OU campus shutdown

An empty University of Oklahoma campus is shown. The university closed in March due to COVID-19 but will resume this fall.

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma will require all students living on campus to complete COVID-19 tests before returning next month, administrators announced Monday.  

Students living in any of the residence halls or dorms will need to complete a free test kit that will be mailed to them early next month. 

According to a news release from the university, the 5,000-plus students living in campus residence halls will receive a free saliva testing kit from third-party partner Vault Health that they will need to take between Aug. 4 and 5. The tests will be overnighted to students' home addresses.

Students will take their tests via Zoom accompanied by a Vault staff member, then return their tests to Vault via UPS overnight. Vault Health will return results to both students and the university within two to four days, according to OU. 

OU is providing temporary housing for international students returning to the U.S. while they receive testing, said David Surratt, OU's vice president for student affairs and dean of students. The students can complete their tests, self isolate until they receive their results, then move into their permanent housing should results allow, Surratt said.

After receiving their test results, students will fill out OU’s online health screening five days before returning to campus. 

If a student tests negative, completes their screening and is cleared to come back to campus, they can move into their housing at their assigned time. OU has scheduled move ins for Aug. 11-15 for most students, depending on their dorm.

More: OU announces fall 2020 move-in dates for campus housing 

If students test positive for COVID-19, they will have to stay off campus until cleared by OU Health Services, according to OU.

While Greek chapters are not required to follow the testing plan from OU Housing, administrators strongly encouraged that they do so Monday. Students living at Kraettli Apartments are not required to receive testing, since the complex is mostly home to families and has a lower population than other facilities. 

OU’s Chief COVID Officer Dale Bratzler confirmed Monday that if students begin testing positive after returning to campus, the university will have an isolation space for them to temporarily live in the Traditions apartment complex. 

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