We are developing recommendations and strategies to reduce the likelihood of illness spreading on campus. These strategies include actions the university is taking as well as recommendations for individuals to prevent infection and infecting others.
What You Need to Know
The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza, is to avoid exposure to the virus. Reduce risk of exposure by:
Maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others
Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surface
The university has deployed a number of hand washing stations across campus.
Face coverings (cloth masks or face shields) are required for all faculty, staff, students, visitors, and vendors across all UO locations when in UO owned, leased, or controlled buildings, EXCEPT when alone in a space (e.g., room with four walls).
If you come across someone you believe might not be properly following the university's COVID-19 safety regulations (e.g., face coverings, physical distancing, etc.), you can use our behavioral concern reporting form to let us know and we can follow up on it.
Lowering the Risk of COVID-19
The more actions that both you and the university take will reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus.
Actions the university is taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus
Actions you can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19
Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Wear a Mask
Maintain Physical Distance
Wash Your Hands
Check Your Symptoms and
Stay Home if You're Sick
5 Keys to Healthy Hand Washing
In the fight against COVID-19, clean hands are critical. The university has deployed a number of hand washing stations across campus.
If You Start Feeling Sick, Stay Home.
If you have any of these symptoms, please leave campus and contact your health care provider immediately.
Two UO students who contracted COVID-19 in June share their message of caution. The young men want to warn other students to stay vigilant, emphasizing that the potential for serious harm to friends and loved ones through inadvertent exposure has been extremely sobering.
COVID-19 Symptoms and Response
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Patients with COVID-19 have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure.
Information suggests that older people and those with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. This includes being within approximately six feet of an individual with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time, and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
What should I do if I suspect I have COVID-19?
If you develop these symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, call your health care provider and tell them about your recent travel or contact. They will work with the appropriate local or state public health departments to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
- Students in Eugene: Call the University Health Center at 541-346-2770
- Students at the Portland Campus: Use the Portland State University Center for Student Health and Counseling
- OIMB Students: Contact the North Bend Medical Clinic in Coos Bay
- UO Employees: Follow these guidelines for employees
Individuals who wish to monitor themselves for symptoms can use the symptom self-check. If you are sick, follow all CDC guidelines [en Español] to prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.
When are isolation or quarantine used?
- Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
- Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
According to the CDC, both of these strategies are used to limit the spread of communicable disease.
Persons in isolation or quarantine should restrict activities outside their residence, except for getting medical care, for the period of time they are at risk of secondary transmission. If you are in isolation or quarantine, do not go to work, school, or public areas, and avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
If a student in UO housing needs isolation or quarantine, representatives of the Incident Management Team will work closely with health professionals to determine, on a case-by-case basis, a recommended housing option and isolation plan.
Options for students without symptoms who need to be quarantined include going home, remaining in their own housing situation if certain criteria are met, staying in a hotel room, or other recommended housing option.
Options for symptomatic students who need to be isolated include going home, remaining in their own room if a private bathroom is available, an alternative UO Housing room with a private bathroom (for UO Housing students only), or other recommended housing option.
If someone around you has been placed in isolation or quarantine, this does not necessarily mean they have contracted COVID-19. They may simply be awaiting test results. Persons who have completed quarantine or have been released from isolation do not pose a risk of infection to other people.
What if I have already recovered from COVID-19 earlier this summer? Will I still have the same quarantine restrictions if I come into contact with a positive case while on campus?
Yes. All students in the residence halls who may come in contact with a positive case will need to quarantine.
Although you have recovered from COVID-19, there are still uncertainties around whether people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.
For your safety and the safety of others in the UO community, you will need to follow all established protocols if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.
What can I do to avoid getting sick?
The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza, is to avoid exposure to the virus.
- Wearing a mask
- Proper handwashing
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a trash receptacle
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
The university has deployed a number of handwashing stations across campus.
Are masks required on campus?
Yes. Faculty, staff, students, visitors, and vendors are required to wear face coverings in indoor campus settings and when outdoors on campus when physical distancing isn’t possible.
The UO’s face covering regulation includes an exemption for individuals who have a physical or mental condition or disability that prevents them from putting on, taking off or wearing any face covering, among others.
What is social/physical distancing?
Public health officials are encouraging persons to practice social (physical) distancing whenever possible. Physical distancing includes maintaining distance from others when possible (six feet is recommended), refraining from attending large gatherings or events, and avoiding unnecessary contact with others (e.g., not shaking hands, hugging, or kissing as greetings).
The University of Oregon has implemented physical distancing strategies by providing primarily remote and online instruction for spring, summer and fall terms.
Guidance for social distancing in the workplace is available from Human Resources.
I have a health condition that may put me at higher risk from COVID-19. Is there anything I should do to protect myself?
The university recommends community members with specific health concerns contact their health care provider for medical advice tailored to their individual situations.
Are personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements different for my job due to COVID-19?
All existing standards for worker protection continue to apply. Additional interim guidance applies for specific worker groups and their employers, including health care, laboratories, airlines, border protection, business travelers, and solid waste and wastewater workers.
Supervisors should review interim guidance and coordinate with environmental health and safety to evaluate applicability to their employees.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides details about guidance on control and prevention.
What should I do if I see someone who does not look like they are following the university’s COVID-19 safety regulations?
If you come across someone you believe might not be properly following the university's COVID-19 safety regulations (e.g., face coverings, physical distancing, etc.), you are encouraged to provide them with information and a respectful reminder of the regulations. You should always talk to others about safety regulations by leading with inquiry and curiosity rather than assertion and judgment.
Your responsibility is to ensure your own compliance and reinforce expectations with others. It is not your role or responsibility to enforce the regulations.
If you are a UO employee and have a concern about another employee, you should talk to your supervisor.
If you feel uncomfortable speaking with the person you believe might not be properly following the university's COVID-19 safety regulations, you can also use our behavioral concern reporting form to let us know and we can follow up on it.
Cleaning and Safety Precautions
Are there special cleaning products or procedures being employed across campus?
The UO is following cleaning guidelines and protocols recommended by the CDC. Additional attention is being given to high touch areas such as door handles, handrails, and push bars on doors across campus.
The UO is working to ensure that necessary supplies are on hand in the event that guidelines are expanded. The university has also deployed a number of hand washing stations across campus.
How should I clean my workspace?
The CDC and University Health Services recommend people clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (e.g., keyboards, cell phones, doorknobs, desks, light switches) using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
An EPA-registered disinfectant or 10 percent bleach solution will be most effective. These cleaning and disinfectant products are readily available through mail order or local supermarkets and stores that stock basic home cleaning products.
What are you doing about ventilation in campus buildings?
Due to the variability of systems on campus, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. We are implementing a comprehensive strategy that includes maximizing air exchange rates and reducing the re-entrainment (transfer from exhaust air to supply air) of contaminants.
This strategy includes assessing and optimizing the following elements, depending on system capabilities:
- In-stream and targeted technologies
- Maintaining temperature and relative humidity within the comfort zone to the extent possible.
If you have questions about the HVAC systems and mitigation efforts in your building, contact your building manager or Ken Straw at email@example.com.
What measures are in place to ensure water quality in campus buildings during the long periods of vacancy?
Campus Planning and Facilities Management (CPFM) and Auxiliary Departments are maintaining staff presence within most of our buildings. Flushing of water systems has been added to their daily work. This helps keep our main supply piping clear and disinfected.
As we get closer to a return to occupied buildings on campus, these efforts will increase and will be bolstered by more concerted flushing efforts.
Are face coverings required in classrooms?
Yes. Face coverings are to be worn indoors at all times except when alone in a space. It is our responsibility to each other to wear face coverings when in shared spaces.
How can faculty ensure that students wear face coverings in the classroom?
The best way for faculty to ensure that students wear face coverings and follow the other safety regulations (self-checks, hand washing, etc.) is by including a section of expectations in the course syllabus, talking about the requirements, modeling positive behavior, and engaging in conversations about why the regulations are important.
Faculty members are not tasked with enforcing face covering regulations. There are trained UO employees in the Accessible Education Center who are familiar with the disability accommodation process and in the Office of the Dean of Students to address matters of student conduct.
What should I do if a student is not wearing a face covering?
Remember these three steps:
- Provide resources
From a safe distance (more than six feet), remind the student that UO policy requires campus community members to wear face coverings. Then ask the student to put on a face covering. If they do not have a face covering, provide one from the supply of masks that have been stocked in all classrooms that will have in-person instruction.
Students unable to wear face coverings can work with the Accessible Education Center to find a reasonable accommodation.
Remember that wearing a face covering is a new requirement that may be unfamiliar for some students. So, while it is an important and serious obligation, it is also a good moment to remind all students in the class about the rule and why it is important.
What if a student says they cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability?
After going through the steps – remind, ask, and provide resources – let the student know that while they need to wear a face covering in class, the Accessible Education Center has staff that can assist them in finding a reasonable accommodation.
The instructor should let the student know that they will be sharing the student’s name with the Accessible Education Center and that they should also reach out directly for assistance.
Due to student privacy rights, the Accessible Education Center may not provide you details about students’ disabilities.
What if a student is unable to wear a face covering or refuses to put on a face covering?
After going through the steps outlined above – remind, ask, and provide resources – students who refuse to wear a face covering or are unable to wear a face covering should be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and/or the Accessible Education Center.
The Accessible Education Center can help students with disabilities find a reasonable accommodation. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards can pursue action against students who violate university policy.
If a student refuses to put on a face covering in violation of university rules, you may ask a student to leave regardless of medical status. You may also cancel the class and provide make-up opportunities as appropriate.
What should I do if a student refuses to leave the class?
You are not tasked with enforcing the university face covering regulation. There are trained UO employees who are familiar with the disability accommodation process and the student conduct process.
If a student refuses to leave the class after being asked, the instructor should notify the student that they are in violation of university policy and will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards if they refuse to comply with the university policy.
If the student continues to refuse to leave, class may be canceled for the day and make-up options provided.
Where can I report a concern if a student is not wearing a face covering?
Concerns can be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students by filling out the COVID-19 behavioral concern reporting form. To report students needing a reasonable accommodation, contact the Accessible Education Center.
I am concerned about student parties and gatherings where they are not following social distancing.
The UO cares about our community. In addition to our own-student-focused messaging reminding people to wear masks and maintain social distancing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are partnering with the city of Eugene to educate off-campus students and monitor behavior that might go against the behaviors we have asked all UO community members to follow to keep our community safe.
If you are concerned about a specific situation in your neighborhood, please notify us. For more information on campus neighborhoods and neighbors, please refer to this Your Neighbors and You brochure.