University Policy: 04-040 Physical Distancing During COVID-19 Pandemic
Policy Category:
Governance and Administration
Responsible Office:
Provost's Office
Responsible Executive:
Effective Date:
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 June 3, 2020 and may be revised subsequently to align with federal, state, and local guidance as the public health response evolves.

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. Consistent with OHA and CDC guidelines, employees, students, and members of the community are highly encouraged to utilize face coverings in all facilities and situations where maintaining six (6) feet of separation between individuals is not possible.

1.4. In addition to adherence to applicable executive orders and other legal requirements regarding face coverings, all OSU employees, students, visitors, 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. None.

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. Employees, in consultation with their supervisor, 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. Until further notice, meetings should be conducted using remote means wherever practical. All necessary in-person meetings must follow physical distancing practices.

5.1.5. Individuals 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, should stay home; avoid close contact with others; and contact their primary health care provider by phone or a secure patient portal for medical advice. Upon exposure or if symptomatic, employees should contact their supervisor.

5.1.6. OSU’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator, or designee, will serve as the university’s Physical Distancing Officer. 

5.1.7. 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. None.

7. Frequently Asked Questions

7.1. COVID-19 FAQs:

8. Related Information

8.1. COVID-19 Resources and Updates:

8.2. University Policy 04-041 Face Covering in Public and Common Settings During COVID-19 Pandemic:

9. History

9.1. Original issue date: March 25, 2020.

9.2. Amended: June 14, 2020.

9.3. Last review date: June 3, 2020.

9.4. Next scheduled review date: June 3, 2021.

10. Website

10. University Policy 04-040 Physical Distancing During COVID-19 Pandemic:

11. Contacts

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