Prevention

We can all help reduce the likelihood of spreading COVID-19. Learn more about university and individual actions to prevent illness.

What You Need to Know

  • UO will require students and employees who learn, work or live on any UO campus location to receive a COVID-19 vaccination prior to the start of the fall academic term. Individuals will be able to request an exemption. The university is holding vaccination clinics for students and employees. Visit the vaccine webpage for more information.
     
  • Masks or cloth face coverings are required to be worn by everyone inside all UO owned, leased, or controlled buildings, EXCEPT when alone in an enclosed space. Face coverings are no longer required outdoors.
     

  • Per Oregon OSHA, physical distancing is still required inside and outside for employees
     

  • Students and employees are required to 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. Download the app from the iTunes store or Google Play to access the symptom checker, campus map, and additional COVID-19 resources.
     

  • COVID-19 symptoms or exposure:

  • The university has hand washing stations across campus.
     

  • 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 behavioral concern reporting form to let us know and we can follow up on it.

Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Image Icon of a mask
Wear a Mask
Image Icon of two people six people apart
Maintain Physical Distance
Image Icon of hand washing
Wash Your Hands
Image Icon of someone with a fever
Check Your Symptoms and
Stay Home if You're Sick

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.

 

University Actions

Actions the university is taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus

Return to Campus

The University of Oregon plans to return to mostly in-person classes and experiences this fall, thanks to widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

UO is carefully planning how welcome its community safely back for more on-campus instruction and activities, including preparing classrooms, residence halls, and other facilities.

 

Physical Distancing

Per Oregon OSHA, physical distancing is still required inside and outside for employees.

Common areas have been modified for appropriate physical distancing.

Residence halls are restricted to single and double rooms. There will be no triples.

Staff is returning on a unit-by-unit basis, with careful consideration given to density in offices.

Events and other official gatherings will also comply with appropriate Oregon Health Authority guidance.

Enhanced Cleaning

The UO is following cleaning guidelines and protocols recommended by the CDC, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon OSHA.

Custodial crews are working under the direction of the University of Oregon Incident Management Team, as guidance rapidly evolves.

Air Handling

The UO is implementing a comprehensive strategy in buildings that includes maximizing air exchange rates and reducing the re-entrainment (transfer from exhaust air to supply air) of contaminants in buildings where the air handling systems allow.

 

Individual Actions

Actions you can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Face Coverings

The University of Oregon requires faculty, staff, students, visitors, and vendors across all UO locations to use face coverings indoors, which include masks or cloth face coverings, when in UO-owned, leased, or controlled buildings, EXCEPT when alone in a space (e.g., room with four walls).

Face coverings are no longer required outdoors.

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.

Personal Hygiene

The university has deployed a number of hand washing stations across campus.

Branded signage for hand washing, staying home if ill, maintaining six feet of distance, face covering requirements, and floor stickers to mark distancing where lines form. 

Personal Screening

Every day before coming on campus, employees and students should conduct a symptom self-check.

Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, that are different from their baseline, should stay home until 24 hours after the fever (if present) is gone without the aid of medication and all other symptoms have been relieved

Physical Distancing

Close contact to COVID-19 occurs when you are within six feet of someone who is in infected with COVID-19, for at least 15 minutes, unless you are fully vaccinated.

Because some people who are infected are asymptomatic, always keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and others.

Avoid or leave medium-sized and large social gatherings.

Try to limit your contacts to a small group of people you know.

Testing and Contact Tracing

If you develop COVID-19 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 before going in person.

Tell them about your recent travel or contact. They will work with the local or state public health departments to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

Quarantine and Isolation
  • 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 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 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, ridesharing, or taxis.

How to Wear Your Mask

Every mask worn on campus makes us all a little safer. Are you doing it right? Here’s how Ducks mask up for each other:

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.

Image Soap icon
Use clean running water and soap
Image Icon of washing your hands
Lather and scrub for at least 20 seconds
Image Finger icon
Don’t forget BBU: backs of hands, between fingers, and under nails
Image Icon of hands being rinsed
Rinse well under clean running water
Image Icon of hand pulling down a paper towel
Use a fresh paper towel or LEt Them Air Dry

 

Your Guide to Physical Distancing

Here’s your guide to physical distancing on campus—when to do it, how to do it, and why it’s important. So, let's keep a safe distance for each other and enjoy a safe and healthy year!

If You Start Feeling Sick, Stay Home.

If you have any of these symptoms, please leave campus and contact your health care provider immediately.

The new COVID-19 symptom self-check tool is now available on the University of Oregon mobile app. Download the app from the iTunes store or Google Play to access the symptom checker, campus map, and additional COVID-19 resources.

Image Icon of someone with a fever
Fever or chills
Image Icon of someone with a cough
Cough, Sore Throat, Difficulty Breathing
Image Icon of someone with muscle pain
Muscle Pain, BODY ACHES, FATIGUE
Image Icon of someone who has lost their sense of taste
Recent loss of taste or smell

 

Different colored icons of people
UO Students Share Words of Caution

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.

Emerging from Isolation

How to Hang Out Safely

COVID-19 has changed the way we socialize—but you can still have fun. Here’s how to be a safe host and keep your living space COVID-free.

Image Group of 3 people
Keep Your Flock Small

Limit gatherings to 10 people you know

Image Two chairs 6 feet apart
Spread Your Wings

Spread apart tables and chairs so people from different households can safely distance

Image Hands throwing the O
Throw Your O

Give a no-contact greeting instead of a hug or high-five

Image No playing cards
Can’t Touch This

Avoid games or activities where people touch the same items

Image Coffee cup
BYO Everything

Avoid shared foods like chips and dip, use disposable dishes, and urge guests to label their drink cups

Image House
Hold Each Other Accountable

Ask guests to stay home if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Check in on them later!

 

Prevention FAQs

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.

For more information, consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [en Español] or contact your local health practitioner.

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 COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, call your health care provider to determine if and where you should to be tested for COVID-19.

Students and employees who have tested positive or think they have been exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to review the COVID-19 exposure scenarios and guidance for students and employees and complete the case and contact form for additional guidance and resources.

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.

Do people who have been fully vaccinated or who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days still need to quarantine if they come in contact with a confirmed or presumptive COVID-19 case?

Individuals in those two situations may not need to quarantine. However, they must continue to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and stay home if they develop any. If you find yourself in one of these situations, please confirm with the health department or your health care provider that you meet the criteria based on the date of your test/vaccine. Note that to be considered fully vaccinated at least two weeks must have passed since you received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (the number of does varies by manufacturer).

Should I stay away from campus if I develop COVID-19 symptoms following a dose of vaccine?

Many people experience some sort of reaction to the vaccine after it’s administered. Some symptoms – specifically fever, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle or joint ache – can be linked to both the vaccine and the COVID-19 virus itself. However, other symptoms – specifically cough, shortness of breath and/or loss of taste or smell – are primarily linked to the virus. For detailed instructions, please see the post-vaccination scenarios on our COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios and Guidance webpage: https://coronavirus.uoregon.edu/covid-exposure 

What does it mean to be a close contact?

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) defines a close contact as someone who has been within six feet of a COVID-19 case for at least 15 cumulative minutes 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.

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 to stay at least six feet away from people outside your household, even for short conversations. And wear your masks.

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 close 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 close contact with someone who has tested positive.


Prevention

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.

Take the CDC-recommended precautions [en Español] to reduce your risk of exposure, including:

  • Wearing a mask
  • Proper hand washing
  • 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?

Indoors: Yes. Faculty, staff, students, visitors, and vendors are required to wear face coverings indoors on campus except when alone in an enclosed space. Outdoors: No. Face coverings are no longer required outdoors.

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.

Use of a face shield alone is not recommended, 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. 

Additional information about use of cloth masks [en Español] is available from the CDC.

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 and summer 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.

See frequently asked questions on human resources and employment and academics, classes and study abroad for information on leave, distance learning, and work-from-home options.

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.


Vaccine

For information on vaccinations, visit the vaccine webpage.


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, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon OSHA. Additional attention is being given to high touch areas such as door handles, handrails, and push bars on doors across campus.

The university has implemented custodial guidelines for each type of building status: open, limited and restricted.

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 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:

  • Airflow
  • Filtration
  • 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 kstraw@uoregon.edu.

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.


Classrooms

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:

  • Remind
  • Ask
  • 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.


Behavior Expectations

How is the University of Oregon encouraging and helping UO students, including those who live off campus in Eugene, 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, physical distancing, 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.

One of those campaigns asks the university community to take the Duck pledge to care for themselves and others. Students, faculty, and staff can take the pledge and commit to protecting our campus and our local community.

The university also is incentivizing students through the Crush COVID-19 Challenge which rewards students for engaging in learning about and sharing safe health practices.

For students living off campus in Eugene, the UO is providing information about access to COVID-19 testing at locations around the city, including University Health Services on the UO campus. The UO’s Corona Corps Care Team is also helping students living off campus who need to isolate or quarantine 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 and quarantine spaces in their facilities or otherwise help and inform residents.

To help keep the community informed, the UO provides tracking dashboards that are updated daily with information about positive and presumptive COVID-19 cases among students living on campus, students living off campus, and employees.

How is the university enforcing its regulations and behavior expectations?

Not complying with face coverings, physical distancing, and symptom self-check rules, 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 behavior not following university COVID-19 safety regulations can be reported through the COVID-19 behavioral concern reporting form.

The UO Police Department also periodically partners with Eugene Police for enhanced “party patrols” to monitor social gatherings in the neighborhoods near campus.

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 through the COVID-19 behavioral concern reporting form. For more information on campus neighborhoods and neighbors, please refer to this Your Neighbors and You brochure.

Neighbors who would like to have the party patrol respond to an unruly gathering should call the Eugene police non-emergency number at 541-682-5111 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays to report it in real time.