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 Program. This includes completion of either the attestation of immunization process or the declination (exemption) process. There are options for medical exemptions (which require endorsement by a medical provider) and non-medical exemptions (which require the viewing of an educational module). Please check your Oregon Tech e-mail account for details or review the requirements on this page.

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 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.

Fall 2021 Plan

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. 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.

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 being on campus in the fall. Additional information regarding the process of providing vaccination information or exemption requests is below on this page.

Resumption of in-person teaching in September will be guided by Governor Brown’s plan for 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.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in alignment with the Oregon Governor’s executive orders, and consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), Oregon Institute of Technology (“University”) is issuing this vaccination requirement.

The purpose of this requirement is to promote the health and safety of the University community, including all who work, live, or learn in any Oregon Tech location. Implementation of the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement begins immediately, with enforcement of the vaccination requirement effective for fall term, 2021.

Students: All University students to whom this requirement applies must be fully immunized against COVID-19 or meet the requirements for declination by September 1, 2021.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement applies to students who are enrolled in or registered for in-person instruction for any portion of their course load and students who are registered for fully online courses and participate in any in-person University activity or University-provided or sponsored service at all Oregon Tech locations (Klamath Falls, Portland-Metro, Chemeketa, Seattle, and OMIC). For example, a student with all online classes coming to campus to use the library, computer lab or other services; or a student coming on to campus only to play intramural sports must comply with the vaccination requirement. [Note: the Chemeketa and/or Seattle sites may require additional COVID mitigation measures which Oregon Tech students and staff must follow.]

Employees: It is intended that all University employees to whom this requirement applies must be fully immunized against COVID-19 or meet the requirements for declination by September 1, 2021 (or September 16, 2021 for faculty on contracts that are less than 12 months). A new employee with a start date on or after September 1, 2021 must complete the Vaccination Requirement prior to or on the first day of work.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement applies to all university employees, full-time or part-time, including but not limited to faculty, classified and unclassified staff, and student employees, at all campus locations, so long as they will be interacting in-person with individuals outside of their household as part of their employment.

Oregon Tech staff and faculty members will not know an individual’s vaccination status. Supervisors may know if an employee is not in compliance with this requirement.

Fully vaccinated: An individual has received both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine, and at least 14 days have passed since the individual’s final dose of COVID-19 vaccine. International students will be considered fully vaccinated if they meet their home country’s vaccination requirements.

Students

A COVID vaccination card with the student’s name, the dates of vaccination doses, and the name of the manufacturer will be uploaded to the secure student health portal via TECHweb (refer to “Students: Step-by-Step Portal Instructions”); questions? Call ISHC at 541-885-1800 or e-mail health@oit.edu.

Employees

An Attestation by the employee will be submitted to Human Resources via an on-line form, confirming that the employee has been fully immunized by a COVID vaccine that has been authorized in the U.S. for either emergency use or through full FDA licensure and approval or has been fully immunized by a vaccine approved outside of the U.S. The on-line Attestation Form includes individual’s name, the date of vaccination doses, and the name of the manufacturer.

An employee or student can decline the COVID Vaccine for bona fide medical reasons or for non-medical reasons as outlined by law (OAR 333-050-0040). Declinations for non-medical exemption must include completion of the Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Educational Module.

Declination may require adherence to additional public safety measures, such as continued use of face coverings in specified locations, asymptomatic testing, and quarantine periods, and may limit access to requirements, spaces, and activities, etc.

Employees and students who furnish false attestations or declinations are subject to discipline pursuant to applicable University conduct or discipline policies.

How to Claim a Medical Exemption

To claim a Medical Exemption, have your medical provider complete the Oregon Tech COVID Vaccine Medical Exemption Form. The process for submitting this form depends on whether you are a student or employee:


How to Claim a Non-Medical Exemption

To claim a Non-Medical Exemption, access and complete the required COVID-19 Educational Module and then filling out the Non-Medical Exemption Form. The process for submitting this form depends on whether you are a student or employee:

The following individuals are exempt from this requirement:

  1. Employees and students whose work or programs are fully online where no on-site or in-person university activity occurs
  2. University volunteers (non-student and non-employee)
  3. Community members (non-student and non-employee) participating in University programs or activities
  4. University visitors (non-student and non-employee)
  5. Employees exempt under state law (see ORS 433.416(3) and ORS 433.407(3))

Non-Compliance

Failure to complete either the Attestation process or the Declination process results in non-compliance with the Vaccination Requirement.

Students

Non-compliance in the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement (not completing the Attestation or Declination process) may result in disciplinary action under the University’s Student Code of Conduct for non-compliance with University policy, including a hold on the student account.

Employees

Non-compliance in the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement (not completing the Attestation or Declination process) will result in the employee’s department head and/or supervisor notified of the non-compliance. Failure to comply with the Vaccination Requirement may result in disciplinary action.

Testing Process

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. 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 duration of 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.

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.

Individuals required to test can pick up a test kit starting on October 5 at the following locations:

Klamath Falls – Office of Student Affairs (CU 217)

Portland-Metro – Student Services Desk on the 1st floor

Prior to the first test, please read the Instructions to Weekly Testing, which provides the following details:

  1. How to create a free account with WVT Labs (www.labdash.net)
  2. How to connect the sample each week to the LabDash account
  3. Proper self-swab and labeling procedures

Each week, participants will log into their LabDash account in order to enter the Bar Code number of the sample they will be submitting for that week; this connects that specific sample to their participant account. Then, they will follow the attached instructions for completing the self-swab, label the sample appropriately, and seal it in a provided biohazard bag. The sample does not have to be refrigerated but should stay at room temperature until submitted.

Beginning the week of October 11, participants will return the sample kit to the location from which it was originally obtained. Kits must be dropped off by Tuesday at noon with the test labeled correctly. After dropping off their sample, participants will take a new kit for use the following week.

Participants do not have to quarantine while they wait for their results, assuming that they do not have any symptoms and have not had an exposure to a COVID-positive person. If a participant has COVID symptoms or an exposure, they should not do the self-swab test, but instead should stay home and contact ISHC at 541-885-1800 for instructions.

All tests will be shipped to WVT Labs in Corvallis for analysis and results which will be available 48 hours after WVT Labs receives the tests.

Once results are available, participants will receive an e-mail alerting them to the availability of their result; they can then log into their LabDash account and view the result themselves. Note that ISHC will only be contacting anyone who tests positive; participants will not be contacted if they test negative.

Testing Positive

If a participant tests positive, they will be contacted by ISHC staff and given instructions and timeline regarding isolation.

A positive test will exclude participants from the COVID Testing Requirement for the next 90 days, as they will have antibodies in their system which will offer protection from re-infection during that period.

Failure to Test

Not completing the COVID test can have consequences for the health and safety of our community and therefore, will be taken seriously.

Consequences for students missing the COVID testing requirement could range from fines, a conduct violation with possible sanctions ranging from loss of privilege (attending in person classes/activities) to suspension from the university. Consequences for employees could result in fines or disciplinary action up to and including termination.

From time to time, you may have a legitimate reason to miss a test in a particular week.

Acceptable reasons to miss a test include that a participant:

  • Has been directed to isolate (positive for COVID).
  • Has been directed to quarantine by ISHC or local health authority.
  • Is an employee with an approved absence lasting five consecutive weekdays or more. Approved employee absences include vacation, FMLA leave, sick leave, business travel, working fully remotely temporarily in order to care for a quarantining/isolating dependent at home.
  • Has tested positive for COVID within the last 90 days. In this case the participant will be excused from testing for the 90-day period.

Anyone needing to request permission to decline testing due to an acceptable reason (as listed above) should contact ISHC at 541-885-1800 so this can be noted on their account.

Who to Contact

Questions about the COVID Vaccination Requirement: Contact:
Employees Sandi Hanan
Students Gaylyn Maurer

Coronavirus Information