Dear OSU Community Members,
Public health conditions in most counties in which OSU operates are significantly improving. This is wonderful news, and we appreciate your continued commitment to contributing to community health and well-being. Given these improving conditions and increasing vaccination rates among Oregonians, OSU has moved its operational risk level to 1 and will discontinue using operational risk level designations in pandemic response planning. Moving forward, university operations will follow county and state risk levels and guidelines, as necessary.
OSU Safety and Success Policies: As we communicated last week, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has issued new face covering guidelines and interim guidance for fully vaccinated individuals for businesses, including higher education. Based on those guidelines, face coverings are no longer required outdoors at OSU, unless the outdoor setting is crowded, or physical distancing cannot be maintained. Face coverings continue to be required indoors at all OSU locations, regardless of vaccination status. OSU’s physical distancing policy continues to require compliance with all current OHA guidelines and OSHA guidelines. Gatherings – including indoors – are permissible with compliance with relevant restrictions and prevention measures. This includes the allowance for in-person meetings and activities. OSU’s Pathway to Fall plan has been updated to provide guidance on in-person meetings. Individuals are expected to be familiar with and adhere to all relevant guidelines as they plan and conduct their in-person activities.
University Travel: OSU-sponsored travel may resume beginning June 1. Employees are to utilize standard process and approval procedures. Deans, vice presidents and vice provosts may choose to implement unit-level travel approval procedures as they manage public health and financial considerations. Employees and supervisors should review travel advisories from health authorities as they make and approve travel plans.
To register for international travel please visit the OSU International Travel Registry. For domestic travel please follow existing department guidelines.
OSU’s Vaccination Program: On May 4, 2021, OSU announced its plans to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students and employees for fall. While details are still being worked out in dialogue with bargaining units and other stakeholders, we anticipate asking employees and students to demonstrate compliance by confirming their vaccination status or claiming an exemption by Sept. 15, 2021.
Beginning June 1, students will be able to confirm they have been vaccinated on the Student Health Services website. The process for students to request an exemption will be in place on the Student Health Services website by July 9. Both students and employees will be able to claim certain exemptions. We will update employees about the compliance process when discussions are complete with stakeholders.
OSU will manage compliance with this policy centrally. Employees, students and volunteers are discouraged from discussing who has or has not been vaccinated. Because a person’s vaccination status is private medical information, supervisors are directed not to ask employees whether they have been or plan to be vaccinated. OSU employees may not ask students whether they have been or plan to be vaccinated, or implement added proof of vaccination processes or policies within their units or programs. Updated information can be found on the OSU Safety and Success website within Frequently Asked Questions.
OSU COVID-19 Testing: The OSU community has been fortunate to have surveillance, prevalence, and screening testing help from the TRACE team over this academic year. The TRACE-OSU testing program informed decision making as well as the rapid containment of COVID-19. Moving forward, vaccination will serve as OSU’s primary mitigation measure for reducing the risk and spread of COVID-19. Regular prevalence testing will conclude on June 11, 2021. We will continue to conduct wastewater surveillance in Corvallis, Bend and Newport. When needed, university-provided testing will be managed by Student Health Services. Unvaccinated students living in on-campus housing may be required to continue participating in high-frequency testing. Other individuals who are interested in receiving COVID-19 tests should seek out local resources, most of which offer testing with no out-of-pocket cost. Units and programs that would like to discuss the use of university-resourced testing in their specific settings, including employment settings, should contact Jenny Haubenreiser, associate vice provost and executive director of Student Health Services.
As always, we will keep you updated on how these changes will guide decisions on university operations and public health measures.
Coronavirus Response Coordinator
Vice Provost for Student Affairs