Updated March 14, 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 and public transportation. 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 106A (Enrollment Services)
  • Graduate & Research Center lobby
  • Ray Hall 203-4 (vice president's suite)

Mask Guidance (as of March 12)

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:

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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 Therefore, unless superseded by a federal requirement, it will be hard to sustain, which may worsen an already highly divided public opinion over the merits of masking and would place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.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. 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.

Previous Mask Guidance & Public Health Policy (prior to March 12)

OSU continues to abide by state and local laws and be responsive to current public health conditions and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and local county requirements.

Face coverings are defined as an item affixed to the face to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including cloth garments that cover the nose and mouth and medical-grade disposable masks. This definition and policy exclude face coverings that incorporate a valve to facilitate easy exhalation, mesh masks, lace masks, face shields or other coverings with openings, holes, or visible gaps in the design, material or vents.

Per OHA Rule 333-019-1025, individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask or face covering  when in an indoor space unless the individual:

(a) Is under five years of age; unless an individual is using public transportation or in transportation hubs in which case an individual under two years of age is not required to wear a mask or face covering.

(b) Is sleeping.

(c) Is actively eating or drinking.

(d) Is engaged in an activity that makes wearing a mask or face covering not feasible, such as when actively swimming.

(e) Is in a private individual workspace.

(f) Must remove the mask or face covering briefly because the individual’s identity needs to be confirmed by visual comparison, such as at a bank or if interacting with law enforcement.

(g) Is practicing or playing a competitive sport at any level.

(h) Is performing, including but not limited to playing music, delivering a speech to an audience, and theater.

Per the State of Oregon’s indoor face covering and mask mandate, a face covering is not required when teaching a class, when all of the following conditions are met:

  • If multiple people are speaking, only one may be unmasked at a time.
  • The speaker always remains at least six feet from the audience.
  • Everyone else in the room is masked.

Under OSU’s COVID19 Safety and Success Policy and in alignment with OHA definitionsindoor spaces means anywhere indoors, including but not limited to public and private workplaces, businesses, indoor areas open to the public, building lobbies, common or shared spaces, classrooms, elevators, bathrooms, transportation services and other indoor space where people may gather for any purpose. Examples:

  • Classrooms.
  • Dining centers.
  • Recreation centers.
  • Indoor sports venues.
  • Conference and event centers and spaces.
  • Service centers, front desks and offices that are not private individual workspaces (see definition below).

Indoor spaces do not include private individual workspaces used for work by one individual at a time, defined as, an indoor space within a public or private workplace used for work by one individual at a time that is enclosed on all sides with walls from floor to ceiling and with a closed door.

Common or shared spaces that have been designated as such in the COVID-19 Safety & Success policy (i.e., classrooms, dining centers, recreation centers, conference and event centers, front desks serving the public) require face coverings and questions about exceptions or changes to that policy should be directed to the COVID response coordinator.