September 13, 2022
Dear OSU Community Members,
Welcome to fall and to the start of the new academic year. I write to provide you with updated community health and resource information, including guidance on COVID-19 and Monkeypox (MPV), as well as other ways we all can support our own wellness and community health.
We have launched a new website, Beaver Healthy, that includes information on COVID-19, MPV and influenza, as well as more general health and wellness guidance. All university-level COVID-19 information provided by University Human Resources (for employees) and Student Health Services (for students) is provided on this site. Guidance and information that is campus or location specific is noted and linked.
As you prepare for fall, please familiarize yourself with the Beaver Healthy website and the guidance provided. The following are highlights on our current measures associated with COVID-19 and MVP.
The incidence of COVID-19 in Oregon is trending down as of Sept. 12, 2022. Most Oregon counties are within the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) designation of “Low Community Level.” While the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is predicting an increase in COVID-19 cases at the end of September due to waning immunity and people increasingly congregating indoors, there are currently no new variants of concern on the horizon. An updated bivalent booster that targets the current Omicron variant will be available in the days ahead at OSU’s vaccine and booster clinics. Information on vaccine clinics is available on the Beaver Healthy website.
OSU’s COVID-19 response plan is informed by the ACHA’s COVID-19 Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2022. Because the CDC and OHA are no longer providing COVID-19 guidance for higher education institutions, individual universities have greater flexibility to organize their response based on their unique circumstances and locations.
There are four COVID-19 strategies currently operative at OSU, subject to change:
2. Positive case notification:
OSU’s MPV (hMPVX/Monkeypox) plan is informed by ACHA’s Emerging Considerations for Addressing MPV in Higher Education Settings guidance as well as guidance from our local public health authority. All MPV information provided by OSU is located on OSU’s Student Health Services (SHS) website.
Per the CDC, MPV is not considered a significant risk on college campuses, but there are community groups that may be impacted and should be aware of current information about MPV. We are sensitive to the need to provide this critical education without stigmatizing members of the community.
Plans are underway to provide education on MPV to the broader community, with Student Health Services (SHS), Samaritan Health Services, the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, OSU Extension, OHA and county health authorities all contributing. Guidelines on how to manage infection and exposure in university residential settings are based on the recent ACHA considerations and CDC guidance for congregate living settings.
We have learned a great deal as a university community over the past few years. As we enter the new academic year in a much stronger place, we are pleased to offer new tools and information to contribute to personal and community wellness. As always, please reach out if you have any questions. Let’s continue working together to support individual and community health.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
OSU Coronavirus Response Coordinator