Updated Aug. 2, 2022
Masks are welcome but no longer required at OSU. Those at higher risk should continue to wear masks. On March 12, 2022, the Oregon Health Authority lifted the statewide indoor mask mandate. Masks are still required in health care settings. See below for more information.
Need a Mask?
OSU provides free KN95 or N95 masks for members of our university community in Corvallis, Bend and across the state.
Employees: Departments and units can request bulk amounts of these masks at OSU Surplus Property.
Corvallis Students & Employees: May pick up a mask at the following locations during regular hours:
Bend Students & Employees: May pick up a mask at the following locations during regular hours:
Tykeson Hall 210C
Residence Hall front desk
Per OHA Rule 33-019-1011, masks are required in healthcare settings. Per CDC Order, masks are required on public transportation.
As of March 12, 2022, the following OSU locations require masks:
As OSU has done throughout the pandemic, we plan to remain aligned with OHA and guidance provided by local public health authorities. This stance is consistent with our practice throughout the pandemic. Ongoing mask use is welcomed and encouraged for some individuals. As always, we will continue to evaluate future masking needs in consultation with local health authorities.
Principles & Rationale:
OSU has consistently followed CDC, OHA and local public health authority guidance and requirements throughout the pandemic. Although OHA has stated that employers and businesses may choose to require masks after the statewide mandate is lifted, the university does not currently have a clear and measurable basis or metric that justifies establishing a requirement different from what health authorities recommend.
Maintaining compliance with a mask mandate that is not consistent with the direction and guidance provided by our state and local public health authorities will be challenging to justify and enforce. Therefore, unless superseded by a federal requirement, it will be hard to sustain, which may worsen an already highly divided public opinion over the merits of masking and would place members of the OSU community in difficult and potentially high-conflict situations.
OSU is an educational institution committed to implementing the most current knowledge to protect the health and well-being of the university community and the communities in which we operate. Public health mandates and requirements are necessary to mitigate acute situations. For example, according to the CDC and public health authorities, high-quality masks are currently expected to effectively reduce an individual’s risk of contracting COVID-19 (and other respiratory illnesses) for those who choose to use them and to increase safety in sectors where masks continue to be required, such as healthcare.
Education will be more effective in helping the community transition toward making personal health and risk decisions than prolonging the requirement. The OSU community will be best served by partnering with local public health authorities in preparing the community for an endemic phase of the virus. We are not there yet, but in preparation for this time, efforts will include a robust education and outreach plan to help shape social norms that support individuals’ choices to wear masks. The university will strive to help people understand that they can achieve a high degree of personal protection by wearing a high-quality, well-fitting mask if they choose. Doing so is a personal choice based on individual risk factors and risk tolerance.
It is also important to recognize that we are shaped by our experiences, environment, and values. Equity and social justice are central to public health, and we will continue to support those who are most at risk and vulnerable. OSU is providing free high-quality masks for personal use.