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OU updates fall move-in guidelines to include one guest per resident to ensure successful social distancing

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Couch Tower

Couch Tower on October 21, 2019.

OU Housing and Residential Life updated their move-in and residential guest policy Monday, allowing students to bring one guest with them to their dorms.

According to the update, one guest per resident may enter residential buildings from 5–9 p.m. on each day of the Aug. 11–15 move-ins. Guests must wear masks at all times and abide by OU’s social distancing guidelines. Guests exhibiting any symptoms associated with COVID-19 or who have been in direct contact in the last 14 days with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 may not come to campus.

During the semester, residents are “strongly discouraged” from having guests in their living spaces, but each resident is allowed one guest that must remain with them at all times. According to the update, a “guest” is defined as any non-resident of the floor and/or building. Guests must leave residential halls by midnight.

ShaRhonda Maclin, assistant dean of students and executive director of housing and residential life, wrote in the update the university’s initial decision to restrict guests during the move-in process was based on its goal to “keep student and staff health (its) top priority.”

Maclin said in the update approximately 800 to 1,000 people will be moving to on-campus housing each day of move-ins. If each resident brought two family members, Maclin said, the number of people on campus including move-in service workers and residential staff would add an extra 10,000 people in the residence halls.

“Given that amount of people and the layout of our buildings, this would make practicing successful social distancing difficult for everyone,” Maclin said in the update. “In addition, this would increase the time it takes to move residents’ items into their room(s).”

In an email to The Daily, Director of Media Relations Kesha Keith said prior to move-ins, occupancy limits will be posted in common spaces of residential halls.

For questions, Maclin said to contact the Office of Housing and Food Services.

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

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