Guidelines for essential travel associated with field or on-location research during the COVID-19 pandemic
These guidelines are subject to change on short notice, depending on CDC travel guidance.
21 May 2020
On May 14, 2020, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed Executive Order 20-25 indicating it remains essential for public health, safety and welfare that individuals continue to stay at or near their home or place of residence, whenever possible. An individual should follow guidance from the Oregon Health Authority when traveling from the individual’s home or place of residence.
OSU-sponsored travel remains suspended during the staged resumption of research activities. Exceptions may be granted by the appropriate dean, vice provost or vice president. Exceptions should be very rare, and requests should weigh the relative risks of travel against the potential serious disruption to research or university programs. Examples of critical travel may include:
Only researchers that have no symptoms of illness -- or who have not knowingly been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 for the past 14 days -- will be considered for approved research travel.
It is preferred that each participant travel in their own vehicle. If this is not possible, two people per vehicle may be allowed if all occupants wear face coverings during the entirety of travel. If traveling with larger vehicles, travelers should adhere to vehicle occupancy guidelines issued by OSU’s Motorpool. All hard surfaces in the vehicle should be sanitized according to the cleaning standards provided by EHS for lab surfaces prior to beginning the trip, when there is a change in drivers, and at the end of the trip.
Hand sanitizers and soap and water must be available for hand-washing. Note that hand sanitizers do not work well on dirty hands so accommodations must be in place to wash hands with soap.
Food and drinks should be brought from home. Sharing of food or cooking is not permitted. Take-out or delivery from a restaurant is an acceptable option. Stopping for refueling is permitted.
Overnight lodging must be in individual rooms or in individual tents with individually owned sleeping bags.
At the sign of any symptom of illness in any individual, everyone must return from the field immediately. Upon return, participants must contact their health care provider instructions and must be prepared to self-quarantine for an appropriate period.
Travel that cannot be completed within a single day should be minimized.
Travel participants must be able to receive daily updates and advice from the university on its COVID-19 response and changes in policies and guidelines.
Safety at all times is paramount, and COVID-19 is not the only the only risk we face. It is not acceptable to increase risk in one area to accommodate the guidelines designed to limit exposure to COVID-19.