Dear OSU Faculty and Staff,
I hope your spring term is off to a good start. I write to provide several updates on OSU’s COVID-19 response and planning.
Vaccine Eligibility to be Offered to Everyone Over Age 16: The Oregon Health Authority has announced that as of April 19, 2021, those who are 16 or older are eligible to receive the vaccine for COVID-19. Please do your part to protect yourself and your community by getting vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccine clinics continue each week at Reser Stadium. Additionally, here is a link to online tools available to help you find a vaccination site near you.
OSU’s Fall 2021 Resumption Guide: Over the coming days, the Continuity Management Team will complete OSU’s Fall 2021 Resumption Guide, incorporating recommendations and guidance from a joint Oregon State University and University of Oregon Taskforce of public health experts, co-led by OSU’s Dean of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Dr. Javier Nieto.
The Resumption Guide will provide information on how we plan to transition to more onsite and in-person programs, services and activities, as we move through spring and summer terms. This transition assumes continued improvement in public health conditions to be aided by increasing vaccination rates, as well as applicable health guidelines and requirements. Expect to receive the 2021 Resumption Guide the week of April 19, 2021.
Upcoming COVID-19 Community Forum: April 28: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: OSU will hold an informational webinar to discuss the university’s resumption planning and overall operational approaches for the spring, summer and fall terms. Advance sign-up is not required. The session will be recorded and posted to the OSU Safety & Success website.
OSU Operational Risk Level: For much of the academic year, OSU has been operating at Level 3 of the university’s pandemic response designations. Level 3 operations recognize increasing prevalence of the virus; significant local public health protective measures and stressed response capacity; and the importance of limited in-person instruction, smaller gathering sizes, and reduced on-site density.
While reports of positive cases of COVID-19 continue in most areas that OSU operates, our protective and response measures are proving effective in minimizing spread. Therefore, as of April 19, 2021, OSU’s Corvallis, Bend and Newport locations will transition to Level 2 university operations.
While we will not transition spring courses already in session to in-person instruction, we are planning for more in-person activity within all applicable OHA Guidelines and OSU Safety and Success policies and requirements. We anticipate that by the start of summer term, OSU will be operating at Level 1, which transitions the university to on-site and in-person operations with ongoing public health measures. Also, as of April 19, 2021, OSU Extension and other statewide public services will no longer use both the OSU operating levels and county risk levels. Going forward, operations will be based on local county risk levels and relevant sector guidelines, and applicable federal, state, and local requirements.
In-Person Events and Activities: As operational and county risk levels improve, OSU is planning to allow more on-site and in-person activity. We have created a process to assist planners in meeting applicable public health guidelines and OSU policies. Advanced approval for larger events will be required and facilitated through this process. To learn more about how to facilitate in-person activity, please visit the Event Resumption website. Additionally, please join us April 22 from 1 to 2 p.m. for an informational webinar on planning in-person activities. Registration is not required and the session will be recorded.
Please Continue to be Tested: As you may know, the presence of the B.1.1.7 variant has been detected in Oregon. This variant has increased transmissibility and causes more severe symptoms. Continued adherence to public health measures and testing are essential. Frequent testing allows OSU and public health officials to take swift contact tracing and other measures to contain positive cases. Please help us limit spread of the virus – and especially its more harmful variants – by getting vaccinated as soon as you are able, and by continuing to be tested. TRACE OSU will be increasing the number of faculty, staff and students to be tested over the next several weeks. If you have not yet signed up for TRACE OSU, please do so here.
Coronavirus Response Coordinator