Oregon Tech to require COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty, and staff starting Fall Term 2021

Oregon Tech students, faculty and staff that will be on campus in the fall must comply with the Oregon Tech COVID vaccine requirement.

Beginning the week of October 11, 2021: All students and employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to undergo weekly COVID testing at the Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro campuses.

Face Covering Requirement: Oregon Tech requires the use of face coverings by all faculty, staff, students and visitors who are physically present at an Oregon Tech location and in enclosed public or common areas.

Student Covid Training - Fall 2021

Communications

Oregon Tech Staff Member,

As announced yesterday, weekly COVID testing will begin next week. You are receiving this email to inform you of the COVID Testing Requirement details. Please read the attached COVID Testing Requirement pdf and the instructions for how to collect and label your sample. You will need to create an account with the lab and then submit the unique test kit barcode each week so you can get your results once processed (see instruction sheet). Student Health will directly contact anyone that tested positive.

If you are located in KF, you may pick up a test kit starting today in the Student Affairs Office (CU 217). PM staff can get the kit from the Student Services desk on the 1st floor. The first test is to be returned next week by Tuesday (10/12) at noon to the location that you picked up the kit. When you drop off the kit each week, you can pick up the kit for the next week’s test.

If you are in the process of getting the vaccine, you need to test weekly until you are fully vaccinated which is two weeks after the one dose Johnson & Johnson or the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna.

Thank you for following the instructions.

Erin M. Foley, Ph.D.
Vice President & Dean of Students

Dear Oregon Tech Community,

The academic year has begun, and it is refreshing to see so many of you back on campus and in person. I want to personally say “Thank you” to all who have worked so diligently and selflessly to make our return to in-person learning a reality.

As the new academic year gets underway, Oregon Tech is supplementing our COVID-19 prevention measures to include a COVID Testing Requirement to further protect the campus community, especially given the surges we are experiencing with the Delta variant. This COVID Testing Requirement applies to all unvaccinated students and employees, including those who are partially vaccinated or submitted an exemption, and requires a weekly COVID test. This COVID testing requirement is comparable to those found at other Universities and Colleges in Oregon.

Beginning the week of October 11, 2021, all students and employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to undergo weekly COVID testing at the Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro campuses. The test is provided to you free of cost. Students in Online programs and only enrolled in online courses are exempt. The Integrated Student Health Center (ISHC) will be monitoring test results for all testers throughout the Testing Requirement program. Results will remain confidential as no one other than ISHC staff and the participants themselves will have access to the results.

Additional information will be forthcoming soon from our COVID response team. This team has individually and collectively performed superbly under less than ideal conditions, but they cannot accomplish the goal of a safe and healthy community alone. We must each continue to do our part to support one another, and it is that commitment to our fellow Owls that makes Oregon Tech so unique and special.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Oregon Tech Community,

As much as we would like COVID to be completely over, it continues with another surge.  Oregon had a 53% increase in the number of cases this week over the previous week, with case rates higher in counties with lower vaccination rates.  Klamath County’s vaccination rate currently is 47.9%, with Clackamas and Marion at 68.1% and 63.5%, respectively. The number of people hospitalized due to COVID also increased this week (an increase of 18.7%).

The CDC and OHA have provided new guidance this week that recommends face coverings for people in public, indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.  Oregon Tech will return to the face covering requirement for anyone on campus when indoors (except when working alone in a private office) beginning Monday, August 2.

If you have already complied with the Vaccine Requirement, thank you. If you have not, please submit documentation soon as the September 1 deadline is quickly approaching. Thanks.

Stay well,
Erin
Vice President & Dean of Students

Dear Oregon Tech Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Thank you for your individual and combined efforts these past 16 months as we navigated the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Although the pandemic is not over, the time for restrictions to be modified has arrived. Based on the most recent Centers for Disease Control Guidance (CDC) and in accordance with Governor Brown’s June 25, 2021, announcement lifting all remaining COVID-19 restrictions issued under emergency statutes, with limited exceptions, Oregon Tech will modify requirements as noted below, effective tomorrow, Thursday, July 1, 2021.

  • Face Coverings: The modified face covering requirement allows individuals that are vaccinated to go without a face covering. The use of face coverings will continue to be required for anyone not vaccinated, including visitors to our campuses. Other individuals may choose to continue to wear a face covering even when not required.

  • Physical Distancing: Physical distancing should be continued in large gatherings; otherwise, building and space utilization is no longer restricted. When holding gatherings or events that could include individuals who are not fully vaccinated, such as visitors or others from outside the university, appropriate prevention strategies should be utilized.

This is not a time to let our guard down. While significant advances have been made against this disease, there is still much work to be done. We must all remain vigilant. We each have a continued responsibility to our fellow coworkers, students, and community members. Accordingly, we ask you to:

  1. Continue to engage in COVID-19-related personal hygiene practices, including performing daily health checks and staying home when you are not feeling well.
  2. Consider receiving the COVID vaccine if you have not done so.
  3. If unvaccinated, wear a face covering to protect yourself and others, particularly in indoor and higher-density locations.
  4. Respect others’ decision on whether they choose to wear a face covering.
  5. Update your vaccination if boosters are determined necessary.
  6. Rely on and stay informed by trusted and science-based information sources.

To that end, Oregon Tech will:

  1. Continue to work with appropriate entities regarding public health guidance, share information with the campus communities, and update our practices accordingly.
  2. Continue to require compliance with the Fall Vaccine Requirement (or appropriate declination) to be completed by September 1 -- more information will be sent by early next week.
  3. Provide hand sanitation stations throughout campuses.
  4. Require any individual not vaccinated to wear a face covering while inside campus facilities
  5. Respect individual decisions to wear face coverings as a personal choice for COVID-19 risk-reduction and other reasons.

This latest update is indeed welcome news as we collectively see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for your contributions in helping our university maintain our operations and thrive throughout the pandemic. I offer special recognition to Dr. Erin Foley for leading this effort.

As each of us continue to do our part in the days, weeks, and months to come, we can celebrate a return to normalcy and life as we knew it pre-COVID. I wish the best for you throughout this summer and look forward to the opportunity for us to gather together again.

Warm regards,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

I hope this message finds you in good health. To continue protecting the health and safety of our community while transitioning to more normal academic operations and campus life, the University will require all faculty, students, and staff returning to our campuses in the fall to be immunized against COVID-19 unless they claim an exemption under law or applicable policies.

This requirement strengthens the University’s ability to protect the health and safety of our campuses and neighboring communities. COVID-19 vaccination for Oregon Tech community members will contribute to greater immunity, reduce the risk of sudden clusters of outbreaks on our campuses, and help protect members of our communities who are at the highest risk of developing complications from the virus.

This requirement is in line with many public and private universities and colleges in Oregon that are requiring students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated as a condition of returning to campus in the fall. Additional information regarding incentives to encourage vaccinations, the process of providing vaccination information or exemption requests will be forthcoming.

Since early April 2020, Oregon Tech has utilized a combination of in-person and remote teaching methods. Hybrid delivery will continue through the summer term, with a combination of remote and in-person courses, and on-campus laboratory experiences, with appropriate physical distancing and other safety measures in place.

Resumption of in-person teaching in September will be guided by Governor Brown’s staging plan for the state to reopen higher education institutions across Oregon as well as vaccine access and guidance received from state health, education, and other officials. Oregon Tech will continue to monitor trends in the number of cases and take measures to address the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, Oregon Tech Online will continue to offer a variety of courses and degree options through virtual delivery. Programs at Chemeketa and Boeing sites will follow the state and host-campus guidelines.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation as we work toward a successful return to campus in the fall.

Sincerely,

Nagi G. Naganathan, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
President

Contact

If you have specific questions about... Contact:
Academics Joanna Mott
COVID-19 and Vaccination Gaylyn Maurer
General COVID Response Erin Foley
Workplace/Workforce, Benefits/Leave Sarah Henderson-Wong

Klamath Falls: The Integrated Student Health Center (ISHC) on the Klamath Falls campus will continue to offer both medical and mental health support services. Counseling sessions are available via in-person, telephone and video conference. Medical appointments will continue to be in-person and via telehealth (as appropriate). Call ISHC at 541-885-1800 to schedule.

Portland-Metro: Counseling Services are available to Portland-Metro students via in-person, telephone, and video conferencing. Appointments can be made by calling 503-821-1313.

All Students: If you are on the Klamath Falls campus and begin to feel ill (cough, trouble breathing, fever) call ISHC at 541-885-1800. If you are a student on the Portland-Metro campus or on another site and begin to feel ill, please do not come to campus and call your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Regardless of campus, if you experience any of the following, contact ISHC at 541-885-1800:

  • Receive a positive result on a COVID-19 test
  • Been within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes of someone confirmed with COVID-19
  • Are contacted within the course of a public health contact tracing investigation

Faculty & Staff: If you begin to feel ill (cough, trouble breathing, fever), please do not come to campus and call your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Regardless of campus, if you experience any of the following, contact ISHC at 541-885-1800:

  • Receive a positive result on a COVID-19 test
  • Been within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes of someone confirmed with COVID-19
  • Are contacted within the course of a public health contact tracing investigation

COVID-19 Testing Locations