To: OSU Community Members
From: Dan Larson, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, OSU’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator
June 25, 2021
Dear OSU Community Members,
Gov. Kate Brown announced today that she will lift all COVID-19 health and safety restrictions by June 30, 2021. This announcement is in keeping with the state’s goal of 70% of adult Oregonians having received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose. The Governor’s decision includes lifting Executive Order 20-28, which has provided guidance for Oregon higher education, as well as other OHA guidelines that informed various university policies and operation during the pandemic. Some state requirements, such as those from Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), are expected to remain in effect for some workplaces, such as health care settings and transportation.
Thank you to everyone for your contributions in helping Oregon reach a public health status in which the restrictions can be lessened. This news marks a long-awaited turn in the fight against COVID-19. While the virus may continue to be a risk to some members of our community, primarily those who are unvaccinated, we support the lifting of community-wide restrictions and the transition to relying primarily on the precautions we can personally take to protect our families, friends, community members and ourselves.
As of June 30, 2021, OSU’s Face Covering Policy and Physical Distancing Policy are terminated and will be replaced with a general COVID-19 Safety and Success Policy. This general policy provides guidance on COVID-19 risk reduction requirements and recommendations, including the use of face coverings for those who are unvaccinated. The policy also includes provisions regarding positive COVID-19 case notification, isolation and quarantine procedures, and expectations for ongoing participation in contact tracing. This new COVID-19 Safety and Success policy will apply to all OSU settings and activities, including education, research, OSU Extension and outreach. Additionally, please recall that OSU sponsored travel is no longer restricted and research resumption plans are no longer required. Further, the lifting of building capacity and physical distancing requirements means that building and space utilization can return to full occupancy.
OSU will continue to promote health and safety by:
- Continuing to apply remaining federal, state and local health authority guidelines and recommendations (e.g., requirements for youth-serving programs).
- Promoting and enforcing OSU’s vaccination program.
- Tracking the incidence of COVID-19 in university locations in Corvallis, Bend and Newport, and working with university community members to help reduce the spread of the virus.
- Respecting individual decisions to wear face coverings as a personal choice for COVID-19 risk reduction and other reasons.
- Providing ongoing public health updates and guidance as we implement OSU’s Pathway to Fall plan.
What you can do to support your personal health and safety:
- Continue to engage in COVID-19-related personal hygiene practices, including performing daily health checks and staying home when you are not feeling well.
- If unvaccinated, wear a face covering to protect yourself and others, particularly in indoor and higher-density locations.
- Respect others’ decision on whether they choose to wear a face covering.
- Update your vaccination if boosters are determined necessary.
- Rely on and stay informed by trusted and science-based information sources.
This has been a long journey, and we have learned much about the importance of coming together as a community to contribute to wellness and safety, and the need to remain resilient and flexible to change.
The lifting of most public health restrictions is a welcome milestone in our Pathway to Fall planning. The Governor’s announcement does not accelerate or otherwise change university approach or timelines for return to on-site operations. We understand that not having these restrictions may feel awkward at first. OSU is moving forward based on the improved public health conditions made possible by the more than 2.3 million Oregonians who have become vaccinated, as well as by remaining in alignment with guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Guidance for Higher Education.
Looking ahead, we will proceed with cautious optimism, while being ready to respond should COVID-19 conditions require a return to additional public health measures.
I wish you good health.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
OSU’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator