July 1, 2022- The COVID vaccine is strongly recommended but currently not required* for Oregon Tech students, faculty, and staff that will be on campus.
*Some students and employees are required by the State of Oregon to either have the vaccine or claim a Medical or Religious Exemption, specifically in healthcare and behavioral programs. Students in these programs should verify all program-specific requirements with their departments to ensure they are in compliance. This requirement complies with the Oregon Health Authority Healthcare Provider and Healthcare Staff Vaccine Rule.
All students may submit their COVID vaccine information through the secure Student Health portal for record purposes.
Masks and face coverings are optional for faculty, staff, students and visitors regardless of vaccination status.
July 11, 2022 - Campus COVID protocols Update
Oregon Tech Community!
We are writing today to provide you with the latest update regarding Oregon Tech’s COVID-19 protocols. As you are aware, throughout the pandemic Oregon Tech has looked to local, state, and national entities for guidance in shaping our campus response to COVID, but that guidance has shifted frequently and often unexpectedly. Currently, we find ourselves facing two significant state-wide shifts in guidance, even since our last e-mail to you close to two weeks ago:
- Oregon OSHA has now rescinded their Interim Guidance which required notification to both “Exposed” and “Affected” employees (https://osha.oregon.gov/covid19/Pages/covid-19-general.aspx)
- The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has stopped requiring quarantine for anyone who has a COVID-19 exposure, regardless of vaccine status (https://covidblog.oregon.gov/oregon-to-pause-quarantining-march-12-as-cases-and-hospitalizations-drop/)
We fully recognize that state and national guidance could shift again (in which case our protocols would change accordingly), but because we cannot anticipate future changes, we are currently shifting our approach to the pandemic to align with Oregon OSHA and OHA.
What does this mean for Oregon Tech?
As of July 12, Oregon Tech will no longer be engaging in the contact tracing process. Instead, we are recommending action that is consistent with OHA guidelines (please review the attached flowchart and keep it handy to refer to in the future as needed). Detailed information specific to both Employees and Students follows below, but generally speaking:
- Symptoms – If you are ill, remain off-campus until your symptoms have improved and you haven’t had a fever for at least 24 hours without medication
- Exposure – If you are exposed to someone with COVID, monitor yourself for symptoms/wear a face covering around others for 10 days, test no sooner than 5 days from your last exposure
- Testing Positive – Remain off-campus for 5 days from your first symptom (and until your symptoms have improved and you haven’t had a fever for at least 24 hours without medication), tell anyone with whom you have had closer contact that you’ve tested positive (see the flowchart for what information to share)
Student Health will no longer be the point of contact for all things COVID; it is each person’s responsibility to maintain your individual and the larger community’s health and safety and not come to campus when feeling ill. We trust that employees and students alike will minimize exposure and transmission by following the attached flowchart.
Oregon Tech COVID paid leave expired as of June 30th and is not likely to be renewed for the coming year. If you have to miss work due to illness, the testing process, or actually having COVID, you will need to use the appropriate accrued leave for that time away from work (in most cases, sick leave). With that in mind, be thoughtful about how you use your accrued leaves throughout the year to avoid having Leave Without Pay for absences.
If you come to work with any symptoms of illness (COVID-related or not), your supervisor is authorized (and is obligated) to send you home.
If you are going to be absent from work, please utilize your department’s procedures regarding notifying your supervisor, and work with them directly regarding any work-from-home options.
Employees who belong to high-risk populations are encouraged to wear face coverings when around others. In fact, as a reminder, wearing a face covering is a personal choice and no one should be singled out, ridiculed, or questioned for choosing to do so on campus. Oregon Tech still has a supply of N95 masks should any employee wish to use these masks. You can request them from Human Resources or REMS (Resilience, Emergency Management and Safety).
Supervisors, review the information in this e-mail and the attached flowchart with your employees to ensure that all employees understand their responsibilities with regards to minimizing exposure and transmission of COVID (or any other contagious illness).
For questions regarding benefits or leave, please contact Sarah Henderson-Wong (541-885-1028) or for questions regarding employee protocols/expectations, please contact Sandi Hanan (541-885-1074).
Dr. Foley will no longer be confirming absences with your faculty if you have to miss class. You will need to contact your faculty directly in order to let them know that you will be missing, coordinate making-up any missed work or material, reschedule exams and so forth.
If you become ill, we would encourage you to contact Student Health at 541-885-1800 so the medical staff can work with you on your specific situation; they may suggest that you have a COVID test, make an appointment for you to come in to the clinic, advise you about over-the counter medications, and so on.
Student employees should note the “Employee-specific details” above, as you are bound to that information in your role as an employee of the university.
For questions about COVID illness, please contact Gaylyn Maurer (541-885-1800) or for other COVID-related questions, please contact Dr. Erin Foley (541-885-1011).
Finally, as a reminder, while the COVID vaccine is no longer required generally for Oregon Tech employees and students, some academic programs may still require vaccination so please verify with your program. It is strongly recommended for students living on-campus and anyone in a high-risk population. If you are eligible and able to obtain a booster, we encourage you to do so.
We have worked together as a community across the past 2+ years to reduce the risk as much as possible for Oregon Tech, and we’re asking that you continue that diligence moving forward. Should local, state, or national guidance shift again, we are prepared to respond in kind in order to utilize the most up-to-date information to keep our campus communities as safe as possible.
Erin M. Foley, Ph.D.
Vice President & Dean of Students