University Policy: 04-040 Physical Distancing During COVID-19 Pandemic
Policy Category: Governance and Administration
Responsible Office: Provost's Office
Responsible Executive: Provost
Download the Policy: (PDF)
Effective Date: 03/25/2020
Last Revised: 05/07/2021
1. Policy Statement

1.1. This policy will be in effect until lifted by the OSU President.

1.2. 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 State University issued its physical distancing policy on March 25, 2020. It applies to all Oregon State University locations and serves the university’s goal to help reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19. This university policy was last updated on May 7, 2021, and may be revised subsequently to align with federal, state, and local guidance and as OSU’s public health response evolves. When this policy differs from state or federal mandates, the more restrictive requirements apply. The definitions in this university policy are guided by OHA's relevant definitions.

1.3. Physical distancing is intended to reduce contact among people, especially in large crowds. Until further notice, OSU employees, students and other members of the OSU community are required to maintain a distance of six (6) feet between individuals to the greatest extent possible. In complying with this policy, all members of the university community at all OSU locations are to configure spaces as needed, including classrooms, workplaces, university-managed living spaces and dining halls to provide for maximum physical distancing. Members of the university community are expected to comply with the limits on the number of people at gatherings and social get-togethers as provided in this policy. Consistent with OHA and CDC guidelines—and in adherence to applicable executive orders and other legal requirements regarding face coverings—all OSU employees, students, visitors, contractors, volunteers and community members shall abide by University Policy 04-041 Face Covering in Public and Common Settings During COVID-19 Pandemic.

2. Reason for Policy

2.1. This university policy is issued to contribute to the health and safety of the OSU community during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and to align with federal and state regulations, executive orders, and guidance.

3. Scope & Audience

3.1. This university policy applies to all university employees, students, contractors, volunteers and visitors on university-owned or -controlled property.

4. Definitions

4.1. Gatherings are defined as a group of individuals meeting for a common purpose including University in-person instruction, faith-based, civic, cultural and other purposes, indoors or outdoors. A gathering does not include social get-togethers. 

4.2. Social Get-Togethers are defined as a group of individuals meeting for a common social or recreational purpose indoors or outdoors. Social get-togethers include but are not limited to dinner parties, birthday parties, potlucks, book clubs, game nights, and other similar gatherings.

4.3. Fully vaccinated refers to a person who has received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in a 2-dose series at least two weeks ago (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna vaccines), or, a person who has received a single dose vaccine for COVID-19 at least two weeks ago (e.g., Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine).

5. Responsibilities & Procedures     

5.1. Physical Distancing Requirements for all OSU Employees and Students

5.1.1. Whenever possible, employees are to maintain a minimum of six (6) feet between themselves and other employees, students, or community members who are present.

5.1.2. Supervisors, in consultation with their employees, must ensure that their workspace is set up for physical distancing measures to the greatest extent possible.

5.1.3. All workspace restroom facilities must display signs that encourage frequent hand washing as guided by county, state, and federal public health agencies.

5.1.4. Meetings should be conducted using current OHA guidelines.

5.1.5. Requirements and recommendations in this policy for students and employees are based on current isolation and quarantine guidance provided by the CDC, OHA, and the Local Public Health Authority ("LPHA"). 

5.1.6. Students who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and body aches, or loss of taste or smell are required to: isolate; avoid close contact with others; contact their primary health care provider by phone or a secure patient portal for medical advice, and follow all public health guidance.

a. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic must isolate for 10 days from the time of testing.

b. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are symptomatic must isolate for 10 days, plus an additional 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, including fever, without the use of fever-reducing medication.

c. Students who have been determined to be a close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, or otherwise as determined by the local public health authority) to someone with COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days from the time of exposure. However, students determined to be a close contact who have had a case of COVID-19 confirmed by a healthcare provider or a public health authority in the previous 90 days or are fully vaccinated, do not need to quarantine.

d. If a person exposed to COVID-19 becomes symptomatic while in quarantine, they should contact their health care provider for testing and follow LPHA instructions for isolation.

e. Students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if they have not been determined to be a close contact, have not tested positive for COVID-19, or have been fully vaccinated, should follow medical advice and stay away from others until their symptoms have resolved. If COVID-19 is suspected, students must isolate for 10 days after symptoms first appeared, and an additional 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, including fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications.

5.1.7. In specific circumstances, quarantine requirements may be changed at the direction of the LPHA.

5.1.8. Employees who have been physically onsite at an OSU location in the previous 14 days must notify their supervisor if they believe they have been exposed to COVID-19, if they have symptoms of COVID-19, if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or if they have had a positive COVID-19 test result.

a. Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, but are asymptomatic, are prohibited from being on-site on OSU property for 10 days from the time of testing (and are strongly recommended to isolate for that time, in accordance with current public health guidance).

b. Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are symptomatic are prohibited from being onsite on OSU property for 10 days plus an additional 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, including fever, without the use of fever-reducing medication (and are strongly recommended to isolate for that time).

c. Employees who have been determined to be a close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, or otherwise determined by the local public health authority) to someone with COVID-19 are prohibited from being onsite on OSU property for 14 days from the time of exposure.

d. However, employees who have had a case of COVID-19 confirmed by a health care provider or public health authority in the previous 90 days, or are fully vaccinated, do not need to quarantine.

e. If a person exposed to COVID-19 becomes symptomatic while in quarantine, they should contact their health care provider for testing and follow LPHA instructions for isolation.

f. Employees who have not been determined to be a close contact or have not tested positive for COVID-19, but who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and COVID-19 is suspected, are prohibited from being onsite on OSU property until 10 days after symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications (and are strongly recommended to isolate for that time).

g. In specific circumstances, quarantine requirements may be changed at the direction of the LPHA.

h. If an employee, who has been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, experiences symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and body aches, or loss of taste or smell are required to: isolate; avoid close contact with others; contact their primary health care provider by phone or a secure patient portal for medical advice and follow all public health guidance.

5.1.8. Gatherings and Get-Togethers: 

a. In-Person Instruction, Research, Extension and Outreach, and Other University Activities. University gatherings for the purposes of in-person instruction, research, extension and outreach activities, university business, and university intercollegiate athletic events that conform to guidelines provided by the Governor’s Office, Oregon Health Authority, appropriate county health authority, and OSU policy are permitted and limited to the number of people specified in the applicable OHA or  OHA/Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s guidance.

b. Other University Gatherings and Social Get-Togethers, Non-University Gatherings and Social Get-Togethers on University Sites. Unless an exception has been provided as outlined in 5.1.9, all other types of university gatherings or social get-togethers, and non-university gatherings or social get-togethers, on university-owned or -controlled property, must adhere to the applicable OHA industry-specific or gatherings sector guidance gathering limits. All gatherings or social get together under this section must comply with the most restrictive gathering limits of applicable federal, state, local, OSU policy, or LPHA requirements.

i. Recognized Student Organization Gatherings: Recognized Student Organization activities with a clearly defined agenda or program are considered gatherings rather than social get-togethers. Such activities must follow applicable OHA activity or gatherings sector guidance categories and may be allowable if:

a. Activity is reported through Ideal-Logic Database at least 2 weeks in advance and includes a defined agenda or program for the activity. Recurring activities must be submitted and approved individually;

b. Space has been reserved at least 2 weeks in advance of the activity;

c. List of expected attendees submitted at least 2 business days in advance of the activity; and,

d. Activity has received appropriate event resumption & conditional venue approval.

c. Student Social Get-Togethers. Students are required to adhere to the applicable OHA activity specific or gatherings sector guidance gathering limits, indoor and outdoor, while residing or participating in an activity in the state of Oregon, regardless of whether related to university business or property. Students must comply with the most restrictive gathering limits of applicable federal, state, local, OSU policy, or LPHA requirements. All recognized student organization activities that are “drop-in” will be classified as social get-togethers for sector guidance purposes.

d. Individuals who are fully vaccinated may visit with others who are also fully vaccinated in residence halls or other private at-home social gatherings, indoors or outdoors, without wearing face coverings. This exception does not apply to workplace settings.

5.1.9. OSU’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator, or designee, will serve as the university’s Physical Distancing Officer. The Physical Distancing Officer, or designee, may approve limited exceptions and expansions to this university policy, where consistent with applicable executive orders. Approvals of exceptions or expansions by the Physical Distancing Officer will be provided in writing.

6. Forms & Tools 

6.1. Presence Free Engagement Guide: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rU_PgrXnv176THJXEJBhZFl53lM8mkNbFOvhPdbHSpI/edit 

6.2. In-Person Event Resumption Form: https://communications.oregonstate.edu/person-event-resumption

6.3. Ideal-Logic Event Reporting for Recognized Student Organizations: https://apps.ideal-logic.com/osusee

7. Frequently Asked Questions

7.1. COVID-19 FAQs: https://covid.oregonstate.edu/faq

8. Related Information

8.1. COVID-19 Resources and Updates: https://covid.oregonstate.edu/

8.2. University Policy 04-041 Face Covering in Public and Common Settings During COVID-19 Pandemic: http://policy.oregonstate.edu/policy/UPSM/04-041_COVID19_face_covering

8.3. Oregon Health Authority Statewide Isolation and Quarantine Guidance: https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le2351t.pdf

9. History

9.1. Original issue date: March 25, 2020.

9.2. Amended: August 21, 2020

9.3. Amended: June 14, 2020.

9.4. Amended: October 15, 2020.

9.5. Amended: November 16, 2020.

9.6. Amended: December 21, 2020.

9.7. Amended: May 7, 2021.

9.8. Last review date: May 7, 2021.

9.9. Next scheduled review date: March 25, 2022.

10. Website

10. University Policy 04-040 Physical Distancing During COVID-19 Pandemic: http://policy.oregonstate.edu/UPSM/04-040_COVID19_physical_distancing

11. Contacts

Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Coronavirus Response Coordinator, and Physical Distancing Officer

541-737-0715

https://studentaffairs.oregonstate.edu/