Dear OSU faculty and staff,

I hope the new term is off to a good start for you. I write with several brief updates.

COVID Testing

We tested a total of 2,089 students moving into Corvallis campus residence halls and 147 moving into the residence hall at OSU-Cascades. In Corvallis, 28 students, or 1.34%, tested positive. No student residents tested positive at OSU-Cascades. In addition, Student Health Services tested 475 students living in Greek housing in Corvallis, with seven testing positive (1.47%). Since late June, we have performed 1,961 tests involving student-athletes and identified 12 positive cases, a rate of 6/10th of 1%. Appropriate isolation protocols were followed for all positive cases and county health departments were informed to enable contact tracing in those communities where a student lived.

Our wastewater monitoring continues and is informing targeted testing where elevated values are found, as reported in COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dan Larson’s communication to university employees and Corvallis campus students this morning.

OSU is very close to standing up capacity in the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (ODVL) to process tests via use of the open-source SalivaDirect test developed by Yale University. OVDL processing of saliva PCR tests is expected to replace our current use of Quidel antigen tests for large-scale individual testing, which may allow us to expand OSU’s testing capacity.

The University will continue to provide weekly updates to the COVID 19 Safety and Success Dashboard for the Corvallis campus, the OSU-Cascades Dashboard, and the TRACE OSU Dashboard.

Reminder: Please Enroll in TRACE OSU Testing

TRACE OSU prevalence testing began Monday, Sept. 28, on our campuses in Corvallis and Bend and at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Current faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in this testing by using this link to enroll. Enrolling takes only a minute and testing takes less than five minutes. Your personal information will be kept secure at all times and your results will be provided to you by secure e-mail, typically within 48 hours. As required, results of positive tests will be provided to the local county health authority to aid in contact tracing.

Getting Assistance - COVID Ambassadors

Student Health Services and the Office of the Dean of Students have created the COVID Ambassadors program on the Corvallis campus to help support and provide coordinated care for students who are directly impacted by COVID-19, either by diagnosis or direct contact. The goal of this program is to create a private support structure and ensure students are aware of the resources available to them if they become ill; need to isolate if tested positive; have been exposed to COVID-19 and need to quarantine; or have otherwise been affected. This coordinated care is made possible by designated individuals within each college/division who have been trained and informed to provide guidance and support. Please ensure you know who your COVID ambassador is in your college/division so you may guide students accordingly.

Adherence to Public Health Measures

Thanks to all members of the OSU community for their adherence to our public health measures, and a special thanks to students who are exercising leadership in encouraging their peers to comply. This includes OSU’s fraternity and sorority leaders, who represent approximately 2,700 students in Greek Life on the Corvallis campus. OSU fraternity and sorority councils have affirmed their support for the health and safety of OSU and the Corvallis community, including by refraining from hosting any social get-togethers that exceed University or state limitations of no more than 10 people. This commitment shows their understanding of the importance of continued vigilance in following guidelines.

As always, a record of all of my communications is available here, we have archived all COVID-19 communications on this page, and we continue to update the COVID-19 Safety & Success websites (university-wide and OSU-Cascades).


Edward Feser
Provost and Executive Vice President

October 1, 2020