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Frequently Asked Questions

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ODU lion fountain at night.

Here are frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19, how it might affect the Old Dominion University community and resources for additional information.

Academics: Classes & Labs

Will students be able to take classes online?

Yes. Students may register to take classes in-person, online or a hybrid combination of both.

Will all classes have a virtual option?

Some classes have an online option. Students will continue to have the option of taking classes online, in-person or in a hybrid format.

Will asynchronous and synchronous courses be offered online?

Yes, ODUOnline will continues to offer asynchronous and synchronous courses.

Will labs and art studio courses be taught virtually?

Selected course sections are linked with asynchronous online lecture sections. Please check your course listing for details.


Students & Prospective Students

Do I have to be vaccinated to live on campus?

Students are no longer required to be fully vaccinated; however, the vaccine, including a booster, is strongly encouraged to maintain a healthy campus. Students who receive a booster should submit documentation in the Monarch Wellness Portal.

Weekly testing for non-vaccinated students is no longer required.

Do I have to have a negative COVID-19 test for students living in on-campus housing?

Students living on campus are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Instructions are emailed to students in advance of living on campus.

How do I reserve a living space on campus?

Students may apply to live on campus.

Will the number of residents in each residence hall room be reduced?

Yes, starting fall of 2021, the University has limited the maximum capacity assignment of each room to two students.

Will guests be allowed in residence halls?

ODU residential students are permitted to register other ODU students as guests in their residential space. Every guest is required to be registered at the residential community front desk and must be escorted by the resident host at all times. Residents should contact their residential community desk for more information.

Will student organizations be allowed to operate regularly or are there safety and health guidelines we must follow?

The University will allow student organizations to operate in keeping with the latest guidance from Virginia Department of Health.

The CDC recommends avoiding large events and gatherings. The University is reviewing existing guidance for campus events and will announce any changes, if needed.

How will students using the GI Bill® be impacted by COVID-19?

The primary impact will be to students using Chapter 33 benefits. In order to qualify for the full (100%) housing allowance, students must take at least one credit on-campus. The exception put in place by the VA--which allowed certain online classes to fulfill this requirement--will not be in place in fall, unless classes have to go online again. If you have questions, please contact the Registrar's Office at vaservices@odu.edu or 757-683-4425.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://benefits.va.gov/gibill

Can students who live at home still come to campus?

Yes. We welcome all students back to campus

Will activities continue as they used to, prior to COVID?

Events, activities, and club sports are continuing while practicing safety precautions per the guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health and CDC.

The CDC recommends avoiding large events and gatherings. The University is reviewing existing guidance for campus events and will announce any changes, if needed.

Will club sports be able to compete?

Club sports are continuing while practicing safety precautions per the guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health and CDC.

The University is reviewing existing guidance and will announce any changes, if needed.


Faculty & Staff

After vacation or holiday time off, do I need to have a negative COVID-19 test before returning to work?

Faculty and staff are encouraged, but not required, to be tested prior to returning to campus following an extended absence from the campus.

Faculty and staff who may have had exposure or are experiencing symptoms should test prior to returning to campus.

Faculty, staff and students can request an appointment for testing through the Monarch Wellness Portal. (View instructions for how to set up an appointment: Step-by-Step PDF or YouTube video.)

Will employees be allowed to continue to telework?

Old Dominion has practiced telework for more than a decade. While current telework agreements granted due to COVID-19 were approved on a temporary basis and expired on June 25, 2021, the University continues to offer telework and alternative work schedules to employees who are eligible. For more information, visit: Telework & Alternate Work Schedule.

Will faculty continue to teach their courses online?

Starting fall 2021, teaching returned to the way it was, pre-pandemic. If a course is originally designed to be taught in-person, it will return to be taught in this mode

I am a faculty member and a student in my class was advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19. What do I need to do?

Once a student reports their positive COVID test to the University, the Office of Risk Management will begin the contact tracing protocol. People who were in close contact with the positive individual are identified, notified of possible exposure, and provided with additional information.

Additionally, the COVID Care Team will work with Student Outreach & Support to provide Extended Absence Notifications to help verify absence dates from classes. Please work with the student directly to coordinate alternate instructional arrangements while they are in quarantine or isolation. For additional guidance, please contact COVIDCares@odu.edu.


Campus Reopening, Gatherings & Events

Is campus open?

Campus reopened spring 2021 and continues to remain open.

Are all dining, facilities, resturants and eateries open?

Yes, all dining facilities, restaurants and eateries are open and have resumed normal operating hours.

What are the plans for commencement?

For the most up-to-date information on commencement, please visit odu.edu/commencement.

What is the University’s stance on gatherings and event attendance?

The CDC recommends avoiding large events and gatherings. The University is reviewing existing guidance for campus events and will announce any changes, if needed.

In accordance with the Commonwealth of Virginia's Executive Order 79, the current gathering restrictions are:

  • Face Covering Requirement:
    • Until further notice, face coverings that cover both the mouth and nose fully are required in all indoor public spaces, including classrooms, facilities, and buildings, except when eating or drinking.
    • The face covering requirement is for all people, including guests of the university, both vaccinated and unvaccinated.
    • For events outdoors, face coverings are not required but encouraged.
    • For Event Management Best Practices for Fall 2021, please click here.

Please continue to #ReignResponsibly and follow the latest CDC precautions to protect yourself and others.


Testing

How can I get tested for COVID-19?

Please see our Covid-19 Testing webpage for more information.

What should students do if they learn that another student tests positive at an off campus site?

They should encourage the student to notify the University and their close contacts. Now that positive COVID-19 cases have decreased in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health and ODU have changed their contact tracing protocols and are conducting contact tracing only in congregate settings (in the case of ODU, this means only for people who live in our residence halls). If someone tests positive, they should follow these notification protocols:

  1. Complete the ODU Notification form
  2. Notify their contacts. Here is guidance on who to contact: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/182/2020/04/VDH_Slow_Spread_COVID19.pdf

What should faculty/staff do and not do if a student informs them that they tested positive?

They should encourage the student to notify the University and their close contacts. Now that positive COVID-19 cases have decreased in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health and ODU have changed their contact tracing protocols and are conducting contact tracing only in congregate settings (in the case of ODU, this means only for people who live in our residence halls). If someone tests positive, they should follow these notification protocols:

  1. Complete the ODU Notification form
  2. Notify their contacts. Here is guidance on who to contact: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/182/2020/04/VDH_Slow_Spread_COVID19.pdf

What should faculty/staff do and not do if a faculty/staff member informs them that they tested positive?

They should encourage the individual to notify the University and their close contacts. Now that positive COVID-19 cases have decreased in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health and ODU have changed their contact tracing protocols and are conducting contact tracing only in congregate settings (in the case of ODU, this means only for people who live in our residence halls). If someone tests positive, they should follow these notification protocols:

  1. Complete the ODU Notification form
  2. Notify their contacts. Here is guidance on who to contact: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/182/2020/04/VDH_Slow_Spread_COVID19.pdf

The faculty or staff member should absolutely not tell anyone that a particular faculty or staff member has tested positive.

Faculty and staff should contact their immediate supervisors, human resources, and/or HRCOVID19@odu.edu to discuss any potential COVID-related work absences.

What should chairs do if a faculty member informs the chair that they tested positive?

They should encourage the individual to notify the University and their close contacts. Now that positive COVID-19 cases have decreased in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health and ODU have changed their contact tracing protocols and are conducting contact tracing only in congregate settings (in the case of ODU, this means only for people who live in our residence halls). If someone tests positive, they should follow these notification protocols:

  1. Complete the ODU Notification form
  2. Notify their contacts. Here is guidance on who to contact: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/182/2020/04/VDH_Slow_Spread_COVID19.pdf

The faculty or staff member should absolutely not tell anyone that a particular faculty or staff member has tested positive.

Faculty and staff should contact their immediate supervisors, human resources, and/or HRCOVID19@odu.edu to discuss any potential COVID-related work absences.


Vaccines

How do I get vaccinated?

Please see our Covid-19 Vaccines and Bosters webpage for more information.

How do I (faculty, staff, and students) report my vaccination?

To report your vaccination and upload your documentation, please complete BOTH Step One and Step Two.

View YouTube video with instructions.

Step One - Reporting your vaccination

  1. Log in to the Monarch Wellness Portal by clicking here to report your vaccination/immunization to COVID-19 and entering your Midas ID and password.
  2. Then click on "COVID-19 Vaccine."
  3. You will see a list of all approved vaccines. Enter the date or dates you received your inoculation(s). Please note only one injection is required for Jansen (the Johnson and Johnson vaccine), or the AstraZeneca vaccine.
  4. Once you have entered the date of your inoculation, click the "submit" button.
  1. Step Two - Uploading documentation required for verification (To verify your vaccination, a copy of your vaccination documentation is required.)
    1. Log in to the Monarch Wellness Portal by clicking here to upload a copy of your documents and entering your Midas ID and password.
    2. Scroll down until you see "Documents Available to be Uploaded.".
    3. In the dropdown box, select "COVID-19 Vaccination Document.".
    4. A new area will open that says: "Please provide COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation you have had off-campus."
    5. Click "Select File."
    6. Browse your computer or mobile device and select the file with your vaccine documentation for upload.
    7. Click the "Upload" button. You will see your "COVID-19 Vaccination Document" now listed under the "Documents already on file" section.
    8. The University is concerned about your Personal Health Information being exposed. Therefore, after you have uploaded your vaccination documentation to the secure Monarch Wellness Portal, please delete your vaccination documentation off of your work computer or work mobile device. If you used a personal computer or mobile device that you own, deletion of the document is not required.

What happens next?

  • For faculty and staff, the Office of Risk Management will review and verify your reported immunization and documentation. Once it verifies that you are fully vaccinated (having received all required injections at least 14 days ago), you will be marked exempt from the COVID-19 Daily Check-in and will no longer receive the daily email or text.
  • If eligible for a vaccination booster dose, faculty and staff will be required to report their booster dose within 7 days of eligibility in order to maintain their fully vaccinated status.
    • Currently (and expected to remain), only Contact Tracing and Occupational Health will see individual vaccination data for Faculty Staff. Data will be aggregated for reporting populations in order to understand and report the overall participation level at the University.
  • Students, Student Health Services will review and verify your reported immunization and documentation. Once it verifies that you are fully vaccinated (having received all required injections at least 14 days ago), you will be marked exempt from the COVID-19 Daily Check-in and will no longer receive the daily email or text.

ODU COVID-19 Safety Guidelines & Protocols

What are ODU’s Current Isolation and Quarantine Guidance?

Please visit the CDC website for the latest updates and recommended isolation and quarantine periods for vaccinated and non-vaccinated people who test positive for COVID-19. The CDC website also includes helpful Isolation & Quarantine Calculators.

Do I have to wear a mask or face-covering?

As of May 12, 2022, Old Dominion University will no longer require masks on campus, in classroom or on campus transportation, effective immediately. For those students enrolled in clinical or health settings that require the use of masks, please continue to follow the guidance of your program and faculty.

Students, faculty, and staff who wish to continue wearing masks are encouraged to do so. Monarchs should abide by a "mask friendly" approach, whereby those who wish to wear a mask respect those who do not, and those who do not wish to wear a mask respect those who do.

Masks will continue to be available throughout campus. Mask dispenser locations are set-up across campus in order to ensure the availability of disposable masks as needed. View list of mask dispenser locations. In all other indoor situations, masking is optional. Students, faculty, and staff who wish to continue wearing masks are encouraged to do so.

I am a visitor to campus. What guidelines must I follow?

Visitors to any ODU campus or location, including minors and contractors, are required to follow State Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 mandates and University guidelines.

Will the University continue to observe safety guidelines and social distancing in classrooms?

The University will continue to follow the latest guidance and best practices from the Virginia Department of Health and CDC for staying healthy and safe.

Will there be ongoing efforts to improve ventilation and air exchange in all classrooms?

ODU has installed Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NBPI) units in most buildings throughout campus and hopes to ultimately have this technology installed in all of its facilities.

The NBPI technology saturates the building's air with ions. These ions have been shown to attach themselves to aerosolized virus molecules, breaking down virus' outer protein wall and rendering them inactive and unable to spread. The technology is being used in more than 250,000 offices, schools, airports, and other community spaces worldwide. More information on this technology can be found at the following website GPS | Cleaner Air With Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (globalplasmasolutions.com).

What type of face-coverings should I wear?

Please visit the CDC's website for guidance on masks and face coverings.

I plan to travel outside the United States. What should I do?

ODU urges faculty, staff, and students who have personal plans to travel either internationally or to affected areas in the U.S. to reconsider their travel and to take into account the possibility of travel delays, future quarantines, or prolonged self-isolation when returning to the ODU and Hampton Roads communities. The University strongly recommends not traveling to locations with CDC or State Department Level 3 alerts or higher. ODU encourages faculty and staff to share any travel plans with their department chair, dean, or manager to facilitate University assistance if the need arises. Be aware that even a country not currently experiencing an outbreak could suddenly be declared a high-risk area, posing risks of exposure, difficulty with travel, or immigration barriers upon return to the U.S. For more information, see the VDH travel website and the CDC travel information website.

What if I traveled in a country with an Active Travel Advisory (CDC Level 3, State Department Level 3 or 4) in the last 14 days and returned to the United States, or had close contact with someone I believe to have COVID-19?

If you have traveled to an area/region with a Domestic Travel Advisory, International CDC Level 3 Warning, or State Department Level 3 or 4 Warning, in the last 14 days it is important that you complete a Post Travel Notification form.

This form is intended to help us understand how the virus is impacting you and who among the campus community may need our attention and assistance.

If you develop a fever (greater than 100.4 F/38 C), cough, or have difficulty breathing:

  • Faculty, staff and students experiencing symptoms should test immediately at the Jim Jarrett Annex Testing Facility (walk-in appointments are accepted based on availability) or their local health care provider and notify the University through the Self-Report Form. For additional guidance, staff should contact the Office of Risk Management at Risk@odu.edu and students may contact COVID Care Team at covidcares@odu.edu.
  • We request that you quarantine pending your test results and seek further instructions from medical professionals. If employees have questions about leave, they can contact ODU Human Resources at 757-683-3042.

For further guidance, see the CDC page, Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Travel-associated or Community Settings.

If you are a student who self-isolates:

  • Contact your instructors via email or telephone to discuss appropriate class adjustments or accommodations.

If you are an instructor with a student who self-isolates and who asks for class adjustments:

  • The faculty member could also submit a "Proxy Reporting Form" on behalf of the student
  • Encourage the student to report their situation to the University and please consider appropriate adjustment or accommodation.
  • Examples include:
    • Allowing students to Zoom into class lectures or use lecture-capture technology to record lectures.
    • Granting some flexibility with course attendance policies.
    • Helping secure a copy of course notes.
    • Modifying deadlines for assignments or exams that normally take place during the course meeting time.
  • Faculty members who have questions about how to make appropriate adjustments/accommodations may find assistance with the Office of Educational Accessibility by emailing oea@odu.edu.

If you are a faculty or staff member who self-isolates:

  • Notify the University of COVID-19 exposure or positive diagnosis by completing the Self-Reporting Form.
  • Consider providing your immediate supervisor with advance notice of your travel plans.
  • Coordinate with your immediate supervisor to develop alternate work plans as appropriate.
  • Contact the office of Risk Management at Risk@odu.edu, if you have question or need guidance.

How can we help prevent social stigmatization?

ODU encourages members of the University community to become familiar with the facts about COVID-19 and support one another with compassion and empathy. The University's Discrimination Policy prohibits different treatment or harassment of any students and/or employees based on their ethnicity. ODU's Office of Equity and Diversity has resources to help address any concerns both informally (through coaching and training), and formally, if the situation should arise.

How can I be aware of safe computing practices related to COVID-19?

There are cybersecurity aspects and personal cyber precautions to consider in an emergency like the novel coronavirus outbreak. Fake donation sites, phishing emails designed to take advantage of the emergency, malicious videos and attachments, and fake news all go along with an emergency like the novel coronavirus outbreak. Visit https://www.odu.edu/cybersecurity and be aware of safe computing practices.

Where do I go for more information or support?

  • Students with personal health questions: call ODU Student Health Services at 757-683-3132.
  • Faculty and staff
    • Contact your medical provider for personal health questions
    • General questions: Call 757-683-5421 (Office of the Provost)
  • Student travel: Office of International Programs, 757-683-4419
  • Non-medical support resources
  • Any other questions or need for further assistance, please contact COVID Care Team at covidcares@odu.edu or 757-302-7622.

How will cleaning and disinfecting protocols be handled during COVID-19?

Maintaining cleanliness of University facilities and commonly used spaces is a shared responsibility. Custodial crews will clean and disinfect high-traffic areas and frequently touched items but we need everyone to do their part.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Facilities Management and Construction has taken the following actions:

  • "Touchless" paper towel dispensers were added to every restroom that did not have them to reduce touchpoints.
  • Dispensers with disinfecting wipes will be maintained throughout campus.
  • Hand sanitizer pump bottles will remain at reception desks and throughout campus facilities' entrances and other high-traffic locations.
  • All chemicals used by housekeeping staffs are EPA-registered disinfectants that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization for use against SARS-CoV-2.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting common touchpoints, such as door handles, elevator buttons, light switches, handrails, vending machines, etc.
  • Restrooms are cleaned and disinfected overnight.
  • When notified by the University's Risk Management Department of an individual(s) testing positive for COVID-19, Housekeeping staff will disinfect the affected spaces.

It should be noted that the primary source of contracting COVID-19 is via airborne transmission, not through touch.

  • In facilities that are capable of such modifications, FM&C has increased the amount of fresh-air intake via our HVAC systems.
  • After much research and discussion with other institutions, we have added Needlepoint Bi-Polar Ionization (NBPI) to many buildings and are continuing to install these systems around the campus. These systems introduce positive and negative ions throughout a building, which cling to particles including pollutants, pollen, smoke, and pathogens such as mold, bacteria, and viruses and help to improve the performance of existing air filtration systems. The NBPI technology meets UL 2998 standard certification for Zero Ozone Emissions and is being used in more than 250,000 offices, schools, airports, and other community spaces worldwide.

General COVID-19 FAQ

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Learn about COVID-19 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

How does the virus spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Read more about the transmission of COVID-19.

How can I help protect myself?

To maximize protection from the Delta and other COVID-19 variants and prevent possibly spreading it to others, get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (including a booster); wear a mask over your nose and mouth; and avoid close contact with people who are sick. For additional tips on protecting yourself and others, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

What Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and United States Department of State Travel Advisories exist?

The CDC and U.S. Department of State issue travel advisories as guidance to travelers to aid in their decision making. It is important to check the guidelines frequently, as well as understand the advisories and their meanings.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

U.S. Department of State

Is there an exposure notification app or system I can use?

Yes - COVIDWISE is the official Virginia Exposure Notifications System (ENS) app created by the Virginia Department of Health in partnership with Google and Apple. This free smartphone app is available to all Virginians on Google Play and in the App Store.


Updated March 2022