Find answers to common questions regarding COVID-19 and OSU's response. Questions and answers are updated frequently, so check back often for more information. These FAQs represent key topics and are answered from a university perspective. Check unit websites for more specific information.
Yes. Masks will still be required in some university locations, both on campus and within the community, such as health care settings. Other locations, such as childcare, youth programs and other settings within the university community will follow guidance from OHA. We do not anticipate requiring masks in the classrooms, absent a statewide or county mandate.
OSU will post updates on where masks are required within the university.
The original intent of the weekly testing requirement was based on the previous understanding that unvaccinated individuals were more likely to contract and transmit past strains of the virus. Frequent testing of those more likely to transmit the virus allowed OSU to interrupt the chain of transmission by quickly identifying COVID-19 cases and containing its spread. With current strains of the virus, it is no longer evident that being vaccinated will substantially stop transmission in ways that would justify continuing this policy.
If conditions change, OSU will reevaluate the need for additional screening measures with guidance from local public health authorities
Yes, asymptomatic testing will be available on the Corvallis and Bend campuses through the spring term.
The latest guidance indicates that boosters significantly prevent severe illness and death but are especially crucial for certain members of the OSU community. Eligibility for boosters — including additional boosters — varies among individuals based on the date of initial vaccine sequence, age and other factors. Therefore, requiring boosters for all members of OSU is no longer necessary at this point in time. OSU will continue to promote the latest public health guidance and revisit or adjust the vaccination program as needed.
Three COVID-19 PCR testing sites are located on the Corvallis (2) and Cascades (1) campuses. Willamette Valley Toxicology administers testing. Hours of operation vary. Employees may utilize work hours to get tested.
Find more information about campus-based COVID-19 testing at Student Health Services.
Oregon State University offices, classrooms and other locations are public spaces available to others in the normal course of business. Therefore, these spaces are subject to the same public health policies as other OSU spaces, which we will not require masks after the statewide mandate is lifted (March 12).
Masks are welcome but not required. We do not advise or support employees making requests of others to wear a mask. Nor should employees decline, reschedule, or relocate a meeting if another individual does not wear a mask. Employees are welcome to have masks available if others voluntarily choose to wear them.
We appreciate, however, that some members of the OSU community may have health concerns, and we encourage those individuals to take the personal health precautions available to them. Such as wearing a KN95 or N95, which provides a high degree of protection, even when others are not wearing masks.
No. As of March 1, 2022, OSU will no longer require attendees — at indoor and outdoor events — to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test. As is the case with all public health measures required by OSU, if conditions change, we may consider restoring this requirement in the future.
Yes. As we have learned throughout the pandemic, the status of the virus changes with the arrival and prevalence of variants.
Also, it is possible that the Federal Executive Order 14042 currently paused by the courts will survive legal challenges. If so, that order and our related contracts would require contractors like OSU to have unvaccinated employees wear masks. At this time, we are not requiring this population to mask absent a state or local mandate, and await guidance from the federal government.
No. OSU employees and units do not have individual discretion to implement mask requirements within their work environments, buildings and centers. Masks wearing should be welcomed and supported if an individual chooses to wear one.
It is possible that the Federal Executive Order 14042 currently paused by the courts will survive legal challenges. If so, that order and our related contracts would require contractors like OSU to have unvaccinated employees wear masks. At this time, we are not requiring this population to mask absent a state or local mandate and await guidance from the federal government.
Some are better than others. High-quality masks such as N95s and KN95s are recommended by the CDC to protect the wearer. Ensuring the right fit is also an important factor in using masks to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
More information on masks from the CDC:
Yes. At the start of the pandemic, there were global shortages of medical-grade masks, which necessitated the use of cloth face coverings. While helpful in reducing transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 when used by everyone, cloth face coverings are not as effective as medical-grade masks in providing individual protection. With the increasing availability of higher quality masks, individuals are now able to better protect themselves from contracting the virus, particularly if used properly and with other layers of protection, such as being fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.
Yes. Anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask will be welcome to do so. The OSU community will be asked to respect any individual’s choice to wear a mask while on campus as there are multiple reasons to do so. The same goes for personal choices to social distance in the workplace.
Deadlines for OSU students and employees (including student workers) are different.
Please upload your proof of vaccination to Student Health Services' (SHS) secure Patient Portal. Exceptions are allowed based on medical or disability reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs. Do not email your records.
Students who work on, study at or visit a campus were required to show proof of being vaccinated by uploading their COVID-19 vaccine documentation (e.g., the CDC card) into their patient portal by Sept. 15, 2021 (the same process used for other required vaccinations at OSU). Students can access their patient portal on the SHS website.
Students who have lost their COVID vaccination card can call the SHS Immunization office for help at 541-737-7573. Students seeking an approved medical or non-medical exception must complete an official document and review an educational module.
Employees — including student-employees — are required to submit proof of vaccination by Jan. 4, 2022. OSU employees must either upload documentation of vaccination against COVID-19 to the patient portal by this date or pursue a religious or medical exemption. Instructions on how to upload proof of vaccination or pursue a religious or medical exemption can be found at COVID-19 Immunization Requirements.
If an employee wishes to pursue a religious or medical exemption, they must do so as soon as possible to be ready for the Jan. 4, 2022 deadline. Please note that with an approved or pending exemption, employees are required to test weekly for COVID-19 if actively working on the Corvallis or Cascades campus prior to and after the Jan. 4, 2022 deadline. Those awaiting approval or otherwise not vaccinated are required to test weekly for COVID-19 if actively working on the Corvallis or Cascades campus.
To pursue a medical exemption, an employee must fill out the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) form and have it signed by a licensed medical professional prior to uploading it to the employee’s patient portal. OSU’s Occupational Health department will review and communicate whether or not the request is approved.
Religious exemptions may be pursued through OSU’s Office of Equal Opportunity Access (EOA) via this form. The EOA will review the detailed information provided by employees who hold sincere religious beliefs that prevent them from getting vaccinated and communicate whether or not the request is approved.
All students were expected to be in compliance with the vaccine program by Sept. 15, 2021.
OSU employees, including student employees, will need to show proof of their final vaccination dose – either their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022.
Please upload your proof of vaccination to Student Health Services' secure Patient Portal. Exceptions are allowed based on medical or disability reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs. Do not email your records.
No. OSU does not require employees or students to show they have tested negative after recovering from COVID-19. The only exceptions are for designated populations, such as those working within childcare or healthcare settings.
However, you MUST isolate for at least five days from the date of a positive test or the onset of symptoms and until symptoms have resolved. Then wear a well-fitting mask around all others for an additional five days.
For designated indoor events, unvaccinated individuals are required to show proof of a negative test, or documentation of recovery within the last 90 days, to gain entry to that event as part of OSU’s proof of vaccination or recent negative test requirement.
After isolating for five days, if you have tested positive — and choose to be tested again —as a way of determining if you are no longer contagious, you should use an Antigen test. Free at-home tests are now being provided by the federal government or available through pharmacies and health care providers.
Student Health Services cannot provide antigen testing for asymptomatic students on the Corvallis campus exiting isolation. These testing resources are reserved for diagnosing students who are showing symptoms.
PCR tests, which OSU is providing in Corvallis and Bend, are not recommended after the individual has recovered because these tests are highly sensitive, and results are likely to remain positive for weeks or even months later. Therefore, we ask that those who tested positive for COVID-19 not use OSU’s testing sites for 90 days. Those required to test should visit this FAQ for guidance on maintaining compliance.
Also, there is no requirement at OSU that you show proof of a negative test to return to in-person activity. However, you should continue wearing a well-fitting mask when around others for five days after five-day isolation. Remain in isolation for a full 24 hours after symptoms have resolved.
Everyone ages 12 and older can get a booster shot after completing their COVID-19 vaccine primary series.
People ages 18 years and older can either get the same COVID-19 vaccine product as their primary series or get a different COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or J&J/Janssen) for people ages 18 years and older.
At this time, the CDC recommends getting only one COVID-19 booster shot. However, the CDC continues to review the evidence and will update guidance as more information is available.
Yes, the booster requirement still applies. If you received a WHO-approved vaccine while outside of the U.S., you are eligible to receive your booster dose in the U.S. if you are 12 or older.
Yes, when operationally feasible, supervisors should make every attempt to work with employees to adjust their schedule so that employees can receive a COVID-19 vaccination during their work hours.
On April 26, 2021, the U.S. federal government extended for the academic year 2021-2022, the guidance that allows U.S. institutions to temporarily allow remote delivery of course material, Ecampus online courses or a combination of both course delivery options for international students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the extraordinary nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government will continue to temporarily suspend the online class restrictions for international students during the pandemic. It is anticipated that some international students may be unable to return to the US because of visa and travel complications resulting from the pandemic. As a result, the April 26, 2021 Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) extended guidance continues to apply for summer and fall 2021.
Oregon State University is planning to resume primarily traditional on-site and in-person learning and activities at OSU locations in fall 2021. For immigration purposes, you may be able to register for and take remotely delivered or Ecampus online courses from outside of the U.S. However, as OSU resumes on-site learning, some courses may not have a remote delivery option. It is highly recommended that you refer to the OSU Office of International Services website for more information, continue to monitor OSU’s Pathway to Fall planning website, and check with course instructors and academic advisors directly with questions.
For tests taken at an OSU location, OSU students and employees will be notified of their results through the secure Student Health Services (SHS) patient portal. Students are already regularly utilizing the portal to communicate information to SHS and receive information from SHS. Employees will receive test results and other messaging through their secured OSU patient portal as well. Employees can access their patient portal by going to https://myhealth.oregonstate.edu and logging in with ONID credentials. Portal messages will also come to employees’ e-mail addresses from “OSU Health.”
The portal will be used to communicate COVID-19 testing results from testing provided by Willamette Valley Toxicology only. Tests taken off campus will not confirm compliance with the university testing requirement.
Should families have transitional needs for flexibility in the workplace related to securing childcare arrangements heading into fall term 2021, they should discuss these needs with their supervisor. Supervisors may support short-term employee needs associated with organizing for childcare arrangements on a situational basis.
The university recognizes that OSU parents may need to keep children home due to required quarantine or isolation protocols within K-12 schools. This may require an OSU parent or guardian to stay home to provide care.
OSU is providing faculty, staff, graduate assistants and student employees an additional block of 80 hours of paid COVID-19 leave pro-rated based on FTE. This block of leave is intended to support employees at this new stage of the pandemic. This leave may be utilized Sept. 16, 2021, through June 30, 2022. It may only be used for the following reasons:
Remote work arrangements during this time may also be appropriate depending on the situation and as arranged between the employee and their supervisor.
As a reminder, the university does not support introducing children into OSU work environments during COVID-19. Bringing children, even older teenagers, to work is not an acceptable child care strategy. During Covid-19, supervisors are not authorized to approve such arrangements.
The OSU Family Resource Center on the Corvallis campus is available for consultation regarding child care arrangements. Additional information provided by the Oregon Department of Education Early Learning Division can be found at the Oregon Early Learning website.
OSU’s new employee assistance program Beyond Benefits also can help.
Please contact [email protected] with additional questions.
If you, a dependent or a close family member are ill, you should self-isolate and call your health care provider, Student Health Services or an emergency medical care provider. Please email your instructor as soon as you anticipate that illness will prevent you from attending to a requirement or meeting a deadline. The COVID-19 Care Ambassador program (beav.es/covid-care) can help you plan for coursework if you need to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19. The Office of the Dean of Students can also assist you if you are navigating a range of extenuating life circumstances, including but not limited to prolonged illness, hospitalization, financial concerns, etc. They can be reached via Zoom chat or audio Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 541-737-8748 or by email at [email protected].
Non-emergency phone: 541-737-7211
Oregon Health Authority: Dial 211