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Oakland University

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(248) 370-2100

Oakland University

(location map)
(248) 370-2100

Oakland University's campus, featuring Elliott Tower in the front.

Grizzlies Protect Grizzlies

President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz wearing a mask and holding a sign that says "We are here for you!"
Grizz Statue following the safety guidelines and wearing a mask for others protection.
Glenn Wearing a mask

To the campus community,

Recently, COVID-19 cases have continued to increase dramatically throughout our community and the State of Michigan. As a result, the Oakland University leadership team has concluded that it is essential that we take additional measures to protect the health and safety of our community and to further control the spread of the virus.

Beginning on Monday, November 16, all faculty will be required to conduct instruction remotely. A small subset of courses for which content and activities cannot be delivered online – such as labs, lab-based research and field experiences – may continue to meet following the university’s infection prevention guidelines.

Students with questions regarding a particular course's instruction delivery format should contact the appropriate academic dean’s office. The Office of the Provost will release additional details later today.

We will begin limiting building access on campus next week as well. University academic buildings will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Kresge Library will also limit open hours, and further detail will be shared later this week.

University Housing will remain open and resident students are asked to adhere to all precautions including face coverings, social distancing, and hand-washing to protect family members if they decide to leave campus to visit family or others.

The majority of student support services will be offered remotely along with limited in-person appointments on campus. All extracurricular activities will occur in an on-line format.

The Oakland Center and Recreation Center will remain open with current reduced hours. Campus food services will be condensed, and the Barnes and Noble Bookstore will continue to offer online services, while remaining open for limited services, including textbook rental returns and buybacks.

We appreciate how stressful this semester has been for our community and we appreciate the patience, understanding and cooperation of the entire campus community as efforts are made to protect the health and welfare of all during these challenging times.

Michelle Piskulich, Ph.D.
Interim Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Glenn McIntosh
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer

Honor Pledge

As a member of the OU community, it is my responsibility to enhance the health and safety of our campus. I therefore pledge to abide by the OU guidelines to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and to take measures to protect myself; to protect others; and to protect my community

  • I will wear my face-covering as per OU guidelines.
  • I will practice good hygiene as per OU guidelines.
  • I will practice safe physical distancing.
Our Pledge to Faculty, Students and Staff
  • We are committed to keeping the OU community updated about the latest information and concerns about COVID-19.
  • We will respond quickly to COVID-19 related scenarios and adjust on-campus safety procedures to meet state pandemic requirements.
  • We will provide the best educational experience to all our students by offering online and in-class courses.
  • We will provide the highest level of safety prevention measures for courses taught in-person.
  • Every effort will be made to make sure OU’s faculty are given the resources and support to deliver quality educational experiences to students.
Your Responsibility
  • Take Honor Pledge and perform a daily health assessment.
  • Make sure you are tested for COVID-19 before you arrive on campus, and whenever necessary. (This applies only to students residing in University Housing.)
  • Wear a face covering in any indoor public space regardless of proximity to others in that space, and in any outdoor public space when unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from others. Face coverings must cover the both the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the face around the nose and mouth. Per CDC guidelines, face shields may be worn as additional protection for users, but are not acceptable replacements for face coverings.
  • If you are sick, stay away from campus and report your physical symptoms.
  • If non-compliant with adopted containment measures, students will be referred to Dean of Students Office, and faculty and staff will be referred to Human Resources.
  • Employee daily health check prior to coming to campus
  • Student daily health check prior to coming to campus
  • Wash your hands often with soap and running water, and for the recommended 20 seconds each time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • To the extent possible, avoid high-touch surfaces and objects.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet apart to the full extent possible while in enclosed spaces
  • When on campus call, email, message or video conference as much as possible rather than meet face to face.
  • Following a COVID illness or exclusion from work, adhere to specific guidelines for return to work provided by Graham Health Center following CDC guidelines.
  • Handwashing Best Practices
  • Returning to Work Guidance
  • Returning to Work Following Illness or Exclusion
  • Daily Screening Process
What to Expect
  • The highest level of health standards, including cleaning/disinfection procedures based on CDC requirements.
  • A mandated prevention protocol, including wearing face coverings, social distancing and personal hygiene etiquette.
  • In order to lower the risk of virus outbreaks on campus a BioButton screening tool will be available. It provides additional information for health screening. The button will be used in conjunction with the daily health assessment to determine if you are able to participate in campus activities.The individual data will remain private to the wearer and is not shared with others.1
  • Implementing a campuswide, daily health screening process
  • Reduced campus population.
  • Classrooms with fewer students where social distancing is enforced.
  • Residence halls with fewer residents and strict social distancing rules, including no outside campus visitors in halls.
  • Campus gatherings with restricted number of attendees based on whether event is indoors/ outdoors and capacity of venue
  • Coordinating with local health departments on contact tracing for confirmed and suspected COVID 19 cases
  • Establishing protocols for self-isolation, quarantine and return to campus following illness
  • Procuring and distributing necessary personal protective equipment campuswide
  • Implementing high quality, remote-learning experience in order to maintain reduced building and room occupancy levels on campus
  • Establishing alternative learning, work and living environments for at-risk community members
  • Restricting high-risk university activities such as air travel and large gatherings

Available and recommended to be worn by faculty, staff, and students who will be on campus regularly.

BioButton FAQs

Oakland University is invested in doing everything possible to protect the health and safety of our campus community.

Toward this end, we have created “Grizzlies Protect Grizzlies: Healthy Together,” a comprehensive plan for safe operations on campus this fall. This plan involves both mitigating the risk of the COVID-19 virus spreading in our community and also working to avoid a virus outbreak on campus. Reducing the spread of the virus is done through mandatory face coverings and ensuring the ability for proper social distancing on campus. One component of the plan to help avoid a campus outbreak is the strategic use of advanced technology as a means to protect our campus.

We spent months searching for ALL possible ways to protect our community. We identified the BioButton as the best possible tool to supplement the other measures identified in the Grizzlies Protect Grizzlies plan. Oakland University is among the first universities in the nation to utilize the cutting-edge technology. Buttons will be made available to the campus community in November.

  • At Oakland University, we are committed to maintaining a safe campus.
  • The “Grizzlies Protect Grizzlies: Healthy Together” plan includes the strategic use of an advanced technology device called the BioButton. The BioButton is non-invasive, maintains your privacy, and, when worn properly, gives peace of mind that we’re all taking every possible precaution to guard against the spread of COVID-19.
  • Oakland University is the first university in the country to use the BioButton — which is a state-of-the-art, wearable device, about the size of a quarter, that continuously measures the wearer’s temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate.
  • I’m planning to wear one. And, members of the Oakland University leadership team are committed to wearing one, too.
  • And, while it’s not mandatory that you wear one, we have thoroughly considered the benefits of the device, and we are certain that it is in the best health and safety interest of the entire Oakland University community that you wear one, too.
  • I hope that you will, and I hope that you’ll see that the benefits of wearing a BioButton, which we will provide to you at no cost, really out weight the benefits of not wearing one.
  • Think of it this way:
    • Would you want to know at the earliest possible moment if you were at risk for a COVID-19 infection?
    • That information could not only help you minimize the effects of a COVID-19 infection, but this information is critical in minimizing the spread and transmission of this highly contagious virus.
  • Along with wearing a face covering, social distancing, and maintaining a rigorous hand-washing routine, wearing the BioButton, we believe, is a timely, effective, and much-needed preventative measure.
  • So, I bet you’re wondering, how it works.
  • Well, what you do is you attach this quarter-size button to your chest right near your left shoulder.
  • And then, the BioButton continuously measures temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate. And once a baseline is established, then you would be alerted if there is any unusual variation that might indicate that you possibly have a COVID-19 infection.
  • The BioButton works through the BioMobile iOS or Android app.
  • The data from the BioButton go into the BioCloud, where algorithms determine whether or not your data correlate with those who are consistent with a COVID-19 infection rates.
    • The system also uses information that you provide through a set of daily screening questions, which may also indicate the possibility of an infection.
    • The system then, privately combines your BioButton data and answers to your screening questions and sends you, on a daily basis, whether or not you are “cleared” or you are “not cleared.” And then you are informed whether you are allowed to be in class, or at work, and whether you can participate in campus activities.
    • If you are not cleared, then the Graham Health Center will follow up with you to determine what you need to do next.
  • We have taken measures to make sure that your data in the BioCloud remain private and secure. And only you are informed about your own specific data.

Contact Tracing

  • There’s one more important feature of wearing the BioButton. It allows for efficient and effective contact tracing, a proven public health method that minimizes the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
  • BioButton wearers will be alerted if they came into prolonged contact with another wearer who has tested positive, or who the Graham Health Center strongly suspects is COVID-19 positive.
    • This notification is not based on GPS or any other location tracking.
    • Rather, the alert is based on Bluetooth recognition of the proximity. Someone whose come within 15 feet of someone else who is wearing the BioButton for longer than 30 minutes.
    • And even if you don’t wear your BioButton but you’re simply carry it with you, or have it on your phone, the contact tracing function still works.
    • So, we are very excited about having this with us at Oakland University.
  • Each one of us must be committed to doing everything that we can to make Oakland University safe for students, for faculty and staff.
  • Each one of us has to do our part. And we believe that by wearing the BioButton we will have an extra special and crucial prevention tool that’s in addition to all of the other very important measures that we must practice when you are on campus. So,
    • Wear a face-covering.
    • Practice social distancing.
    • Wash your hands often.
    • And, we strongly recommend that you wear a BioButton.
  • “Grizzlies Protect Grizzlies”… let’s make sure we stay healthy together.
Primary uses of BioButton
  1. The BioButton is a COVID-19 screening wearable device for effortless vital sign measurement of skin temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate at rest that may indicate the signs and symptoms of a COVID-19 infectious process.
  2. The BioButton solution combines a convenient downloadable iOS and Android mobile application for daily health surveys, that align with CDC guidelines, to generate a ‘Clear’ or ‘Not Clear’ notification.
  3. BioButton wearers are in sole control of their data and Oakland University program administrators will only have access to the ‘Clear’ or ‘Not Clear’ status to help manage the health of the OU community.
  4. It also leverages Bluetooth technology to enable contact tracing without geo-location privacy concerns to assist in creating a safe Golden Grizzly environment for our valued students, faculty and staff.
What is the BioButton?
A white button with a blue power button on it and two additional symbols.

The BioIntelliSense BioButton is a coin-sized, state-of-the art wearable device that is designed to be worn discretely and comfortably on the upper left chest. It continuously measures skin temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate at rest vital sign trends that may indicate the signs and symptoms of a COVID-19 infectious process.

Capabilities include the following:

  • An effortless “stick on” application and wearing experience
  • An electronic BioReport, in PDF format, that will be securely delivered to the email provided during the BioMobile registration process to visualize your data.
  • The BioButtono may be disposed of at the conclusion of a 30-day wear period. Instructions will be provided on how to request and/or receive a replacement BioButton for continuous use.

Important Notice: The BioButton is a screening tool only for symptoms associated with COVID-19; it is not intended for diagnosis or to replace a diagnostic test for the virus.

How it works

The BioButton continuously measures skin temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate at rest. This vital sign trending may identify subtle, statistical changes that may indicate the signs and symptoms of a COVID-19 infectious process.

The use of the BioButton is voluntary. The downloaded BioMobile iOS and Android application enables the BioButton to sync via Bluetooth with the BioButton wireless device. A standard mobile-based registration and account creation process allows a user to accept and acknowledge the BioButton Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The BioButton data is combined with a mobile-based daily health survey, that aligns with CDC guidelines, to generate a ‘Clear’ or ‘Not Clear’ notification.

If you receive a ‘Not Cleared’ notification, don’t worry. A staff member form the Graham Health Center will contact you and provide guidance on the appropriate follow-up actions.

How would I wear the device?

The BioButton packaging includes instructions for use and replaceable medical-grade adhesives for self-application to the upper left chest, approximately two inches below the collar bone. The adhesive can be replaced every seven days or when it loosens from the skin. 

For additional information, please refer to the instructions for use that accompany the device and watch the BioButton instructional video.

Who can receive a BioButton?

The BioButton will be available on a voluntary basis and are subject to consent. On-campus distribution will be available at the Oakland Center, Hillcrest and Vandenberg Halls (Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.), and the Recreation Center (Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–7 p.m.). A Grizz ID number and Grizz card is required for pickup. The first wave of BioButton availability will focus on those who may be deemed at highest risk of exposure (i.e. athletes, resident hall students and staff). However, all members of the OU community are eligible to receive the device. Bring your Grizz ID number and Grizz ID card to a distribution location to receive the device.

Where do the data (information) from the BioButton go?

The data is privately and securely transmitted to the BioCloud for advanced analytics and the generation of a BioReport for a wearer to visualize their vital sign data trends.

Who gets my information?

Only you have access to your detailed health information. As is the case with the university’s Daily Health Assessment, Graham Health Center will only see whether the user's risk status is CLEARED or NOT CLEARED. If you are not cleared, Graham Health Center will follow up with you regarding what you may need to do next.

As is the case with the University’s Daily Health Assessment, Graham Health Center will only see whether your risk status is CLEARED or NOT CLEARED. If you are not cleared, Graham Health Center will follow up with you regarding what you may need to do next.

Is my information protected?

Your individual data are privacy-protected. The Bluetooth data are encrypted, as are the data that reside in the BioCloud, so your information is both private and secured.

Who should wear the BioButton?

Oakland University recommends that all students, faculty, and staff wear the BioButton. Subject to availability, we especially recommend that ALL students residing in University Housing and Student Athletes wear the BioButton devices and complete the daily health surveys to help manage the health of the Golden Grizzly community. OU encourages wearing the device over the OU winter break, when exposure to people beyond the OU campus is even more possible.

What if I don’t want to wear a BioButton?

It is not mandatory to wear a BioButton device.

We are strongly encouraging use of the BioButton solution because it enhances our broader strategy to monitor the safety of OU campus and the community. We believe it is among the many ways we are keeping you and others safe. However, even if you don’t want to wear the BioButton, there is value in carrying it with you when you are on campus because it can assist with contact tracing.

What is contact tracing and how does it work?

The BioButton device offers a unique capability to report proximity of one BioButton device to another and duration of potential high-risk exposure without geo-location privacy concerns. This cutting-edge technology delivers specificity in enabling a rapid response to infection spread, while reducing the administrative burden associated with traditional methods of contact tracing management.

If you are wearing or carrying the BioButton, Graham Health Center will be able to alert you if you came in prolonged (30 minutes or more) contact with someone who was wearing the BioButton and who has tested positive for COVID-19. Importantly, the BioButton does not use GPS or track your location. The device only monitors whether it is within Bluetooth distance (about 15 feet) from another BioButton device.

Do I have to pay for the BioButton?

There is no cost and no fees to wear a BioButton. OU will distribute the BioButton at no charge to students, faculty and staff who choose to wear or carry the device.

How would I pick up a device?

BioButtons will be available sometime in November and will be distributed at the Oakland Center, Hillcrest and Vandenberg dorms from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and the Recreation Center from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Devices must be picked up in person with a Grizz ID number and a Grizz card. BioButtons will not be individually mailed to members of the OU community.

How can I learn more?

More information about the BioButton remote monitoring technology can be found on the Intellisense website.