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Employee Contracted to Maintain Grounds at ORU Tests Positive for Coronavirus, officials say

Posted at 10:59 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 19:51:12-04

TULSA — An ORU contract employee has tested positive for coronavirus. The employee took care of campus grounds, and did not have immediate contact with students, according to school officials.

The employee was in the shop area just before he got sick, so the shop is closed and will be thoroughly cleaned this week, according to school officials. All the grounds crew working for the same company and all other staff who were potentially in the area were sent home to self-isolate.

All non-essential faculty and personnel will now be working remotely until at least April 3. The school will then re-evaluate whether they will bring anyone back on campus.

Academic buildings will be closed by Wednesday, March 18 at 5:00. Faculty are being asked to retrieve anything they need from their offices by then, and no one can work in those buildings unless they have express permission, according to a school release.

There is only going to be access to the Global Learning Center, which remains fully equipped for faculty to broadcast to students. The center is on a schedule to make sure only one or two people are in there at a time, according to ORU Provost Dr. Kathaleen Reid-Martinez. Reid-Martinez says the center is going to be routinely cleaned multiple times throughout the day, and faculty who enter have to follow a special set of rules.

Anyone still on-campus is asked to practice social distancing, but only essential employees are remaining on campus. All classes will be taught virtually through the end of the semester. Flexibility with finals, projects, end of semester papers, and reports is encouraged by administration.

The dorms and cafeteria are going to remain open but students are encouraged to use the takeout option in the cafeteria and to physically distance themselves while in the dining hall.

No student or employee will be allowed to return to campus for the next two weeks without checking in with security and being screened, starting Thursday, March 19. Students and employees who leave campus to go elsewhere in Tulsa will also be required to check in with security when they get back.

All students and employees who have traveled abroad for spring break, or who traveled to Florida, New York, California, or Washington State will be required to self-isolate for two weeks before coming to campus, unless they have a physician’s release.

No one will be permitted on campus if they are exhibiting any symptoms of illness, or if members of their family are. No visitors will be allowed during the next two weeks.

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Officials with Oral Roberts University say an employee of a firm that is contracted to maintain the grounds on the ORU campus has tested positive for COVID-10 (coronavirus).

Officials say that the persons' work did not involved interaction with students, and he was not in the cafeteria or student housing.

All machinery has been taken off-line, officials say, and thoroughly cleaned and the shop area has been closed.

Officials say the people he worked with have been sent home by the contracted firm.

"Our prayers are with him and his loved ones during this time," ORU officials say.

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