OU will offer Norman campus summer classes exclusively online due to coronavirus concerns, according to an email from the president's office.
In the email, interim OU President Joseph Harroz said students who have already registered for the summer session will be contacted in case their enrollment needs to be modified. OU Health Sciences Center students will receive communication from their colleges about instruction, and OU-Tulsa students will move online for Norman-based programs, Harroz said.
In-person events on all three campuses are suspended through at least July 31, including camps and athletics competitions, according to the email.
On-campus residential housing in Norman is also closed for the summer until August 1, but this does not apply to Kraettli and Traditions apartments. Harroz said in the email that the university will "continue to support and assist those students who have no other housing option and need to remain in on-campus housing."
"As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, so too does our response," Harroz said. "We have made many adjustments to how we educate and operate, and every single student, faculty, and staff member has played a significant role in ensuring that we continue to fulfill our sacred mission. At every turn, we continue to keep the safety and well-being of each of you in mind."
The move to online courses for the summer comes after the university announced it would move to online courses for the remainder of the spring semester March 18, and the campus was closed over spring break. The university has announced that two OU community members have tested positive for COVID-19. Across the Norman area, many events have been postponed or canceled.
On March 13, Norman Mayor Breea Clark declared a state of emergency for Norman. Bars and restaurants were required to close any seating areas for patrons on March 18, with the exception of takeout and delivery services.
On March 22, Clark increased coronavirus-related regulations, limiting gatherings to 10 people and closing additional businesses.
"Our faculty and staff worked tirelessly to prepare for our current model of online learning, and their diligent work puts us in a strong position to continue offering distance learning for the summer," Harroz said. "While we wish we could return to normal classroom operations, we have already seen great successes from our transition to virtual education and we’re confident that those successes will continue this summer."
The OSDH urges Oklahomans to follow Gov. Kevin Stitt’s “Safer-at-Home” executive order which encourages those who are immunocompromised and over the age of 65 to stay home until April 30, according to the release. The order also calls for non-essential businesses in counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases to temporarily close until April 30.
OSDH also encourages all Oklahomans to stay home, wash hands frequently, avoid touching the face, reduce social contact and to isolate for 14 days if sick. If an individual begins experiencing COVID-19 symptoms — including fever, cough or shortness of breath — contact a medical professional or call the COVID-19 call center at 877-215-8336 or 211 for assistance.