

The following letter was sent to the ORU Community today by ORU President Dr. William M. Wilson:

Dear ORU Community,

None of us could have imagined the ability of one small virus to disrupt the world. The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to increase around the globe, bringing increasingly stringent actions in nations, states, and communities. Last Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency. Over the weekend, Oklahoma’s Governor Stitt declared a state of emergency for every county in the state. Additionally, Tulsa’s Mayor G.T. Bynum has issued guidance restricting local gatherings in our city. Although Oklahoma and Tulsa are not presently hot spots for COVID-19, we do have a small but growing number of diagnosed cases of the virus. At this time, we do not have any positive cases of COVID-19 on the ORU campus.

ORU’s Health and Safety Task Force met this morning to once again review the latest trajectory of the pandemic and our response. The following decisions were unanimously approved today:

1. ORU will transition all residential classes to a virtual meeting format through D2L beginning March 23 and continuing through the end of the semester. Professors will post assignments, share videos and/or messages with their students to assist them through the end of the semester. It is important to note that this is a continuation of present residential classes, with the format of the instruction and work being completed through D2L. Plans for labs and clinicals, etc. will be communicated from the professor to the student. Flexibility will be encouraged and embraced in every way possible. Finals, final projects, end of semester papers, reports, etc. will be facilitated remotely and will be scheduled by the class professor. The academic calendar will remain the same.

2. We encourage students to finish their work remotely from home, yet we realize that many of our students depend on their on-campus living arrangements and food plan. We will do our best to keep the dorms and food service open until May 3. Information on the process for checking out of your room can be found in the documents linked at the bottom of this update.

3. Faculty may work from home during this season and will be committed to instruction, consulting, and assisting students remotely until the end of the semester. All in-person faculty meetings including the University Faculty meeting, Academic Council, College meetings, and Department meetings are discontinued until next semester. Faculty are encouraged to work personally with their Dean to assure that requirements for their courses are met and reported correctly.

4. No gatherings of over 15 people will be held on campus except for any public groups renting the Mabee Center and an immediate commitment to host the funeral of Dr. Vinson Synan on Saturday, March 21 at 1 pm. All remaining President’s Town Hall/Listening Tour meetings are suspended until after May 1.

5. Non-essential staff may work from home with the permission of their supervisor until April 10. Staff will be expected to work their normal hours. Guidance for limiting group meetings will apply and we encourage everyone to practice physical distancing as suggested by CDC guidelines. Please communicate clearly with your supervisor regarding how your work will be carried forth during this time.

6. Beginning the week of March 23, we will conduct one virtual chapel per week. Students, faculty, and staff will be required to log in and attend virtually. More information on this will follow.

7. Summer Missions teams are under review. We expect a decision on these by mid-April.

8. For those students who may need to return to campus after Spring Break, please see the documents below for further guidance.

9. A final decision on commencement exercises will be made and communicated by mid-April.

10. Please read closely the recommendations of the Health and Safety Task Force regarding physical distancing and measures you can take to avoid contracting the virus.

As this situation continues to unfold, please know we will be communicating as necessary. Please check your email regularly.

Our entire Health and Safety team hoped there might be some way to return to classes as normal or at least in an abbreviated form after Spring Break. However, the realities of our region and the continued growth of the pandemic globally have pushed us to these decisions. Do we believe God heals? Absolutely! Do we believe God protects us and keeps us despite any pestilence? Absolutely! Do we believe God calls us to be good citizens and honor the authorities in our nation? Absolutely! Do we believe God gives us wisdom and rational minds to do what is best and good—not just for us individually but also for others? Absolutely! Do we love our students and want what is best for them in every way? Absolutely!

Several years ago God inspired us to build the Global Learning Center. This Center provides exceptional capacity for our faculty and administration to connect with our students around the globe during this unique season. These are unparalleled times and they require unparalleled measures. God is at work in the midst of this crisis and He will help us find A New Way for this New Day. We are making history together and the ORU community will emerge from this moment stronger than ever!

Prayerfully,
Dr. William M. Wilson
President

[Click to view the latest instructions from the Health and Safety Task force as a PDF.]

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, ORU Athletics has announced the Summit League is canceling all spring non-conference, conference, and championship athletic competitions.
 
The Summit League says its goal is to put the safety and well-being of student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans at the forefront. The Summit League is also following the guidance of the NCAA in its efforts to ensure its events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic.
 

The following letter was sent to the ORU Community today by ORU President Dr. William M. Wilson:

Dear ORU Community,

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is an event of historic proportions that continues to affect our world. Our prayers are with all those who are suffering in a multitude of ways and for those who have lost loved ones to this virus. Institutions of higher education in the United States are experiencing significant disruption, which is creating unique hardships for students and their families.

Oral Roberts University continues to work through substantial issues and questions regarding our response to the crisis. We are in a very fluid situation, necessitating ongoing decisions. I have commissioned the Task Force on Health and Safety to assist my office in consistently overseeing and monitoring our responses to the crisis. Today, the Task Force unanimously voted to suspend all University-sponsored air travel as well as postpone all spring missions team trips due to new travel warnings from the State Department, the growing reality of airline and airport disruptions, and after receiving further information from Oklahoma state agencies. The suspension of University-sponsored air travel will be reevaluated before the deadline of April 10 for any further directives. The Task Force on Health and Safety update is [below]. Please read this closely.

We are also continuing to monitor and evaluate how we approach the remainder of the semester and plan to make further announcements relative to this next week. Please watch your emails during spring break. If you are traveling, please take those materials necessary (computers, textbooks, etc.) for you to continue your studies remotely. Our present plan is to return to campus on March 23 to complete this semester, but we also believe it would be good for you to be prepared for other options should they be required.

Dorms and food service will remain open on campus during the break.

The Empowered21 Executive Committee decided yesterday that the Jerusalem2020 Global Congress will move to an online event. It is not possible to conduct the Congress in Jerusalem due to a ban on international conferences by the Israeli government. We will be sharing further details on this at a later date.

In many ways, this is a “once-in-a-century” moment for the world, but it is also a moment that was fully anticipated by Jesus. He will keep us, guide us, and use us for His glory in the midst of it all. Please know that you are loved and appreciated. Our students are ORU’s greatest treasure and our heart is always to protect them, encourage them, and cheer them on to all God has prepared.

Be wise and safe over the break. I look forward to seeing you on March 23.

Developing Whole Leaders for the Whole World,
Dr. William M. Wilson
President

 

[The text of the update from the ORU Health and Safety Task Force is as follows:]

The Health and Safety Task Force has decided, due to recent updates regarding the coronavirus, including the US State Department Global Level 3 Health Travel Advisory, to suspend all ORU international and domestic air travel until April 10—including air travel for missions trips. The University will continue evaluating the situation between now and the 10th for any further directives. Scheduled spring missions trips have now been postponed.

If you choose to personally travel internationally or have been on a cruise or may have been exposed to the virus, you must be quarantined for 14 days off campus, at your own expense. ORU reserves the right to require self-isolation and other medical clearance for any suspected exposure to the virus via travel or otherwise. Academic requirements will continue through D2L.

In order to assist us in accounting for where the ORU community has traveled, we are asking faculty, staff, and students to self-report intended travel outside the Tulsa area. Please click here to provide the relevant information, which will be treated with appropriate levels of confidentiality.

Campus services will be open during spring break, including the cafeteria. At this time, classes are scheduled to resume for in-person instruction after spring break.

The University continues to monitor this fluid situation and evaluate various scenarios including whether classes should be altered or delivered remotely. Please prepare for the possibility of your classes being held in D2L, not in person, by taking all necessary educational materials and devices with you over spring break. Also, take any important items and remove perishable items from dorm rooms.

If you are ill, please don’t come to work or attend classes. ORU’s Student Health staff will be on alert for students who exhibit fever and respiratory symptoms after having traveled to or through restricted areas or have had close contact with someone who has traveled to a restricted area. Signs are posted at the Student Health Center, asking students who exhibit symptoms of respiratory illness to put on a mask upon entering. Two waiting rooms will be used to separate those with respiratory illness from other students visiting the center. 

You may click on this link for the latest Health and Safety Information at any time. The ORU Health and Safety Task Force will continue to communicate important information to our community.

At this time, there have been no identified cases of the virus among any of our students, staff, or faculty. We are grateful for God’s provision and protection during these unusual days.

Thank you for your continued prayers over all impacted by the coronavirus and for good health and safety over Oral Roberts University.

As ORU’s Health and Safety Task Force continues its close monitoring of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we wanted to provide this update before spring break begins.
 
ORU STRONGLY DISCOURAGES personal travel by ORU students, faculty, and staff to areas impacted by COVID-19. These areas are identified on the CDC travel guidelines and include Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. We encourage you to consider whether any travel, even in the United States, is absolutely necessary. Remember that you may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, and challenges returning to campus after spring break. ORU reserves the right to require self-isolation and other medical clearance for any suspected exposure to the virus via travel or otherwise. This would be at the individual’s expense and off ORU’s campus. Your academic requirements will continue through D2L and with the cooperation of your professors.
 
In order to assist us in accounting for where the ORU community has traveled, we are asking faculty, staff, and students to self-report intended travel outside the Tulsa area. If this applies to you, please click here to provide the relevant information, which will be treated with appropriate levels of confidentiality.
 
Campus services will be open during the spring break including the cafeteria. At this time, classes are scheduled to resume for in-person instruction after spring break.
 
The University continues to monitor this fluid situation and evaluate various scenarios including whether classes should be altered or delivered remotely. Please prepare for the possibility of your classes being held in D2L, not in person, by taking all necessary educational materials and devices with you over spring break.  Also, take any important items and remove perishable items from dorm rooms.
 
If you are ill, please don’t come to work or attend classes. ORU’s student health staff will be on alert for students who exhibit fever and respiratory symptoms who have traveled to or through restricted areas or had close contact with someone who has traveled to a restricted area. Signs are posted at the Student Health Center asking students who exhibit symptoms of respiratory illness to put on a mask upon entering. Two waiting rooms will be used to separate those with respiratory illness from other students visiting the Center.
 
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid contact with sick people, regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizers with at least 60-95% alcohol, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 40 hand sanitizing stations are available throughout campus. You may visit this page for the latest Health and Safety Information at any time. The ORU Health and Safety Task Force will continue to communicate important information to our community.
 
At this time, there have been no identified cases of the virus among any of our students, staff or faculty. We are grateful for God’s provision and protection during these unusual days. We also are committed to continue praying for all those affected by the virus. We serve a God who is the source of healing and peace, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.” (2 Thess. 3:16)

Greetings to the ORU community. The Health and Safety Task Force has been monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) and would like to provide you with some updates.

As mentioned in previous correspondence, the ORU Health and Safety Task Force is STRONGLY DISCOURAGING spring break travel abroad to China, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. As this global health emergency evolves, we also encourage you to make an informed decision before traveling in the coming weeks, even in the United States. We recommend you avoid large gatherings as well as cities that host large numbers of people during spring break. If you choose to travel, you may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, and challenges returning home. We encourage you to monitor the CDC’s Travel Information Page.

ORU has also taken the preventative step of bringing home its study abroad students. Upon their return to the United States, all these students will self-isolate for 14 days. The University will continue monitoring the situation as it relates to spring break mission trips.

Today we learned that a case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Tulsa. It is a man who recently traveled to Italy. He is quarantined in his home. There is no evidence of community spread at this time. Please keep him in your prayers for a full and quick recovery.

It’s important to take steps to prevent the spread of any illness by washing your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. You can also use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid shaking hands, touching your eyes, nose, and mouth and avoid close contact with people. ORU has taken many important steps such as using hospital-grade disinfectant, setting up many hand-sanitization stations, and has increased cleaning efforts across campus.

You may visit this page for the latest Health and Safety Information at any time.

Please continue praying for those affected by the coronavirus. It is a great time to remind others that we don’t need to live in fear. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand"—Isaiah 41:10.

We will continue to keep you informed as new information arises.

As news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop around the world, ORU administration is taking every reasonable precaution to protect students and the campus. To this end, the University has engaged its Health and Safety Task Force to monitor the situation and respond accordingly.

After meeting this week to discuss the latest developments, the task force is strongly discouraging certain travel during spring break, recommending that students NOT travel to the following areas: China, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

For those students who wish to remain on campus over spring break, campus services will continue uninterrupted, including dining services and Hammer Alumni Center.

The University is also ramping up its efforts to keep the campus clean, including using hospital-grade cleaners and providing sanitization opportunities in key areas across campus.

While there are no known cases of coronavirus in Oklahoma, the University believes it is important to act proactively and remain vigilant as the situation continues to develop across the country and around the world.

As Spirit-empowered believers, we believe in the dynamic power of prayer and would encourage everyone to pray for those impacted by the virus. As Paul reminds us in Philippians, we are not to worry about anything but instead pray about everything. We also know God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.

The Health and Safety Task Force will continue monitoring the situation and keep the campus updated as the situation develops.

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