Important Holiday Travel Guidance and Reminders

To: OSU Employees

From: Dan Larson, Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Vice Provost for Student Affairs

November 17, 2020

Dear OSU Employees,

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we have communicated the following guidance to students. Please help us distribute this information to students.

We are advising students to comply with Gov. Kate Brown’s Two-Week Statewide Freeze order. Following the Governor’s Nov. 13 announcement of new public health requirements, the Oregonian newspaper reported that Oregon State Police will work with local law enforcement to enforce the Governors orders that include restricting gatherings to six people from no more than two households. OSU expects all employees and students to follow all other requirements set forth in the Governor’s freeze requirements and to follow OSU’s Physical Distancing Policy.  

We are encouraging students to get tested and providing tests. All students who live in the Corvallis, Bend and Newport areas are invited to be tested through TRACE OSU through Thursday, Nov. 19. Please encourage students to get tested and not wait until the end of the day on Thursday!  Testing is an added precaution that will help students make good decisions on how to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. If you are teaching or working directly with students, please remind them that a negative test result does not confirm they do not have the virus and are not infectious, so they must continue observing personal and public health measures and monitor their own wellness. 

If a student becomes infected or they are exposed to a person who is confirmed to be infected, they must isolate or quarantine before traveling. The Oregon Health Authority’s website offers more information on isolation and quarantine guidelines.

Also, please encourage students to obtain a flu shot. OSU Corvallis students can obtain a flu shot at Student Health Services. Call 541-737-9355 to schedule an appointment. Students at OSU-Cascades can seek a flu shot through their own provider or by contacting [email protected] for more information.

We have advised students to plan carefully and limit their holiday travel: Students have been advised to limit their travel between communities as a way to limit exposing themselves and others to the virus that causes COVID-19. We have informed them that the states of Oregon, California and Washington have issued travel advisories, recommending 14-day quarantines for interstate and international travel and asking residents to remain local and not travel across borders. Additionally, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is encouraging college students, where possible and practical, to remain in the communities where they are currently living. We have advised students that if they have tested negative for COVID-19 and plan to travel home or visit another location during the Thanksgiving holiday, they should consider remaining there for the remainder of the term and through winter break, if possible.

We have reminded students that OSU will operate as fully remote for the remainder of fall term. Face-to-face teaching on the Corvallis campus will end on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. Week 10 classes and fall term final exams and activities will be delivered remotely. We have notified students that they are not required to return to OSU’s Corvallis campus after the Thanksgiving break for the remainder of fall term.

Students at OSU-Cascades will continue to have the option to take classes remotely throughout fall term. Students should check their courses in Canvas for any updates regarding delivery modality.

On-campus housing and dining services in both Corvallis and Bend will remain available.

Sign up for the Oregon Exposure Notification Pilot:  Please encourage students to help OSU deploy new technology to alert OSU community members when they have been exposed to someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19. If you receive an exposure notification, you will have the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 test through TRACE-OSU. The system is built with privacy as a primary consideration and does not collect any personal information. Details about the technology, the pilot and how to participate are available at Be COVID smart. Your phone can play a part.

The following resources offering helpful information on traveling, holiday celebrations and small gatherings have been provided to students:

Oregon State University: COVID-19 Winter Break Travel Guide

Oregon Health Authority: College Students: Heading Home for the Holidays?  

Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings

Oregon Health Authority: Make Safety part of your Holiday Celebrations


Dan Larson
Coronavirus Response Coordinator
Vice Provost for Student Affairs