We can all take precautions against COVID-19. Learn more about campus and individual actions to prevent illness.
What You Need to Know
- Masks are welcome though optional on campus in most places. They continue to be required in some locations such as health care settings including University Health Services (UHS) and Monitoring and Assessment Program (MAP) testing sites. Bring a mask if visiting a place where masks are required.
The booster requirement deadline was March 18, 2022. All UO students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as they are eligible. Details about vaccine reporting are available on the student and employee vaccination requirement webpages.
The UO requires students, faculty, and staff to be up to date on COVID-19 vaccines including receiving a booster shot when eligible. There is an option for requesting an exemption to the requirement.
Students and employees should perform a symptom self-check prior to coming to campus. The COVID-19 symptom self-check tool is available on the University of Oregon mobile app.
Students and employees who have tested positive, develop symptoms, or think they have been exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to review the COVID-19 exposure scenarios and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. Students and Employees can also follow this interactive guide to determine whether isolation or testing is needed and next steps.
If you come across someone you believe might not be properly following the university's COVID-19 safety regulations or guidance you can use our Report a Concern website to let us know and we can follow up on it.
Take Precautions to Prevent COVID-19
Stay Home if You're Sick
Lowering the Risk of COVID-19
The more preventative actions you take, the more you will reduce your risk of COVID-19.
Updated March 21, 2022
The UO supports the personal choice to wear a face covering as an effective strategy for individuals seeking to protect themselves from COVID-19. We encourage anyone who wishes to wear a face covering to do so. Face coverings are welcome though optional in most indoor spaces on UO campuses. Face coverings are required in some places on campus including health care settings.
A face covering is required to cover the nose and mouth, and rest snugly against the face. Masks with exhaust valves are not considered face coverings.
For cloth masks, it is recommended that you ensure the mask blocks light from coming through the fabric if held up to a bright light source.
The CDC provides additional recommendations for face coverings.
KN95 masks are available on UO Eugene, Portland, and OIMB campuses at these locations:
UO Portland - Library and student services suite
Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
EMU - O Desk
Lillis - Atrium reception desk
Knight Library - Check out and reserve desk
Price Science Commons - Service desk
HEDCO - Reception desk in suite 130
Global Scholars Hall - Service desk
Barnhart - Service desk
- Face shields: Use of a face shield alone is not recommended, and should be done only on a limited basis such as when talking to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing and needs to read lips to communicate or where wearing a mask is not feasible. Wearing a face shield alone without a mask or face covering increases the potential for transmission of viruses to those in the same room as the individual without the mask or face covering.
These requirements will and may be amended if regulatory conditions change or guidance from health authorities evolves. This may include local- or state-level laws or guidance related to business practices (e.g., food service, childcare. Changes to safety requirements will comply with the policy.
It is the responsibility of the individual to handle and launder their face coverings following public health guidelines.
Individuals who engage in harassing, discriminatory, bullying, or retaliatory behavior towards others because they are or are not wearing a face covering may be subject to investigation and sanction under other applicable UO policies.
5 Keys to Healthy Hand Washing
In the fight against COVID-19, clean hands are critical.
If You Start Feeling Sick, Stay Home.
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 but not limited to fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, new loss of smell or taste, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure.
According to the CDC older people and those with certain underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, seem to be at greater risk of developing more serious complications from COVID-19.
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 spreads 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. Wearing a well-fitted mask indoors can provide personal protection to the wearer and can protect others as well. Meeting in outdoor and well-ventilated spaces can also reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Though less common, there is some risk 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. Frequent hand washing or using hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible, can help reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 in this way.
What should I do if I suspect I have COVID-19?
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19 review the exposure scenarios and guidance. There is an interactive guide available to help UO students, faculty, and staff determine next steps.
Free COVID-19 testing is available for UO students, employees, and Lane County residents age 3 and older. MAP provides asymptomatic and limited symptomatic PCR testing. Individuals with mild symptoms, similar to the common cold, who do not need a medical evaluation, can get tested through MAP at testing tent outside of Chiles Hall. MAP test results are available within 2-4 business days. This is not a rapid test.
If a student has viral symptoms and is unsure whether they need a medical evaluation, they should contact University Health Services at 541-346-2770 or their health care provider to determine if and where they should to be tested. Seek emergency care only if you are experiencing life threatening symptoms.
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.
What does it mean to be a close contact?
The CDC defines a close contact as someone who has been within six feet of a COVID-19 case for at least 15 cumulative minutes over a 24-hour period during their contagious period.
This is an update to the initial definition, emphasizing that exposure can be cumulative, through a series of shorter-duration exposures, and does not have to be 15 consecutive minutes.
Being in close contact can include caring for, living with, visiting, or sitting within six feet of a confirmed COVID-19 patient for a cumulative 15 minutes or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).
Remember if you are unvaccinated it is recommended that you stay at least six feet away from people outside your household, even for short conversations. And wear a well-fitted mask.
What does isolation mean? When is it used?
Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
People in isolation 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, do not go to work, school, or public areas, and avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
Are masks required on campus?
The UO respects an individual’s choice to wear a mask for personal protection. Masks are welcome though optional in most indoor spaces on UO campuses. Masks are required in some places on campus, including health care settings, due to setting-specific guidance or state and federal law.
See the COVID-19 regulations page for additional guidance and requirements.
How is the UO encouraging members of campus to be respectful of an individual’s choice to wear a mask?
The UO supports the personal choice to wear a mask as an effective strategy for individuals seeking to protect themselves from COVID-19. We encourage anyone who wishes to wear a mask to do so, and we will continue to have KN95 masks available for pickup around campus.
While changes in mask policy can be exciting for some, we recognize it can also bring anxiety and concern, particularly for those in our community who are immunocompromised or living with individuals who are at higher risk of illness. We recognize that some people may not be ready to stop wearing masks while others are eager to do so. Please continue to be compassionate and respectful of personal decisions regarding masking that fall within the UO’s regulations.
Who should continue to wear masks per public health guidance?
The CDC recommends individuals who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines or at higher risk of severe illness continue to wear masks in indoor public spaces. Individuals who have a household or social contact with someone at high risk of severe illness are encouraged to wear masks when indoors with them. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask. People may also choose to wear a mask based on personal preference.
Public health authorities, including CDC, OHA, and LCPH, agree that when worn correctly a well-fitted KN95 mask or N95 respirator can provide significant protection to the wearer from COVID-19.
Where will masks continue to be required at the UO?
Masks will continue to be required in health care settings. Health care settings at the UO are: University Health Services, Monitoring and Assessment Program work spaces and testing sites, HEDCO clinic, Athletics medicine facilities, College of Education Prevention Science Institute (COEPSI) Child and Family Center clinical program, UO Psychology Clinic, and PeaceHealth North lobby.
Please remember to bring a mask with you when visiting these locations.
Will the UO continue to provide masks for students and employees?
UO faculty, staff, and students can pick up free KN95 masks at locations across UO campuses.
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is available to help individuals in need of additional protection to access N95 respirators. Training is required for use of N95 respirators. EHS can facilitate the training and recommend different sizes and styles of N95 respirators to meet individual needs.
Will an instructor, supervisor, or individual be able to require someone to wear a mask exceeding UO regulations?
No. Starting March 19, masks are welcome but optional in most spaces on campus. The UO supports an individual's choice to continue to wear a mask for personal protection against illness. Individuals do not have discretion to require others to wear masks beyond UO regulations.
There are many strategies individuals can use to protect themselves from COVID-19. The CDC recommends personal prevention strategies and the UO continues to provide COVID-19 resources including high quality masks and on campus testing.
Will there be different mask regulations at different UO campuses?
Mask regulations will be the same across UO campuses, this includes Eugene, OIMB, and Portland.
Could masks be required at the UO in the future?
The pandemic has taught us to be flexible and prepared to adapt as circumstances and the virus change. As we have done throughout, we will continue to consult public health authorities and adapt to the circumstances at hand when making future decisions.
How is the UO confirming the authenticity of KN95 masks distributed on campus?
The KN95 masks currently being distributed by UO were manufactured to the GB2626-2006 standard. A certificate of conformity is inside each box of KN95s that the UO received. The box also lists the production date, expiration date, and standard (GB2626-2006)
With each new shipment that arrives at UO, Safety and Risk Services checks the markings to ensure that the masks we received were what we ordered and comply with the standards.
What can I do to avoid getting sick?
Vaccination remains your best protection from contracting, spreading, and becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and variants. You can get vaccinated through your health care provider, pharmacy, or county health department.
The best way to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza, is to avoid exposure to the virus.
- Get a COVID-19 vaccine. Get a booster shot when eligible.
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself.
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren't available.
I have a health condition that may put me at higher risk from COVID-19. Is there anything I should do to protect myself?
Being up to date on COVID-19 vaccines provides individuals protection from serious illness and hospitalization. The CDC provides additional guidance for moderately and severely immunocompromised individuals.
Wearing a well-fitted face covering provides the wearer additional protection even if those around them are not wearing a mask. KN95 masks provide more protection than cloth face coverings and are available on all UO campuses.
EHS is available to help individuals in the UO community in need of additional protection to access N95 respirators. Training is required for use of N95 respirators. EHS can facilitate the training and recommend different styles of N95 respirators to meet individual needs.
The university recommends community members with specific health concerns contact their healthcare provider for medical advice tailored to their individual situations.
Employees should work with their supervisor and Human Resources to discuss their specific individual concerns and needs.
Cleaning and Safety Precautions
How should I clean my workspace?
The CDC and UHS recommend people routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (e.g., keyboards, cell phones, doorknobs, desks, light switches, handles, faucets). When cleaning, wear disposable gloves and appropriate skin and eye protection, ensure good ventilation, use soap and water to wash surfaces and follow with a disinfectant.
For a disinfectant, consult the CDC list of disinfectants for use against COVID-19. An EPA-registered disinfectant or 10 percent bleach solution [en Español] 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.
See the CDC guidelines for specific instructions on how to clean soft surfaces and electronics.
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 email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
How is the University of Oregon encouraging and helping UO students to follow state orders and university rules to reduce the spread of COVID-19?
UO students are expected to follow all university rules and state orders to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This includes wearing face coverings where required, washing hands, not gathering in in medium-sized or large groups, and conducting a daily symptom self-check before leaving home. Every student has been notified about these expectations directly via email and through extensive, proactive informational campaigns.
For students living on and off-campus in Eugene, the UO is providing information about access to COVID-19 testing though MAP and UHS on the UO campus. The UO’s Corona Corps Care Team is also helping students living off campus who need to isolate access negotiated-rate hotel rooms, food delivery, and financial support.
The Office of the Dean of Students is meeting proactively with leaders of sororities and fraternities, religious directors, and local property managers to make expectations and consequences clear, provide resources and to help identify isolation spaces in their facilities or otherwise help and inform residents.
To help keep the community informed, the UO provides a COVID-19 Safety Dashboard that is updated with vaccination rates of all UO students and employees and information about reported positive and presumptive COVID-19 cases among students living on and off-campus and any employees who have been on campus during their period of transmissibility.
How is the university enforcing its regulations and behavior expectations?
Not complying with UO safety regulations, which are university policy, can be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and are pursuant to the student code of conduct violation process.
While our conduct process is always educational in approach, we also understand the need to hold students accountable. Students who violate state law and university policy, even while off-campus, are subject to the student conduct code. Consequences of violating the code may include educational sanctions, disciplinary probation or suspension depending on the egregiousness of the behavior.
Concerns about students or employees not following university COVID-19 safety regulations can be reported through the Report a Concern website.