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01.04.2022 – Message from the President – Coronavirus update for the start of the Semester

Hello NOC Campus Community

Welcome back to the start of the spring semester! I hope you had an enjoyable holiday break and that you were able to recharge your batteries with the well-earned time off.

I know that many of you have been keeping a close eye on the upward trend of COVID-19. The CDC has valid concerns that we may experience a surge of cases with the Omicron variant. Monday, with the backlog of the New Year’s holiday cases, the U.S. did experience a very large spike of new cases. The spike of new cases is seen in Oklahoma, as well as across the country.

For many of us, we felt like we were getting ahead of the pandemic. However, the recent data shows that COVID-19 still presents a major threat to our health and the health of our families as well as our campus community.

At NOC we have been keeping up with the research findings and have incorporated them into the college’s pandemic response plan. A decision matrix has been developed that will guide individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19, are experiencing COVID symptoms, or have received positive COVID test results. The NOC COVID-19 Health and Safety Matrix will provide individuals with instructions and steps to take depending on their unique situation. The matrix was developed from adapting a resource from another college, extensive work from the NOC Executive Council, valuable input from employees across the college campuses, and recent updates from the CDC regarding the Omicron variant and is attached to this email.

In order to protect the health of our learning community, NOC will begin using the matrix this week. Please read the information included in the entire matrix document. If you would like more information, you are encouraged to read the pdf document concerning additional information related to COVID-19 attached to this email.

NOC will also be using the same modality for instruction as it is listed for the courses on the Spring 2022 course schedule. In order to protect the campus community, if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms, or have received positive test results please continue to complete the COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form and keep your supervisor informed.

NOC is still encouraging vaccinations and boosters. Arrangements have been made on the Tonkawa campus for testing and vaccines every second and fourth Monday this semester starting on the first day of class, January 10. NOC Stillwater students have access to testing and vaccines through OSU. Arrangements are being made to have the services at the Enid campus. NOC encourages masks if you are not fully vaccinated, which the CDC defines as having received the initial series of vaccinations and the booster. NOC will continue to provide weekly pandemic situation updates.

I hope that you will have a great semester and thank you for your consideration of others in this challenging time. I wish you all the best for a healthy semester.

Clark Harris, Ph.D.