Dear OSU Community,
As we complete fall term, I write to provide you with a few reminders and updates.
Reduced University Operations: OSU will be open with reduced operations beginning Monday, Dec. 28 through Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. This period of reduced operations applies to all OSU operations, including the Corvallis and OSU-Cascades campuses, the Hatfield Marine Science Center, Portland facilities, and at all OSU Extension Service offices and Experiment Stations. While the university will remain open during this time, university offices and functions that are not deemed as operationally necessary to be open during this week may have reduced hours of service or will be closed. Please plan, and check in with offices prior to Thursday, Dec. 24, if you expect needing support or to complete business transactions between Dec. 28 and Dec. 31.
OSU will be closed Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, and Friday, Jan. 1, 2021.
Travel: For those considering personal travel over the holidays, please review the travel advisory issued by the states of Oregon, California and Washington which discourages non-essential travel and includes a recommendation to quarantine for 14 days after returning from out-of-state or out-of-country travel.
Reminder on Winter Term Instructional Delivery: Based on continued careful monitoring of the status of the COVID-19 pandemic locally, throughout Oregon and nationally, OSU’s Corvallis campus is planning to continue providing instruction primarily through remote modalities for winter term 2021. The university will continue to use remote delivery to contribute to student wellness and educational success, limit the density of activity on-campus and help minimize the possible spread of COVID-19. As with fall term, we are planning for those courses that are offered on-site to be primarily those that have a heavy experiential learning component, such as labs, field courses and some graduate courses. Winter term plans for the OSU-Cascades campus will be similar with approximately 65% of course instruction being provided remotely. Of course, our plans for in-person activity may change depending on the nature of the pandemic, health guidance or laws.
We plan to have the following buildings open on the Corvallis campus during winter term: those with classrooms and teaching laboratories used for in-person instruction and applied learning, UHDS residence halls and dining centers, the Memorial Union, Dixon Recreation Center, and Valley Library, as well as other buildings that provide childcare, Student Health Services, food services, emergency assistance and study spaces (such as the LInC). Please check the Corvallis campus open/closed buildings list regularly, as all on-campus operations are subject to change. We currently plan for all OSU-Cascades campus buildings to remain open during winter term. Given the updated State of Oregon COVID-19 framework, some OSU operations may be reduced and facilities closed during both “high” and “extreme” county risk levels.
Winter Term Research Activity: Research activities will continue following approved resumption plans.
Winter Term COVID-19 Testing: We are currently planning for Week 1 of winter term testing to be offered to all faculty, staff and students who are enrolled in TRACE OSU on the Corvallis and OSU-Cascades campuses and the Hatfield Marine Science Center. Beginning the Week of Jan. 11, we plan to resume TRACE OSU prevalence testing of OSU employees and students.
Exposure Notifications Pilot: Thank you to everyone who has enrolled in the Oregon Exposure Notifications pilot. Designed with privacy concerns in mind, the notifications system sends alerts to participants’ mobile phones alerting them of possible contacts with people who tested positive with COVID-19. In the past month, more than 11,000 Oregon State students, faculty and staff have enrolled in the program. The OSU pilot is expected to run through the end of December, and we anticipate the State of Oregon will launch the tool statewide in 2021. For more information or to participate in the pilot, please visit https://beav.es/enx.
Spring Term Planning: As we plan for spring term, we will closely monitor COVID-19 conditions and, if feasible, provide increased in-person curricular, extra-curricular and experiential learning opportunities for students. We will communicate more details on spring term planning as winter term is underway.
In closing, I want to reinforce that our ongoing planning continues to prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Given recent approval and initial distribution of vaccines, we are optimistic that along with continued commitment to public health measures such as wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance, and washing hands, we will be able to begin to come back together as a community in 2021.
Thank you, and please have safe, peaceful, and restful holidays.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
OSU Coronavirus Response Coordinator