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OU to implement more changes to fall semester COVID-19 plan, including relocating classrooms and finalizing class times

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Empty campus

The empty OU campus on the first day of online classes after Spring Break on March 23.

OU announced more updates to its Safe and Resilient Instructional Plan on Saturday, including classroom relocation, changes to the online schedule, providing personal protective equipment and measuring classroom capacities.

In an email obtained by The OU Daily from Vice Provost for Instruction and Student Success Mark Morvant to OU faculty, instructors and deans, the university outlined a clearer picture of how OU’s campus would look in the fall amid the pandemic.

According to the email, all class time decisions should be complete by May 26, barring unforeseen issues. The Registrar’s Office is working to alleviate all class conflicts.

Classroom Management will relocate classrooms to maximize social distancing, according to the email. The university will relocate all classes, “whether scheduled in centrally-(scheduled) or non-centrally scheduled classrooms.” 

The university will not relocate labs and performance-based classes, but may need to cap capacity in these classes depending on COVID-19 recommendations from the University Operations, according to the email.

Once room relocation nears completion, the Provost Office and deans will create smaller sections of larger classes and blend courses to enable more to be online. According to the email, the university is monitoring students with a majority of courses online and is switching those schedules to majority in-person. These schedule changes will occur “as the process continues.”

University Operations is “working to obtain sufficient masks” for the OU community for the fall semester. According to the email, there is a weekly committee meeting to discuss masks and personal protective equipment. University Operations has “sufficient masks to start the fall at this point,” and is working to ensure the supply continues throughout the semester.

The Fire Marshall and University Operations are also measuring each learning space and classroom to calculate capacity for each area based on seating design, using the 36-square-foot COVID-19 standard and evaluating based on gross and net square footage. According to the email, Classroom Management will use this distance standard to determine classroom relocations over the coming weeks.

Beth Wallis is a senior journalism major and political science minor, and news managing editor for The Daily. Previously, she worked as a junior news reporter covering university research.

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