Dear OSU Community Members,

Effective immediately, face coverings are now required in all public indoor settings at OSU.

This policy will be reviewed weekly, adjusted as appropriate, and communicated on the COVID-19 Safety & Success website.

Last week, we communicated that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) had updated their guidance to recommend the use of face coverings in public indoor spaces. In that context, we endorsed these recommendations under OSU’s Framework on Face Coverings, emphasizing that we would update our policy as public health conditions changed.

Since last week’s message, the Delta variant of COVID-19 has significantly spread throughout Oregon, and most counties have reached a “high” level of transmission as determined by the CDC. 

For purposes of this face covering requirement, “public indoor settings” at OSU include indoor environments in university-owned or controlled property or in which OSU activities are held, and which are open to the public. Examples include classrooms, dining centers (except while seated to consume food/drink), recreation centers, indoor sports venues, conference and event centers and spaces, service centers, front desks, and offices with frequent engagement with OSU community members or the public.

Generally, public indoor settings do not include university workspaces (e.g., offices or cubicles) and spaces within residence halls that do not have high frequency or recurring visitations by the public, and where individuals are not exposed to others who are not assigned to work in that space. Please review these FAQ’s for additional guidance. OSU Athletics will continue to follow Pac-12 Conference medical guidance.

Our policy on the use of face coverings complements the university’s vaccine program requirement for all faculty, staff and students.

We understand this face covering requirement may be unsettling to those who are weary of public health measures and constantly worry about their health and that of others within their families and community. The university’s primary goal remains the health and safety of our university community and the communities in which we operate. Continued vigilance is critical as we plan for a return in the fall to a more typical on-site experience, and a potential relaxation of the face covering requirement, if conditions allow.


Dan Larson
OSU Coronavirus Response Coordinator
Vice Provost for Student Affairs


August 5, 2021