Q: Will testing be available for students, employees, and clinic patients?
A: Yes, the UO plans to continue to offer testing for the campus and broader community through the University’s monitoring and testing program.
Q: Will the UO provide resources for virus mitigation (e.g., hand sanitizer, disposable masks, disinfecting wipes/spray) in teaching, lab, and clinic spaces in addition to those provided in common building spaces?
A: Units may purchase these through Science Stores.
Q: What process should an instructor follow for students who repeatedly refuse to wear masks in class?
A: Guidance for enforcing the mask requirement in classes can be found on the prevention FAQs webpage. This guidance includes three steps: remind, ask, provide resources.
- From a safe distance (more than 6 feet), remind the student that UO policy requires campus community members to wear face coverings indoors.
- 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.
If a student still refuses to wear a mask, they can be asked to leave. If they refuse to leave, inform the student they are in violation of university policy and will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. If the student still does not leave, you can cancel class for the day and report the student.
Q: We have experienced employees and students in common areas claiming to have a mask-wearing exemption. Do such exemptions exist and what is the appropriate response?
A: The university assesses requests for accommodation on a case-by-case basis and at this time, has not made any accommodations that exempt employees or students from wearing a face covering in common spaces.
If you encounter someone who claims to have a medically-based exemption, advise them that that the university has not made exceptions to the policy for individuals in common spaces and they are expected to wear a face covering. If a student is displeased with this response, refer them to the Accessible Education Center. Employees should be referred to the ADA Coordinator in Human Resources.
As the pandemic evolves, the university may authorize employees and students to receive an exemption from wearing face coverings in common spaces. If that occurs, the university will provide the individual with a method for demonstrating proof of their exemption.
Q: Why are the social distancing rules of last year not in effect this year?
A: While it remains a best practice to distance from individuals outside your immediate household, one of the benefits of operating as a vaccinated campus per the CDC is that we may return to standard density on campus.
Q: What happens if a student in my class tests positive for COVID?
A: The student should isolate and fill out the Case and Contact Form. This form activates the university’s contact tracing team. The contact tracing team will reach out individually to those who have been deemed closed contacts and who may have been exposed and need testing/quarantining. If you do not hear from the contact tracing team, continue holding class as normal. Note that under the current CDC guidance, vaccinated people who have been in contact with a positive COVID case do not need to preemptively quarantine, absent showing symptoms. (If you are unvaccinated and/or develop symptoms, follow the guidance outlined at https://coronavirus.uoregon.edu/covid-exposure.)
Q: What if I am unable to report to campus for work because I or my dependent child is required to quarantine due to COVID-related reasons?
A: In some cases, employees may be unable to report to campus for work or be absent, including:
- they have been deemed a close contact and must quarantine;
- they need to stay home because their dependent child under age 13 must quarantine due to K-12 school policies; or
- the faculty member or dependent child residing in their home tests positive for COVID-19 and must quarantine under the direction of, DCD, OHA, or other local public health authority.
The university recognizes the impact that COVID-19 may have on an employee's ability to work for various reasons. The first course of action is to explore flexible work options, such as remote work or flexible schedules, where possible. Recognizing that flexible work arrangements are not always appropriate or viable due to personal and operational realities, employees may need to use other leave options. Leave options are based on employee group. Information regarding leave options for each employee group are posted on the HR website.
Q: What do we do if a graduate student isn’t complying with the mandate to report on vaccination status by September 17?
A: Graduate Employees are complying with the vaccine requirement in their role as students and are not in the employee reporting process. This is consistent with how other student vaccination requirements are handled. Division of Student Life and Human Resources will be taking the lead on non-compliance with the vaccine mandate with the primary driver being in their role as students and any decision then impacting their employment with the university.
Q: Who determines what constitutes a “close contact” and when someone should quarantine? For example, if my child is exposed to COVID-19 at school but hasn’t officially been confirmed as a contact, should I come to campus to teach or is that considered too risky? How does someone know what level of contact requires quarantining?
A: A close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the infected person’s period of transmissibility. Determinations regarding quarantine vary based on vaccination status and whether a close contact is symptomatic. A contact of a contact—in other words, a person who has been in contact with someone identified as contact by the public health authority, the UO, a child’s school, etc.—does not need to quarantine. For more information about this and other situations, please visit the COVID-19 exposure scenarios and guidance for students and employees webpage. If you become positive or are advised you have been identified as a contact, please complete the COVID-19 case and contact reporting form and the UO case management team will follow up with you.
Q: If a student is absent from a class how will the material they missed be made up? What if this happens on a test day?
A: The academic continuity plan and the academic council guidance strongly encourages faculty to plan their courses such that they have 2-3 weeks of material prepared at any given time. This is a best practice to help accommodate any unexpected disruptions, COVID-related or otherwise. The Academic Council has provided guidance related to attendance and makeups in the Fall 2021 guidance and expectations during COVID-19 pandemic. These include ensuring that absent students have equitable access to course content and establishing clear communication and make-up protocols, including exams, for students to follow.