Only a few short days before ODU was scheduled to begin phasing back into in-person classes, the campus has once again been struck by the pandemic.
Thursday evening around 5 P.M. a Clery Alert went out to the ODU community, informing the public of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus.
The Virginia Department of Health is monitoring the rise in cases, however, there are reports of both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases going around. The school reports that in the past two weeks, they have recorded two new positive cases as they begin to move on-campus students back into the residence halls.
In this report, the University stated that Intercollegiate Athletics have been put on hold and Public Safety has put a plan in place to attempt to minimize the spread of the virus.
Additionally, the University will be requiring COVID testing for all students who will be returning to live, work, or attend classes on campus this spring. Testing is available at Jim Jarret Annex on campus near the new Chemistry building and while the testing is free to ODU students, you must set up a telehealth appointment in order to get a test. Same day testing is available for those students, faculty, and staff who are experiencing symptoms.
This outbreak comes only weeks after Virginia has rolled out the first doses of the COVID vaccine and as the state continues to move into the second phase of administering these vaccines. However, cases are still on the rise, with Norfolk ranking in the top 12 cities in Virginia to have an increase of cases this month.
The alert did not address whether or not the University plans to stick with the ODU Spring Blueprint of partially reopening campus next week for select classes.
For now, the school is advising the community to continue wearing a mask even when around friends and colleagues, sanitizing your hands, disinfecting surfaces frequently, and avoiding gatherings at all costs.
Photo from Old Dominion University Twitter