Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Hard Work U logo with maroon background College of the Ozarks Response

Current Situation

With the health and safety of the College of the Ozarks community as top priority, The Crisis Management Team of College of the Ozarks is meeting daily to assess precautionary measures, plan accordingly, and disseminate updates to the campus family. The College is committed to making decisions based on the latest information available. We encourage everyone to be informed and prepared, using this website as a resource and contact point for all updated College information and policies.

  • The campus clinic and the Taney County Health Department are working closely to monitor this virus.
  • Our campus has no reported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • College of the Ozarks is postponing students’ return to campus after spring break until further notice, based on guidance from the CDC regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Spring break was originally scheduled March 16-20. It has now been extended to March 27.
  • A transition to online learning is scheduled to begin March 30 and will continue until a determination is made that students can return to campus.
  • The Keeter Center is closed until further notice.
  • Public student industries are closed until further notice, including Edwards Mill, Stained Glass and Candle Shop, Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen, Gaetz Tractor Museum, Ralph Foster Museum, and Hoge Greenhouses.
  • The College campus is closed to visitors, including the Admissions Office.
  • Sunday chapel services have been cancelled until further notice.
  • School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school operated by College of the Ozarks, also has cancelled classes until further notice.
  • All College-related travel, both international and domestic, is suspended at this time.

PLEASE NOTE

All employees who continue to report to work on campus should take their temperature with an oral thermometer before reporting to work. If you have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater, fever, chills, body aches, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, do not report to work!

Dial 911 if you experience tightness in your chest, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.

Employees that experience fever, cough, and shortness of breath should:

  • Contact the COVID-19 Hotline by dialing 877-435-8411 for telephone screening and directions for testing.
    OR
  • Access CoxHealth Virtual Visit (https://www.coxhealth.com/services/virtualvisits/) using code: COVID (visits are currently free) to see a Healthcare Provider.
  • CoxHealth Virtual Visit Provider orders COVID-19 test (as appropriate) and registers patient with the Mobile Testing Unit.
  • Mobile Testing Unit will call the patient with the time to arrive at the site for testing. Mobile Testing Unit location and hours will be provided to the patient at that time.
  • Those being tested will be notified of their results by a CoxHealth Team member.

Campus Resources

  • Email: questions@cofo.edu
  • For general questions: (417) 690-2212 
  • For Armstrong McDonald Clinic: (417) 690-3399  
  • For the Counseling Center: (417) 690-3441 
     

Academics/Classes

1. Will the extended spring break and online instruction period impact my degree plan or my hours?
No, the extended spring break and online instruction period will not have any impact on degree plans or hours earned. The College is still discussing how to address internship credit for internship hours not completed due to COVID-19.

2. How do I register for the fall semester?
Students can register online.

3. Has the final exam schedule been affected by the extension of spring break?
At this time, there are no changes to the finals schedule. The end of the spring semester is still Friday, May 1, with final exams scheduled from May 4-81.

4. If all students are using Campusweb at similar times for online learning, can it handle the volume?
The College is confident I.T. infrastructure will now accommodate this process and is confident of the success of online learning. Please let your professors know if you have serious internet access issues. While they annot solve these issues, they will work with you to find ways around this problem.

5. Will online classes need to be taught at the same time as the class is normally scheduled on campus? For example, will students need to anticipate being available online MWF at 10am for a class that it taught MWF 10 a.m. On campus?
Faculty members will present content to students in a manner that the students can access at their convenience, with appropriate deadlines. This asynchronous approach will allow appropriate flexibility for students balancing multiple online classes with sometimes limited internet access and other responsibilities.

6. What provisions are being made for students who have no/or spotty Internet access?
If students are having problems with slow or no internet access, they should reach out to their professors. Many internet providers are now providing access for free during this emergency situation. Professors will work to accommodate those who have difficulty accessing the internet for assignments.

7. Will students have to make up work hours missed, or how will their work requirements be fulfilled? How will chapel and convocation requirements be fulfilled?
There will be no penalty for missing normal student obligations (work, chapel, convo), due to this unforeseen circumstance.

8. Will seniors who are scheduled to graduate in May still be able to graduate?
Yes.

9. Will students be able to fulfill their academic requirements for this semester even if they do not return to campus physically?
Yes.

10. Will there be a partial refund on Room & Board for the weeks students are not here?
We know you are concerned about Room & Board charges and the next payment due date. Please know we continue to work on this concern. Our first step is to put your mind at ease for a while by extending the original due date of April 1 to April 19. By then, we hope to have a process in place to resolve the many questions there are about this particular issue.

 

College of the Ozarks Operations

1. What is the status of the College of the Ozarks campus at this time?
College of the Ozarks has announced a number of adjustments to campus operations, most notably that Spring Break has been extended for a week through March 27, and that classes will resume beginning Monday, March 30, strictly in an online environment. As the College makes announcements and adjustments, they will be communicated on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) website and via email directly to students.
College of the Ozarks Crisis Management Team (CMT) has been meeting daily since early March, working diligently on this unprecedented situation by closely monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention specifically related to higher education, state and local public health and emergency management authorities, and our own healthcare experts. The CMT is charged with making well-informed decisions and coordinating responses to ensure the continued health and safety of our community.

2. Is the College still conducting campus tours?
Not at this time. Please call the Public Relations Office at (417) 690-2212 to reschedule your tours.

3. How is this affecting Camp Lookout and summer athletic camps?
No decisions have been made yet on summer camps.

4. Will May 2020 Commencement still be held on the scheduled day and time?
No decision concerning spring commencement has been made.

5. Will the College hold any events during this time, or have they been canceled?
All College activities, events, conferences and large gatherings are suspended until further notice.

6. What is the status of museums and another public attractions on campus?
The Keeter Center, Ralph Foster Museum, Fruitcake & Jelly Kitchen, Edwards Mill, Gaetz Tractor Museum, and the Stained Glass and Candle Shop are temporarily closed to the public.

7. What are the hours for the Armstrong McDonald Clinic?
The clinic is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on Saturday and Sunday. They are not taking walk-in’s, so please call to make an appointment.

For Employees

  • Who is supposed to work from home?

All employees who can work from home, should do so at this time. If you must come onto campus for any reason, please clear it with your direct supervisor and take your temperature before you come. If you have a fever, stay home and call the clinic.

  • If I am working from home, am I using my COVID-19 allotted sick time?

No, if you are working from home, as discussed with your supervisor, you are simply working your normal hours. If you are unable to work due to qualified COVID-19 circumstances, you should use your COVID-19 sick time. Please contact wrosch@cofo.edu with any questions.

  • What should I do if I feel sick?

All employees who continue to report to work on campus should take their temperature with an oral thermometer before reporting to work. If you have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater, fever, chills, body aches, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, do not report to work!
Dial 911 if you experience tightness in your chest, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
 Employees that experience fever, cough, and shortness of breath should:

  • Contact the COVID-19 Hotline by dialing 877-435-8411 for telephone screening and directions for testing.

OR 

  • Access CoxHealthVirtual Visit (https://www.coxhealth.com/services/virtualvisits/) using code: COVID (visits are currently free) to see a Healthcare Provider.
  • CoxHealth Virtual Visit Provider orders COVID-19 test (as appropriate) and registers patient with the Mobile Testing Unit.
  • Mobile Testing Unit will call the patient with the time to arrive at the site for testing. Mobile Testing Unit location and hours will be provided to the patient at that time.
  • Those being tested will be notified of their results by a CoxHealth Team member.

 

Contacts

1. Who can I contact with questions?
For any follow-up questions, please send an email to questions@cofo.edu. Your question will be routed to the appropriate College of the Ozarks staff member to address.

2. What resources are available for students if they need healthcare, pastoral care or counseling?
On-campus students who need healthcare can make an appointment with the Armstrong McDonald Clinic by calling 417-690-3399.
Counseling and pastoral care is available through the C of O Christian Ministries Department.
Counselors - You can request counseling services from our Student Counseling Center.  For more information, please see Student Counseling Center under the Student Resources tab of the Campusweb Student Portal. 
Dr. Justin Carswell, VP for Christian Ministries and Dean of the Chapel, at carswell@cofo.edu
Mr. Justin Sharp, Campus Minister, at jsharp@cofo.edu
Dr. Jennifer Freeman, Director of Christian Formation, at freeman@cofo.edu

Dated Communications

From Justin Carswell, C of O Vice President for Christian Ministries and Dean of the Chapel

The President of the United States declared Sunday, March 15, as a National Day of Prayer and encouraged the nation to look to God for protection and strength in the days ahead. As those who confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ, facing uncertain times reminds us that God truly governs the affairs of mankind, and He is where our hope belongs. Let this reminder encourage you to turn to Him who cares for you, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). 

Would you join us in prayer for our nation? Although we won't be together, we can be united in praying for those who are sick, for their families, for those providing medical care, and especially for our national, state, and local leaders. We pray God grants you peace and strength to live with the courage, integrity, and character that comes from the certainty of His love, which is at work in you.

The following are specific questions that have arisen as the College moves through the logistics of an extended spring break and move to online classes. We will update this Q&A section with more information as needed. 

Q. Who is affected by the closing of campus? 

A. The campus of College of the Ozarks is closed to visitors as of Saturday, March 14, until further notice, with the hope of re-opening campus in April. The Keeter Center is closing at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 13. Chapel for Sunday, March 15, has been cancelled. The College of the Ozarks Child Development Center will close beginning Monday, March 16 until further notice. School of the Ozarks classes are closed, beginning Monday, March 16. All public student industries – Edwards Mill, Stained Glass and Candle Shop, Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen, Hoge Greenhouses, Ralph Foster Museum, and the Gaetz Tractor Museum are closed, beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020.  

Q. Will bus tours be allowed to tour campus as usual? 

A. Bus tours through April 15 are being canceled. We will reevaluate on a regular basis, determining how to handle as we move forward. 

Q. Will guest reservations for The Keeter Center be honored for Dobyns Dining Room, lodging, and meetings & events, etc.? 

A. The Keeter Center is working to contact everyone who has reservations made through April 15. Thank you for your patience as they communicate with everyone.

College of the Ozarks to extend spring break, move to online classes

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks is postponing students’ return to campus after spring break until further notice, depending on guidance from the CDC in regard to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Spring break was originally scheduled March 16-20. It has now been extended to March 27.

A transition to online learning is scheduled to begin March 30, and will continue until a determination is made that students can return to campus.

Because College of the Ozarks is a work college, and students are involved in every operation, The Keeter Center and public student industries will be impacted. Please note the following:

  • The Keeter Center will be closed as of Friday, March 13, 2020, at 2 p.m. until further notice.
  • Public student industries will be closed as of Friday, March 13, 2020, at 2 p.m. until further notice, including Edwards Mill, Stained Glass and Candle Shop, Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen, Gaetz Tractor Museum, Ralph Foster Museum, and Hoge Greenhouses.
  • The College campus is closed to visitors as of Saturday, March 14, 2020, including the Admissions Office.
  • Sunday chapel services, beginning with Sunday, March 15, 2020, have been cancelled until further notice.
  • School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school operated by College of the Ozarks, also has cancelled classes until further notice, beginning Monday, March 16, 2020.

“Our concern is for our campus family,” said College President Jerry C. Davis. “We believe the steps we are taking are in the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff. Although we have no cases of coronavirus on campus or in the local community, we are working to safeguard our students and limit the spread of the coronavirus. We are following CDC guidelines closely and working with local agencies to ensure we are doing what is best for everyone.”

“We will work tirelessly to aid students, staff, and faculty during this transition period,” said Dr. Sue Head, vice president for cultural affairs and dean of character education. “We are grateful for a caring community that is concerned about the safety and well-being of our campus family. These decisions have significant impact, and in the coming days and weeks, we are prepared to work together to achieve a safe environment and help students stay on track with their academic pursuits.”

The College has decided to postpone students’ return to campus for the spring semester until further notice, depending on guidance from the CDC in regard to how the COVID-19 situation progresses. We hope to return to campus in April.  

The College campus is closed to visitors starting March 14 until further notice.

This means that all students must be checked out by a member of the residence life staff from their room by 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.

International students and those who do not have a permanent residence may request to stay on campus.

Online classes, work, and campus activities:

  • Plans are being made for online learning to begin the week of March 30.
  • The student work week for spring break, March 14-20, has been cancelled.
  • Chapel for Sunday, March 15, has been cancelled.
  • The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks is closed as of Friday, March 13 at 2:00 p.m. until further notice.
  • We understand students may have many questions about convocation requirements, work hours, and chapel credits, etc. The College is working on a plan to address these questions. 

Thank you for your understanding as we seek to care for our campus family. We will communicate updates regularly, and a fact sheet with answers to common questions is being developed and will be posted to Campusweb.

Letter to Faculty, Staff and Students

As you may know, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread in the United States, although there have been no confirmed cases in Stone or Taney Counties. While on spring break, it is important that you remain aware of your surroundings. While the risk to our campus remains low, your risk of exposure may increase if you travel over spring break.

Travel to infected areas should be avoided, and remember to:

  • wash your hands regularly
  • avoid sharing food or drink with others
  • cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. 

If you experience the following symptoms during break, you should report to a medical health professional before returning to campus and notify the campus clinic that you are experiencing symptoms (417-690-3399).  If you are on campus and begin to experience these symptoms, you should visit with the campus clinic.

  • Fever of 100.4
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lower respiratory symptoms

Anyone who travels to a location with a high concentration of COVID-19 (international or domestic), must complete a confidential health assessment from the Armstrong McDonald Clinic (417-690-3399) and self-isolate off campus until receiving further guidance from campus and community health officials. This also applies to individuals who have traveled through affected areas or who have had exposure to someone who has recently traveled to high risk areas.

The campus clinic and the Taney County Health Department are working closely to monitor this virus, and currently the risk level is low in the state of Missouri.  Please be sure to stay informed of the most up-to-date risk levels by clicking on the following link: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

Letter to Faculty, Staff and Students

There are no cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at College of the Ozarks. The College’s medical director and clinic staff are working closely with the Taney County Health Department to monitor the situation. If a case of coronavirus is confirmed on campus, the College is prepared, and you will be notified. As spring break approaches, many of you will be looking forward to a long week of rest and relaxation. For those traveling over spring break, please be advised that the Center for Disease Control is monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19). This viral illness continues to spread, and the CDC is tracking it closely. Please monitor the CDC website: Traveler’s Health (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/) and Advisory Warnings to stay up-to-date on your travel safety. 

To prevent the spread of any illness, the best thing you can do is to wash your hands thoroughly and often and to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. If you feel like you have a fever and flu-like symptoms, please visit the Armstrong McDonald Clinic on campus or call 417-690-3399 to make an appointment.

Resources

The campus clinic and the Taney County Health Department are working closely to monitor this virus, and currently the risk level is low in the state of Missouri. Please be sure to stay informed of the most up-to-date risk levels by clicking on the following links:

Personal Hygiene and Self-Care Tips 

COVID-19 is a specialized strain of coronavirus, a family of viruses that includes the common cold. As during any active cold and flu season, there are some basic hygiene and preventive measures you can take in your daily routine. The CDC recommends the following basic steps: 

  • Keeping immunizations up to date, including getting an annual flu shot.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with tissues, then throwing tissues in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces with regular household cleaning sprays or wipes.
  • Staying home when you are sick.

 


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