OSU students,

As testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 becomes more available and frequent, we likely will hear of more positive cases of COVID-19 involving university students, faculty and staff.

While it is important to keep our community informed about COVID-19 matters involving the university, we do not believe it helpful to provide continued general university notifications for every positive future case involving an OSU student or employee. Such notifications will only duplicate daily COVID-19 updates being provided by the county and regional health authorities in which OSU has campuses and facilities. 

As well, we believe that each of us already recognizes that communities worldwide are in a state of public health emergency where the risk is already high.   

Going forward, OSU will focus its communications and support regarding positive cases to address the risk and spread of COVID-19 among potentially affected faculty, staff and students, who may have come in contact with those who test positive. While we do this -- and continue to collaborate with local county health departments– we will fulfill all applicable federal reporting requirements, such as Clery emergency notifications. Specifically, when a first COVID-19 case occurs for an individual working or studying at OSU’s campuses in Corvallis and Bend, and at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, a Clery emergency notification will be issued once, such as was the case with a communication sent Saturday, March 28, 2020, involving the OSU Corvallis campus. Beyond a first notice, future Clery emergency notifications will be issued, if the university determines such a notification is required due to the circumstances of a specific case, including the extent, immediacy or location of possible exposure, such as, for example, within an occupied residence hall.

By managing its general response and communications regarding positive cases in this way, OSU will provide immediate response, communications and service to those OSU units, locations and individuals who may have had a potential contact exposure. Privacy will continue to be maintained, and only broad details of where and when a potential exposure may have occurred will be provided to potentially affected faculty, staff and students. Support will be provided to potential contacts by the county health department and OSU departments.  As is the case now, we will continue to contact and support deans and unit department leaders whose staff or student groups may have been exposed. Additionally, if potential exposure involves facilities owned and operated by the university, building and facilities will be further cleaned and sanitized.   

In closing, we appreciate the commitment and efforts that each member of the OSU community is taking to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19.  Staying home and creating physical distance from people outside your household, monitoring yourself for symptoms of illness and seeking medical advice if you have concerns, and washing your hands frequently remain the best actions you can take.

Questions or comments may be sent to covidhealth@oregonstate.edu.  Questions regarding our communication process can be found on our COVID-19 website.

Sincerely,

Dan Larson,
COVID-19 Response Coordinator, Vice Provost, Student Affairs

Mike Green,
Vice President, Finance and Administration

Steve Clark,
Vice President, University Relations and Marketing

Date: 
April 13, 2020