Dear OSU Community Members,
We write to update you on Oregon State University’s plans for winter term instruction, research, Extension and outreach programming, and university operations.
At this time, in-person instruction and all other university activities and operations will resume on-site as scheduled on Jan. 3 at all OSU campuses and locations.
We make this decision while monitoring increased COVID-19 cases across the nation due to the Omicron variant. Our decision is informed by federal, state and local health authority guidance and is buoyed by positive signs that Omicron, while highly transmissible, may be resulting in milder symptoms and fewer cases of severe illness, hospitalization and death.
The university’s decision is intentional: We seek to minimize disruption of student learning and experience and provide predictability for our faculty and university operations. We are mindful that classrooms, where students and faculty are vaccinated and wear face coverings, have not been a significant source of virus spread. We believe we can guard against a surge in COVID-19 cases due to a vaccination rate of more than 93% among OSU students and employees; requiring booster shots when a person is eligible as part of OSU’s vaccination program; the continuation of OSU’s emphasis on targeted COVID-19 testing; and our community’s adherence to numerous other public health measures.
Oregon State’s decision is in alignment with plans collaboratively announced today by all of Oregon’s public universities to maintain on-site teaching.
Your continued resilience and full participation in the battle against COVID-19 will be required for winter term classes to begin and operate successfully. This includes getting a booster shot as soon as possible and being tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus and other university locations.
We will undertake the following actions to support continuity in Oregon State’s teaching, activities and operations:
This week, we will provide guidance to supplement the COVID-19 Safety and Success website on how faculty and graduate assistants can manage COVID-19-related absences during winter term. Meanwhile, we will continue to follow health authority requirements and guidance, monitor pandemic conditions closely, and update the university community promptly on any changes in OSU’s response.
Thank you for your immediate attention to these additional measures as together we address this new variant and the pandemic. We wish you a safe and healthy holiday break.
Provost and Executive Vice President