Dear OSU Community Members,

I have received numerous recent inquiries regarding COVID-19 testing, and the following will be added to our Safety and Success website FAQs. Given such interest, I am also providing the answers to these questions below. 

Question: Is it required to show a negative test result prior to returning to onsite work or learning, after having isolated for five days due to receiving a positive COVID-19 test result, and/or after isolating five days and being no longer symptomatic?


No, OSU does not require employees and students to show they have tested negative after having recovered from COVID-19 infection. The only exceptions are for certain designated populations, such as those working within childcare or healthcare settings.  

For designated events under OSU’s proof of up-to-date vaccination requirement, unvaccinated individuals continue to be required to show proof of a negative test in order to gain entry to that event, as part of OSU’s proof of full vaccination requirement for designated events (starting February 15, designated events will require proof of either up-to-date vaccination or a negative test). 

Question: Which type of test should be used if I choose to test following infection?


If you have tested positive and choose to be tested after isolating for five days as a way of determining if you are no longer contagious, you should use an Antigen test, such as the free at-home tests now being provided by the federal government, or available through pharmacies or contact your personal health care provider. Student Health Services is not able to provide antigen testing for asymptomatic students on the Corvallis campus who are leaving isolation, as SHS is reserving these testing resources to diagnose students who are showing symptoms.

PCR tests, which are being provided by OSU on the Corvallis and Bend campuses, are not recommended for testing after 5 days of isolation as these tests are highly sensitive and results from a PCR test are likely to remain positive for weeks or even months after the individual has recovered. We ask that those who tested positive for COVID-19 not use OSU’s testing sites until 90 days after their positive test. Those required to test should visit this FAQ for guidance on how to maintain compliance. 

Again, there is no requirement at OSU that you show proof of a negative test to return to in-person activity. You should continue wearing a well-fitting mask when around others for a full 5 days after a 5-day isolation (or after quarantine if exposed). If you are symptomatic, you are expected to remain in isolation for a full 24 hours after your symptoms have resolved. 

Reminder on isolation requirements

If you test positive or are symptomatic: isolate. If you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 and are up-to-date on your vaccinations against COVID-19, watch for symptoms and wear your mask around others. You do not need to quarantine or isolate unless you test positive or develop symptoms. If you have been exposed and are not vaccinated, or are not up-to-date on your vaccinations, you need to quarantine. Please familiarize yourself with the university’s full guidance.

Thank you for continuing to observe OSU’s public health measures. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us through OSU’s Safety and Success website.


Dan Larson

Vice Provost for Student Affairs

OSU Coronavirus Response Coordinator

January 21, 2022