Free asymptomatic COVID-19 testing
The university offers free asymptomatic (i.e., without symptoms) COVID-19 testing for faculty, staff and students on campus. This testing and data collection serve as the university’s Sentinel Testing Program (which involves asymptomatic testing of our population) and will add to the current protections to keep our community safe. Invitations to register for an appointment time will be sent weekly.
- The first group of optional testing was conducted this week.
- All testing will be administered in the Ford Center media parking lot, and you will be able to drive through or walk up to the testing area.
- Invitations for random-sample testing will continue through October.
- Faculty, staff, and students will receive an email, including a link to complete a brief (less than two-minute) eligibility survey, and then receive further instructions on how to register for an appointment (via an app) to be tested.
- Results of the test will be communicated through the app on your phone by the testing company.
- Answers to the eligibility survey questions will be kept confidential. Positive test results will be communicated to the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and the Contact Tracing Team, as required.
Sharing responsibility for keeping our campus healthy
Check out the recent blog from Dr. Jean Gispen, Staff Physician with Employee Health, who provides insight about why it will take every one of us to slow the virus spread so we can keep the university going and keep Oxford from being overwhelmed by COVID.
MSDH update about isolation period
On Sept. 8, MSDH updated the State Health Officer Order for the Isolation of Individuals Diagnosed with COVID-19, with a change in the isolation period for COVID-19-positive individuals. The Order now requires all COVID-19 positive individuals to remain in isolation for 10 days from the onset of their illness (or 10 days from the date of test if there were no symptoms). Individuals may discontinue isolation after 10 days if they have been free of fever for at least 24 hours and show improvement of their symptoms. This is consistent with current CDC guidance and the current information regarding the infectious period after contracting COVID-19. See the Order for more information.
Gold and Silver Park-N-Ride route changes
Due to low utilization, Gold route shuttle service to the South Lot/Park-N-Ride parking lot will be suspended starting September 14 until the start of the spring semester. Park-N-Ride permit holders who utilize the South Lot will need to park at alternate locations such as the Jackson Avenue Center Park-N-Ride areas or the South Campus Recreation Center Park-N-Ride areas.
The dedicated Silver route shuttle service between the South Campus Recreation Center and Kennon Observatory will also be discontinued until the spring. Riders between these locations should use the Old Taylor Road Express route or the Green route buses.
Additional changes to OUT operations during this time involve a reduction in the number of buses operating on various routes. These routes include: the Old Taylor Road Express, Yellow, Hathorn Express, Bronze, and Green. Service reduction in some cases will reduce bus frequency, extending the time between available buses. Reduced city and campus traffic congestion during this time will help lessen the impact to service but riders should still be prepared for longer wait times and should plan accordingly.
Group sheltering during Covid-19
Because of Covid-19, there may be questions about group sheltering in response to severe weather. MEMA Director Greg Michel advised, “Life safety is and should always remain your priority. Coronavirus, as serious as it is, does not trump life safety.” If persons on campus are forced to seek refuge or shelter-in-place from severe weather or other hazards, it is recommended they maintain social distancing to the greatest extent possible within their space. Face coverings should be used if at all possible to help prevent the spread of the virus. Consider adding masks, gloves and hand sanitizer to your emergency preparedness kits and/or pre-staging these items in places where you plan to seek shelter.
If a tornado warning is issued for your area:
- Seek shelter immediately inside of a building
- Go to the lowest floor available
- Stay away from windows
- Please remain in your area of refuge until the warning has expired
Please visit the Ole Miss Emergency Information website for additional information.
University COVID-19-related news stories
- Students, Faculty and Staff Volunteer as C19 Ambassadors to Keep Campus Safe
- OUT Buses Get COVID-19 Safety Upgrades for Fall
- New telehealth chief uses expertise to address health issues
Fall virtual career fairs
- Sept. 15, 1-4 p.m.: Graduate, Law, and Health Professional School Fair, including recruiters from Yale, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, and the University of Mississippi.
- Sept. 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Engineering, Manufacturing, and Technology Fair, including recruiters speaking about internships and full-time openings.
- Oct. 6, 12 noon-4 p.m.: All Majors Career Expo to explore various career opportunities.
All events will be hosted virtually. Register on Handshake for additional details and all employers currently registered. All students are welcome to participate in all fairs.
UM students offer words of encouragement to the freshman class
While the Class of 2024’s freshman year may not be the same experience as previous years, the university still provides opportunities and moments that create growth from freshman year to senior year — academically, professionally and personally. Check out this article to read advice to the Class of 2024 from upperclassmen that they wish someone had given them during their freshman year.
Student landing page
The COVID-19 website now has a Student landing page with updates and information specifically for students.
Faculty landing page
The COVID-19 website now has a Faculty landing page with updates and information specifically for faculty.
Staff landing page
The COVID-19 website now has a Staff landing page with updates and information specifically for staff.
Other Things to Know
On the Lighter Side
- Artist uses thousands of Lego bricks to make lifelike sculptures of animals
- What I Would Wear: Ole Miss Edition on TikTok
- This week in photos at Ole Miss
- UM COVID-19 Daily Symptom Checker
- UM confirmed COVID-19 cases among employees and students
- UM COVID-19 Dashboard
- Campus Ready: Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2020
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Required “Return to Work on Campus” training for all employees
- Digital attestation of employee responsibilities
- Student and Families FAQ Video
- Faculty and Staff FAQ Video
- “Are You Ready?” Pledge
- Information about UMMC COVID-19 Testing
- Mississippi State Department of Health COVID-19 Testing
University studies and surveys
There are university studies and surveys underway that welcome your participation. Below is information on how you can learn about them and participate.
- Social Environment Changes during COVID-19 Quarantine
- Measurement of COVID-19 Health Impact (MOCHI): uofmississippi.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4O5zfNRsjf0zF65