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Mask Update from President Johnson

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Kristina M. Johnson, PhD
President

CDC and Ohio State guidelines

This is just a short message to follow up on the June 9, 2021 “Return to campus guidance and protocol updates,” announcement from Paul Patton, Senior Advisor to the President, Interim Senior Vice President, Talent, Culture and Human Resources.

In Wednesday’s message, the university included new guidance for masking across campuses – in accordance with public health guidelines. While we are still awaiting guidance for autumn semester 2021, the following applies immediately.

In keeping with our commitment to safety, our protocol—screening via temperature and Covid-19 questions and medical mask requirement—will continue for students, staff, and faculty in all our clinical care facilities and settings, on- and off-campus. This will include all patient-oriented research areas and the preclinic. Visitor access will remain limited.

Elsewhere, we will adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and new Ohio State guidelines, namely that people who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear masks on Ohio State’s campuses, and individuals who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to physically distance. Individuals who are not vaccinated are required to continue wearing masks and physically distance themselves from others. Of course, people who are fully vaccinated can choose to wear a mask and practice physical distancing as they choose. Mask wear will carry no stigma in the College of Optometry.

The best estimate of vaccination rate in our college is upwards of 85%. Vaccination for Covid-19 is strongly encouraged. (For access to vaccination, see https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu/vaccine.)  Likewise, I expect that those of you who are not vaccinated will be honest and will comply with the requirements above—mask wear and physical distancing when you are indoors in our facilities. It is also recommended that people with unvaccinated children and vulnerable family members at home continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing for the safety of their loved ones.

The university asks that employees voluntarily share their vaccine information by completing this form https://go.osu.edu/VoluntaryVaccineInfo

This information will be used for contact tracing, isolating/quarantining or other individual case decisions in the event of a COVID-19 exposure, as aggregate data to determine the percentage of vaccinated Ohio State students, faculty and staff, and to drive decisions on public health measures needed for the Ohio State community.

The college’s Executive Committee will continue to lead planning and preparations for our return to campus and teaching in the autumn semester. As outlined in the announcement, we will communicate these plans to the college no later than July 15. Watch your email for updates.

The Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website continues to be a valuable resource of information, including details about the Autumn Campus Reactivation.

Thank you for all your hard work, dedication, and tenacity during the past 15+ months and now your continued patience as we plan for a safe return to campus. I appreciate your understanding and support as we continue to navigate this ever-changing situation. As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Karla Zadnik, OD PhD
Dean and Glenn A. Fry Professor in Optometry and Physiological Optics
The Ohio State University College of Optometry
635 Fry Hall
338 West Tenth Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210

(she/her/hers)

Convergence: Update for the College of Optometry – June 14, 2021

Please use this link if the video does not load: go.osu.edu/June14Convergence

Q/A from webinar:

Q: Do the same masking rules apply in direct patient care?
A: Yes. There is no change for clinic, patient oriented research, and the pre-clinic. All require masks regardless of vaccination status.

Q: Does the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes daily screening still need to be completed and recorded?
A: Dean Zadnik has asked the Provost and is waiting for an answer.

Q: Are masks required on the first floor of Fry at all times, or is it dependent upon whether or not research patients are there?
A: If there is no active patient-based research occurring, then masks are not required for fully vaccinated faculty and staff.

Q: Will people in the Neil Ave. Wedge be required to wear masks?
A: No. Only in the clinic.

Q: How certain are we about the 85% vaccination rate.
A: This percentage is based on our students who have reported to the Student Health Center.

Q: Are masks required in the pre-clinic area, where it is only students and faculty?
A: Yes, due to the close proximity.

Q: What about mask wear in the consult rooms?
A: Yes. Consult rooms are located in the clinic.

Q: Walking into the wedge from 1st floor outside entrance before going into BadHabits lounge, there is a sign that reads Mask still required when entering. But OK for no mask wear once we get into the Bad Habits lounge?
A: Jim Woods and Mat Johnson will work with FOD on new signage that outlines new guidelines.

Q: Do in person meetings include clinic or are they for administrative meetings only?
A: Any staff, faculty, and students can meet, but all college masking guidelines must be followed.

Convergence: Update for the College of Optometry – October 12, 2020

Please use this link if the video does not load: go.osu.edu/October12Convergence

Q/A from webinar:

Q: Are EWG rotations ceased during the days of the move?
A: Yes between 10/26/2020 and 11/4/2020 all clinic assignments will be halted. NO in-person or virtual assignments during that week except Faith Mission, and all satellite clinics.

Q: If we work in Fry, will we have access to the student/staff doors in the new building or will we need to use the public entrance?
A: Only those that have a clinic purpose in the building will have card-swipe access.

Q: Will there be staff parking at 11th Ave.?
A: Those with an A-pass can park in 11th Ave garage.

Q: What is the parking situation for patients in the 11th Avenue garage?
A: There are 120 reserved spots for patients. We are still working with CampusParc for use of validated passes

Q: Where will the lockers for student organizations be located?
A: Student organization lockers to be located in Fry.

Convergence: Update for the College of Optometry – September 14, 2020

Please use this link if the video does not load: go.osu.edu/September14Convergence

Q/A from webinar:

Q: Are boxes that have been packed since the last move acceptable?
A: Yes, packed boxes are acceptable. If the packed box will fit in a crate, please put the box in a crate.

Q: Do I understand that I need to remove all items from my bookshelf?
A: Yes. Pack the contents in a provided crate.

Q: How will mail be delivered to new building?
A: Mail will be received on the third floor and delivered to individual mail slots that will be located on each floor of the building.

Q: Do we need to clear out our lockers too?
A: Yes. The lockers in the Fry Bridge and Starling-Loving will be moved by the end of the year. Fry Hall will have lockers for opt 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s. The Opt 3’s will also have lockers at 11th & Neil as well. Fourth year students will have the use of a locker only for the semester that they are in clinics at 11th & Neil. Locker assignments are forthcoming.

Q: Will all graduate students move on December 7th?
A: Please consult the documents on the I:drive for specific move dates.

Q: Is it confirmed that there is no spring break for all 4 years of students at the college of optometry? If so, do the third years get any time off of classes during the week of boards?
A: Correct. There is no spring break next semester. Dr. Earley will work with spring semester instructors for the workload during the week of boards. Information will be in course syllabi.

Q: What are the dimensions of the crates?
A: The provided packing crates are 26inches long x 16 inches wide x 14inches deep

Q: Do I have to pack up contents in file cabinets?
A: Yes. Pack contents in provided crates.

Q: Mailroom deliveries in Fry?
A: Deliveries will be received on the first floor of Fry. Packages received will be placed on the counter in the first floor Fry research area (currently BVP and LV) for pick-up. Individual mail to be delivered to mail slots on each floor of each building.

No Visitor Policy

Please be advised that one of the COVID precautions we have in place is a no visitor policy. This includes sales reps, vendors, or other outside visitors. All meetings and correspondence should be virtual at this time. If there is a rare instance in which an in-person visit is necessary (e.g. to obtain a signature for a delivery), then you must e-mail Ashley Hill at least 24 hours in advance or the guest will not be allowed entry into the building. In all such instances, the visitor must enter at the 338 W. 10th Ave. entrance, be screened, adhere to all PPE and safety precautions while in the building, and limit their stay to the shortest duration possible.

 

Convergence: Update for the College of Optometry – July 13, 2020

Please use this link if the video does not load: go.osu.edu/June13Convergence

Q/A from webinar:

Q:  Now that there are confirmed COVID cases among students in clinic, is there any policy to “contract trace” or quarantine for students who have been exposed?

A: Dr. Nixon will do all contact tracing and make notifications as needed.

 

Q:  Will Keystone be virtual?

A:   Right now, the plan is to deliver the courses live.

 

Q:  For future COVID cases that are confirmed, will other students get an email notifying them they were in lab/clinic group with someone who tested positive?

A:  Dr. Nixon will notify those that may have had an exposure.

 

Q:  If someone has had exposure, can he or she just get a test and if negative return to clinic?  Instead of quarantining?

A:  No.  The virus has an incubation period, quarantining is required.

 

Q:  Can we please cut back the amount of people in consultation rooms?

A:  Service chiefs are working to limit occupancy in consultation rooms.  The risk is low since all are masked.

 

Q: Will the public be notified of positive cases?

A: Any members of the public would not be at risk for a significant exposure because all in the building are masked.

 

Q: If you have to travel/fly to an area that’s considered a high risk state according to DCD, should you make the school aware of this travel?

A: Dean Zadnik strongly suggests that travel, especially to a high risk state, should not occur.

 

Q: If the State of Ohio goes to a Level 4 will the College of Optometry be mandated to close again?

A: The mandate to close would come through the University.

Statement on federal restrictions on international students: Ohio State working to support students after ICE ruling

Ohio State University Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron and Dr. Hal Paz, executive vice president and chancellor for health affairs at Ohio State and CEO of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, voiced their opposition to new federal rules impacting international students. McPheron and Paz delivered the following joint message on July 9:

The Ohio State University disagrees with the federal guidance issued this week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the autumn 2020 semester. We are committed to our international students and will work to develop a solution that ensures that students who attend our campuses can successfully complete their academic work this autumn.

Ohio State will offer in-person, online and blended courses to provide all students with a variety of options that also support the university’s plan for health and safety.

The latest ICE guidance will limit international students’ flexibility. These changes have the potential to create barriers to education for international students in every discipline. During a global pandemic, we support the expansion of educational opportunities to allow international students to pursue their studies in the United States, including fully online learning.

Convergence: Update for the College of Optometry – June 29, 2020

Please use this link if the video does not load: go.osu.edu/June29Convergence

Q/A from webinar:

Q: Will we be using 22 Fry, 33 Fry, and M100 SL?

A:  Yes.

 

Q:  I’m traveling to Florida on Wednesday to visit family and the entire state is considered “high-risk,” so should I assume that I should hold off from coming into the college for 14 days once we return?

A:  Yes.  Staying away from the college and campus upon your return is the safest response.

 

Q:  With travel restrictions extended to Dec. 31, will the tentative date (Aug. 15) for the white coat ceremony be changed?

A:  Yes, however a new date has not yet been determined.

 

Q: Do we know yet when paper hand towels will be returned to the bathrooms in the Fry Tower?

A:  Mat Johnson received communication (after Convergence) that paper towels should be installed in the next week or two.

 

Q: If my patient does not show up, can I remain in my exam room by myself?

A:  Yes. Check in with your attending for additional learning activities to be completed in your exam room.

 

Q:  Can we still use our professional leave for academy?

A:  No. The university has banned all travel until the end of the year.  If students or faculty members want to attend the Academy meeting, personal leave or vacation time will be used.