Safe and healthy winter term

Dear University of Oregon community members,

Thank you for your commitment and diligence this fall in protecting yourself and others against COVID-19. The UO's layered approach to preventing the spread of the virus helped the university to successfully come back together for in-person instruction and activities this fall. We should all be extremely proud of our university community's high vaccination rate with more than 95 percent of employees and students fully vaccinated. This high vaccination rate along with strategies such as wearing a face covering and testing allowed the UO to maintain a very low risk environment for COVID-19 this term.

We recognize that news of emerging variants continues to create new uncertainty and concern. There is much to learn about the Omicron variant and we are closely tracking the situation. We continue to monitor conditions and are prepared to adapt as needed to protect the university and greater community guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Oregon Health Authority, and Lane County Public Health.

As we move into winter term, we expect to continue the layered COVID-19 strategies that are currently in place, which served us well this fall. These include: 

  • Face Coverings: Face coverings are required indoors in all UO facilities regardless of vaccination status, except when alone in an enclosed space or while eating or drinking. Outside, face coverings are recommended when near others but are no longer required. 
  • Vaccination: All UO students and employees are required to be fully vaccinated or request an exemption. Employees who have not already done so must verify their vaccination status or submit an exemption request by January 14, 2022, to comply with the new federal requirement for institutions that receive federal funds. Per CDC guidance, booster shots are recommended though not required to be considered fully vaccinated. The university's current vaccination rate can be found on the COVID-19 Safety Dashboard
  • Testing: Asymptomatic testing is free to all UO students and employees through UO's Monitoring and Assessment Program. Symptomatic testing is available to UO students through University Health Services (UHS). UO students experiencing mild symptoms who do not need a medical evaluation can pick up COVID-19 self-test kits from UHS. Students and employees who are not vaccinated are required to test weekly, and this testing will resume in January. 
  • Symptom Screening: Anyone coming to campus is required to monitor themselves for symptoms and stay home if sick. Students and employees with symptoms should review the COVID-19 exposure scenarios and guidance before coming to campus. 
  • Contact Tracing and Case Management: The UO provides contact tracing and resources for students and employees who test positive or have been in close contact with a COVID-19 case. Those who test positive or are a close contact should review the COVID-19 exposure scenarios and fill out the case and contact form to activate the UO Case Management Team. 
  • Events: Anyone attending any large UO events that meet the definition of designated events, is required to provide proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test within three days of the event, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the last 90 days.

We encourage students and employees who are traveling over winter break to monitor travel restrictions and follow any testing and quarantine recommendations. University Housing has reached out to residence hall students with expectations for testing to ensure a healthy and safe start to winter term.

Returning and new instructors for winter term should review and follow the COVID-19 academic guidance from the Office of the Provost and Academic Council. Face coverings are required in classrooms. Fully vaccinated instructors may remove their face coverings if they are at least 6 feet away from others and everyone else in the room is masked.

Again, we will continue to monitor conditions and adapt as necessary, guided by information from public health agencies, to protect our community. Any changes to guidance as the term progresses will be shared with campus through the Coronavirus Resources website and the weekly COVID-19 update email.


André Le Duc

Chief Resilience Officer

Associate Vice President for Safety and Risk Services


Mark Schmelz

Chief Human Resources Officer

Associate Vice President