Oregon State University announced August 20 that people attending designated university events and activities, including athletic events, concerts and conferences, will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
The new policy is in response to the rise in COVID-19 cases and the significant transmission rate of the Delta variant. The policy takes effect Aug. 23, 2021, and has been developed in consultation with the local public health officials.
“OSU continues to collaborate with local and state public health officials to employ many public health measures – including face coverings and vaccination requirements for students and employees – and engage in proactive planning to support the university’s return to in-person and on-site activity for fall term,” said Interim OSU President Becky Johnson. “It is up to each one of us to contribute to wellness while we return to on-site learning and activities. I know we can do this together.”
Attendees at the designated university events will be required to present their CDC vaccination record card, or a photocopy, photo, or mobile photo of the card. Cardholders must be at least two weeks past receiving their second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or other World Health Organization-approved vaccines), or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The proof of vaccination requirement complements OSU’s overall COVID-19 response, said Dan Larson, the university’s COVID-19 response coordinator and vice provost for student affairs.
“We continue to see strong engagement from OSU students and employees in efforts to help reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19,” Larson said. “As of now, approximately 94%, or approximately 18,700, of our students are fully vaccinated.
“We now are asking our community members and fans attending events and athletics to join us in helping prevent viral spread. Wearing face coverings in indoor and outdoor public spaces, where physical distancing is not possible, and implementing OSU’s proof of vaccination requirements to attend university events and activities are necessary measures.”
Children under age 12 do not need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test.
For those who cannot provide proof of vaccination, documentation of a negative test taken within three days of the event also will be accepted. The test must be a SARS-CoV-2 viral test (nucleic acid amplification test or antigen test) with emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Home tests will not be accepted.
A test result must be in the form of written medical documentation (paper or electronic copy). The documentation must include: test result; type of test; entity issuing the result; and specimen collection date.
Proof of vaccination and documentation of a test result will require presentation of a driver’s license or another government-issued form of identification, such as a passport.
OSU’s policy requiring proof of vaccinations has been made in collaboration with the University of Oregon, which is announcing a similar policy.
In compliance with Oregon’s statewide indoor face mask requirement that went into effect Aug. 13, attendees age 5 and older at designated university indoor events will be required to wear face coverings throughout the venue, including in seats, except when actively eating and drinking. In compliance with a Benton County ordinance, members of the public attending outdoor events where 6 feet of physical distancing is not possible are required to wear face coverings.
Larson said an appropriate face covering fully covers the nose and mouth, is not constructed of mesh or lace, and does not have openings, holes, valves or vents.
OSU’s COVID-19 response coordinator, in consultation with program leaders and the local public health authority, will define places at OSU where people will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. In addition to athletic events, concerts and conferences, these may include recreation centers, field trips and other experiential learning activities that present higher risk.