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

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 you take will reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus. The university and departments are also taking action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of our community.

Face Coverings

Face coverings can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. See below for information on UO face-covering requirements and other information related to wearing face coverings on university property.

Vaccination

Getting vaccinated is the single best way to prevent serious illness from COVID-19. Vaccinations are available at health care providers, pharmacies and public health agencies.

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 to 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.

Testing

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.

Face-Covering Information

Updated August 23, 2021

 

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:

Proper Use:

  • 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.

Exemptions

  • When an employee has a disability or a serious medical condition that prevents them from putting on, taking off, or wearing any face covering they should consult with their supervisor. Supervisors will be given guidance from Human Resources on how to respond to employees who raise concerns about wearing a mask at work, strategies for brainstorming solutions that address individual and community health concerns, and when to consult with the ADA coordinator.
  • When a student has a disability or serious medical condition that prevents them from putting on, taking off, or wearing any face covering, they should consult with the Accessible Education Center
  • To comply with documented industry best practices for a specific position, or by law or regulation (e.g., health care facilities, child care facilities, restaurants, gyms)
  • While eating
  • Within University Housing:
    • In a student’s own residence hall room or family housing unit
    • In shared residence hall restrooms
  • Individuals under the age of five
  • Additional exemptions may be requested on a case by case basis by contacting Environmental Health & Safety
  • If required by applicable OHA public health guidance

Enforcement

  • The university will post signage clearly stating face covering requirements, including access to services for faculty, staff, and students
  • It is prohibited for any individual to be denied or restricted access or participation based on not wearing a face covering, if the individual states that they are aware of, and that they meet an exemption to, this regulation
  • Enforcement procedures for employees will comply with UO policies and procedures and applicable collective bargaining agreements
  • The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is responsible for developing and implementing enforcement procedures for students
  • 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.), use our behavioral concern reporting form to let us know and we can follow up on it.

Additional Information

  • 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, etc.). 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.

  • The university has established a point of contact for members of the campus community to report concerns about people not complying with this safety regulation. Employees can also raise concerns with their supervisors. Enforcement will focus on education first.

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

 

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

 

Symptom Self-Check Information

Use the Symptom Self-Check Tool

The university will not collect health information from its employees or students under this requirement.

Symptom Self-Check Procedures

  • Some employees receive health checks upon entering certain buildings on campus such as University Health Services. These health checks satisfy this requirement.

  • University departments are responsible for communicating with visitors, vendors, contractors, and guests that they should not come to campus if they have had any COVID-19 related symptoms.

  • Campus community members performing remote work or studies for the day are not required to do a symptom self-check if they are not coming on campus.

  • If employees and students have symptoms, they may perform work or studies remotely to the extent they feel well enough to do so and to the extent remote work is available. Employees and students who are well enough to work or study remotely when they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should work with their supervisor or professor to identify available work.

  • Employees may use available leave to cover these periods if they are unable to work. Students should work with their instructors to identify make-up work or remote studies.

  • Employees and students who have a chronic or baseline cough that has worsened or is not controlled with medication should stay at their place of residence. Campus community members who have other symptoms that are chronic or baseline symptoms are not restricted.

  • Employees and students do not need to submit their symptom self-checks to the university.

  • There is no expectation of supervisors to monitor whether or not staff have completed a daily symptom check. If a supervisor has any reason to believe that an employee has not performed their daily symptom check they should contact UO Employee and Labor Relations to assist in determining how best to respond.

If you do not have a primary care physician, an urgent care location or any of Lane County Public Health’s clinics can also be a resource. Benefits-eligible employees can also find a primary care physician by reviewing the options available through their UO health insurance plan at Human Resources. Graduate employees can find information about their health insurance through the GTFF.

Recording Procedures and Enforcement

Employees and students do not need to submit their symptom self-checks to the university but they should record that it was completed in their personal notes. The symptom self-check tool can be used for recording purposes so that they can verify they completed the check upon request.

There is no expectation of supervisors to check in daily on whether or not staff completed their daily symptom check. However, if a supervisor has any reason to believe that an employee has not performed their daily symptom check they should contact UO Employee and Labor Relations to assist in determining how best to respond.

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 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?

Vaccination remains your best protection from contracting, spreading, and becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and variants. You can get vaccinated through your health providers, pharmacy, or county health department.

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:

The university has deployed a number of handwashing stations across campus.

Are masks required on campus?

Face coverings are required indoors in all UO facilities regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings can be removed when in an area specifically designated for eating. Face coverings must fully cover the nose and mouth. Mesh masks, lace masks, and other face coverings with openings, valves, holes, vents, or other visible gaps in the design or material are not in compliance with this policy.

Face coverings are required outdoors when physical distance cannot be maintained. See the COVID-19 regulations page for additional guidance and requirements.

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.


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 at workcontrolcenter@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 while attending in-person classes at all times.

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.

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 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 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.